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The war between the United States and Mexico had two basic causes First the desire of the US to expand across the North American continent to the Pacific Ocean caused conflict with all of its neighbors from the British in Canada and Oregon to the Mexicans in the southwest and of course with the Native Americans Ever since President Jeffersons acquisition of the Louisiana Territory in 1803 Americans migrated westward in ever increasing numbers often into lands not belonging to the United States By the time President Polk came to office in 1845 an idea called Manifest Destiny had taken root among the American people and the new occupant of the White House was a firm believer in the idea of expansion The belief that the US basically had a God-given right to occupy and civilize the whole continent gained favor as more and more Americans settled the western lands The fact that most of those areas already had people living upon them was usually ignored with the attitude that democratic English-speaking America with its high ideals and Protestant Christian ethics would do a better job of running things than the Native Americans or Spanish-speaking Catholic Mexicans Manifest Destiny did not necessarily call for violent expansion In both 1835 and 1845 the United States offered to purchase California from Mexico for 5 million and 25 million respectively The Mexican government refused the opportunity to sell half of its country to Mexicos most dangerous neighbor The second basic cause of the war was the Texas War of Independence and the subsequent annexation of that area to the United States Not all American westward migration was unwelcome In the 1820s and 1830s Mexico newly independent from Spain needed settlers in the under-populated northern parts of the country An invitation was issued for people who would take an oath of allegiance to Mexico and convert to Catholicism the state religion Thousands of Americans took up
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