Mexican-American War

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While many have called the Mexican-American War "Mr. Polk's War", to point the finger at James K Polk as the cause of the war is an over-simplification. Like many international conflicts, the Mexican-American War had several causes, of which America's eleventh president was just one.


In addition, if one is to point the finger of blame at someone, at least a basic examination of who that person was, should be done first - as, even if the situation was that person's fault, an understanding of that person's motivation will surely give a greater understanding of the conflict itself. That is where this examination of the causes of the Mexican-American War will start - with a brief look at American's eleventh president himself. We will then deal with the westward expansion of the American population and the concept of Manifest Destiny. Only then will enough information be avalible to make a preliminary determination of how much each cause (including Mr. Polk) actually contributed to the start and continuation of the Mexican-American War.
James K. Polk was born in North Carolina in 17951. His father was of Scottish and Irish background, and his mother was Scots as well. Hi father was a Democrat who supported Jefferson, thus Polk was brought up as a Jefferson Democrat.2 One of ten children in a successful farming and slave owning family, James was often ill, which delayed his formal schooling3. In 1806, his family followed its relatives in a move to Tennessee, where they became quite well to do plantation owners, and, in addition, his father became a county judge. ...
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