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Effects of the Mexican War

Causes of the Mexican War
Home Front
Effects of the Mexican War

                Like any war, there were many effects and consequences due to the Mexican war for both nations. Each country suffered the loss of many men. While American’s gained a considerable amount of land, it lead to a great deal of sectional tension. As Ulysses S. Grant wrote, “The Southern rebellion was largely the outgrowth of the Mexican War.” While the aftermath of the Mexican war created the tension that would lead up to the civil war it also provided as practice ground for young military officers who would play leading roles in the civil war. Mexico was also greatly effected by the Mexican War. Their confidence was destroyed along with their loss of more than fifty percent of their lands. While the Mexican War was relatively shortly lived, its effects were long lasting.

                In 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo put an end to the Mexican War. Article III of the Treaty granted the United States with 525,000 square acres of previously Mexican owned land. The United States received the land presently known as California, New Mexico, and Utah. But this new land caused a great deal of conflict, and created great political sectionalism in America. A great debate brawled over whether the newly acquired regions would be slavery ridden or not. In 1846, the Wilmot Proviso called for the new territory to be free of slavery, although it passed in the House of Representatives is was rejected in the south, and angered southerners. “The Wilmot Proviso created great bitterness between North and South and helped crystallize the conflict over the extension of slavery” ( Morrison, C). The debate on what would become of these regions helped lead our nation into the civil war.

“The rapid expansion of the Union eventually placed the whole Union at risk. In the political battles following the Mexican-American War, ideology became both more sectional and less compromising. The War Between the States was the price we ultimately paid for the Mexican War.” (Riddle, Wesley)

Although the compromise of 1850 was made, one of the most severe consequences of the Mexican war was that it created such conflict between the North and the South that it made the idea of separating possible.

A political cartoon that shows the struggle between the north and the south in 1850.

 Another effect of the Mexican War was that it provided a training ground for
young and inexperienced military officers, who would later become commanding
officers and Generals in the civil war, and created war heroes. Officers such as
Jackson, Lee, Meade, and Sherman all gained experience and reputation from the
Mexican War (Avery, Steve). The Mexican War especially provided political
advancement for the war hero, General Zachary Taylor. “ U.S. General Zachary
"Old Rough and Ready" Taylor used his fame as a war hero to win the Presidency
in 1848. A true irony is that President Polk, a Democrat, pushed for the war that
led to Taylor, a Whig, winning the White House” (Lee, Roger). Therefore the
Mexican war not only determined the next president of the nation, but it also
provided a training for men who would become profound generals in the civil war.


war hero General Zachary Taylor

Mexico suffered from many negative effects after the Mexican War. Not only did
they loose half of their territory, and approximately 25,000 men, but their were
many damages to their nation seems though the war was fought on their home
front. .” Artillery shelling and small-arms gunfire caused extensive destruction to
buildings in a number of cities, in addition to damage to port facilities and roads.
The naval blockade and movement of thousands of troops across the land
severely affected the economy” (Miller, Robert). After the Mexican War, Mexico
suffered a period of great political instability in Mexican “domestic
affairs” (Morrison, C). With in the two years of the Mexican War, Mexico had
seven different Presidents. The greatest consequence of the Mexican War for
Mexico was that it provided them with a weak and unstable future.


                Like in all wars there were many effects and consequences that the


Mexican War produced for both Mexico and the United States. While the


Mexican War helped to create the dramatic debates that would spark the civil


war, it also left Mexico in a unstable political condition.  Although the fighting of


the war did not last for many years, it effects certainly did.