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Joel Poinsett In 1825 President John Quincy Adams appointed Joel Poinsett as the first US minister to Mexico His first assignment was to persuade the Mexican government to sell the US the province of Texas thus continuing the rapid expansion of the American democracy The United States continued to pursue Texas with little success for the next 20 years It was not until December 1845 when the US finally annexed Texas by a joint resolution and thus simple majority Immediately following the Texas acquisition and with US-Mexico relations swiftly deteriorating the US wanted the Mexican province of California mainly for her harbours San Frasisco and San Diego The American policy towards Mexico which ensued in the following years was governed almost exclusively by President James Polks personal opinions and actions as well as Nicholas Trists defiant behavior a manifestation of the state-centric theory in which key individual decision makers govern policy In addition Polks policies were secondarily influenced by the consideration of relative power American mass ideology and Public opinion In 1845 President Polk began cofidentially from the public considering the annexation of California Polks initial desire was to simply purchase California attempting to maintain peace He soon learned this would be impossible When Polk ordered General Taylor to cross the Nueces River and eventually to fortify on the Rio Grande he fully understood the possilble consequences of these actions In fact by deploying Taylor and his troops Polk putting a slow squeeze on the Mexicans which would leave them with no other option than to strike back Polk waited for the initial attack to be made by the Mexicans and then struck back Polk claimed that American blood had been spilled on American soil thus garnering enough public and congressional support to declare war on Mexico safe from domestic unrest Norman Graebner states that Polk was too astute a politician to favor any cause until public opinion had crystallized 1 Although
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