The U.S. War with Mexico
First Edition   ©2008

The U.S. War with Mexico

A Brief History with Documents

Ernesto Chavez

  • ISBN-10: 0-312-24921-7; ISBN-13: 978-0-312-24921-2; Format: Paper Text, 192 pages

The U.S. war with Mexico was a pivotal event in American history, it set crucial wartime precedents and served as a precursor for the impending Civil War. With a powerful introduction and rich collection of documents, Ernesto Ch‡vez makes a convincing case that as an expansionist war, the U.S.-Mexico conflict set a new standard for the acquisition of foreign territory through war. Equally important, the war racialized the enemy, and in so doing accentuated the nature of whiteness and white male citizenship in the U.S., especially as it related to conquered Mexicans, Indians, slaves, and even women. The war, along with ongoing westward expansion, heightened public debates in the North and South about slavery and its place in newly-acquired territories. In addition, Ch‡vez shows how the political, economic and social development of each nation played a critical role in the path to war and its ultimate outcome. Both official and popular documents offer the events leading up to the war, the politics surrounding it, popular sentiment in both countries about it, and the war’s long-term impact on the future development and direction of these two nations. Headnotes, a chronology, maps and a selected bibliography enrich student understanding of this important historical moment.
"This is a very useful synthesis, introduction, and set of documents related to the U.S.-Mexico War. That conflict was absolutely central to the nineteenth-century U.S., to Mexican history, to the American West, and to Chicana/os in the border region. I commend the author for the impressive work on this difficult but critical subject."

— Stephen Pitti, Yale University