On this day in 1848, the Mexican-American War (also known as the Mexican War), the first U.S armed conflict fought primarily on foreign soil, was ended after nearly two years of conflict. It resulted in an American victory that saw Mexico lose around one-third of its territory, including present-day California, Nevada and Arizona. The territory of Texas was awarded to the United States.
Texas had originally gained its independence from Mexico in 1836, with the United States desiring to annex Texas into America. However, in doing this they would be faced with a threat from Mexico, who said they would declare war on the United States. Furthermore, debates raged between the two countries over the location of the border of Texas, and whether the border ended at Mexico’s claim of the Nueces River or the United States’ claim of the Rio Grande River. Texas was formally annexed into the United States in early 1845, and war was declared by Mexico.
The war saw around 100,000 men fight for their countries with a casualty rate of 25% for the first seventeen months, rising to 35-40% thereafter due to disease and injury. As a result, this was proportionately the most deadly war in American military history. It ended in American victory with the border of Texas firmly established at the Rio Grande. In exchange for the land that was awarded to the United States, Mexico was paid $15,000,000 and the United States territory was expanded westwards.
To find out more information, visit our Youtube channel where we have a video on the Mexican-American War.