Fueled by land hunger and a quest for adventure, Americans wanted to move further west across North America. Many people, including President James K. Polk, believed in the idea of “Manifest Destiny,” that God had given North America to them and it was the country’s destiny to spread across the continent to the Pacific Ocean.
The Mexican government did not agree with Americans’ ideas about Manifest Destiny, especially when it came to Texas, New Mexico, and California. The U.S. government attempted to buy these lands but Mexico refused. Conflicts over border lines increased and in April, 1846, Mexican soldiers attacked American soldiers, killing twelve men. President Polk asked Congress to declare war.
Treaty: an agreement, typically between two governments
Questions and Answers
Question: Did the Battle of the Alamo occur during the Mexican American War?
Answer: The famous Battle of the Alamo occurred ten years earlier during Texas’s rebellion to gain independence from Mexico. Two hundred men took control of the Alamo, a fort, which had previously been a mission. The men fought for 13 days against a Mexican army that included thousands of soldiers before finally surrendering. The commanding Mexican general commanded that no prisoners be taken and almost everyone in the fort was killed, including the famous frontiersman, Davy Crockett. Later that year, Texas did gain independence from Mexico and was annexed by the United States.
Visit PBS to learn more about the Mexican American War.
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