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The Mexican War On May 9 1846 President James K Polk informed his cabinet that he intended to ask Congress to declare war upon Mexico Congress agreed and soon the United States of America was at war with its neighbor Mexico These actions by our country will forever remain as a blemish upon her history Clearly this war was not justifiable both rather a conquest based upon greed anger and the arrogance of men such as James K Polk Although unimpressive in figure Polk was extremely purposeful developing a a positive four-point program and with remarkable success achieved it completely in less than four years Bailey p 389 Although lowing the tariff restoring the independent treasury and compromising with Britain in order to acquire most of the Oregon Territory proved difficult Polk managed to accomplish them all without a rifle being raised However Polks last goal of acquiring California from Mexico proved to present the greatest challenge As with his other goal the president first attempted to gain this territory through diplomatic terms Sending John Sidell to Mexico City with the instructions to offer a maximum of 25 million dollars for California and the territory to the east was Polks last resort to achieve his goal without forceful means When the proud Mexicans refused Sidell to even present his proposition James K Polk became extremely frustrated and was now prepared to force a showdown Bailey p 391 To Polk the basis of the unpaid claims from the brief skirmish in Texas with Mexico as well as Sidells rejection proved reason enough to declare war However taking into account the reasoning of several of his cabinet members that said they would feel better if the Mexicans fired first Polk ordered four thousand men under Zachary Taylor to march into the disputed territory between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande These actions proved to be as Polk had hoped the immediate cause of the conflict
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