Talk:Mexican–American War/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 5

An event mentioned in this article is a May 13 selected anniversary


Battle of Dominguez Rancho

  • Why is this California battle not inserted into the war battle's section box at the front of this article? it was a significant defensive battle in which the Californios were victorious over a numerically superior American force, and were fighting to defend their land, not the Mexican government. I would recommend insertion of this battle into the index box..DonDeigo 14:18, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

reference: California History, Bancroft -

Mexico's Reasons for Losing

Mexico came from gaining independance from Spain and also just came from another war against France in Veracruz. Thus, Mexico was to weak to put up a fight against the U.S.

And the U.S. has always been known as a bullying country agaist smaller or under developed countries. (I am not offending the U.S.)

If you look at the difference in troops you obviously have to give Mexico credit:

Mexico Troops: 18,000–40,000 soldiers

U.S. Troops: 78,790 soldiers

Casualties U.S. Total dead: 13,271 Wounded: 4,152

Mexico 25,000 killed or wounded (Mexican government estimate)

The numbers are one sided Mexico couldn't defend itself.

- Remember that only 10% of the US casualties were from combat. Most died from disease and whatnot. 19:16, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

The war was all Polk's idea, not Mexico's

This is NOT a neutral take on the war, in my opinion. I may not be a historian but I looked into this war years ago. The Rio Nueces border was more than just the beginning of a no-man's land. Old maps of the era, for example, showed a significant number of Anglo settlements as far south as the Nueces, but virtually none between the Nueces and the Rio Bravo (or Grande to Anglos) which was further south still. It was Polk who, admitting he was expansionist, sent troops across the Nueces in a deliberate provocation. He knew the Mexican forces were weak as they were made up chiefly of uneducated peasants. When the Mexicans attempted to defend their country, Polk spun the situation to look as if the U.S. had been attacked. Furthermore, some key points like the fact that Chapultepec was defended by children (cadets) should not be glossed over as Mexicans, to this day, are proud of the way these kids defended their military academy. I'm going to have to do some research and then revise this article with citations, etc.

I tried to clarify what you are pointing out. Please take a look. Wenteng 03:34, 29 Jul 2003 (UTC)

the war was fought over the dispute of the border (nueces river or bravo river.) historically the nueces river was the border between texas and coahuila. US uses this as an excuse to seize land from Mexico, which it does. Not content with the incredible amount of land won, The All of Mexico Movement even wanted to annex all of Mexico.

There was a legitimate border dispute between the two sides. Back in 1836, when Texas forces captured General Santa Anna, he signed a treaty recognizing the Rio Grande as Texas's southern boundary. Later, when he was back in Mexico City, he claimed that the treaty was invalid. Texans (and later, Americans) insisted that it was valid. It's hard to say which side was "right." As for there not being many Anglo settlements below the Nueces, remember that Texas is a giant state and there weren't that many people there yet. It's true that Polk was an expansionist, but you shouldn't gloss over the border issue. There was certainly no consensus in Washington that the Nueces was the border.
Irrespective of whether the treaty (Treaties of Velasco) was invalid or not, both sides failed to abide by its terms. In any event, it didn't state that the Río Grande was to be the border -- it said Santa Anna was to immediately withdraw his troops south of it. Reading the text, it certainly sounds like the tejanos wanted the RG to be the border, but that issue was to be settled in separate peace negotiations (which, of course, never took place). Hajor 01:07, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I just redid the background paragraph. I'm seeing a lot of very slanted comments "texas continually tried" to "no avail". The facts of the treaty and the Texas revolution should be kept on there own page. In a broad view of history, this war was the result of a border dispute and the refusal to recognize a break away province which led to a somewhat opportunistic US landgrab. We really need some more commentary on the politics of the day in the union, and less about Texas.--Dschroder 22:45, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
Can someone elaborate on the US British problem that may have effected mediation? What was the issue? I took it out since it was just sorta hanging there--Dschroder


"however, the Mexican government disputed the southern border of Texas."

This implies that the border was a fact, and that the Mexican government was challenging that fact. Is that objectivelly true? Shouldn't this be something like "however, the two nations disagreed over the southern border of Texas." It takes more than one group to have a dispute, right?

I wrote this. I think it's fair to both sides:

The U.S. government claimed that the southern border of Texas was the Rio Grande; Mexico maintained it to be the Nueces River.


The bottom line here is that the actual spark of the war is the Nueces/Rio Grande dispute. Either the article itself needs to be neutral and point to a separate article regarding the dispute itself, or three things need to be included: 1. Mexican Point of view on why the border should have been the Nueces; 2. US Point of view on why the border should have been the Rio Grande; and 3. why the distinction even mattered (the difference on the Gulf of Mexico isn't particularly significant, but if you follow the course of the rivers it quickly becomes clear that a lot of territory was at stake)

Far from a NPOV, this article has tremendous anti-American bias.

It's going to be difficult to write an NPOV and pro-American article when such well-known anti-Americans as Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant considered the war a shameful episode in American history. Angusmclellan 12:25, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)
And of course, the fact that the President (Polk) was a Democrat and that Lincoln and Grant were Whigs (and later, Republicans) had *nothing* to do with that, now did it? :o) People can have all kinds of motivations for their stances. Lincoln was not a saint, and Grant, while a fine general, wasn't exactly a model President (he's actually considered one of the most corrupt men to ever hold the office).
Actually, Grant's administration was certainally corrupt, but there is little indication that Grant himself was corrupt. If he was corrupt, he certainally didn't profit from it. Grant seems to have exercised poor judgement in appointing cronies who were corrupt. In any case, even if Grant was corrupt, that has no bearing on his opinions about the Mexican War.--RLent 07:43, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
I've never heard that Grant was a Whig, either. I seem to vaguely recall that, before the war, he was a Democrat, which is borne out by this site, which calls him a "Douglas Democrat" at the opening of the war (although it describes his father Jesse Grant as an abolitionist Whig). john k 08:11, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
That's ridiculous. Nobody's asking for a "pro-American" article. But if you can't figure out how to write an NPOV article related to this or any war then you better just stop writing now. Its certainly fair to include what prominent Americans thought of the war; and it can be included without endorsing those views.

I cannot detect a pro-Mexican bias in this article. On the contrary, with all its concessions to bad conscience, it is written exclusively from a US point of view -- liberal, conservative, these are just two sides of the same US-coin. However, this article does not reflect recent Mexican scholarship and/or viewpoints on the subject. Many details, from turns of phrase (beginning with the fact that this war is called Mexican-American War, as if the Mexicans were the aggressors and not the victims of US- expansionism) to the descriptions of post-Independence Mexico (riven by internal conflict, etc.), reflect the attempt of generations of US-historians to justify the occupation of Mexican territory as part of the "Manifest Destiny" of the US. To top it off, at the end the writers of the article imply that the Mexicans have to be grateful to have been invaded by US-troops. The writing of history (especially in the departments of military history) has always been an integral part of that nationalist project -- winners write history, in Wikipedia as well as everywhere else. Jinmex 00:46, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

I totally disagree that the article is biased against the Americans. From a neutral (ie, non-US) viewpoint (I'm a Brit), the article, if anything, glosses over many of the less attractive aspects of the conduct of the war. I have studied this war in detail. The border dispute was used by Polk as an excuse to drive the Mexicans to war. The real reasons behind the war were more to do with Southern slaveowners wanting a free hand to introduce slavery into the expected gains in order to maintain a balance between slave and free states in Congress, and Northern and Southern greed for more land and mineral resources.

The conduct of US troops in Mexico was a disgrace. This was remarked upon at the time by senior members of the army and also by senior US politicians and commentators. Rape, murder, theft and drunkeness were commonplace. The officers had virtually no control over the largely volunteer units (many of them were elected). It's amazing to think that supposedly civilised, western armies in the 19th century could act like hordes from the dark ages.

This war, was, without doubt, one of the most unjust in history. If you guys out there think that your country is right and just in everything it does or has done, then the lessons of history are lost. Sometimes you have to hold your hands up and admit you were the bad guys. As a Brit, we've had to do this quite a lot! mblamer

mbalmer would do well to read David M. Pletcher, The Diplomacy of Annexation: Texas, Oregon, and the Mexican War. University of Missouri Press, 1973, which probes deeply into the British involvement in the issues. The Brits tried urgently over and over again to restrain the mexicans but failed--Mexico insisted it had to destroy Texas. If mbalmer thinks the Americans were naughty in 1846 he perhaps might want to look at what the Mexicans did in Texas in 1836. eye-opener. In any case Mexico wanted war, even as the Brits warned them over and over. Rjensen 00:25, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
I think you rather miss my point. I'm not suggesting that the Mexicans were blameless, or that their behaviour in their province of Texas in 1836 was excusable. However, whatever the Mexicans dis in '36 does not in any way excuse the behaviour of US troops in this conflict. And I certainly do not agree that Mexico wanted the war. The was was forced onto Mexico by Polk's belligerent attitude. mblamer
Rjensen, if you think Mexicans were hard on Texans, you might want to take a look at what Winfield Scott did at Mexico City. A reminder? Killed kids that were not even 18 years old, raped women by taking advantage that the army was defeated, and even killed Irish people that had served earlier in the U.S. army. Eye opener.Aguizar 13:19, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
I would say the Great Boer War or almost any that England conducted in Asia, such as the Opium war, were far more unjust than this. I'm not being an asshole, the Opium War actually has a bearing on this conflict as the US wanted to get the California coast to secure its trade with the orient, which was just being opened uped. There are two sides to every war, at least, and I would encourage the reviewers to try to make sense of the perspective of both sides of this conflict keeping in mind the goals and values of the people who actually played a part in it. Not some diatribe about "American (or Mexican) Imperialism" --Dudeman5685 05:44, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

San Patrico's

I'm not sure, but when I took a look at this (16 Feb 2005), it calls the bias against the Irish, "racist" I don't think this quite factually right, as it could best be said as navtivst/religous, rather than racial.

Thoughts?--Mtnerd 19:53, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

United States and Mexican Boundary Survey

Anyone know enough to start an article about the United States and Mexican Boundary Survey (1848-1855) which followed the war? I only know about it because a lot of scientific research (e.g. new plants discovered, etc) was done on it; I don't know anything about other aspects of the survey other than that it was an official US Army expedition. - MPF 16:21, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The Gadsden Purchase article probably already does the job. If not, information on the boundary survey could be included there.

Thoughts?--Having destroyed all Mexican army and being left defenseless, what made the American Government restraint of annexation the rest of Mexico, or at least some of the northern states that were during those years inhabitaed?

  • Two reasons I would suggest -- i) Occupying the populated parts of Mexico in a conquest would have required a long term military commitment at a time when the US usually avoided maintaining a standing army, and it took long enough for Mexico to submit to the current treaty, let alone a more invasive one ii) there was significant sectional opposition to the war in the US, based on Northern fear that any new territories would be slave states, and this opposition might have intensified if the treaty had been more demanding or the war gone on longer. On the other hand, I think there was definitely second guessing in the US at the time on whether the treaty could have secured more, with Polk attempting to change the negotiators and terms. Willhsmit 22:03, August 18, 2005 (UTC)
  • I've been studying this war for a little while now, and after reading "America: A consise history, second edition" the northern states was afraid that the war against Mexico was a slave conspiracy created by the southerners and the democratic politicians, and thus they protested against continuing the war and annexing the whole of Mexico. Polk tried to calm down the northern population then letting the new immigrants who moved into the new territories (also called free-soilers) to choose if the new states should be a slave state or not.

(and to finish your thought, the northern fear that any new states carved out of the rest of Mexico would become slave states, though I'm not really sure why they thought this would've happened)

Sounds fair to me...

Considering the ridiculous argumentation that goes on concerning this subject this entry is remarkably fair and factual.

Two crucial facts that must be maintained are that Texas fought for and won its independence from Mexico, and that in victory Texas claimed the Rio Grande as its southern border. Mexican acceptance of this border was not necessary for the Texan claim to be valid.

So your whole point boils down to "the border had to be at the Rio Bravo because Texans said so. The historical border at the Nueces and/or Mexico's claims did not matter". Your comment is remarkably biased and not based on any facts.
No, because Santa Ana agreed to it. And the pro-Mexico camp in this dispute always seems to forget that Mexico informed the US that annexation of Texas would be considered an act of war. You also forget that it wasn't just Texas that balked at the abrogation of the 1824 Mexican Constitution, the original flag of the revolution was the Mexican flag with the year '1824' on it. Other states did break away before coming back or being coerced back into the fold. We can discuss the boundary issue all day long, but at the end of the day, it really boils down to the fact that the US had relatively strong leadership from the likes of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Taylor, Polk, Lincoln, et al. and Mexico got stuck with Santa Ana, and that fact, frankly, is where the finger needs to be pointed.

By the way, it was Mexico who fought and won its independence from Spain. It was Mexican blood that liberated Texas from Spain's domination. Unlike Spain and the U.S., Mexico never was an imperialist nation. Texan settlers were not libertarians - they were opportunists, at best.Aguizar 13:19, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Yes Mexico was imperialist! Mexico oppressed the Anglo settlers, as well as its indigenous peoples. Now I know as out post-modern historian can't conceive of any other paradign other than a counter-racist-capitalist-sexist-imperialist, it is possible for non-white groups to oppress white groups. Just look at Armenia.

Mexico needs to stop fanning the fires of nationalism and admit, for one, that it was wrong. The west does it enough--Dudeman5685 05:49, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Political implications of the war

Don't you think that section "Political implications of the war" speaks too much about slavery-related implications instead of war-related implications? Saigon from europe 10:28, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

Buy Mexican territory to pay off debt to US??

I have actually never heard that theory before. In fact I didn't even know that Mexico had borrowed from the US in the first 20 years after the independence. Would you mind citing the sources for that? As far as I know, indeed Britain and France (and Spain, I might add) threatened to invade Mexico if debt was not paid, but that ocurred in 1861-1862, and the Mexican American war had been fought almost 15 years before. In fact, it was the war with the US, plus the Reforma War, the events that had depleted the treasury, which forced (as far as I know, I might be wrong) Benito Juárez to default (temporary cessation) on the debt for the first time, and which he promptly agreed to pay when the British, French, and the Spanish navies approached the city of Veracruz in 1861. --J.Alonso 03:45, 13 October 2005 (UTC)


It is misleading to speak of an "Mexican-American" war. Mexico is a part of The Americas and unless you assume that Mexico be at war with itself, there can be no "Mexican-American" war. Unfortunately, the U.S. claim the adjective "American" exclusively for their own use, but that is quite misleading. Imagine an article about a "Chinese-Asian" war or a "German-European" war, they would rightly be renamed to remove the bias. Why should we accept the naming of this article?

Because... it's actually normal to refer to the U.S. as America? Few, if any, English speaking user would actually be confused by using America for the United States. Besides, Mexico was also an United States. If Germany had gone to war against every other state of Europe, or a single state commonly known as 'Europe', then surely a German-European War would have been appropriate, yet this has never happened.

That said, it seems that the Mexican War might be more appropriate as the title, given that it appears to be more common then Mexican-American War. I don't know how the academic standard, but certainly the CIE History syllabus called it the Mexican War; someone should take a look. --Rmdsc 10:31, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

I don't recall it being called anything but the Mexican-American War in any context, including school textbooks. Also, american has been used as the adjective for the US for quite some time now. Alcuin 05:08, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

The war should be appropiatly called "The American Agression of 1846" donDeigo

"Mexican-American War" is a misnomer because the generally accepted name is the Mexican War. For instance, "The Oxford Companion to Military History" (Holmes, 2001), "The Oxford Companion to American Military History" (Chambers, 1999), and "The Reader's Companion to Military History" (Cowley, 1996) are standard references of military history; they refer to the Mexican War, not the "Mexican-American War." Likewise, "A Country Made by War" (Perret, 1989), "America's Wars and Military Excursions" (Hoyt, 1987), and "The Wars of America" (Leckie, 1981) are standard surveys of American military history. They refer not to the "Mexican-American War," but rather to the Mexican War.Kraken7 18:34, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

No it isn't. Sources you give are all recent. America is the name of this country, therefore, mexican american war. Quoting some politcal correct sources is pointless! RomanYankee( 17:50, 10 August 2006 (UTC))

War names often seem random. But, the key to war names seems to be convention, what most people accept as the name for a war at any one time. Thus, at one time, World War I was called the Great War, but no one today uses that latter name, except in an antiquarian sense. Now at some time in the future, the "Mexican-American War" may become the most popular name for the 1846-1848 conflict between the United States and Mexico. However, at this time, the common name for it is the Mexican War. (Kraken7 22:11, 13 August 2006 (UTC))
Question: Why is the article titled "Mexican-American War" when the first paragraph refers to it as the "US-Mexican War"? I, for one, have never heard of the latter term. Also, Wikipedia seems to have a precedent whereby the first paragraph begins with the name of the article in bold followed by any other less common names for the topic. I have never seen (I don't think) an article that is named one way and which then proceeds to talk about the topic using a different term (save for brevity's sake, of course).

Background on US-Mexican War

This article begins with the US-Mexican War, but provides no background on why it began or what led to it.

In Spanish, the war is called the "Northamerican Intervention" which makes more sense and is less derogatory in the sense that the "Mexican War" can have effects such as making people think that Mexico started the war or that it was their fault. Since when Texas was annexed to the U.S. in 1845, both countries agreed in a treaty that the border would be the Nueces. So "American blood on American soil?", I think not. Let's face it: We invaded, we wanted more land, we would do whatever it took to get Mexico to fight us so it wouldn't seem like we just took over, so we were obviously going to get shot if we were in their country. So let's just get over it that's the way it was and there is nothing we can do about it now. We were irrational but history isn't perfect. Oh and since this was an internal affair, that is, Texas seceding from Mexico then we just stuck our nose there just like we still do in all the wars we get into, we just like fighting what can be said. So we intervened in none of our business (except for the whole land ambition) so the first title is best. It's like in the Civil War, what if Great Britain actually sent troops to the South and help them and claimed that they never really accepted us an independent nation yet or regardless just saw the chance of getting their stuff back. Then they would have intervened but did not.

It is not true that "in 1845, both countries agreed in a treaty that the border would be the Nueces". The US and Texas always claimed the Rio Grande. Fact is Mexico wanted war and was pretty stupid to provoke the US, as the British ambassador kept telling them. In a larger sense Mexico was unable to handle either its internal or its external affairs. Rjensen 10:17, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
While I agree that the internal situation in Mexico was quite chaotic, the pretension that Mexico "wanted war" is quite laughable. There was as much provocation by the American government as Mexican incompetence in handling the affair. Moreover, the British were not a neutral party in this dispute, since at the same time they had their own dispute with the US regarding the Oregon territory. -- Rune Welsh | ταλκ 11:21, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
"Mexico wanted war"? Laughable. Fact is the U.S. wanted more territory and Mexico's long war with Spain had left the country in a weakened state, situation which was exploited by the imperialist parties in the U.S. congress. Lincoln himself rejected the casus belli, showing just how questionable this war was even to (liberals) Northamericans. On the other hand, supporters of the war were also supporters of slavery. This just goes to show that, in the past and in the present, there are reasonable Northamericans and there are mindless Northamericans. Unfortunately, the former seem to be a species in danger :-(

Yes, Mexico wanted to go to war to try to reclaim Texas. Prior to the US annextion of Texas, the US was informed that such an annexation would be considered an act of war. People forget that the Mexicans were hoping to be marching into New Orleans. "Colossus of the North" - the US was no such thing in 1846. The Mexicans thought they were going to win. And just a question to ponder, why were there more Mexican soldiers sitting in Matamoros than there were US soldiers on the northern side of the Rio Grande? And if the Mexicans had really been thinking all along that the border had been at the Nueces, why weren't the soldiers waiting at the south bank of the Nueces?

A final point: if Mexico (or Cuba, or Irak, or Afghanistan for that matter) was unable to handle either its internal or external affairs, this it was Mexico's business and nobody else's. The U.S. had no right or justification to intervene.Aguizar 14:04, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

The Mexican War is the text-book example of U.S. Imperialism. Invade and conquer a weaker nation based on some lame excuse in order to steal land, oil, etc. This is and has been the U.S. modus operandi for quite some time now... In 1846, this was the U.S. God-given right, their "Manifest Destiny." Nothing was going to stop the U.S. from reaching the Pacific and owning the whole continent. They were going to take what wasn't theirs and they were going to do whatever it took to do so, even if it meant lying, robbing, killing, and plundering because it was their manifest destiny. God told them it was all right.

Mexico didn't want war with the Colossus of the North, they had just won their independence and were in the process of forming their government and nation (with a lot of infighting, overthrowing of governments, etc). Plus, their treasury was broke. Their army was in tatters, largely peasants, and using sub-standard weaponry.

Being in such a sad state, why in the world would they want to provoke and/or invade the U.S.? What would they have to gain from this, other than to get spanked and get their people killed, their country invaded, and their land taken by force???

A lot of Americans don't want to accept this because it appears to be just another shameful chapter in the formation of the U.S.; instead, Americans may prefer to make up stories and blame Mexico for instigating the war. Let's just see this for what it was: U.S. Imperialism at its best (or worst)! MiztuhX 11:07, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

Background and Clarity

I agree the background leaves much to be desired. Some parts of this page are also unclear, such as when you speak of "General Twiggs". You should probably explain who he was, and what his reason for being there was. I would also like to see exactly what the United States and Mexico gained and lost from this war. --Beow-- 6:47PM 30 November 2005

Rjensen- I like your rewrite. This sentence -- "Third the Americans wanted to expand, offering repeatedly to purchase California" -- could, perhaps, be expanded to include one factor not mentioned in your otherwise complete, very well-organized list, namely, one of the significant reasons why Americans wanted to expand: to be certain to try to reduce influence, future and present, of European "empires." The "let's get as much land as possible to make sure the British, French, and Spanish don't have places from which to attack us easily" was a significant feature of American thinking in the early 19th century. But perhaps that can be addressed elsewhere (like in the article on Manifest Destiny). Best, --Cultural Freedom talk 10:42, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Thanks! I agree on the need to somewhere say more about expansionist urges (but not in the opening summary). Rjensen 10:48, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

This Article is !@#$% !@#$%

This article is very biased against the Americans. I have half a mind to delete this article. Cameron Nedland 02:58, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

Specifics please Xerex 21:36, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, what makes it biased? That it offered an honest critique of American motives and practices leading up to the war? There there, you're just feeling threatened.

This is like saying that the world war 2 articles are biased against nazis. I'm an American and I have no problem admitting that the Americans were clearly the "bad guys" in this war. Mosquito-001 02:50, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

I agree with everything Mosquito-001 and others have said. I too am an American and a very patriotic on at that, but the truth is still the truth. The United States was clearly the in the Mexican-American War. President Polk order Zachary Taylor to Nueces River fully realizing it would lead to war. A war the Americans knew that would win thus gain all of what is now Texas and all of what is not the American Southwest. This is why the German thought they would be able to convince Mexico into join them in 1917. For more on this see the article on the Zimmermann Telegram. Note one thing more. If you delete this article it will simply be reverted and you would be cited with vandalism. Just food for thought. (Steve 17:12, 27 February 2006 (UTC))

This article, like many Wikipedia articles on the U.S., manifests an extraordinary anti-U.S. bias. I changed the first sentence of the "Background" section, which I think helps a great deal. But much more work is needed. --Cultural Freedom talk 09:24, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
By the way, I don't mean the article should make the U.S. out to be sweeties in this matter! But to state "The Mexican-American War grew out of a US expansionist ideology known as Manifest Destiny" is hardly NPOV. A significant part of all U.S. dealings in the West was a desire to rid the New World of European colonialism -- in the Mexican War, this was less a concern than with the major land purchases the US made, but it was still a concern. There are many other factors as well; I'll try to address these later. --Cultural Freedom talk 09:59, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

The occupation of half of Mexico is due to "a desire to rid the New World of European colonialism" -- Bush could not have said it better. I guess, the subsequent attempts to anahilate the Apaches was due to the same noble impulse. Seriously, I cannot detect an anti-US, let alone a pro-Mexican bias in this article. On the contrary, with all its concessions to bad conscience, it is written exclusively from a US point of view -- liberal, conservative, these are just two sides of the same US-coin. This article does not reflect recent Mexican scholarship and/or viewpoints on the subject. In its most minute details, from turns of phrase (beginning with the fact that this war is called Mexican-American War, as if the Mexicans were the aggressors and not the victims of US- expansionism) to the descriptions of post-Independence Mexico (riven by internal conflict, etc.), it reflects the attempt of generations of US-historians to justify the occupation of Mexican territory as part of the "Manifest Destiny" of the US. To top it off, at the end the writers of the article imply that the Mexicans have to be grateful to have been invaded by US-troops -- that is something that with all due respect I have edited out, because it is an insult to the Mexicans and the intelligence of the user. Jinmex 00:46, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

"a desire to rid the New World of European colonialism"... two quick replies: 1) Mexico was never a colonialist nation; 2) Ask around America (the continent, for the uninitiated) and from bottom to top the unanimous answer will be that the heir of European colonialism is the U.S. Otherwise, how can you explain Northamerican "influence" (to use one of the top Northamerican euphemisms in preference of "control") in Phillipines, Puerto Rico, Panama, et cetera?
I'd take your sentence "U.S. dealings in the West was a desire to rid the New World of European colonialism" and append the phrase "not including the U.S.' own colonialism" :-)Aguizar 14:19, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
I think a clarification is in order here. Although I don't endorse his arguments, it's apparent to me that Cultural Freedom's badly-worded phrase is actually referring to the Monroe Doctrine -- i.e. the U.S. desire to block the expansion of European powers into the Western Hemisphere by in essence declaring it an exclusive U.S. sphere of influence. (Or more colloquially, "stay out of our backyard".) Which fitted hand-in-glove with Manifest Destiny. Cgingold 14:51, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

No room for grammar

I had very minor grammar edit reverted as vandalism. As I am a relatively new Wikipedia contributor, could someone please explain how I can tell which articles gladly accept proofreading? Just Some Guy 16:05, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

That was my mistake. Sorry. I guess I saw the mispelling an thought is was vandalism. Several vandals have done similar things. Sorry. (Steve 17:57, 28 February 2006 (UTC))

Geographical Bias

Just have to say that this page doesn't meet our standard for geographic scope. How many US politicians, diplomats, and millitary men are mentioned by name in this artice? How many Mexicans? I'd say its around 10 to 1 in favour of the Americans. This page is in need of some serious attention regarding the Mexican prespective. If you need help, flag the main article page with this tag. Thanks. Kevlar67 14:09, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Guess what? Six months later, and this is still written from an American prespective. We can do better! You may consider asking Mexican Wikipedians to peer review this article. Kevlar67 02:48, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
Here, a Mexican who's just read the article. Anything you want me to suggest?--DWDarkwyng 23:38, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

War Missing?

This seems to concentrate on the lead up to the major battles, it mentions them extremely briefly and in the wrong place. Also it seems to have a Mexican nationalistic POV.

Ever wonder why this war is barely mentioned in the American history books even though it brought so much wealth to a young American nation? Well wait till I have the time to mention the various atrocities commited by the American forces against Mexican civilians during the war. They come complete with sources too. This war was clearly not one of America's finer moments.Mosquito-001 02:32, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Needs major rewrite to higher standards and to remove POV

This page lacks organization, is full of grammatical errors, and needs more details into the background and causes. Ironically, the spanish language page is far less POV and includes much more needed information. If I have time, I'll translate and merge in infomation from that page, though It'd be great if someone else would help too. Alcuin 15:33, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

does ALCUIN have any specific complaints re POV?? Rjensen 04:55, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
Well, no. My complaints have more to do with organization and structure of the article. The article reads like a hodge-podge of sentences supporting the political opinions of various editors. This article could gain alot from the structure and information at the Spanish article. Really, I'm just soliciting the help of more ambitious (and bilingual) editors. Alcuin 06:13, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

Censure and Mexican War

Censure means criticism. It is not a term specified in statute or constitution, simply the proper word for a criticism formalized by a vote of a legislative body. Polk was censured by the House. Furthermore, he was not censured by a vote of the Whig Party, but by the House of Representatives. And no claim is made in the current edit that the Senate even voted on the joint resolution. Tmangray 06:40, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

NO "censure" is a highly specific term. President Jackson was censured and it was a HUGE deal. In the Clinton impeachment at one point the Democrats suggested clinton be censured, but the Republicans insisted on impeachment. What happened was that the House sent the resolution to committee where it never reemerged. There was never a final vote in either house or senate. The vote on the amendment was 82-81 along party lines, but since the bill never passed the amendment was lost as well as the bill. Keep the technicalities in and the POV out please. Rjensen 07:06, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

No, censure is not a procedure specified by any statute, nor any rules in effect at the time of JR 4 (or even currently as far as I can tell). The word censure simply means a formal criticism as by vote of a political body. If a committee votes to criticize, castigate, denounce, or even slander, then they have censured. If the House votes likewise, that is censure by the House. If both houses of Congress vote likewise, that is censure by the Congress. Impeachment, on the other hand, is defined by the Constitution, statutes, and rules, as well as by its ordinary meaning. Impeachment is essentially a censure with legal consequences---an indictment by a political body. Tmangray 07:18, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Don't make up stories, get it right. The primary and secondary sources all reject this interpretation. The word "censure" is famous in Congressional history and the Whigs were very careful NOT to use it here. The vote was on sending a resolution to committee with a criticism. The criticism passed 82-81 on party lines. the measure went back to committee and never reappeared. It was all PR or spin. There was no final vote taken by either house. As for Lincoln's role it was pretty trivial: Beveridge says:

"no notice whatever was taken in Washington of Lincoln's speech. Neither the Whig nor Democratic papers at the capital made mention of it, except as a part of the routine report of proceedings in Congress. Lincoln's colleagues from Illinois did not speak of it in their letters to party friends about the political situation. McClernand frequently advised the editor of the Democratic paper at Springfield of developments in Congress, but he made no reference to Lincoln. Neither did Winthrop, nor Ashmun, nor Giddings, nor Toombs, nor Stephens, nor any of the Whig leaders, whether from the North or the South." [Beveridge 1: 428]

Rjensen 7:30, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

I don't know if I should inject in this heated debate, but Lincoln and the Whigs in general was actually dead wrong on their spot resolution. The Mexican army had actually engaged in two major battles after the Thornton affair, that it seems they hadn't received word of yet. Whether or not you consider Polk's order to build Fort Texas to be a provocation, they were committed to war after that. I think we should not get too much into the politics of the time - they were rigidly partisan and may not tell us much about what they thought about the war but more about the slavery stances. And we shouldn't judge people by present day standards. --Omnicog 19:20, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

I've posted the primary sources of the information on the vote. It was NOT a procedural vote. YOU'VE made that up much as you've been attempting to squelch and minimize what most people have never even heard of. It was in fact a substantive amendment. It was made as to the wording of the resolution. No assertion is made that the House or the Senate voted on the resolution in question, JUST THE AMENDMENT. That this happened is remarkable and extremely important to demonstrating the degree of controversy as well as the politics involved with the Mexican War. As to the word "censure", it is not a statutory nor a procedural term in US law as is the case with impeachment. It is simply a word meaning a formal reprimand or critique. Unless you can show otherwise, the common definition and usage should stand. Tmangray 08:07, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

the vote was on an amendment to send the resolution back to committee, with instruction the committee add certain words. That is procedure. What happened as Beveridge explains is that the Dems lost control of the motion by mistake. It proves the Whigs at that point (Jan 1848) were very critical of the war. They DROPPED that criticism that summer when the nominated Taylor who approved of the war. The term is used for official action against presidents (Polk, Bush II) and senators (McCarthy). It is never used otherwise in Congress. Rjensen 08:12, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Add Smithsonian Education link?

Hello! I am a writer for the Smithsonian's Center for Education, which publishes Smithsonian in Your Classroom, a magazine for teachers. An online version of an issue titled "Establishing Borders: The Expansion of the United States, 1846-48" is available at this address:

If you think visitors would find this site valuable, I wish to invite you to include it as an external link. We would be most grateful.

Thank you so much for your attention. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 21:03, April 25, 2006 (UTC)

You can add it yourself if you want. —Kenyon (t·c) 01:15, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

On the slavery issue

I'm not quite sure why it's "unsourced speculation" to point out that there are historians on both sides of this issue. The article as it stands makes it seem that all scholars are categorically opposed to the possibility, but off the top of my head I can think of a scholarly book (Amazon, not a sponsored link) and a peer-reviewed article that discuss the slavery-expansion theory. 05:03, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

the sources cited do not say that slavery expansion was Polk's motivation. Dusinberre p 16 says that Polk's critics at the time made that allegation (they certainly did)-- and quotes Polk's diary entry (p 79) "Slavery has no possible connection with the Mexican War." The second article by Dunning deals with events after 1859 and does not discuss slavery as a motivation for the war. Basically the ideas was common before Polk's diary was discovered in 1900, and has been discarded since then. What Polk DID promise was acquisition of Oregon, but no one thought that was a slave issue. As for Texas that country joined the US shortly before Polk became president and was not a motivation for a war that took place 2 years later. Bottom line: no historian in last 75 years argues that slavery expansion was motivation for war. Rjensen 05:24, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
Is there a different version of Slavemaster President that I'm not aware of? My version's page 16 only mentions that he was investing heavily in his plantations at the time. On the other hand, my version's page 132 says, "The drive for Texas was propelled above all else, however, by the desire of many slavemasters and would-be slavemasters to extend the realm of slavery." Dunning's article, while it deals with the attitudes of 1850, discusses those attitudes as continuations of Southern thinking prior to and during the war. Polk's diary entry for 30 May 1846: "...I declared my purpose to be to acquire for the United States, California, New Mexico, and perhaps some others of the Northern Provinces of Mexico whever a peace was made. In Mr. Slidell's secret instructions last autumn these objects were included." (Quote from Nevins's 1952 edition). The point here is that yes, scholarship exists that makes the case for this theory. 05:45, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
i'm sorry it was page 16 of "slavemaster president" I quoted not page 17. That Texas was slave territory was agreed on all sides. Antislavery Northerners hated the idea of Texas joining the union because it would have at least 2 and maybe 10 Senate seats, and would shift the balance of power in Congress. But that was texas 1844 not Mexico 1846. The war with Mexico in 1846 did not have to do with seizure of territory for slavery-- people who wanted new slave territory did not look at New Mexico-Arizona-California-Nevada-Colorado. They looked at Cuba (see Ostend Manifesto or Mexico itself. But as Polk emphasized, "Slavery has no possible connection with the Mexican War." You need to name some historians who say otherwise. Dunning and Dusinberre do NOT make that statement. It is true that was often said before 1900, but No major historian has made that argument for 75 years. Rjensen 05:56, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
Have a look at Chapter 11 of Slavemaster President again, specifically the last paragraph on 132, where he clearly makes the case that Polk was in favor of the expansion of slavery. Also, on page 79, the full quote is, "'Slavery has no possible connection with the Mexican War,' he inscribed in his diary, which he wrote with an eye over his shoulder for the judgment of future generations." Here he makes the point (correctly, in my opinion) that we shouldn't necessarily take Polk's diary at face value. 06:37, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
well I read p 132-- it says that Polk himself had helped expand slavery by opening up new cotton lands in Mississippi and Arkansas--and that he had relatives in Texas. Yes but that does not say anything about war with mexico--I guess the author meant it as sort of a metaphor. Opening up cheap new land in Mexico would I suppose LOWER the value of the Polk family holdings--one reason many Whig slaveowners opposed the war. That issue does not occuer to the author. When Polk does say "'Slavery has no possible connection with the Mexican War,', the author says maybe he did not really mean it! (That is Polk when he wrote it assumed that the South would lose a future civil war and slavery would be abolished and that in 2006 supporters of slave expansion would look bad. Do you think Polk thought that?) In any case the author is unable to make a clear statement that slave expansion motivated the war. As he says on one page, that is certainly not the consensus of historians, and I agree. Wiki should go with the consensus of historians not with the between-the-lines hints.

Treaties of Velasco

The Treaties of Velasco recognized the new border between Mexico and Texas as the Rio Grande - only later did Santa Anna decide due to public humiliation to revoke his original agreement. Thus "American blood was shed on American soil" which was one of the leading causes for Declaration of War by Congress used by President Polk - that is Mexico crossed into US territory (Texas by then American state) and shed American blood right on our own soil - much as Pancho Villa did later under President Wilson who sent Pershing into Mexico in response to capture that terrorist. --Northmeister 19:53, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Where was the exact spot of the skirmish? :) Alcuin 11:39, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
"President Wilson who sent Pershing into Mexico in response to capture that terrorist". On the one hand, you criticize the Mexicans' alleged crossing of the border. On the other hand, you seem to applaud Wilson's sending a punitive expedition to Mexico. This is called dual morale and is a plain fallacy.
Calling Doroteo Arango Arias a terrorist is representative of how deeply the U.S. propaganda targeted at making the Irak war seem justifiable has penetrated your mind. In that closed box, everyone with critic view of U.S.' past and present actions is probably considered a terrorist. Aguizar 14:42, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Lead section problems

The lead section is too short, not well-written, and not a good summary. I propose correcting these flaws by trebling the section's length, revising to make it more readable, and providing additional context. Any objections? (Kraken7 23:47, 11 June 2006 (UTC))

good idea. I suggest you post the draft here on Talk to get feedback and avoid edit wars. Rjensen 23:50, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

OK, I'll take your suggestion and post here. Along the way, I'll explain what I'm doing and invite editors to explain the rationale behind their edits. Since the subject of this article is war, the lead section will emphasize military and political events. I also intend it to serve as a guide for revising the rest of the current text. The lead will be composed of three paragraphs: 1) war's beginnings, 2) the major campaigns, and 3) peace and conclusion. Begin FIRST paragraph: The Mexican War (aka the Mexican-American War, the U.S.-Mexican War, the U.S. War with Mexico, and Mr. Polk's War) was fought between the United States and Mexico from April 25, 1846 through May 30, 1848. The principal causes of the war were the U.S. annexation of Texas and Mexico's unwillingness to recognize the loss of Texas. The war began with the Mexicans attacking and overwhelming a U.S. patrol in disputed territory along the Texas-Mexico border. However, in two subsequent battles in the same area, the United States destroyed a much larger Mexican army. End FIRST paragraph. (Kraken7 01:22, 20 June 2006 (UTC))

Personally, I think you're going into too much detail for an introduction to an article. WP's lead sections are generally pretty brief, which is appropriate, given that an encyclopedia article is itself an introduction to a subject and not an exhaustive treatment. Everything that's said in the lead pretty much has to be said again when it's fleshed out in the main body of the article, so by writing a detailed lead, you create a lot of redundancy for the reader. Nareek 01:54, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
I have to agree with Nareek, while that paragraph is great, if the intro is 3 times as long as that then it'll be too much. How about:
The Mexican War was an armed conflict between the United States and Mexico that lasted from April 25, 1846 through May 30, 1848 (Bauer, 387). It is sometimes called the Mexican-American War, the U.S. War with Mexico, the U.S.-Mexican War, or Mr. Polk's War. The direct cause was the U.S. annexation of Texas in July 1845. The indirect causes of the war were the unwillingness of Mexicans to recognize the loss of Texas, the United States' desire to acquire Mexico's vast northern territories, and Mexico's almost constant political turmoil.
How about this as the intro, with an additional sentence or two about the consequences of the war? Anyway, I applaud your efforts, and hope you take the time to improve the article at large. -Alcuin 02:13, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Begin SECOND paragraph: With the war now well underway, the United States proceeded to seize the California and New Mexico territories while the main U.S. army captured Monterrey after fierce fighting, but a new Mexican government refused to admit defeat. The United States then resolved to take the war to the Mexican capital. Before this plan could be carried out, though, Mexico attempted to crush the depleted U.S. force in northeastern Mexico, but failed. Subsequently, U.S. troops landed on Mexico's Gulf Coast, captured Vera Cruz, routed a Mexican army at Cerro Gordo, defeated another at Padierna/Contreras, seized Churubusco, won Molina del Rey, took the fortress of Chapultepec, and forced their way into Mexico City. End SECOND paragraph. I've deliberately omitted citations in all three paragraphs of the lead for brevity's sake. (Kraken7 18:05, 25 June 2006 (UTC))

Begin THIRD paragraph: Unable to resist the American advance, Mexico agreed to relinquish the California and New Mexico territories (the Mexican Cession) in return for $15 million, conceded the loss of Texas, and signed a peace treaty. The United States thus acquired several hundred square miles of territory and access to immense natural resources at minimal cost, although the controversy over whether slavery should be extended to the newly won territories helped sharpen the sectional differences that led to the Civil War. In Mexico, the political infighting that had hamstrung the war effort against the Americans continued to hamper the country's political stability even after the last U.S. troops had departed. End THIRD paragraph. (Kraken7 01:58, 29 June 2006 (UTC))

This is far too much details for an introduction. Remember, the intro is supposed to provide the bare outline. The details are supposed to be in the article. Please don't enter this paragraph in the article. Griot 03:35, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

OK, I've shortened the third paragraph by almost half and slightly edited the second paragraph. If any of the three paragraphs are still too long, I'd welcome editorial suggestions. (Kraken7 20:41, 29 June 2006 (UTC))

The recent expansion of the lead section from one to three paragraphs is a definite improvement. Yet, little progress has been made on the section's other problems. Furthermore, the additional length has brought with it new problems: 1) too much emphasis on the war's causes, 2) confusion of the Texas Revolution with the Mexican War, and 3) conflation of the war's background (e.g., "westward migration by Americans") with the war's causes. (Kraken7 21:33, 4 July 2006 (UTC))

I agree with Kraken7 - the middle para could do with paring. Maybe give one sentence to background, another to the causes, and another to casus belli.--Shtove 21:45, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Following suggestions by fellow Wikipedians and after studying some featured articles, I've again revised the three paragraphs (see above) proposed as a replacement for the current lead section. These paragraphs total about 300 words, which is about average for a lead section in featured articles of this length. (Kraken7 01:00, 15 July 2006 (UTC))

Immigration of Americans into the Mexican territories as cause of war?

Griot, what's your source for this? --Cultural Freedom talk 2006-06-21 07:40 (UTC)

It seems to be a misinterpretation--no historian mentions it. There were perhaps 700 Americans living in California and a handful in New Mexico in 1845. Rjensen 08:13, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

That's what I suspected. Thanks for changing it back. --Cultural Freedom talk 2006-06-21 08:20 (UTC)

I think it goes without saying, but westward expansion and manifest destiny made the war inevitable. I'll change this to "westward expansion." Rjensen is wrong when he states there were 700 Ameicans living in California in 1845. Fremont himself was in California in 1845, and the port of Monterey was full of Americans. Also, the U.S.'s desire to purchase California had nothing to do with the war. It was essentially an attempt on the U.S.'s part to take advantage of Mexican indebtedness. Griot 14:35, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

On Wikipedia, if someone challenges your claim, neither 1) "(I think) it goes without saying," nor 2) your own reasoning is considered to be a sufficent reason to change a page back to the version of yours that's been challenged. --Cultural Freedom talk 2006-06-21 14:57 (UTC)

My point is simple: American settlers were moving west on the strength of their ambitions for themselves, their belief in their democratic values, and the offer of free land -- what generally falls under the umbrella heading "manifest destiny." Thanks for the Wikipedia etiquette lesson, but to say that manifest destiny and westward expansion had nothing to do with the Mexican-American War is just daft. Griot 15:06, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

1) You're still (here, in your response) "doing original research," and not citing a reliable source. 2) Before insulting your colleagues here, you should think more carefully about what they've claimed. I see no evidence that anyone claimed "westward expansion had nothing to do with the Mexican-American War." My response above, for ex., was to your claim that "westward expansion and manifest destiny made the war inevitable," a very diff. claim from "had nothing to do with...." --Cultural Freedom talk 2006-06-21 15:10 (UTC)

I put a citation in there. Check it up if you want. Griot 15:12, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Did you look at the very end of your source? "I found this article on the web and found it to be quite accurate. It was written by an American High School student." --Cultural Freedom talk 2006-06-21 15:15 (UTC)

Please make your potentially controversial edits one at a time. Making large changes that include controversial items that aren't named in your summaries of edits -- for ex, removing "[conversion], which Mexico had made a condition of residency in its territories" -- makes it hard to collaborate, and is at times known as "sneaky editing." --Cultural Freedom talk 2006-06-21 17:05 (UTC)

There is nothing "sneaky" about this. Much of the material comes from Mexican Texas. Some I got from an older version of this article. Please do me the service of reading it before you reject it outright. Griot 17:09, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Re my "downplaying" of the role of slavery: I actually did not mean to erase it entirely. Sloppy mistake. Sorry. --Cultural Freedom talk 2006-06-21 17:48 (UTC)

Immigration of Americans into Mexican territories in the 1840s was not an issue raised by the Mexicans at the time. There were a few hundred such immigrants (in California). GRIOT is mixing up the causes of the Texas revolution with the causes of the US war with Mexico. Rjensen 22:06, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Yankee immigration to California was a big issue in CA before the Mexican-American War. It's confusing to speak of numbers, since the entire non-Native American population of California in 1840 was only 30,000. But the Yankees were of great concern to Pio Pico and other Californianos who adminstered the state for the gov't in Mexico City. Prior to the outbreak of the war, Commodore Wilkes's Expedition came overland from Oregon (1841) and Commodore Thomas even raised the American flag briefly at Monterey (1843). John C. Fremont (anxious to take the state for the U.S.) and Kit Carson came in 1845. The Californianos were perplexed by the arrival of these Yankees -- they enjoyed the benefits of the sea trade and the skilled workers but were alarmed that their numbers were rising and California was losing its Spanish-Mexican culture (how times change!). There was a sizable Yankee population in Monterey, then the state's capital. You might like reading this original document. Griot 22:37, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
The argument is that these few immigrants were a cause for the war plans in Mexico City. Indeed--a MAJOR cause of the war. No historian holds that extreme position. The war was not started by Pio Pico! Rjensen 22:56, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
I never claimed the war was started by Pio Pico or that immigration was a cause for war plans (?). I'm merely saying that Yankee immigration to the Mexican territories forced the issue of who would rule and administer these lands. Commodore Wilkes's drunken sailor raised the American flag in Monterry, territoy's capital, in 1843, and Fremont's men did the same in Petaluma in 1845. Are these causes of war? And in any case, if all Yankees had observed Mexican sovereignity, if they had not crossed the border, the war would never have occurred. 23:08, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
The passage deals with what were the main causes of the war. Immigration to California was not one of them. The actions of a drunken sailor did not cause 3 years later a war between the US and Mexico--which of course started on the texas border. Rjensen 23:11, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
I really don't see how anyone could fail to list immigration as the major cause of the war. If the immigrants hadn't come, the war would never have occurred. Mexico saw this immigration as a threat, and rightfully so. Griot 23:15, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
"If the immigrants hadn't come, the war would never have occurred" Nonsense. If the Spanish never came to Mexico there would not have been a Mexico and thus no war. If the English had not come to the 13 colonies there would have been no war. If.... this is all nonsense and unsourced. Or maybe we can blame the Columbus, or the crusades or..... Fact is the war was fought over the annexation of Texas. Mexico wanted Texas. The US wanted Texas. War. Rjensen 23:56, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Would you concede that westward expansion was a cause of the numerous American-Indian wars? You're engaging in a old and disengenous debating trick -- inflating someone else's opinion and then refuting it. You're taking a very narrow diplomatic view of this war's causes without looking at the big picture. Griot 15:46, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
The movement of American settlers into the then-Mexican territories of California and New Mexico was a main cause of the Mexican War; that is the claim debated above. To support that claim, three sources are cited: 1) "Mexican Texas," 2) "an older version of this article, and 3) Joseph Bidwell's "Life in California Before the Gold Discovery." However, the first and third sources do not mention the Mexican War, let alone the causes of it, and the second source is too vague. Thus lacking any apparent support, the claim is unverified and should not be included in Wikipedia. (Kraken7 00:22, 12 August 2006 (UTC))
This is obvious. It wasn't a question of immigration -- it was a case of settlers moving into territory where they were not welcome. Westward expansion was most certainly a cause of the war. The war would not have occurred without it. Griot 16:44, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
Yet, earlier it was maintained that "Yankee immigration to the Mexican territories forced the issue of who would rule," but now "[i]t wasn't a question of immigration," but rather of "westward expansion." So, what is "westward expansion"? Was "westward expansion" a root cause or merely a cause of the Mexican War? Which verifiable sources support the cause or root cause thesis? (Kraken7 00:17, 14 August 2006 (UTC))

There wre a number of revolts in california, by the californios themselves. However teh imperialistic Mexican army was sent to crush them or did back room deals preventing teh californios from attaining the sovereignty[1]. The irony is they were put under teh boot of the Mexican army right after they helped mexico become liberated from Spanish colonialism. Mrdthree 02:22, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Slidell and the failure of negotiations

Saying that Mexicans were eager for war seems quite an overstatement. Negotiations through Slidell failed because the US government insisted to send him with plenipotentiary powers knowing (through previous diplomatic exchanges) that the Mexican government would refuse to negotiate with somebody having those powers. Also, widely circulated Mexican newspapers of the time repeatedly pointed out the folly of going to war against the American army, which was better equiped and trained. -- Rune Welsh | ταλκ 14:24, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Democrats supporting and Whigs opposing?

I thought it was the other way around: the Democrats did not want to go to war and expand US territory to the south because of the fear that slavery would be taken to the new lands. -- Rune Welsh | ταλκ 11:51, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

Nope, Democrats were the pro-slavery party back then. Nareek 14:29, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

Religion as Cause of war? Not

GRIOT mixes up this war and the very different Texas war for independence a decade earlier. In 1846 no one claimed that Mexico planned to impose Catholicism in Texas. So we drop the old irrelevant stuff and focus on this war. Rjensen 20:32, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

The material RJENSEN removed was from the part of the article describing the background of the war and the Texas Revolution. Religion was an issue there. It belongs in this background material. Griot 20:35, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
The Texas Revolution was part of the historical backdrop that set the stage for the Mexican War, and should be mentioned, as such, but there is no need to go into detail about an event that has its own detailed article. The degree to which religious differences affected the outbreak of war is debatable: If an historian has credited religion as a factor, it should be mentioned and cited appropriately. If not, then it is speculation or OR.--Rockero 20:43, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree with Rjensen here, I have found no reference to religion being a cause of (or pretext for) this war. Bringing up the issue in this context appears like a justification of the military aggression Jinmex 17:10, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

Freedom and racism

For U.S. citizens the war was a good thing... the idea of freedom would expand the frontiers. Many opportunities for all. At least for anglo americans.

But this war only meant one thing for Mexicans: To be illegal on our land. Freedom meant not the same for all. For the anglos it was opportunities. Liberty. Freedom. For the Mexicans it meant restriction. Prosecution. Racism.

I hope the day for the mexicans can walk into Texas, New Mexico, Arizona or Alta California with no restrictions at all. Just like walked hordes of U.S. Anglo americans into California in times of war.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I hope the day not ok, you vengeful know-nothing. RomanYankee ( 17:44, 10 August 2006 (UTC))

"But this war only meant one thing for Mexicans: To be illegal on our land." Some might subscribe to this, but not all Mexicans live in the past and wallow in self-pity. Nor are all Mexicans "illegal" in the United States. In fact, many thousands are here legally as visitors or legal residents. Only Mexicans who cross the border without official permission are here illegally, and that applies equally to those of any other nationality who defy our laws. Moreover, Mexico and every other self-respecting country in the world have similar laws. Finally, since Mexico lost the war, it's not Mexican land anymore. (Kraken7 23:31, 1 July 2006 (UTC))
Sounds something like Israel-Palestine. When similar laws are applied, the dispossessed tend to take possession. Ask London to keep out the Irish, and they'll now say no, please no.--Shtove 01:04, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
There may be a few superficial similarities to Israel-Palestine, but there are many more differences: The United States and Mexico signed a peace treaty, the Israelis and Palestinians have not; there were no (or at least very few) Mexican refugees after the Mexican War, as opposed to the thousands of Palestinians who fled after the first Arab-Israeli war; the Mexican government, unlike the Palestinian government regarding Israel, does not support terrorists coming to the United States; and the United States, unlike Israel in Gaza, does not send its fighter aircraft across the border to bomb Mexican power plants. (Kraken7 21:51, 5 August 2006 (UTC))

Why is "Mr. Polk's War" POV and no longer acceptable in the intro?

Why would a user put information in the introduction, then 6 months later change his mind and delete the same info, based solely on his knowledge of the field? For some reason, the information Rjensen added to this article 22 Jan 2006 has suddenly become POV to Rjensen. I want to know what's true: is there a sudden change of heart, or has there been significant new scholarship on this 160 year-old conflict in the last 6 months? Please feel free to explain. If this was rarely used, then why did the user introduce the material in the first place? BusterD 19:06, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

If it's sourced in a reputable history, and doesn't overwhelm a contradictory POV, then it's NPOV, even if the phrase itself is an expression of bias/bigotry.--Shtove 19:35, 7 July 2006 (UTC)
The term "Mr Polk's War" was a derogatory one occasionally used by Whig politicians at the time. It was never used by them to describe the whole war, only to specify Polk's responsibility for starting it. [Perhaps it would be like an encyclopedia calling the current war in Iraq "Mr Bush's War"] Therefore we should NOT suggest to Wiki readers it is a commonly used synonym of the sort they can use in a student paper. I did add the term by mistake--my apologies to everyone. Rjensen 03:57, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
Fair enough - doesn't belong in the intro.--Shtove 12:19, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Saying it in Spanish

Apparently, Mexican academics classify a military conflict between a powerful nation (e.g., the United States) and a small one (e.g, Mexico) as an "intervencion" (intervention; see "War, The Theory and Conduct of" in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th edition). Also, norteamericano (North American) is the common, polite way for a Mexican to refer to a U.S. citizen. Thus, the common name for the Mexican War in Mexico is "la intervencion norteamericana" (the North American Intervention). Further, lists three books in Spanish with "intervencion norteamericana" in their titles but without "la guerra de." (Kraken7 00:39, 17 July 2006 (UTC))

If you go to the Mexican wikipedia (, you will see that it is called "La guerra de intervencion norteamericana." I think we should stick to that. Let's not try to interpret Mexican academics' motives and simply translate this literally. BTW,"norteamericano" isn't the "polite way for a Mexican to refer to a U.S. citizen." It's THE way. Griot 16:49, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, it's either "norteamericano" or "estadounidense" but the former is less clumsy to pronounce and therefore used more often. -- Rune Welsh | ταλκ 17:45, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Why is one Wikipedia article more authoritative than three history books? There is no "Mexican wikipedia," or at least none at the webpage address provided above. In addition to "estadounidense," there are two other ways Mexicans refer to U.S. citizens: "gringo" and "yanqui" (see "Dicconario practico de la Lengua Espanola," p. 482). (Kraken7 01:06, 19 July 2006 (UTC))

Yes, but "gringo" and "yanqui" are slang. You never see those two words used in academic articles relating History. -- Rune Welsh | ταλκ 11:01, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
I thought "Gringo" referred specifically to white Americans? Are Chicanos or Puerto Rican Americans Gringos? African-Americans? john k 02:28, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
This is straying pretty far off topic, but to answer the question: "gringo" is a slightly (and not necessarily) perjorative term used throughout Latin America, but especially in Mexico, for someone from the United States. A Chicano, Puerto-Rican American, or African-American may be called a gringo if he or she markedly shows the manners and dress of someone from the U.S. Griot 04:48, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Getting back to the main point: The source cited in footnote 1 makes no reference to "guerra de intervencion norteamericana." Also, the hyperlink next to that footnote connects to the "Guerra de Intervencion Norteamericana" article in the Spanish-language Wikipedia. Under the "Titulo" headline of the "Discusion" section of that article, it is argued (with supporting evidence) that the "guerra de" prefix has no standing in Mexican historiography. Absent better evidence, it would seem the "guerra de" in the Spanish-language Wikipedia is a mistake and to use it in the English-language Wikipedia would repeat that mistake.Kraken7 12:17, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

It`s La Intervencion Norteamericana, because in Mexico this was not considered a fight between equals, this was a conquest in order to steal 51 percent of Mexico's Land....
It was the north american indians land before the spanish stole it. And the Mexicans are just as bad. Instead of supporting popular soveriegnty and setting indian nations free after beating the Spanish, Mexico engaged in massive land theft and oppressed the indian nations.Mrdthree 01:50, 6 September 2006 (UTC)


Are there studies to compare/contrast this war/intervention with Germany's invasion/intervention in Czechoslovakia ninty years later? Strikes me as an interesting paralell.--Shtove 21:52, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Good observation. Czechoslovakia was a country of mixed ethnicities and distinct populations put together by a receded imperial power. So was Mexico. In czechoslovakia the czechs dominated government over the rural slovaks and germans (who were more numerous than the slovaks). Similarly the central mexican government dominated California, Texas, and Arizona which had large and often majority american or native american populations. I think the primary difference is that there werent any rebellions in Czechoslovakia that had to be put down by the government; people in Czechoslovakia seemed to want to be part of the same country. In contrast of course, California and other northern territories of Mexico such as Texas had frequent rebellions and Mexico's army was always having to restore order over its subjects that desired freedom from the Mexican boot. Mrdthree 02:40, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
Yet, the differences between the two events are more significant than the similarities: 1) Unlike the United States, Germany fought no war for the Sudetenland; 2) unlike the United States and Mexico, Nazi Germany's goals were not limited to the Sudetenland as she later took over the whole of Czechoslovakia and eliminated that country as an independent state; 3) unlike Mexico and the United States, Czechoslovakia never received a penny from Nazi Germany in compensation for its lost territory; and 4) the United States in 1846 was no Nazi Germany in 1938, nor is James K. Polk comparable to Adolf Hitler. In sum, the analogy is a weak one. (Kraken7 00:56, 8 September 2006 (UTC))
Germany's goal seems similar to that of the US - control and colonise your hinterland: Texas/Czechoslovakia were baby steps. Germany took the Sudetenland, and then said, Yikes - this territory can't be defended, let's secure the whole country: isn't that what the US did with Texas, down to the Rio Grande? Moral comparisons? Tiresome. The point is: territory and resources - what do we do to git 'em? Kick up a fuss, insist these people are misguided inferiors, then go in and kick their bottoms (while lamenting the loss of life). The comparison seems strong, but has anyone written about it? Or compared the opportunities arising to the US and Germany, respectively, from the fall of the Spanish Empire and of Czarist Russia?--Shtove 01:26, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
I think it may be significant that Texas asked to be annexed by the United States while Germany took the Sudentland. What do you think? Mrdthree 05:20, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
I thought the Sudeten Germans made a similar request - not sure. What did Texan hispanics ask for?--Shtove 11:47, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
Texas Hispanics supported the Revolution and annexation. When Santa Anna moved in he tried to massacre them.Rjensen 12:00, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
"Texas Hispanics supported the Revolution and annexation." Sources for this claim? Actually there was only one Mexican in the Texas independence declaration, Lorenzo Zavala. From Spanish version of this article. This evidences the opinion of Hispanic population was not properly represented.Aguizar 15:11, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
It wasn't just the Texas Revolution, many Tejanos supported the Revolution, other Mexican states were breaking away from the Federal regime; but I suppose the only reason why you would remember Texas is because it was the most remote and the one that actually escaped the central authrority in Mexico City —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 22:52, 9 June 2007

letter from santa anna while in captivity

Mr. Poinsett, minister to Mexico in 1824, considered Santa Anna was a great apostle of republican ideas in 1824, a young leader who had just overthrown the empire, and was the avowed champion of popular government.After the 1836 Texas Revolution and capture of Santa Anna Mr Poinsett sent a message to Santa Anna while he was in captivity:

"Say to General Santa Anna that when I remember how ardent an advocate he was of liberty ten years ago, I have no sympathy for him now, that he has gotten what he deserves."

To this very unkind message, El Presidente made this deliberate reply:

"Say to Mr. Poinsett that it is very true that I threw up my cap for liberty with great ardor, and perfect sincerity, but very soon found the folly of it. A hundred years to come my people will not be fit for liberty. They do not know what it is, unenlightened as they are, and under the influence of a Catholic clergy, a despotism is the proper government for them, but there is no reason why it should not be a wise and virtuous one."[2] Mrdthree 13:51, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Conflict over cession resolved?

According to the article, the conflict over slavery in the Mexican Cession was resolved by the compromise of 1850. Wasn't it still a huge question until the civil war ended? I think a better sentence would be: American politics entered several years of heated debate over slavery in the new territories, resolved in part by the Compromise of 1850 but ultimately by the American Civil War. 00:25, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

after 1850 people rarely talked about slavery in the Cession teritories--debate switched to Kansas which was Louisiana Purchase. Rjensen 01:23, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

name of this article

why is this article named with a double wide between 'Mexican' and 'American' instead of a normal wide dash? This dos not seem to be a normal naming convention. Thanks Hmains 21:35, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

I wondered that myself. According to Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dashes), the proper punctuation for situations like this is the en dash, which is what's currently up there. It's shorter than a "double-wide" em dash. The manual of style is pretty ambiguous on whether to use these special dashes in titles. It says normal hyphens are to be preferred, but then gives examples like Poincaré–Birkhoff–Witt theorem where special dashes are used. Unless someone sets a firmer policy on this, my vote is to leave it as is. That said, the en dash messes up Google searches, so someone who has the time would probably do wikipedia good by setting that firmer policy and going on a renaming rampage. Epukinsk 22:03, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Pro-Mexican POV?

I don't know enough about this war to make claims as to this articles NPOV-ness, but it certainly doesn't sound like it to me, especially the first and last paragraphs. -Montréalais

Who can possibly read the section about the war in Califirnia and NOT see a pro-Mexican bias? This article is a prime example of the worst of Wikipedia. Anyone can write anything... this is awful.

I cannot detect a pro-Mexican bias in this article. On the contrary, with all its concessions to bad conscience, it is written exclusively from a US point of view -- liberal, conservative, these are just two sides of the US-coin. This article does not reflect recent Mexican scholarship and/or viewpoints on the subject. Many details, from turns of phrase (beginning with the fact that this war is called Mexican-American War, as if the Mexicans were the aggressors and not the victims of US-expansionism) to the descriptions of post-Independence Mexico (riven by internal conflict, etc.), reflect the attempt of generations of US-historians to justify the occupation of Mexican territory as part of the "Manifest Destiny" of the US. To top it off, at the end the writers of the article imply that the Mexicans have to be grateful to have been invaded by US-troops. The writing of history (especially in the departments of military history) has always been an integral part of that nationalist project -- winners write history, in Wikipedia as well as everywhere else. Jinmex 00:46, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

I think the historiography is rather more complex than Jinmex seems to believe. For example many American historians are negative toward the war. The goal here is to get a NPOV statement of what happened. Changing "American" to "U.S." is counterproductive in that regard. As for Mexican scholars, I did add some, I hope JinMex can add some more. Rjensen 16:27, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the lesson. I am very well aware of the complexities as well as the partisanship of history writing and hold that this article is in serious need of reconstruction -- as are many others.
fellow editors are always ready to help Newbies with the complexities of history and the goals and policies of Wiki. Rjensen 16:59, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
Rjensen, are you a fellow editor? After reading a few of your posts, stating beauties such as "Mexico wanted war and was stupid enough to provoke U.S." it is hard to believe you are pursuing a NPOV of what happened. Reading the word "stupid" applied to a country as a whole is enough to disregard any objective claims on your part.Aguizar 15:30, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

For the record, I have heard this refered to as the "War of Northern Agression" in Mexico. Google shows the American Civil War to be more commonly called this, but some instances of this in English as well (eg [3]). -- Infrogmation 05:27 Apr 11, 2003 (UTC)

Ha, it proved my expression that Alamo is some traitor try be independent lured by USA. USA tempt some texan to betray, and then annex it. The propaganda of Alamo is rediculas. I feel sorry for Mexico, he was cheated by USA, and lost such a big land, he should not have that war while he is not prepared.

The main problem is that nowadays in Mexico there is no reliabable information about it, since that part of history, is a part of the black past of Mexico and almost all information is vanished.
konegistiger 18:27 Nov 18, 2006 (UTC)
Correction: There IS plenty of reliable information, you just need to go beyond history textbooks, study guides, or nationalist texts covering up certain details. I'm plenty sure you'll find something accurate. --DWDarkwyng 01:03, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Image found on Commons

Image:Mexican war overview.gif

- Leonard G. 06:08, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

War in / with California

someone inserted an unsourced fanciful account full of POV. It's poorly done. I replaced it with the section from the History of California to 1899 article that has passed intense scrutiny by numerous editors. Rjensen 15:29, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Small battles, skirmishes, weakened US troups.... you call 18 US troops killed in San Pasqual and 14 US Marines killed in Dominguez Hills (Carson, CA) small battles and skirmishes? You must edit for Fox news...I think your references are a despicable attempt to ignore facts about the war in even clear the defeated Capt William Melvine by not mentioning him at all. next, you will be calling the Californios "insurgents"

'Poorly done huh!!, It's too bad your history is one dimentioned, as usual, being told from esoteric American / English can't remove the documented, heroic defending of Southern California by a vastly undermanned, undertrained and under armed group of Californios' and Mexican regulars led by historical figures Jose Maria Flores and Jose Antonio Carrillo. Your intrinsic arrogance in the whitewash /vandalism of this article about the war in Caifornia only propagates the racist elements and anti-American sentements in the discussion section of this article. If we are to further utilize proper citation for edited input to these articles, discussion should take place also before a clearing edit as you did to my comments. I, in fact hold a PhD in California history, and have historical diary documentation of my family from the Mexican territory period, back through the Californios and New Spain, through El Paso, Chihuahua, Monterrey and Tampico (New Spain), Burgos, Spain and Vienna, Austria. I will no longer waiste my time with this section, or use wikipedia as a sourse of information, and further, I will implore it's use for research reference to students and colleagues as well if my edited comments are not immediatly restored. DonDeigo 17:48, 20 December 1786 (UTC) '

The californios were not brave and had valor. They were not heroic. The californios were fighting to maintain a government that according to their own general and on-again off-again president, Santa Anna, said was a "despotism". The US fought for the democratic-republican principles, which is a more heroic cause.Mrdthree 04:59, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Wonderful. The ideology of George W. Bush is taking hold in the minds and hearts of US-American Youth. Really, Santa Anna was part of the axis of evil and deserved to be tried and

. But hold it. At that time, the Uk still had slavery, and Mexico did not, which is why the US settlers in Tejas started their famous revolution in the first place: They wanted to have their slaves, too. The nobility of the cause must be hidden elsewhere, then... But polemics aside (including the polemics of Mrdthree), I agree with the many voices on this and other pages bemoaning the deplorable state of history-writing in Wikipedia, especially when it comes to US aggression against other nations. Most articles are dyed by an unbearable pro-US-stance and a historical one-eyed-ness, was the self-proclaimed editors-in-chief converts, not to inform. The US-Mexican War was a war of aggression on the part of the US, period, it need not be glossed over as some kind of humanitary action.Ulises Criollo 17:00, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Corpus Christi is just north of the Nueces

Corpus Christi would be considered just north of (or at) the Nueces River, not the Rio Grande (which is nearly 200 miles away). Changing that fact would cause the paragraph to not make sense. Could someone more familiar with the Mexican-American War look into this and see how it should read? Thanks. — Bellhalla 13:22, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Troop Strenghts...

I have reason to believe that the troop strength on this article is inaccurate, does anyone know what source the troop strength is from? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 18:37, 24 January 2007 (UTC).

I think you are right. I know Congress had said 50,000 volunteers could be raised and that more than that volunteered, but I know the number of troops who participated in fighting was much lower than that. I'll check a few sources for a more accurate number. BlazingDOSspeeds 23:05, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, according to The United States Army Center of Military History, "During the Mexican War, some 73,260 volunteers enlisted, although fewer than 30,000 actually served in Mexico."[4] BlazingDOSspeeds 23:19, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Over-emphasis on US

I think this article over-emphasizes the point of view of the US. All the results are about the impact of the US, the campaign accounts are all about the US generals, etc. What about the impact this war had on Mexico? What about the Mexican generals? And I think more could be said about why Mexico lost the war. That has always been a big question for me. Now I am from the US, but I still would like to see more on Mexico in this article, this is the Mexican-American war after all.

== the mexican american war =join they just had to have a big war about it. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 20:53, 16 February 2007 (UTC).

Opposition to War section re-write

I'm nearly finished with a year's worth of research on dissent against the Mexican War (from the US pov). I was hoping to upgrade the section on opposition a bit since it's not organized all that well. I will post whatever changes I plan to make here before adding them to the page. Unfortunately I don't have much info on Mexican opposition. I will likely have 3 sections, the first dealing with the debates over the constitutionality of the war preceeding and immediately following the declaration of war. The second will deal with general opposition to war (religion/morality/democratic virtues). The third will deal with opposition to the acquisition of new territories (slavery, manifest destiny). All my citations are of primary sources - mostly speeches and newspaper articles. BlazingDOSspeeds 22:07, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Great topic for study: BUT No originial research is allowed in Wiki. You have to summarize exiting scholarship instead. Rjensen 22:33, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
I wasn't planning on inputing any new interpretations, just paraphrasing and maybe a quote or two. (for example - Daniel Webster, a prominent Whig, believed “there are three pretexts, all unfounded, upon which this war has been justified”. Then a listing of the 3 followed by a citation of the primary source.) No original ideas, just a broader perspective. Just a simple, this guy said this kind of thing. Like I said before, I'll post whatever changes I want to make here for review. Is that kind of revision possible? BlazingDOSspeeds 22:14, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
As the editor who recently pulled together paragraphs from two different sections and consolidated them in the new "Opposition to the war" subsection, I would be very interested in seeing your material added to the article, provided it meets Wikipedia criteria for inclusion. If you haven't seen them yet, please be sure to read through the guidelines relative to primary and secondary sources. Then use your best judgement. Welcome aboard! Cgingold 13:03, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the link. Once I finish writing my paper on this, I'll take the time to find some of the better quotes I've come across and figure out a way to present them without analysis. BlazingDOSspeeds 16:48, 20 March 2007 (UTC)


User:Ulises Criollo changed the name of Texas in the Background section to "Tejas". Reading this article for the first time, I was confused by this--I'm familiar with the names and locations of the Mexican states, but "Tejas" seemed out of place, honestly it broke me out of reading, trying to figure out what the text meant. I checked out "Tejas" in Spanish Wikipedia and got redirected to the Texas article [5], so it seems clear to me that "Texas" is not purely some weird American spelling. Not to belabor the point, "Durango" and "Jalisco" and all the other names in the list are the names that an English speaker would use in referring to these Mexican states to another English speaker. If we had a different name for those places, then that would be the appropriate name to use. We have an article about Spain, not an article about "España". I think that a WP:POINT is getting made here that's disrupting Wikipedia. Thoughts? Darkspots 02:03, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

And then I looked at three articles on Spanish wikipedia, including, the article about this war, and realized nobody, certainly not most speakers of Spanish, spells the word "Tejas". You had me going for a second there. Darkspots 04:06, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

The Spanish spelled their New Spanish province "Tejas", which is how Mexicans pronounce it to this day. English-language speakers did not get their tongue around the jotta and changed it to "x" (just as they changed the pronunciation /mexiko/ to /meksikou/; that modern-day Mexico is spelt with an "x" is very a different story and has to do with Porfirio Díaz' attempts to revive the Aztec past). Spanish language speakers came to accept the anglified spelling, but the historically correct spelling for the Mexican province (as opposed to the US state) remains "Tejas". I refer you to the hi-res version of the map [[6]], where the spelling is clearly visible. See also Coahuila y Tejas. Ulises Criollo 17:44, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

That's all very true, but doesn't change the central nature of the encyclopedia--it needs to be written for an audience of general readers of English. See Mexican Texas, which I got to from the Coahuila y Tejas article you pointed out. You see this as a debate about history--your comments seem to veer towards the political; I, however, see it as a simpler question of clarity. I think a compromise can be reached really easily here. Please see my new edit. Darkspots 10:24, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Name of war = title of article

First I just want to say, I'm not taking a side in this debate, as it's not clear to me what the correct answer is. (My sense of things is that we (in the U.S.) are in the middle of a shift from "Mexican–American War" to either "Mexican War" or "U.S.-Mexican War".) However, in the interest of consistency -- and per WP:MOS, I should think -- the intro really shouldn't indicate that some name other than the one used in the title is the preferred name. So for the time being, until this question is resolved one way or the other, I think we should leave the wording as-is. Cgingold 09:44, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree that the article should be renamed "U.S.-Mexican War". US historians (and US historians only) refer to this war as the "Mexican-American War", though it is good international custom to name the aggressor first. I believe en.wikipedia is an international project and a medium for all who speak English as a first or second language and should therefore make a serious attempt to take international historiography into account. Mexican historians represent the matter in a very different light which is just as legitimate as the US point of view, and so do British and other English-language historians. I believe it is the task of an international encyclopedia to integrate these different positions and get beyond the various parochialisms to post-nationalist estimations that reflect the interests of a reader in India, Australia or Great Britain as much as those of a US reader. Ulises Criollo 16:50, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Wiki is in the business of following the scholars. What do THEY call it recently? I looked at ALL the books in last 10 years in America History & Life and here are ALL the ones with "war" in the title (you can check them at Note that only three of 21 use the form "U.S.-Mexican War".
  • Heidler, The Mexican War. 2005
  • Eubank, The Response of Kentucky to the Mexican War. 2004. pp.
  • Carey, The Mexican War: 2002
  • Foos, A Short, Offhand, Killing Affair: Soldiers and Social Conflict during the Mexican-American War. 2002
  • Hill, A Fighter from Way Back: The Mexican War Diary of Lt. Daniel Harvey Hill, 2002.
  • Smith, Company "A" Corps of Engineers, U.S.A., 1846-1848, in the Mexican War. 2001.
  • Francaviglia, Dueling Eagles: Reinterpreting the U.S.-Mexican War, 1846-1848. 2000.
  • Eisenhower, So Far from God: The U.S. War with Mexico, 1846-1848. 2000
  • Carter, For Honor, Glory, and Union: The Mexican and Civil War Letters of Brig. Gen. William Haines Lytle. 1999
  • Dawson, Doniphan's Epic March: The 1st Missouri Volunteers in the Mexican War. 1999
  • Kendall ed. Dispatches from the Mexican War. 1999.
  • Crawford, Encyclopedia of the Mexican-American War. 1999.
  • Engstrand and Griswold del Castillo, Culture y Cultura: Consequences of the U.S.-Mexican War, 1846-1848. 1998.
  • Ohrt, Defiant Peacemaker: Nicholas Trist in the Mexican War. 1998.
  • Frazier, The United States and Mexico at War: Nineteenth-Century Expansionism and Conflict. 1998.
  • Spurlin, Texas Volunteers in the Mexican War. 1998.
  • Moore, The Eutaw Rangers in the War with Mexico 1998
  • Elliott, The Mexican War Correspondence of Richard Smith Elliott. 1997.
  • Winders, Mr. Polk's Army: The American Military Experience in the Mexican War 1997
  • Laidley, Surrounded by Dangers of All Kinds": The Mexican War Letters of Lieutenant Theodore Laidley. 1997.
  • Haecker, Charles On the Prairie of Palo Alto: Historical Archaeology of the U.S.-Mexican War Battlefield. 1997
Consistency and the Wikipedia Style Guide are good things, but they are irrelevant to the central issue: What is the correct name in English for the 1846-48 war between the United States and Mexico? "Correct" is defined as the name most frequently used by historians in books written over the last forty years or so. Evidence that the "Mexican War" is the correct name can be found in the list above as well as in the "Misnomer" section of this "Discussion" page. Also, the "References" section of this article cites 7 sources that use the "Mexican War" versus 3 that use the "Mexican-American War" and zero that use the "U.S.-Mexican War." Kraken7 00:20, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
I, too, don't know exactly what the correct answer to this question is, although I agree wholeheartedly with Kraken7 that it should be the correct name in English, and not any other language. The Spanish wikipedia article about the war is, as far as I can tell with my mediocre Spanish, just as completely all over the place! Their article has been moved a couple times, too; the present title is "Guerra México-Estados Unidos," (guess they didn't get the memo about the aggressor-first custom) but recent versions show just as many different names, like "la intervencion estadounidense". They think we call the war "The Mexican War." We seem to think they also call it "La Guerra del 47", which shows up exactly nowhere on their page. Look, I know that what Spanish speakers call the war is irrelevant over here, but it's actually nice to see them wrestling with it too. It seems to me that the problem with the "American" in "Mexican-American War" is that it pisses off everyone else in the Western hemisphere when Americans use "American" to describe themselves. Unfortunately, everyone else in the world who speaks English uses "America" and "American" to refer to the people who live in the United States of America. And, sorry, "U.S.-Mexican War" is clumsy, and that's actually important. We can be as politically correct as we want and call the war by that moniker, but it ain't gonna catch on. So, "Mexican-American War" makes it totally clear to English speakers which war you mean, but angers many Spanish speakers, "Mexican War" sounds like a generic name for any Mexican War and not the specific one we're talking about here unless you're speaking from an obviously American perspective, so that fails, and "U.S.-Mexican War" will never catch on with Americans, who are a fairly huge majority of the English speakers who actually care about the war, because "U.S." is not really an adjective in American English, "American" is. Ulises Criollo, I'd like you to actually cite the British historians to whom you refer. In any event, I guess I'm trying to say that we can't win with this debate. Darkspots 04:05, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
There seems to be a folk myth to the effect that some people in Latin America dislike the use of "American" to refer to the US. It seems almost all the complaint comes from people who live in the US--So unless we have a barrage of legitimate protests from people outside the US, we can safely use the term "American" without fear. (The folks I know in Mexico and Argentina never call themselves "American".) Rjensen 04:12, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

If Mexican War "fails" then so too must Korean War, Vietnam War, Hundred Years' War, Thirty Years' War, and all the hundreds of other generic-sounding war names. That the Mexican War is the name for this conflict most frequently used by historians in books published in English over the last forty years or so has been supported with evidence and reasons. No evidence has been offered to support "Mexican-American War," yet this article continues to use that name. Why? Kraken7 00:00, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

When I said that "Mexican War" "fails" I meant that it fails the rigid internationalist perspective offered by Ulises Criollo, who insists that "U.S.-Mexican War" is correct--not that it fails by my lights. I personally think "Mexican War" is okay, maybe not as clear as "Mexican-American War," but if it's universally adopted it will work fine. It just seems like a) any name will anger some people and that, regardless of that fact, b) we should have a single name used throughout the article. Having "U.S.-Mexican War" in the infobox is silly when the name of the article is "Mexican-American War." Darkspots 15:54, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Whether good international custom or rigid internationalist perspective, no evidence has yet been shown that either of these is a widely accepted criteria for naming wars. On the other hand, as shown above and in the "Misnomer" section, the name for this conflict that is most commonly accepted and frequently used by a thumping majority of American historians over the last forty years is the Mexican War. Therefore, using the "Mexican-American War," the "U.S.-Mexican War," or any other name as the title for this article is a mistake. Kraken7 01:22, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

On April 6, a Google Scholar search for the phrase "U.S.-Mexican War" returned 481 results, for "Mexican-American War" 1,950 results, and for "Mexican War" 6,270 results. This suggests that scholars overwhelmingly prefer the Mexican War as the name for this conflict. Kraken7 14:15, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

Convincing arguments, Kraken7. I think we should move the page to "Mexican War". Darkspots 20:01, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
No the searches were in US sources and the American part was assumed by the authors. Imagine we were all in Japan and did an article on the Russia-Japan war of 1904. Then would we call it "The Russian war" ?? same fallacy. Rjensen 21:10, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Moving the page to "Mexican War" would be the best solution. On a related point, what fallacy? As long as "The Russian war" was the usual name for that conflict in Japanese, it should be used in the Japanese-language Wikipedia. Kraken7 01:31, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

The English language Wiki goes worldwide. Perhaps in Canada or Britain they will call the war of 1812, The American War. Heaven known what the Indians and Australians will think of the "Mexican War." Rjensen 01:42, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

What an Indian or Australian might think is beside the point. Reliable, published sources show that the Mexican War rather than the "Mexican-American War" is the common name for this conflict. If someone wants to argue otherwise, they need to cite reliable, published sources to the contrary. Kraken7 14:26, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Andrew Jackson

The article asserts that while most Texans were in favor of annexation by the United States "Andrew Jackson rejected it." That is certainly incorrect, as Andrew Jackson was one of the major forces behind the effort to annex Texas. See Lone Star Nation by H. W. Brands.DAvanyveren 02:32, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Jackson wouldn't annex Texas during his presidency, however. john k 04:13, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Title problem

Without desire to get into the discussion on the preferred name, according to WP:MOSDASH "Please do not use an en dash, em dash, or any type of dash other than a standard hyphen in a content page name because such symbols prevent some software (including Internet Explorer 6 on Windows XP) from saving the page as a file on a computer. The non-hyphen dashes can be used in redirect pages if an enhanced precision for the page name is desired for use in wikilinks elsewhere."

I'm therefore going to move it to Mexican-American War, though it may, of course, change later to one of the other suggestions above. Adam Cuerden talk 19:33, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

Header formatting

I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong, but the header is constantly mired in bad formatting: as it is, "The Mexican-American War" has an apostrophe after the comma, yet I can't find any extras to remove. And the rest of the intro also suffers from this bad formatting. Somebody else please try to fix it and do better than I can. Nyttend 12:52, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

Fixed. There was a set of 5 unmatched apostrophes after (the theft of the century) that I removed. Weird, but it worked. :) -Ebyabe 13:06, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

Loss of Mexican Territory

It is stated in the "Intro" that Mexico lost (52%) of its territory, but in the "Results" section, it is stated that the loss was "almost half of its territory." Which figure is accurate? I believe it is the former. Winner of the Nobel-Prize in Literature (1990) Octavio Paz in his book "The Labyrinth of Solitude" states that the U.S. took more than half of Mexico's territory. MiztuhX 00:56, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Yes, the U.S. took more than half of Mexican territory. However, both of the figures you mentioned are wrong: Mexico lost 51% of its territory, and was about to lose more, if a previous treaty attempt had been proposed and ratified (In which Mexico would lose Texas, BOTH Californias, New Mexico and parts of Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila and Tamaulipas).--DWDarkwyng 23:20, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Missing picture and wrong name of president

There is an image of Texas and its present-day states missing; I presume it's the same picture as in the republic of Texas article. Also, the article mentions a U.S. president "Michal Johnson." There was no such president, and I'm not 100% certain who it should say as there were several presidents in this era.

myths about sending settlers to border areas after war

The notion that the central government encouraged migration to the northern states is not mentioned in the detailed standard histories, such as Mark Wasserman, Capitalists, Caciques, and Revolution: The Native Elite and Foreign Enterprise in Chihuahua, Mexico, 1854-1911. University of North Carolina Press. 1984 Perhaps it is one of those folk myths that encyclopedias should avoid. Rjensen 21:45, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

However, it is mentioned in just about every history of Mexico published in Spanish. Perhaps people who contribute to this article should look at the war from the vanquished's point of view as well as the victor's, objectivity being a goal of all encyclopedias, if not all scholars. Griot 21:53, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
According to Takaki's sources, Mexico was handing out land grants in California to anyone who would take them, expecially in the early half of the 19th century, when American settlers were flooding into California. The Mexican presence in California was restricted to some ranchers clinging to the coast, few in number, who kept native Americans as slaves and had such a weak economy they had to ask for brooms to be shipped to them from Mexico. Their governors were largely a series of bandits who roamed California, extorting money from the ranchers, only to be defeated by a series of revolts. By 1848 it was arguable that there were more American settlers in California than Mexican ones. MarkB2 Chat 07:11, 7 July 2007 (UTC)
That's just not true that Mexico was "handing out land grants in California to anyone who would take them." Pio Pico and the other Californos were very wary of Americans in California and their intentions. Mexicans did not keep California Indians as slaves. And "their governors were largely a series of bandits who roamed California" is just plain false. Have you read a history of Spanish or Mexican California? Griot 16:31, 7 July 2007 (UTC)
No, I haven't read a history of Mexican California. I just decided to make all this stuff up.
I'll root around in my library for the relevent sources. They're Takaki's main sources from "A Different Mirror" in the chapter relating to the acquisition of California. MarkB2 Chat 03:46, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

Requested move

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was no consensus to move the page, per the discussion below. Dekimasuよ! 06:00, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

Mexican-American WarMexican War — It seems as if the conflict is most widely known as "the Mexcian War" and there is nothing that seems to require disambiguation. Mexican War is already a long-standing redirect here. It's shorter, easy to link to and there's nothing in the name that seems to imply any noteworthy POV. —Peter Isotalo 06:10, 13 July 2007 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's naming conventions.
  • Oppose - I would have no idea which war involving Mexico the page was talking about. I see nothing in the naming conventions to guide me. Speciate 06:18, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose "Mexican War" is a US centric name, and Mexican-American War is common in the US anyways. 18:39, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Per reasons given by Speciate. Reginmund 23:51, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Based on the first two reasons given by users here. Fennessy 22:13, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
    • Just to make it perfectly clear: this request is based on a misunderstanding due to an improperly updated lead. There's no need to cast more votes. Peter Isotalo 05:45, 14 July 2007 (UTC)


Any additional comments:
Could you back up your claims with some sort of evidence? Who says "Mexican War" is the most widely known? Speciate 06:21, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Why not call it the US-Mexican War? Speciate 06:21, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

I recommend checking the current article contents when confronted with an RM of this kind. I have no personal opinion about which title to use, but I was naive enough to think that the lead would accurately reflect the appropriate naming of the article.[7] That said, it should be pointed out that Mexican War has been redirecting people here for over five years[8], apparantly without any opposition of confusion. Perhaps a mere coincidence, but that it leaves readers bewildered doesn't seem to be all that accurate.
Peter Isotalo 07:26, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
It could just be that no one uses the redirect. Dekimasuよ! 06:00, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Geography Mix-Up?

OK, this part kind of stuck out: The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, signed on February 2, 1848 by American diplomat Nicholas Trist, ended the war and gave the U.S undisputed control of Texas, established the U.S.-Mexican border of the Rio Grande River, and ceded to the United States California, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Wyoming. In return, Mexico received US $15,000,000, half the amount of money that the U.S. had attempted to offer in return for New Mexico and California alone three years earlier.

Err, I think someone is confusing the Mexican provinces of California and New Mexico with the American states/territories today. The Mexican provinces of California and New Mexico contained all the area mentioned in the sentence above it: "California, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Wyoming." The inclusion of "alone" is implying that the U.S. took additional areas past the ones they initially tried to buy in the first place, which doesn't seem to be accurate.

Here are maps of the Mexican provinces: [9] and [10] and [11].

Depending on the source, you might say part of Sonora was taken, but that isn't clear. ;-) However, there is no mention of Utah, Nevada, Colorado, Wyoming, or Arizona at all on the Mexican provincial maps. WMS 08:00, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Border under Treaties of Velasco

I flagged the claim that the Velasco Treaties set the Río Grande as the Tex-Mex border as "dubious". Check the Treaties of Velasco article: the border was to be set later (at negotiations that never took place) "no further south than the river". That the Texans wanted it at the Río Grande is clear, but the matter was far from officially decided at Velasco. The dubious non-official and non-ratified nature of the Velasco Treaties further clouds the issue. Aille 01:34, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Requested move II

Even though there is little evidence on this talk page of a serious attempt to apply the Wikipedia: Naming conflict guidelines, a vote was requested on the "Mexican-American War" vs. "Mexican War" naming conflict. Why? And, why was the vote apparently closed and archived after only five days?

  • When confronted with plausible alternate names, which should take precedence? "Article naming should prefer what the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize . . . use the most common name" (Wikipedia: Naming conflict), and "[a]n article should generally be placed at the most common name used to refer to the event" (Wikipedia: WikiProject Military history).
  • So, what is the most common name for this event? Following the Wikipedia: Naming conflict guidelines, more hits were returned (on 7/22/07) for the "Mexican War" (excluding American, U.S., and Wikipedia) than the "Mexican-American War" (excluding "Mexican War," U.S., and Wikipedia) from the following searches:
Google Advanced Search: 107,000 vs. 45,800
Google Scholar: 402 vs. 100
Google Book Search: 5,000 vs. 667 102 vs. 54
  • On 7/22/07 and using the same exclusions as above, the following search returned more hits for the "Mexican-American War" than the "Mexican War":
Google News: 25 vs. 13
  • Additional evidence that the "Mexican War" is the most common name is found on this talk page under the topic "Name of war = title of article" in the first indented entry as well as 28 March, 29 March, and 8 April; and under "Misnomer," 27 May 2006. Also, the on-line bookshelves of the U.S. Army Center of Military History list five publications (as of 7/22/07) with "Mexican War" in the title but none with "Mexican-American War." In addition, judging by the titles in this article's own "References" section, the "Mexican War" is the most common name.
  • What is the evidence that the "'Mexican War' is a US centric name"? What does "US centric" mean? Even if there is cogent evidence that the "Mexican War" is a "US centric name," why should anyone care? Wikipedia Naming conventions (events) states that "[i]f there is a particular common name for the event, it should be used even if it implies a controversial point of view" and "Wikipedia article names are not expected to fairly represent all points of view."
  • To say the "'Mexican War' has been redirecting people here for over five years apparently without any opposition or confusion" is an exaggeration: On this talk page on 19 November 2005 under the topic "Misnomer," RMdsc pointed out that the "Mexican War might be a more appropriate title." Similar opposition was registered under the same topic on 27 May 2006 and 13 August 2006. Eight more objections were made between 28 March and 14 April under the topic Name of War = topic of article."
  • For readers who "would have no idea which war involving Mexico the page was talking about" were it moved to the "Mexican War," there is a solution: Read some history. Which war involving Korea is the "Korean War" article about? Which war involving Vietnam is the "Vietnam War" aritcle about? Kraken7 (talk) 15:00, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

"Mexican War" be damned. Let's consider the Mexicans for once. They wouldn't call it the "Mexican War." We should care if "Mexican War" is American-centric (which it is) because Wikipedia is supposed to be a universal knowledge provider, not an American-centric or any other -centric provider. The article itself is already American-centric. Let's not drag the title down too. Griot 23:13, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

Personally, I have never once heard it called "the Mexican War" (talk) 03:43, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Are you saying the Mexicans don't consider themselves Americans? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:49, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

It was a war between Mexico and America. Ergo, it's the Mexican-American War. I have never heard it referred to as the Mexican War. Of course, I lived in Texas for a number of years where I was taught Texas history near-constantly, so my view on the whole thing might be a little skewed. But we still called it the Mexican-American War. As for the Korean and Vietnam Wars, those were primarily wars between two halves of the same country (North and South Korea and North and South Vietnam). America was a third party allied with one side or the other, not the primary opponent, so neither have America in the war name. That's different than the Mexican-American War, which was primarily between Mexico and America. Hope that makes sense. --clpo13(talk) 00:13, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, but Kraken's point is that historians are calling it the "Mexican War" much more often than anything else. Asking us to consider the Mexicans doesn't back up "Mexican-American War." Speakers of Spanish don't use "American" to mean people from the U.S.A. And this is the English Wikipedia, which is English-centric. Whatever the primary name is in English, that should be the name of the article. In the article, we say what the Spanish names are, we link to their article. They're often having a page-move edit war over there, we're not alone on that one.
All that said, I think Americans (look, there I go again) have a strong attachment to "Mexican-American War." That's what we were taught in school, even if it gets up the nose of everyone who thinks "America" refers to a continent, not a country. To end that, we could move the article to "Mexican War." Darkspots 00:43, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
All right, but is there really hard evidence Mexican War is more common than Mexican-American War? I mean, Google searches and titles in the article's reference list (nowhere near comprehensive) are hardly worthy of being called evidence. It seems to me that calling it the Mexican War is common among the historical community, but calling it the Mexican-American War is more common among the general populace, judging from how that name is taught more in school (at least, in my experience). --clpo13(talk) 01:04, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Why "consider the Mexicans"? Are there reliable published sources that aver Mexicans sought and took advice from U.S. historians, public, or government on any of the Spanish names for this conflict? If not, then to "consider the Mexicans" would be unnecessary and excessive.

Since "US centric" and "American-centric" are undefined terms, labeling the "Mexican War" as either or both makes no sense. Also, "which it is" does not qualify as a definition. And, Wikipedia as a "universal knowledge provider" would be more believable if English were a universal language.

It was a war between Britain and the United States; ergo, it's not the War of 1812 but the British-American War? The latter name might be more logical, but logic seems a secondary consideration in the way wars are named. Also, the etymology of the names for the Korean and Vietnam Wars seems speculative and irrelevant to the question at hand: What is the most common name for this particular conflict?

What would "really hard evidence" consist of? If Google searches are "hardly worthy of being called evidence," then suggest better evidence iuiuiuiand explain why it is better. If the article's reference list is "nowhere near comprehensive," isn't it odd for an article with "Mexican-American War" as its title to have more sources with "Mexican War" in their titles than "Mexican-American War"? If that's too speculative, then identify more books and articles that call this conflict the "Mexican-American War." Further, per the Wikipedia: Naming conflict guidelines, the fourth bullet of 23 July lists reference works, recently published books, and government websites that have been consulted. These concur that the Mexican War is the most common name.

What is the evidence "Americans have a strong attachment to the 'Mexican-American War'" or that it "is more common among the general populace"? Kraken7 00:36, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

I have to say that Mexican-American War is a clearer title from a non-North American standpoint and would likely be what I would look for, and certainly the only name I've heard applied to the war. Narson 06:58, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

The term "Mexican-American" war is used in all history books. Let's stick with common conventions, please. Griot 16:14, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Which Wikipedia policy or guideline states that article names that are clearer "from a non-North American standpoint" are preferred? If there is no such policy or guideline, then why should this article's name continue to be the "Mexican-American War" when the Wikipedia: Naming conflict guideline states the most common name should be used to name an article and the evidence marshaled above (see 23 July) suggests that name is the "Mexican War"?
If the "term 'Mexican-American' war is used in all history books," then why do 10 books in the "References" section (as of 9/17/07) have "Mexican War" in their titles? Also, what is meant by "common conventions"? Are these consistent with the Wikipedia: Naming conflict guideline? If not, why should anyone "stick with" them? If they are consistent with said guideline, then why do they countenance the "Mexican-American War" as this article's title when the evidence suggests the most common name is the "Mexican War"? Kraken7 22:37, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

"Mexican War" is the older term, while "Mexican-American War" has been used more in recent decades. --JWB 09:08, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Interesting theory, but where's the evidence? Kraken7 13:34, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Kraken7, just drop it already. Your posts reek to high heaven of POV, and besides, Mexican-American war is the more specific name, its been pointed out elsewhere that if the article was called simply "The Mexican war", people would have trouble working out which war the title was refering to; there have been many wars involving Mexico Fennessy 18:22, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

I love how everyone who wants to change history comes on here and declares themselves Caesar and changes the article to what they want it to be. The title has been Mexican war since the war was fought, it was only changed recently by the clintons and their revisionist, "America sucks" attitude. Sorry Caesar, but the you don't get to just rule by decree here and change the name of the war to the more bland, political cowardice title "mexican-American". Why don't you go and decree that the Hundred Years War get a new name? The French and Indian War? I think the War Between the States needs a new name too, why don't you go brainstorm your next edict? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:44, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

This isn't at all about who is correct. We don't decide what's true here. What this is about is a user who shields herself/himself with the anonymity of multiple IPs, demonstrates an agenda-driven editing history, and calls people who disagree with her or him names like vandal and coward and suggests those who disagree possess an "America sucks" attitude. Wikipedia doesn't make any pretense about absolute truths; the pedia is more about having a central commons where truthful references and reasonable argument can help us get ever closer to the truth. You need to make a much stronger argument to win consensus around here. BusterD 20:54, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
Uh, the last sentence should be the clue that someone is pulling your leg... --JWB 20:59, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
And she or he is back again under BusterD 21:25, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
And again under BusterD 22:01, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Historically, I have seen MANY references to simply, "The Mexican War" specifically by Shelby Foote when he makes note of specific individuals fighting in the Civil War who served together, had experience together, etc. during the war. When discussing Civil War military figures, references to service in the Mexican War naturally refer to this conflict by context and most likely will continue to do so. Nevertheless, I can't see the ultimate point of this debate. Assuming arguendo that another conflict (God forbid) happened to erupt between the US and Mexico; how long do you think that it would take before this war became known as the First Mexican-American War and the newer conflict being referred to as the Second Mexican-American War? World War I was not World War I until we fought World War II. Since context is everything, I think most would agree that if an American is speaking to an American that a reference to the 'Civil War' refers to the 'U.S. Civil War' and that a reference to the 'Mexican War' would refer to the Mexican-American War. However, consider if a Canadian is speaking to a friend in say, France, and makes reference to 'The Mexican War' - until further information came forth, the listener would suffer through the ambiguity of trying to decide which war he was refering to, the Mexican-American War, or what wiki refers to as 'The French intervention in Mexico (which by the way is the biggest understatement I have ever seen) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:34, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

Another factor also was that the United States did not recognize international treaties. This War is very little studied in the United States, and there are monuments no raised in honor to the fallen ones in her in that country. The historian David Pletcher thinks: “It was a war of aggression in which we attacked a neighbor and, independently of everything what we have gained thanks to that war, we he does not like to watch the way in that we gained it”.

Also it is incredible, that in North American films it is spoken of which I exercise of santa anna was the invader, and that is lie santa anna went to Texas to reestablezer the order, not to invade Texas, those were our territories that I exercise of the United States invaded illegally. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:54, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

The Anglos in Texas are actually Mexican citizens. Santa Anna abrogates the 1824 Mexican constitution and actually MANY Mexicans, including the Texans are upset about this. Please see Republic of the Rio Grande, et al. At the end of the day you simply cannot reconcile Santa Anna's military actions in Texas and Mexico's subsequent failure to ratify the Treaty of Velasco on the basis that Santa Anna was acting beyond the scope of his authority. The second that you shroud Santa Anna's actions with legitimacy, the more you legitimize the Treaty of Velasco.

The "ultimate point of this debate" is the misnaming of this article. That is, the current name is the Mexican-American War, but the most common name for the war this article describes is the Mexican War. And, according to Wikipedia guidelines (see this talk page, "Requested Move II," first entry), the most common name should be used as the name for the article. As for the hypothetical about a Canadian speaking to a friend in France, why should a momentary and theoretical ambiguity trump Wikipedia guidelines? Kraken7 (talk) 15:52, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Declaration of war

Why is the Mexican declaration of war on April 23, 1846 nowhere to be found? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:57, 7 April 2008 (UTC)


This article seems to have benefitted somewhat from NPOV editing, but it still needs lots of work. For some reason, some people seem to love introducing POV, anti-American propaganda into articles about Mexican/US relations. —Preceding unsigned comment added by DougRWms (talkcontribs) 07:03, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm just one editor, and I don't normally get involved with this page though it is on my watch list, but I can't agree with the unsigned comment left above by User:DougRWms. It appears to this editor that user has newly come onto this page, called this page POV with little supporting discussion, then edit warred with long-established page editors, mostly about subjects already covered in previous talk, crying vandalism in virtually every edit summary. IMHO, the article reflected less POV before user started making edits than where the page stands now. Further, I'm concerned that user has been systematically applying this pro-US view on many of the page spaces user has edited recently, while decrying as POV those who are actually trying to avoid biasing the article. Besides User:DougRWms, whose opinions are becoming known in talk and edit summary, I'm wondering how other editors see this. BusterD 23:49, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

BusterD, I agree with you. The thing is with DougRWms is that he claims to want a more NPOV revision of the artcle in question, but then in his edits he omits large chunks of factually accurate & fully referenced material. I dont claim to be an author and I couldnt care less about tweaking the language used, but by selectivly deleting facts what he's doing is projecting his own POV.
I dont want to make judgements about people, but I get the feeling he's the type of person that considers Fox news to be "fair & balanced".
But hey like I told him before, I'm willing to cut him some slack seeing as he's new to wikipedia as long as aggressive editing techniques & insulting edit summaries stop. Fennessy 21:46, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

The problem is that Mexico isn't claiming the Nueces to be the border between the U.S. and Mexico, they're claiming the Nueces to be the border between two departments of the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas. By failing to ratify Velasco, Texas and Mexico are still at war and continue to act as if they're still at war. I refer you to: Second Mexican-Texas War, Hill Junior College Monograph, Texian Press, Waco, TX, 1972

March 1840 -- about 140 Texans led by Colonel Jordan are sent to assist General Canales of the Republic of the Rio Grande (consisting of the states of Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas) It is interesting to note that the Republic of the Rio Grande's Constitutional Convention was held in Laredo, north of the Rio Grande, before moving to Guerrero, Tamaulipas and ultimately to Victoria, TX (which is well north of the Nueces acting as a 'government in exile' for lack of a better term)

June 1841 -- The Texan Santa Fe Expedition set out for New Mexico. Near Sante Fe, they were intercepted by Mexican forces and marched 2000 miles to prison in Mexico City. {Sante Fe is east of the Rio Grande}

5 March 1842 --A Mexican force of over 500 men under Rafael Vasquez invaded Texas for the first time since the revolution. They briefly occupied San Antonio, but soon headed back to the Rio Grande. {San Antonio is north of the Nueces}

11 September 1842 -- San Antonio was again captured, this time by 1400 Mexican troops under Adrian Woll. Again the Mexicans retreated, but this time with prisoners.

Fall 1842 -- Sam Houston authorized Alexander Somervell to lead a retaliatory raid into Mexico. The resulting Somervell Expedition dissolved, however, after briefly taking the border towns of Laredo and Guerreo. {Laredo is north of the Rio Grande and actually votes to remain a part of Mexico after the Mexican-American War, after which the residents, quite literally, move south of the river and found Nuevo Laredo}

20 December 1842 -- Some 300 members of the Somervell force set out to continue raids into Mexico. Ten days and 20 miles later, the ill-fated Mier Expedition surrendered at the Mexican town of Mier. (Mier is in Nuevo Leon on the south side of the Rio Grande, essentially downstream from Laredo)

25 March 1843 -- Seventeen Texans were executed in what became known as the Black Bean Episode, which resulted from the Mier Expedition, one of several raids by the Texans into Mexico.

27 May 1843 -- The Texan's Snively Expedition reached the Santa Fe Trail, expecting to capture Mexican wagons crossing territory claimed by Texas. The campaign stalled, however, when American troops intervened. {Why are American troops there at all in 1843, two years prior to the annexation of Texas?} —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:21, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

area of dispute

the disputed territory of 150 miles between two rivers seems to have been rather large. Does anyone know how many sq miles, sq km or whatever was the area involved here. It would helpful to add this to the article. Hmains 20:41, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

When discussing the Treaty of Velasco it is a falsehood to claim that Mexico 'did not reopen the war' - the more accurate depiction was that the struggle continued on low boil until Texas' annexation by the U.S. when the dispute grew into a full-blown war. Both Mexican and Texas militia instigated border raids against the other.

The problem with this article is that it doesn't recognize that ultimately it is one large struggle which essentially begins as an internal Mexican Civil War and morphs into an international struggle. Technically, by not ratifying the Treaty of Velasco, and by continuing to mount raids into Texas' territory (above the Nueces by the way), that Mexico had no intention of reocognizing Texan independence and that Mexico would deal with the breakaway province after it squashed internal opposition in places like the Republic of the Rio Grande, et al. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:57, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

The section re:Combatants

I think this article has some merit but displays many flaws. That which I regard as most notable is in the section titled "Combatants". I feel it overlooks one of the most remarkable aspects of the war-the outstanding quality of the U.S Army and it's officers. They clearly outperformed their adversaries. I don't believe this section should rate over a "C" Earthhawk 01:27, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Hear Hear. The US Army Regulars were outstanding. Mexicans stated that they were a tougher adversary than any others. (P1340) 16 March 08

In regards the San Patricios: While religion may have played a part in some of the desertions, it needs to be pointed out that many of the Irish were not gallant soldiers troubled with pangs of religious and conscience concerns but trouble makers in the U.S. Army who had escaped from guard houses where they had been confined for various offenses before they found the need to desert. The real draw was the freedom from prosecution not persecution, money, land, rank and senoritas or all of them. Their leader, John Riley, was a soldier of fortune who had deserted the British Army as well.

The ferocity of some their fighting had more to do with not wanting to be recaptured and face charges than valor and bravery. During the fighting at Churubusco the Patricios stopped three attempts by Mexicans to raise the white flag and purportedly even shot one who tried to do so--a desparate act.

I think about half could be considered "Irish", including the American ones. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:57, 16 March 2008 (P1340) 16 March 08

"more" commonly

Kraken7 appears to insist on including the word "more" in the note In the United States, the conflict is more commonly known as the Mexican War.[12]. I do not see that there is any clear evidence for Wikipedia to make such an assertion. The supposed evidence on the talk page here is at best original research put forward to support a POV in regards to the name of the article. While it is indisputable that the conflict is commonly known as the "Mexican War" in the U.S., IMO, without a reliable source to for the assertion that it is "more" commonly known by that name, such an assertion does not belong in the article. Other opinions? olderwiser 15:02, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

It seems that as far as Wikipedia is concerned, accusations of POV or original research (or both) are ipso facto credible because rarely are such accusations supported by evidence, let alone coherent argument. This is no way to run a railroad. As for the "supposed evidence," it was assembled by working through the elaborate procedures found in the Wikipedia: Naming conflict guidelines. Are these guidelines obsolete? If so, explain how and when they became obsolete. Were steps in the guidelines omitted or done badly? If so, then show how and where mistakes were made. On an related topic, what "reliable source" states the 1846-1848 war between the United States and Mexico is more commonly known as the "Mexican-American War"? Kraken7 17:31, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, but I'm not sure what you're referring to. Precisely what "elaborate procedures" on Wikipedia:Naming conflict lead you to conclude that there is a basis for including in the article an unsourced factual assertion that one name is "more" commonly used than another within the U.S.? olderwiser 17:48, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Don't be sorry, just read: Wikipedia: Naming conflict: Other considerations: Identification of common names using external references. Kraken7 00:29, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
Uh-huh, and I still don't see how anything there justifies making a questionable factual assertion in the article without a supporting reference from a reliable source. olderwiser 01:26, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
How is it a "questionable factual assertion" to state that this conflict is more commonly known as the "Mexican War" when evidence per Wikipedia guidelines shows that it is? And what justifies calling this war "Mexican-American"? Where is the reliable published source for that name as the most common usage? Kraken7 22:57, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

A better idea would be using the name used in spanish: "Invasión americana" even when is a very ambigous name (sounds like the 60's british invasion). Peopole in Mexico find it hard to refer to U.S. citizens as they should be called: "Estadunidenses" and call them "americans", but in Mexico that war is recorded as an invasion because Mexico did´nt start the war, but in order to defend the war was declared and the U. S. after assur Texas independence continued the war. The articule should have not only american oposition to the war but mexican point of view either. Korssar 00:10, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Google Scholar hits

All years

"Mexican War" 6880 (Also includes hits for "US-Mexican War" and "American-Mexican War". 6336 without hits for "US-Mexican War" and "American-Mexican War".)

"US-Mexican War" 519

"American-Mexican War" 25

"Mexican-American War" 2050

"US-Mexico War" 196

"Mexican-US War" 75

"American invasion of Mexico": 16

"Mexico-US War": 4

Total for 7 terms mentioning both countries: 2885

Ratio: .45

1950 and before

"Mexican War": 967-4 = 963

"Mexican-American War": 5

"US-Mexican War": 4

Ratio: .01

2002 and later

"Mexican War": 1830-265-5 = 1560

7 terms mentioning both countries: 265+5+864+114+4+2+3 = 1257

Ratio: .80

2005 and later

"Mexican War": 730-114-1 = 615

7 terms mentioning both countries: 410+114+1+2+2+2 = 531

Ratio: .86

--JWB 08:14, 18 October 2007 (UTC)


This shows that Mexican War really is the more common name of the conflict, so therefore by the Wikipedia naming guidelines it should be titled "Mexican War" in the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Uguion (talkcontribs) 17:16, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Must say thats again the "american" point of view, mexican people and scholars think other way.Korssar 00:12, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

My two cents is that the numbers on current usage seem to be pretty closely matched, and that the article text should use both Mexican War and at least one of the newer terms that try to acknowledge both countries. Of course the article title itself (as opposed to redirects) can only have one choice, and I think people should try to chill out about hardcoded title vs. redirect title. --JWB 03:13, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

What exactly does "mexican people and scholars think other way" mean? And, what relevance does whatever "mexican people and scholars" might think have to the issue at hand: which is the more common name in English for this war? It is unclear whether Wikipedia was excluded from the above Google Scholar hits, so the methodology may not be sound. Further, it is unclear why the years between 1951 and 2001 have been excluded from the more detailed findings. However, setting aside those two problems for the moment, the idea that the name preferences are "pretty closely matched" is true only for the last 34 months (a very narrow timespan considering the war ended 159 years ago) and only by comparing the total hits for all seven terms mentioning both countries to those hits for just "Mexican War." In other words, even since 2005 "Mexican War" has been preferred 16% more often than all seven other terms combined. Kraken7 01:02, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
I ran those three queries, which is what I had time for at the time. By clicking the links and then changing the dates, anyone can query for another date range; please feel free to post additional results. Also, I covered the terms of reference that I could think of at the time - it's possible there are still other ways of referring to the war that might have significant usage.
I don't think Google Scholar indexes Wikipedia at all since it covers published articles.
Usage of many ethnically charged terms has changed in recent decades - African American did not come into wide use until the 1990s, and I have not seen any claims that is the most common term in a survey of English-language articles; yet it is now the preferred term and the primary article name.
Appropriate usage may also be different by context; an article about 19th century discussion of the war would probably use the term "Mexican War" used at the time, while a recent textbook would be more likely to use "Mexican-American War" (which would explain the editor above who had only heard of the latter term).
Right now "Mexican War" appears to have a majority in Google's current sample of scholarly literature, but this could change with additional sampling, further changes in usage in future years, etc.; also, it is possible that Wikipedia policy will adopt criteria besides simple majority of references, as Wikipedia:Naming conventions (identity) now does for names of ethnic groups etc.
Regardless of what the primary article name is at any given time, I think supporters of each name should keep in mind that the other name also has widespread and legitimate usage and may be more appropriate in certain contexts. --JWB 03:04, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Tell that to BusterD and BKonrad who come and stamp the article with their iron fists to keep it their way no matter what the consensus is, and then sign their talking with mocking statements like older is not wiser. This is not a person with sensitivities we are talking about here like with your example of a black person, this is the title of an inanimate object, a war, that has been in use for the past 160 years and has only been recently changed by the PC crowd. Should we go back in time and rename the Revolution the "British-American War?" --Rexus Graco 10:23, 20 October 2007

Also by the logic of the people above, who think we should go back in history and rename events to be more PC crowd friendly to worry about the "mexicans' point of view", should we then not go and rename the articles about the Civil War and call it the "War of Northern Agression" or the "War Between the States", to make sure we don't offend the Southerners' POV? The war is called "The Civil War" because that is its most common name, not the name the PC crowd wishes was most common. --Rexus Graco 10:23, 20 October 2007

Your overuse of the term "PC crowd" shows your own bias. Quite frankly, this whole discussion is lame. Considering both "Mexican-American War" and "Mexican War" are commonly used, the article should be left as is, including the note that there are alternate names. That way, we can avoid the petty arguing over which name is "right." If we're going down that road, we might as well consider "The United States Invasion" as a possible title. I expect it's been in use as long as "Mexican War" has. --clpo13(talk) 06:35, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

French and Indian War is another name that has caused confusion, and the article on it has a section French and Indian War#Naming the war discussing the various names for it, their history, and pros and cons. This article could use something similar.

War of 1812 has a note explaining it was known as the American War of 1812 in Britain. This article should also document what the Mexican War was and is called in English outside the US. --JWB 09:30, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

There is a footnote after the first instance of the name in the article explaining that there are alternative names, but it's only a small mention. A full section on the different names would be a good idea. --clpo13(talk) 20:29, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
It's also possible the subject is worthy of its own pagespace. BusterD 20:46, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

I'm european, no ties to mexico or us, and i'm sorry but calling the page "Mexican War" is really silly. Which mexican war? Or was mexico only involved in one war in all its history? lol. If this is supposed to be an Usapedia, mexican war is appropriate, if its supposed to be an english language encyclopedia for all people who understand the language, then clearly not. Ask any non-american non-mexican. Mexican-american war is much more adequate for neutrals, and since americans use it often too, it is the obvious choice. (talk) 20:39, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

It might help matters to read the previous posts on this topic, particularly "Requested Move II," first post. In the meantime, here are five things to consider:
1) How is being European relevent to this topic?
2) There have been many Mexican wars, but only one is commonly known in English as the Mexican War.
3) How is it consistent with Wikipedia guidelines to declare the Mexican War "clearly not" appropriate as this article's name?
4) Why should the hypothetical opinion of "any non-american non-mexican" dictate this article's name?
5) Which Wikipedia policy or guideline stipulates that what is "much more adequate for neutrals" should determine an article's name? Kraken7 (talk) 00:08, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Page protected

Please stop edit warring. When this page's protection drops, I will be watching — I don't want to go rouge, but I'll fix a 1RR on this page if this keeps up. Oh, and the socking is really, really lame. --Haemo 05:40, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Eh, this is pointless — it's just a bunch of sockpuppets edit warring. --Haemo 05:59, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

l —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:27, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

The real subject is sockpuppets, not page naming

Until now I've avoided discussing the merits of this issue, focusing instead on protecting Wikipedia from the methodical use of sockpuppets to move this issue into this sort of prominence. I contend that the use of sockpuppets has given this subject a weight beyond its due. This continued discussion and warring is a result of as yet unmoderated sockpuppetry.

Wikipedia consensus utilizes the term American Civil War, mostly to differentiate between the civil war occurring on the North American continent and those occurring in other places. I'll wager the term Philippine-American War was not the common term during the conflict, but has become the defacto standard terminology for that phase of the insurgency. Wikipedia uses American Revolutionary War, but as an U.S. student on the west coast and in the midwest I was always taught "Revolutionary War". popoie hits can't be taken too seriously when considering naming this conflict; IMHO, ethnocentrism is responsible for the bias toward the usage of "Mexican War" (virtually all who wrote about the conflict in the English language were from the U.S.). IMHO, the standard for article naming on an encyclopedia should be encyclopedias. Britannica for example, lists "American Revolutionary War", "American Civil War", "Philippine-American War", and "Mexican-American War", just as en.wikipedia does. Conservapedia? Ditto. Citizendium? The same. I don't have access from this terminal to World Book, Compton's, and Encarta, but I believe that all three of those respected online sources use the same "Mexican-American War". But I think all this is just chatter, and isn't important to Wikipedia in the slightest.

I'm far more concerned that frustrated by his or her failure to move this discussion in the desired direction, one user has spent three months hiding behind sockpuppets, open proxies, and Tor accounts, all in violation of Wikipedia policies. In the last three months several brand new accounts immediately start using edit summaries mocking existing page editors and demonstrate knowledge of page history no new user could reasonably expected to possess; those accounts will be dealt with by process. BusterD 13:53, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Which names are sock puppets? --JWB 20:02, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
I'd like to say all of them, but really I have no proof of that -- user:Rexus Graco, user:Uguion, user:Oyster82 and user:Filmman1, the four latest, are obvious, provable socks, however -- check their user creation logs. There may be other socks, however, and probably are. I eventually need to get around to making a sock report. Or someone does. Gscshoyru 20:07, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
Such a report was filed on October 5. A checkuser as well. Another obvious and closed case is possibly related. Until now I've avoided mentioning these cases on this talkspace because it's possible I've named the wrong user; the entire point of sockpuppetry is to mislead about the identity of the puppetmaster. I would appreciate it if everyone stays as cool as can be reasonably expected until the case is closed and the vandal(s) addressed. BusterD 20:20, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
The real issue here is not sockpuppetry, but rather what is the most common name in English for the war fought between the United States and Mexico from 1846 until 1848. Following the Wikipedia: Naming conflict guidelines, a good deal of evidence has been shown above from four kinds of Google searches, hits from government websites, reference works (including encyclopedias), and recently published books that suggests the most common name is the Mexican War (see 24 July). To date, none of this evidence has been challenged on substantive grounds. The Wikipedia guidelines already suggest polling encyclopedias, among several other methods for ascertaining the most common name, but it is unclear why that method should be "the standard" for article naming. Also, if four on-line encyclopedias "use the same 'Mexican-American War,'" it should be noted that five hardcopy encyclopedias (Encyclopedia Americana: International Edition; Collier's Encyclopedia; the New Encyclopaedia Britannica-Micropedia, 15th ed.; the Cambridge Encyclopedia, 4rth ed.; and the Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th edition) use the term "Mexican War." Kraken7 01:10, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
It would appear, then, that both names are equally common, in which case the article should be left as is. I don't even see why it matters. The other names are mentioned. What's the big deal? There is no "right" name for a war. Every side in a conflict has its own unique name for it. Going with what's "common" denies that the other names are just as valid. --clpo13(talk) 02:46, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
It is curious how more and better evidence that "Mexican-American War" is not the common name elicits a plea that the article title "should be left as is." Also, if it is not clear "why it matters" and if it is no "big deal," then why not use "Mexican War"? And if, contrary to Wikipedia: Naming conflict guidelines, Wikipedia: Naming conventions (events), and Wikipedia: Wikiproject Military History, there is "no 'right' name for a war," then why not use "Mexican War" instead? Further, if "other names are just as valid," then why insist on using "Mexican-American War"? Kraken7 23:31, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
Mexican War would mean nothing to me, whereas Mexican-American War at least tells me who took part in it. This is the global English-language Wikipedia. Where we have a choice between a confusing title (a war involving Mexicans) and a meaningful one (a war between Mexicans and Americans), we should pick the meaningful one. Angus McLellan (Talk) 23:53, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
It is my understanding that, on Wikipedia, if there is no suitable reason to change an article, it should be left as is. That's how it goes for British vs. American spellings, so why should it be different for names? And please, use your own words instead of quoting mine. It makes you look incapable of forming original arguments. Besides, your last question could be easily used against you. Why insist on using "Mexican War"? And as Angus said, Mexican War is vague. Mexico has been involved in its fair share of wars. In case you complain about other wars, know that Korea and Vietnam were primarily wars between two factions in the same country, thus the names "Korean War" and "Vietnam War". This wasn't a war between two parts of Mexico. It was a war between Mexico and the United States. The name resulting from this should accurately reflect that. Simply put, "Mexican War" doesn't. --clpo13(talk) 02:28, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Unlike those who've "avoided discussing the merits of this issue," two editors are not afraid to enter the arena. Bravo! Now, to the second entry on 26 October: If "Mexican War would mean nothing," there is a solution: Read history. A good place to start would be Smith's War with Mexico, it's dated and hard to find but unmatched for comprehensiveness. By they way, which Wikipedia policy or guideline states that "a meaningful choice" for an article title should be preferred over a "confusing" one?
As to the 27 October entry, if "suitable" means good and sufficient reasons, then there is agreement on that point. It is also agreed that to make changes to a Wikipedia article solely for the sake of imposing British or American orthography is not suitable. However, the issue here is not quite so trivial: Whether the title for this article should follow Wikipedia guidelines (see first entry on 26 October). "Why insist on using 'Mexican War'?" Three reasons: 1) Wikipedia guidelines state the common name for an event should be used as the article title, 2) in this case, Mexican War is that common name, and 3) evidence has been shown above that corroborates Mexican War as the common name. As for vagueness, while it is true Mexican War is vague, so is almost every other war's name (e.g., the Boer War, the War of the Pacific, the Bishops' War, etc.) and, if Wikipedia guidelines are being followed, vagueness is irrelevant. Likewise, the claim that the Korean and Vietnam wars were named as such because they "were primarily wars between two factions in the same country" is also irrelevant as far as the Wikipedia guidelines are concerned. By the way, which Wikipedia policy or guideline states that an article title for a war should "accurately reflect" anything beside the common name? Kraken7 00:26, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
I see one user and a bunch of sockpuppets arguing one side of this discussion, and several established editors and administrators arguing the other side. Time for a straw poll? BusterD 00:37, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
I should also remind user that "Until now..." I'd "...avoided discussing..." this case on the merits specifically because "...the use of sockpuppets has given this subject a weight beyond its due." BusterD 01:53, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
If I read history - say Edwin Williamson's Penguin History of Latin America because that's to hand - it doesn't mention any "Mexican War". Perhaps you mean "read Amerocentric history", but this is still a global encyclopedia. If it's guidelines and alphabet soup you want, then along with WP:NC (CN) you might like to consider WP:PRECISION and WP:NCON. Angus McLellan (Talk) 15:30, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
But doesn't that beg the question of what is the appropriate "weight" of this subject? Kraken7 15:07, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Sigh... john k 17:19, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
I'm still saying the name doesn't matter, and thus the article should just be left to its own devices. This especially since the "common name" argument doesn't work. Common where? According to whom? I mean, "Mexican-American War" is common enough for it to be the only one I'd ever heard until I came across this discussion a few months back. And if you were to go to Mexico, I doubt you'd hear "Mexican War" or "Mexican-American War" very much anywhere. --clpo13(talk) 01:04, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
In Mexico they call it the North American Intervention. But that name is irrelevant because it is only used in Spanish. john k 22:57, 30 October 2007 (UTC
Another straw poll? Already? Is evidence for the "Mexican-American War" as the common name so thin that vox populi must be invoked? And, who is this dim-bulb "user" who needs reminding?
It is regrettable that so handy a tome as the Penguin History of Latin America omits any mention of the Mexican War. Perhaps, this unfortunate omission can be brought to the attention of the publisher or author so it can be ctpopopoo
What is Amerocentric history? How is it related to the subject at hand? And, if WP:PRECISION or WP:NCON or both are relevant to this discussion, explain how. Kraken7 22:52, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
Straw polls don't decide anything. They gauge what consensus is in a very loose manner. A straw poll would be useful, then, for determining sides in this debate. As it stands, you (Kraken) seem to be the only (legit) user arguing for the name "Mexican War". If there are more people in favor of that name, a straw poll would point them out and encourage discussion. It's not a matter of evidence. Not yet, at least. --clpo13(talk) 00:49, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

You have really got to ask yourself why these users are pushing for it so much. It really makes no difference other than the fact that the title Mexican-American war;
a) Is specific.
b) Doesn't sound archaic.
c) Doesn't sound derogatory.
Can't you guys actually contribute to wikipedia instead of having misguided POV temper tantrums on talk pages? Fennessy 17:54, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

How does Mexican War "sound archaic"? How does it "sound derogatory"? Or perhaps more to the point, how does the addition of a hyphen and "American" turn the article's title into something that doesn't "sound" either archaic or derogatory or both? Kraken7 18:50, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
This isn't necessarily my opinion, but I can see how "Mexican War" makes the conflict sound one-sided, as if the Mexicans were the aggressors. --clpo13(talk) 19:19, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Kraken7, you really need to look over WP:NPOV, specifically:
Bias Ethnic or racial: racism, nationalism, regionalism and tribalism;
Geographical: describing a dispute as it is conducted in one country, when the dispute is framed differently elsewhere;
Nationalistic: favoring or opposing the interests or views of a particular nation;

Article naming Sometimes the article title itself may be a source of contention and polarization. This is especially true for titles that suggest a viewpoint either "for" or "against" any given issue. A neutral article title is very important because it ensures that the article topic is placed in the proper context.

Wikipedia is supposed to have a universal perspective, not an american one. Fennessy 19:49, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

How does "Mexican War" make "the conflict sound as if the Mexicans were the aggressors"? As for WP:NPOV, looked it over. Now what? Kraken7 01:52, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
Bad example (I didn't think it out too much, since it was just a possibility). But the name "Mexican War" still only mentions one of the combatants, and downplays the role of the other side. It's ambiguous (for a good example, think of a conflict called the "American War"...that could mean one of many, many wars), which is not the best thing for a title that's supposed to be representative of the entire world. Others can continue to argue the NPOV argument, but I'm going to go with the ambiguity argument now. --clpo13(talk) 05:39, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
It's not just one or the other(NPOV or ambiguious), I think it's both. These users that want to use the title "The Mexican war" certainly wouldn't be wasting so much time on arguing over it if they didn't have some kind of deeply held convictions about it. The WP:NPOV article clearly explains why an article should have a clear tile, see this page as well: Wikipedia:Naming conflict. And speaking for myself here, if someone just said "The Mexican war", I'd (still) think they were refering to the Mexican civil war. Fennessy 23:38, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
Ambiguity is not the issue, rather it is whether Wikipedia policy to use the common name for the event in English as the article title on the English-language Wikipedia is going to be followed. Further, instead of theorizing about the motives that those who want to change the status quo might or might not have, how about doing something productive like showing evidence that "Mexican-American War" is the common name? Also, for those who would confuse the Mexican War with the Mexican Revolution the solution remains the same: Read history. Kraken7 02:34, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
You mean read (American) history. No thanks. And it's pretty clear what the intentions of the people who want to try & change the article name are; someone for it dropped the term "liberal" once already on this talk page in opposition to the title "The Mexican-American war". Fennessy 21:23, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Not reading American history will make it difficult if not impossible to make meaningful (not to mention NPOV) contributions to this article, but so be it. And ad hominem arguments are unlikely to show that "Mexican-American War" is the common name for this conflict. Kraken7 01:50, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
It's unfortunate that you cannot muster any support for your position, other than the numerous sockpuppets which frequent this page. BusterD 02:51, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Even if it is Wikipedia policy to use the most common name, that still doesn't answer the question "Common according to whom?" Even among English-speaking countries, it's not necessarily common to refer to the war as the "Mexican War". In the United States, it makes sense to call it by that name, since we've only fought one war with Mexico. However, when you look at the issue from an international standpoint, referring to both combatants in the article name is the better option, since "Mexican War" is vague. Which Mexican war? Mexico has fought its fair share of wars. It'd be like labeling any war the United States has fought in the "United States War".
Besides, didn't you know that Wikipedia has no rules? Policy is there to guide discussion. It's not ironclad. If consensus calls for a non-common name, that's the name that sticks. --clpo13(talk) 10:02, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, lacking any apparent support is unfortunate, although it may not be a permanent condition because consensus can change. On a different topic, using the common name as the title for an event is not a policy, but rather a guideline (Wikipedia: Naming conventions (events)). That is, common according to "most English speakers." By that standard and using the tests recommended in the Wikipedia: Naming conflict guidelines, the evidence (see 24 July) suggests the common name is the Mexican War. What evidence is there that other English-speaking countries have a different name and what difference does it make? Does an "international standpoint" mean non-English speaking countries? If so, how is whatever they might call the Mexican War relevant to an article in the English-language Wikipedia? As to vagueness, Korean War is just as vague and the Koreans too have fought their fair share of wars, so vagueness hardly seems disqualifying. And, if Wikipedia has no rules (cite reference?), then why not use Mexican War? Also, a consensus that would use a non-common name for an article's title would be a prescription for confusion. Kraken7 02:23, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Policy, guideline, whatever. None are concrete, aside from the five pillars. I'm surprised, considering your apparent knowledge of Wikipedia policies and guidelines, that you have not heard of the most important one: if a rule prevents you from improving Wikipedia, ignore it. Of course, this doesn't mean that anything goes, but it does mean that you can't cite Wikipedia policy to game the system when consensus is against you. Doesn't matter if the consensus leads to confusion. Consensus trumps nearly everything on Wikipedia. If you disagree, file an RfC. That's what they're for.
And as for your "why not" question, my answer is this: why bother changing the name at all? Questions like that don't solve anything. Either get consensus on your side (through an RfC, a straw poll, or whatever), or stop pestering everyone about the name. --clpo13(talk) 07:01, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
How exactly does ignoring the Wikipedia guideline on naming articles improve Wikipedia? How exactly is the system being gamed? Consensus is nice, but using it to shut down debate would be pushing consensus into groupthink territory, no? And, "why bother changing the name at all?" Because the evidence suggests the current article title is not the common name. Granted, it's a small point hardly worth arguing over, except maybe to those who care about little things like accuracy. So, instead of demanding not to be pestered, why not engage? That is, show evidence and present reasons for believing "Mexican-American War" is the common name. Kraken7 (talk) 17:35, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
No one is ignoring a guideline (at least no more than any guideline is only a guideline to be applied with judicious WP:COMMONSENSE) -- you are indulging in selective interpretation to support your POV. It has already been documented many times previously that "Mexican-American War" IS in common use. You've presented no conclusive evidence that "Mexican War" is so overwhelmingly more common as to make it the de facto title. olderwiser 18:03, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
This is English Wikipedia, you are ignoring that point. Even Mexican sources accepted that name applied by English-language authors. Brandon-Q

(talk) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Brendon-Q (talkcontribs) 22:32, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

How is it "judicious WP:COMMONSENSE" to avoid using the most common name as the title for this article? Where exactly is the "selective interpretation"? Also, Mexican-American War need only be "in common use," but Mexican War needs "conclusive evidence" that it is "overwhelmingly more common"? How is this not a double standard? As for evidence that Mexican War is the most common name see Requested Move II: 23 July 2007. Where is the evidence that Mexican-American War is the most common name? Kraken7 (talk) 01:36, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Inside the United States the Mexican war is always understood to be the U.S. war with Mexico. However outside the US the reader will not make that assumption. The current title solves that problem.Rjensen (talk) 03:44, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
How is it known that a reader outside the United States would be unable to connect the Mexican War with the 1846-1848 war between the United States and Mexico? Even assuming this inability existed, how would it change the Mexican War being the most common name for this conflict (see this talk page, "Requested Move II," first entry)? How is the current name for this article consistent with Wikipedia guidelines? Kraken7 (talk) 01:42, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Temporal considerations

After looking over titles on Google books, an admittedly unscientific analysis, it appears that the term "Mexican War" was much more common in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Not until the mid 20th century did "Mexican-American War" become a vernacular term, and even then, it really didn't take off until the last 25 years or so. Why did this change take place? Maybe as the corners of the Earth became more accessible due to air travel, people realized that the "Mexican War" was unrecognizable outside of North America, so its usage fell out of favor. The "Mexican-American War" is more descriptive, and therefore undoubtedly makes more sense to those who aren't residents of the United States and Mexico. Personally, I agree with them, but that's just my opinion. Kindest regards, AlphaEta T / C 02:21, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Mexican War isn't unrecognizable outside of North America. It is merely ambiguous (the French also have a "Mexican War", for instance). This is pretty common. The war we call the Franco-Dutch War is normally just called the "Dutch War," for instance. [And "Dutch War," obviously, is Franco-centric] john k 14:54, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

If, as the 30 October post claims, Mexican-American War has eclipsed Mexican War as the most common name, the proof is not found in Google books. To the contrary, a November 28, 2008, search of English-language books published between 1983 and 2008 shows 79 books with Mexican War in the title but only 43 with Mexican-American War. Thus, a review of the titles on Google books reveals that the "usage" of Mexican War did not fall "out of favor," but rather remains the most common of the last 25 years. Also, as far as Wikipedia is concerned, it is irrelevant whether "people" believe Mexican-American War is "more descriptive" or "undoubtedly makes more sense to those who aren't residents of the United States and Mexico." What matters is that Wikipedia guidelines (see "Requested Move II," first post) state that the most common name in English should be the article's title and that name is the Mexican War. Kraken7 (talk) 17:21, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Let's try taking all this energy here

Name of the Mexican-American War in other Languages
Language Name
Arabic الحرب المكسيكية الامريكي
Bosnian Američko-meksički rat
Bulgarian Мексиканско-американска война
Catalan Intervenció Nord-americana
Chinese 美墨戰爭
Croatian Američko-meksički rat
Czech Америкăпа Мексика хушшинчи вăрçă
Danish Mexicansk-amerikanske krig
French Guerre américano-mexicaine
German Mexikanisch-Amerikanischer Krieg
Hebrew מלחמת ארצות הברית מקסיקו
Hungarian Mexikói-amerikai háború
Indonesian Perang Meksiko-Amerika
Italian Guerra messicano-statunitense
Japanese 米墨戦争
Korean 멕시코-미국 전쟁
Liguru Guæra Mexico-Stati Unïi
Netherlands Mexicaans-Amerikaanse Oorlog
Norwegian Den meksikansk-amerikanske krigen
Polish Wojna amerykańsko-meksykańska
Portuguese Guerra Mexicano-Americana
Russian Американо-мексиканская война
Slovenian Ameriško-mehiška vojna
Spanish Intervención Norteamericana en México
Swedish Mexikanska kriget
Ukranian Американо-мексиканська війна

I've appropriated the outline from American Civil War, and put in a very few things. Let's flesh that out. BusterD 14:46, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Interesting, but irrelevant to the subject at hand: What is the correct title for this article per Wikipedia guidelines? Kraken7 18:55, 3 November 2007 (UTC)


Considering how many generals in the War of Northern Aggression got their start in this war, I figure the ACW task force nejhjbh popie pop pee

Conflicts with article in Spanish-language Wikipedia

I happened to be reading the Spanish-language Wikipedia today (I do that on occasion) and ran into the article titled "Intervención Norteamericana en México" which apparently is about the Mexican-American War. I was reading it and was surprised by some of the things I read in it. I went back to check the article on the English-language Wikipedia (this article) and there appears to be a very large number of conflicts. Now, neither this article here nor the Spanish-language article use much of any references. This makes it a time-consuming process to do any fact-checking and hence I have not done it. I was wondering if some of you would be willing to do some fact-checking to resolve this conflicts. In the process, this would also help add more references to both articles. If you are wondering what the conflicts are, just read both articles, they are not hard to find. Some examples are that the Spanish-language article has the following sentence "Taylor cruzo el río Nueces, violando abiertamente el tratado internacional sobre la frontera de esta «nueva nación tejana»." refering to an international treaty (name not given) regarding the borders of "the new Texan Nation" and establishing said borders at the Nueces River. It also has a sentence regarding the annexation of Texas to the United States, "La República de Texas se anexó a Estados Unidos en 1845; la frontera natural y reconocida en ese tratado fue el Río Nueces, es decir el territorio entre el Nueces y el Río Bravo era reconocido como perteneciente a México.", that refers to some treaty recognizing the border as the Nueces River and it explains that the land between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande was recognized as belonging to Mexico. On the other hand, the English-language article mentions no such treaty or treaties but instead mentions the Treaties of Velasco and devotes three paragraphs to Polk's attempt to purchase Alta California and Santa Fé de Nuevo México by sending John Slidell, none of which is mentioned in the Spanish-language article. Overall, the two articles paint completely different pictures on just these points alone and there are still more conflicts between the two articles. I have not raised the issue in the Spanish-language Wikipedia largely because the vocabulary I use when writing and speaking Spanish is more limited than in English and trying to translate from the English-language Wikipedia to Spanish would result in some challenges (or awkward/imprecise translations). If someone else wants to bring that up there, I would encourage it. In any case, I think it would be worthwhile to resolve these conflicts but I don't want to attempt to do it just on my own. Mecaterpillar (talk) 00:34, 1 January 2008 (UTC)


I think there is a typo in the info box, its listed that there were 17000 something KIA but right underneath that it states 13000 something dead, so i'm thinking its supposed to be casualties not KIA? C H, current student and official Wiki Editor of the Kinawa Middle School Article (talk) 00:42, 10 March 2008 (UTC)


It's great being able to go back and see a previous version of a Wikipedia article, but it seems that it's not quite as easy to do the same with a Wikipedia image. In the case of [|this map] , I think I saw a version of it last week, which would be before its current (and only) version date of March 29. So I guess that would mean that when the original image was edited, the new one was put up as a new file instead of a new version of the old file. So now I can't find the old one. Anyone got any suggestions? User:fletcherism April 1 2008

ahem, maybe if you downsize this article. Here this war isnt relevant and breaks up into many wars. IE Rome vs Carthage, Rome vs Egypt Rome vs Greece West vs Russia. West vs Middleeast. Relevant. America vs Mexico a minor revolt. It just gets repetitious is all. Thanks, though. -- (talk) 03:29, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Texians versus Texans

I've never heard the term "Texian," the Wiki Texas page says the proper demonym is "Texan," and barring complaint, I'd like to change it. It's locked. Can anyone make that correction? Dolewhite (talk) 23:33, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

See Texian. The term is only used in this article for the period of time when Texas was a part of Mexico, and part of the state of Coahuila y Tejas, which is an acceptable usage of the term. Darkspots (talk) 01:03, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

That being the case, can we hyper-link the first occurance of the term Texian to the Texian page? Dolewhite (talk) 19:56, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

That's an excellent idea. Darkspots (talk) 22:28, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

{{editprotected}} Please edit the first word of the fourth paragraph of the background section, wikilinking "Texians" to Texian. Thanks! Darkspots (talk) 22:34, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

YesY Done. Sandstein (talk) 22:46, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Thornton Affair Date

Instead of the paragraph which appears in this article in the following way:

"On April 24, 1846, a 2,000-strong Mexican cavalry detachment attacked a 63-man U.S. patrol that had been sent into the contested territory north of the Rio Grande and south of the Nueces River. The Mexican cavalry succeeded in routing the patrol, killing 11 U.S. soldiers in what later became known as the Thornton Affair after the slain U.S. officer who was in command. A few survivors returned to Fort Brown."

I propose (as a starting point for negotiation) a substitute:

"On April 24, 1846, about 1,600 troops under General Arrista crossed the Rio Grande. In what became known as the 'Thornton Affair', 70 American dragoons led by US Capt. Seth Thornton were ambushed or were attacked at Rancho de Carricitos on April 25. Eleven US Soliders died in the confrontation, Thornton and others were taken prisioner, and some returned to Taylor (at Fort Texas/Brown or not?)."

The old paragraph is bad because of the following problems it contains: 1: wording implying that the Mexicans attacked on April 24th (which is not true according to all sources except the speech of James K. Polk)

2: use of the word 'routing'

3: the implied idea that Thornton's soliders had been sent in to the disputed area seperately from Taylor's soliders (a 63-man U.S. patrol that had been sent into the contested territory north of the Rio Grande) it makes it sound like Taylor sent Thornton's company into a disputed area, but I think we should make it clear that Taylor was always in the so-called disputed area and that Thornton was just sent to patrol the border.

4: Thornton wasn't slain, he was captured (side note: if he had been slain, it would have been he rather than Ringgold whose name would have been hailed hero)

5: While the statement that a few survivors returned to Fort Texas/Brown is true, I think it would be prudent to mention that several fellows were taken prisoner (including, I believe, Thornton)

We all need sources for our info on a subject as contested and truly important as this; please don't write a paragraph like this without a source! Mine is: and

All the text above this post was added by one IP. IP, can you clean this up and make it coherent for the other readers of this page? I think your thoughts are out of order and I can't make sense of what sources back up which claims. Thanks, Darkspots (talk) 00:25, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Figuring out the date on which the Thornton Affair occured:

A History of the American People by Woodrow Wilson Vol.4 (Google Books) says April 23rd Polk's speech says April 24th the park service says April 25th the 25th and 26th

List of Mexican-American War Veterans

The "see also" section contains a List of Mexican-American War Veterans that no longer exists. In light of the article's deletion, could an admin please remove the item per the page layout guidelines? Thanks, AlphaEta 18:58, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

This seems like a good thing to do.

{{editprotected}} Please remove the List of Mexican-American War Veterans from the "See also" section. Darkspots (talk) 14:38, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done --CapitalR (talk) 14:51, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Terminology within article

The article title should stay "Mexican-American War" for clarity, but the article text should note that "Mexican War" is the traditional name in the US and make some use of the term in the rest of the article. Here are some ideas for distributing mentions of the two names of the war within the article:

  • roughly half MAW and half MW
  • Text referenced to a source should use the same term used in the source
  • MW for passages about older US scholarship, MAW for modern or international

What do you think? If no discussion, I'll work on this myself at some point. --JWB (talk) 15:35, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

If this somewhat reasonable compromise had been offered before, I would have had no objection. I endorse such action now. However, since there's an article created for naming, I'd suggest the fuller explanation appear there, then a more concise explanation appear in the article introduction itself (not a hat or a mere note). I'd like to see at least one mention of at least one of the terms La Intervención Norteamericana ("The North American Intervention"), La Invasión Estadounidense ("The United States Invasion"), or La Guerra de Defensa ("The Defensive War") mixed into the body as well, if appropriate. BusterD (talk) 15:49, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, what is the article created for naming? --JWB (talk) 04:30, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
How is Mexican-American War any clearer than Mexican War when the latter is the most common name? Further, Mexican War is not merely "the traditional name in the US," but rather the most common name by far in English for this war (see this talk page, "Requested Move II," first entry). Therefore, to use both names interchangeably as suggested above would be to suggest that the two names are equally common, which is not the case (ibid.). On a related topic, why use the Spanish names "mixed into the body" of the article's text? Kraken7 (talk) 23:03, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Battle of Veracruz.jpg

{{editprotected}} First image in the article should be replaced with its duplicate "Battle of Veracruz.jpg". Thanks. Siebrand (talk) 13:07, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

I agree, Image:Battleveracruz.jpg should be replaced by Image:Battle_of_Veracruz.jpg to deal with image-duplication issue. Darkspots (talk) 13:15, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done --CapitalR (talk) 14:20, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Protection status or reason seems wrong

You semi-protect against vandalism (the stated reason here), since logged-in vandals are quickly dealt with. You fully protect against edit warring. Now which is it to be? Not both, please. And I find the long duration of protection inappropriate. What is the reason for it? TONY (talk) 03:36, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Wilmont Proviso

It was introduced in 1846, not 1847. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Coching (talkcontribs) 06:56, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Impact of the War in Mexico

This section seems a little suspicious. It's not attributed, and seems like a sneaky political statement. Theinfo (talk) 21:22, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Yes, it does look like trolling. Added 11 hours ago by User:Piledhigheranddeeper. I've removed it. --JWB (talk) 02:52, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

WikiProject Military history/Assessment/Tag & Assess 2008

Article reassessed and graded as start class. Referencing and appropriate inline citation guidelines not met. With proper inline citations, this article would easily qualify as class B if not GA. --dashiellx (talk) 19:29, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

See Also link for Mormon Battalion

The Mexican-American War article should provide a link to the Mormon Battalion article: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:15, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Awkward phrasing?

Quote from page-Fellow Whig, Congressman Abraham Lincoln, contested the causes for the war and demanded to know the exact spot on which Thornton had been attacked and U.S. blood shed. "Show me the spot," he demanded.

Isn't that kinda really realy awkward sounding? (talk) 21:15, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

So how would you rephrase it? Something better can go in the article. Darkspots (talk) 22:47, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was consensus to move.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 03:31, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Requested move

Title is a MOS breach En dash required, not hyphen. Can we fix it, please? TONY (talk) 13:29, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

An excellent idea; but fixing MOS will take a long time. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:49, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
I think Septentrionalis is trying to be funny. As TONY says, it should be Mexican–American War. WP:DASH states"
  • "[En dashes are used] As a substitute for some uses of and, to or versus for marking a relationship involving independent elements in certain compound expressions (Canada–US border, blood–brain barrier, time–altitude graph, 4–3 win in the opening game, male–female ratio, 3–2 majority verdict, Michelson–Morley experiment, diode–transistor logic; but a hyphen is used in Sino-Japanese trade, in which Sino-, being a prefix, lacks lexical independence."
  • "When naming an article, a hyphen is not used as a substitute for an en dash that properly belongs in the title, for example in Eye–hand span."
With a hyphen, it suggests the war related to Mexican-Americans, which is sort-of true but not really. jnestorius(talk) 11:55, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
For that matter, use of "American" to mean the USA only is offensive to Latin Americans. --JWB (talk) 15:20, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
The page has been moved to the en dash title three times, according to my consultation of the move log. Any ideas of what that's all about? I support moving the page to the en dash, just wondering if anybody knows the history. Darkspots (talk) 15:31, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
JWB, you may have a point that the name should not include "American" at all. I have no opinion on that. But until somebody suggests such an alternative it should have an en dash rather than a hyphen. jnestorius(talk) 17:18, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
The whole "American" issue is well-trodden ground. This thread is about the en dash/hyphen issue. Anyone have an idea of why the page has been moved in the past three times to the en dash title, but is still currently located at the hyphenated title? There's definitely a consensus forming here that the en dash would be preferable to the hyphen. Darkspots (talk) 17:50, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Support the move to en dash. I had a quick look at the history to try to find who moved it and when, it seems to have been a while ago... Does anyone have the diff URLs easily to hand? Andrewa (talk) 18:17, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Here we go: Check out this revision history. In May 2007 Allen3 made it impossible to simply move this page to the en dash title, citingWikipedia:Naming conventions#Special characters. I'll inform Allen3 of this discussion and ask for his input. Darkspots (talk) 18:51, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
Naming conventions#Special characters currently says:
In fairness to Allen3, in May 2007 it said:
  • "Please don't use n-dashes, m-dashes or any other type of dash, apart from standard hyphens in page names of content pages, because such symbols, apart from regular hyphens, prevent some systems (including Internet Explorer 6 on Windows XP) from saving the page as a file to their computer. The non-hyphen dashes can however be used in redirect pages if an enhanced precision for the page name is desired for use in wikilinks elsewhere. (rationale: see Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (dashes)#Dashes in article names)"
That talk page section is still there, but the discussion has moved on. jnestorius(talk) 19:19, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
  • I have no strong opinion on this issue. The actions I performed was to bring the article title into compliance with the then current MOS standards. I also wished to avoid the need to clean up additional cut-and-paste after fixing one at Spanish-American War, an article with the same basic naming concerns as this article. --Allen3 talk 19:27, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
Hmmm, this seems a lot more complicated than I first thought. The conventions may not be all that consistent. As a computer programmer in a past life, if I were writing the naming conventions frankly I wouldn't even allow a hyphen in this title, on the basis that an article name is primarily a navigation tool and should be optimised for least trouble to most people. So use special characters for special purposes only. Wikipedia naming conventions don't follow this of course, and I go along with that as a there's a clear consensus against me. Hmmmm. Andrewa (talk) 22:53, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
En dash or hyphen it really makes no difference. Time and effort could be better used examining why this article has a title that flouts Wikipedia naming conventions. Kraken7 (talk) 15:34, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


Desertion was very common in the US army at the time, with usual peacetime rates of about 14.8% per year (see Coffman, Old Army (1988) p 193). About 200 joined the Mexican army says Miller. "Notable" means that history textbooks usually note this, and very few do so. hence it is not notable. Rjensen (talk) 04:16, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

In regard to the intro on this article. First of all, the fact that the desertion rate was the highest in U.S. history for a foreign war is actually just that, a fact. It is statistically accurate and it really isnt any editor on wikipedias place to make arbitrary assessments based on numbers for other wars. Also I'd like to point out that the figure of up to 4,000 U.S. military defectors is in the reference given(I think I made that clearer in my latest edit). ʄ!¿talk? 03:14, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

there are a million facts about the war (the books listed run to thousands of pages in total) and Wiki can only handle the most important ones. This "fact" is a constructed one that misleads readers into thinking it was high (it was actually a below average rate) and may have been included as POV. For example it does not compare wars fought in North America (where desertion to home was possible) -- in WWi, WWii, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq etc desertion did not allow a soldier to come home. As for the 4000 number, let's see the exact quote from the source--keepiong in mind that the US armies that entered Mexico under Scott and Taylor were small -- Scott had 10,000 American soldiers and Taylor had fewer) so that 4000 would be noticed and apparently it weas not noticed at the time. Rjensen (talk) 04:22, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Specifically, historians say there were "hundreds of desertions to the Mexican side, not thousands. (There were 200 to 500 or so in the San Patricio). Thus one recent historian: "Desertion to the enemy became attractive for hundreds of regular army

soldiers, despite the problems of blending into the alien culture and caste." (cite: Paul Foos, A Short, Offhand, Killing Affair: Soldiers and Social Conflict during the Mexican-American War University of North Carolina Press. 2002. Page : 104) Foos reports that the total number of American deserters was 6,800 (page 109). Most deserted shortly after enlistment inside the US; often they deserted to join another AMERICAN unit (probably to get a second enlistment bonus) Foos says "a more common offense than desertion to the enemy was desertion from a regular unit to an American volunteer regiment. Also not uncommon was desertion from one regular unit to another." (Foos p 109). Rjensen (talk) 04:38, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

This may be an interesting subject (one that I would professionally enjoy discussing) but the inclustion of a mention of desertions seems random and completely out of place in the opening summation of this article. I recommend someone with a good history of editing remove the reference from the opening paragraphs. If it needs to be a sub-area of the article, I whole heartedly agree and support. TurboManiacal —Preceding undated comment was added at 22:54, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

little disputes

One person --eith no explanation--reverted the statements: "Northernern anti-slavery elements (a small number at the time) feared the growth of a Slave Power; Whigs generally wanted to deepen the economy with industrializaion, not expand it with more land. Democrats wanted more land, and northern Democrats were especially attracted by the possibilities in the far northwest; Polk cut a deal with Britain that gave the U.S. control of Oregon (an areas that became the states of Oregon and Washington). and also The most important consequence of the war was the settlement of the Texas issue (Mexico never again claimed it) .... I don;t see the problem here. The fear of slave power was held by only some northerners--ie the anti-slavery elements. how "small" they were is perhaps an issue?? --they ran a candidate in for president in 1848 (Van Buren) who got 10% of the national vote and about 15% in the North. The Whigs opposed expansion but the Dems favored it. That goes as well for Oregon. As for the second part, the war ended Mexico's efforts to claim Texas (which caused the war in the first place and should be mentioned). Rjensen (talk) 05:43, 4 September 2008 (UTC) Historians say: "Democrats trumpeted the glory of additional land, urged Americans to take possession of Oregon as well as Texas" (The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party By Michael Holt, p 184)Rjensen (talk) 05:53, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

  1. Yes, object to "small number". For example, the Wilmot Proviso passed the House of Representatives with a majority even before the Mexican War started and only failed in the Senate. The North's stubborn insistence on the Proviso was the main irritant provoking the southern states into threatening secession, creating a crisis that continued for four years until settled only with great difficulty and temporarily by the Compromise of 1850.
  2. American control of what is now Oregon, eastern Washington, Idaho and the bits of Montana and Wyoming was a foregone conclusion. There was some haggling over western Washington but basically the British were willing to concede that too. Fifty-Four Forty or Fight was about the American demand for the remainder of the Oregon Country, what today is the southern half or so of British Columbia. Polk failed to obtain this and was suspected by Northerners of prioritizing acquisition of Texas more highly because he was a Southerner. All this is in that article; please look at it.
  3. I've never heard of Mexico claiming Texas again, but I've also never heard this listed as a notable issue. (For that matter, I haven't seen a statement explicitly claiming Mexico never claimed Texas again.) I would mention confirmation of US possession of Texas but phrase it that way and place it after the mention of the Mexican Cession.
  4. There were also some typos and style that could be improved. If there were no factual issues, I would have rewritten to address those rather than throwing the whole edit back for discussion. --JWB (talk) 09:18, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
ok I revised alomng lines suggested by JWBRjensen (talk) 09:46, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

NameS of the war

In the US, the war is often/sometimes referred to as the Mexican War by many books & articles. The article tells what the war is called in Mexico, it should at least mention there are other names for it in the US. Btw, Mexican War was a correct answer on Jeopardy today - they do some checking, I am sure. --JimWae (talk) 06:50, 18 September 2008 (UTC).

  • I am not suggesting that the name of the article be changed, just that another (perhaps, even the more predominant) name be mentioned --JimWae (talk) 07:00, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree with JimWae. The usual term --now and for the last 150 years--in the US is "Mexican War", as proven by the titles in the bibliography. Rjensen (talk) 07:12, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
If everyone agrees the usual name for this event is the Mexican War and there is ample evidence for it, then why not change the name of the article? Kraken7 (talk) 00:37, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
I can assure you that everyone is not in agreement. The argument for leaving the article at its current name is two part. First, there is no single accepted English language name for this war. Common names are Mexican War and Mexican-American War with U.S.-Mexican War also appearing in multiple locations. The second concern is that Mexican War can refer to several different conflict. All in all, we are probably better off leaving this article where it is so that Mexican War can remain as a disambiguation page. --Allen3 talk 16:52, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Disagreement with the proposal to move this article to Mexican War should be supported with good reasons consistent with Wikipedia policies and guidelines. As for the two-part argument above:
First, how is "there is no single accepted English language name for this war" a reason to leave this article at its current name? According to Wikipedia guidelines (see this talk page, "Requested Move II," first post), the most common name should be used as the article's name. The most common name in English for the 1846-1848 war between the United States and Mexico is the Mexican War (ibid.). Therefore, to follow Wikipedia guidelines would mean renaming this article the Mexican War.
Second, "that Mexican War can refer to several different conflict" is an unsupported claim. That is, which reliable published sources in English refer to any other wars as the Mexican War?
Finally, how is wanting to keep Mexican War as a disambiguation page a reason to leave this article at its current name? Besides, what is the need for a disambiguation page in the first place? That is, which reliable published sources in English refer to the Mexican War of Independence as the Mexican War or vice versa? Kraken7 (talk) 20:17, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

Heave away, Santianno

After initially correcting the spelling of chanty from shanty, I've deleted this fairly pointless (and unreferenced) sentence from the end of the Santa Anna section:

(However, his actions did inspire the Sea chanty, "Santianna".)[citation needed]

I don't think such bits of trivia belong in an article unless they are placed in a References in Popular Culture section. I decided not to add such a section because (1) the claim being made about the song is unreferenced and (2) I'm lazy.

Urk... I just realized that chanty is spelled chantey. Never mind, the main point stands.

--Mrrhum (talk) 20:35, 1 November 2008 (UTC)


The Mexican government had long warned that the annexation of Texas would mean war with the United States. Britain and France, which recognized the independence of Texas, repeatedly tried to dissuade Mexico from declaring war. British efforts to hide the women were fruitless in part because the mexicans were somehow smart, and found them. Rape arose between Mexico, Britain, and the United States. When Texas was granted statehood in 1845, the Mexican government broke diplomatic relations with the United States. But they still craved american women. so some hid out in Texas, where the Mexican raping continued.

Someone fix the random vandalism in the article, for some reason I am unable to revert. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:19, 21 November 2008 (UTC)