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The Mexican-American War (Viva California)

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Viva California Timeline
The Mexican-American War
The War of Secession
The Spanish-Americas War
The Great War
The Texan-American War
The World War
The Cold War
The Spasm
Post-Apocalypse Brush Wars

The major turning point of the Viva California timeline came during the Mexican-American War, as both Zachary Taylor and Ulysses S. Grant, officers among so many in the army were killed.

Ante-Bellum

John C. Calhoun's negotiations with Texas proved inefficient, and Sam Houston recalcitrant in the face of a gracious offering on the part of Mexico. Accepting the gracious offer of Presidente Mariano Paredes y Arrillaga of the United Mexican States to allow them sovereignty, should they remain an independent state, Calhoun and Tyler's plans for annexation were scuttled.

The offer of recognition by Mexico would be something Mexicans would regret for the next centuries, but at the time it was deemed a necessary evil to stave off the war-mongering of the US. While it did not avoid war, it did result in the retention of a large portion of Mexican territory for the short-term.

Course of War

While many battles were fought, the notable battles, seen as turning points by historians are catalogued below.

Battle of Palo Alamo

General Zachary Taylor brought reinforcements to beseiged Fort Texas, but the Mexican General, Mariano Arista had learned of Taylor's use of "flying artillery" from captured Samuel Ringgold. By gathering his men together, Arista encouraged the Americans to mass for a bayonet charge which was disrupted as he turned the "flying artillery" tactic to his own advantage. Killed in the gunplay were General Zachary Taylor, George Henry Thomas and Don Carlos Buell. In 1846, Zachary Taylor, a general of the American armies crossed the Rio Grande, and was surrounded by Mexican soldiers who outnumbered his own battalion 4 to 1. The slaughter was incredible, and Taylor was executed after attempting a surrender.

Resaca de la Palma Arista managed to avert a flanking maneuver of the Americans, winning the battle, but days later retreated to Monterrey to strengthen his army and further lure the American soldiers into Mexican territory.

Battle of Monterrey

An infantry division under the command of General William J. Worth led a charge trying to capture several Mexican held hills to the west of Monterrey, but were repulsed by Mexican soldiers. In the rout Captain Ulysses S. Grant, George Gordon Meade, and John Pope were killed. Later skirmishes saw the deaths of Joseph Hooker. Many historians suggest that if Texans had been involved in the war, the battle could've gone very differently.

Battle of Buena Vista

American forces, routed at Monterrey attempted a sea-landing under General Winfield Scott, but were met by Arista's and Santa Anna's forces. In the battle, the Americans saw catastrophic losses under shelling from captured American artillery and howitzers. Among the dead were Irvin McDowell, and Winfield Scott was wounded. The Americans retreated to lick their wounds, having lost 2,500 soldiers, more than half of their forces. Scott was captured with George B. McCLellan who suffered from malaria and dysentery in Mexican custody.

Treaty of Cerro Gordo

With the loss of significant forces and Mexican troops mounting for a counter-offensive near the Rio Grande, Polk and the US government agreed to peace negotiations. In the treaty American and Mexican prisoners were repatriated and America agreed to the borders of Mexico as the Nueces and Arkansas rivers until the 42nd Parallel.

Following the treaty, it was announced that Sam Houston and Texas had been recognized by Mexico, and in fact there was significant support by Texans of the Mexican forces in the face of what were perceived as American invaders.

Aftermath

Because of the loss of troops in the Mexican-American War and the rejection of United States of America overtures to Texas, James K. Polk had to review his foreign policy. With the War Hawks demanding resolution to the Oregon Country and the achieving of the Monrovian "Manifest Destiny," Polk was forced to make good on a campaign slogan attributed to him, that of "54-40 or Fight!" After what was portrayed as a war, though mostly a series of border skirmishes, the US negotiated with the British Empire for the full Oregon Territory and successfully purchased the land after guaranteeing the continued rights of ownership for British citizens in the region.

Following Polk's presidency the nominees were Winfield Scott and Martin Van Buren. Scott, a dark horse candidate won the party nomination, but was not sufficient to carry him through to election, narrowly losing to Van Buren. Martin Van Buren was elected for a second term of office, the first US president to serve 2 non-consecutive terms of office. Van Buren oversaw the Compromise of 1850 wherein all territory south of the Missouri river were to be preferentially Slave states and all north of the river were to be preferentially Free, but the local populace could decide for themselves. This act would directly lead to the Bleeding Kansas uprising.

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