Talk:Mexican–American War

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Thornton affair[edit]

Just a query This article says that 16 Americans were killed in the struggle while the main article for the affair says 11 were killed and 5 injured, which is correct? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Soph.pretorius (talkcontribs) 17:22, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

A very later response: Eisenhower, John S. D. So Far from God: The U.S. War with Mexico, 1846-1848. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2000. ISBN 978-0-8061-3279-2. Originally published New York: Random House, 1989, p. 65 says 16 men were killed or wounded. Woodworth, Steven E. Manifest Destinies: America's Westward Expansion and the Road to the Civil War. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, 2010. ISBN 978-0-307-26524-1, p. 155 says 16 killed or wounded. Merry, Robert W. A Country of Vast Designs: James K. Polk, The Mexican War and the Conquest of the American Continent. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2009. ISBN 978-0-7432-9742-1, p. 241 says 11 Americans were killed and 6 wounded. Borneman, Walter R. Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America. New York: Random House, 2008. ISBN 978-1-4000-6560-8, p. 201 says 11 American dragoons were killed. The University of Texas Arlington web site page on the Thornton Affair says sixteen U.S. troops killed or wounded. The web site U.S.-Mexican War by Descendants of Mexican War Veterans says 14 killed, plus 2 died later. The web site Mexican American War page The Thornton Affair lists the names of 16 American soldiers who were killed and 5 who were wounded. The web page Mexican-American War: Roots of the Conflict from about.com says 16 killed. The 16 killed or wounded could be the 14 killed in action and the 2 others who were mortally wounded and died a little later. Five wounded in addition might have been omitted in the "16" version while they might have been subtracted from 16 in the one or two instances where the author cites 11 killed. I think 16 and 5 are the right numbers because one of the sites lists names and many other sources support or seem to support 16 as the number killed. Donner60 (talk) 05:30, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Proposal to add "Mr. Polk's War"[edit]

I propose that the label "Mr. Polk's War" be added as a variant name for the Mexican American War. Polk was the driving force behind instigation of the war, and, although many of his detractors used this term as an epithet, it aptly describes his obsession at acquiring California at any cost. Besides, this term is used as the title—or referenced in the chapters—of many history books on the subject at: Amazon and google books.

One example is from Amy S. Greenberg's "A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico (2013)", in the Intro on page xv:

"That exception, of course, is President James K. Polk. The war was closely identified with the man who started it, so much so that at the time opponents called it 'Mr. Polk's War.' The war defined Polk as well. It was his great project, the culmination of his life's work, and his legacy to the United States."

Pretty fair, short paragraph , NPOV, presenting both sides, both attesting to the appropriateness of the name.

MiztuhX (talk) 06:49, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

I'm dubious. Maybe it can go in the section of opposition to the war. Rjensen (talk) 07:11, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

American-Mexican War[edit]

The Lemma must sound American-Mexican War not Mexican-American War, because the United States od America attacked Mexico and the attacker is named first and the defender named second.--MBelzer (talk) 21:22, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

well no. a) There is no such naming rule. b) Mexico attacked first. Rjensen (talk) 21:39, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

I only want to dispute one phrase: "The war was initiated by Mexico". If there is a territory in dispute that still belongs to a country, and a second country moves troops to that territory, the latter is a invader and therefore the initiator, no matter the reasoning behind that move and no matter who fires first. If not, we should say that Poland initiated Second World War and Kuwait the First War of the Gulf. In fact, I believe that the neutrality of this article leaves a lot to desire. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Agar73 (talkcontribs) 11:00, 24 February 2016 (UTC)

I only want to dispute one phrase: "The war was initiated by Mexico". If there is a territory in dispute that still belongs to a country, and a second country moves troops to that territory, the latter is a invader and therefore the initiator, no matter the reasoning behind that move and no matter who fires first. If not, we should say that Poland initiated Second World War and Kuwait the First War of the Gulf. In fact, I believe that the neutrality of this article leaves a lot to desire.--Agar73 (talk) 11:06, 24 February 2016 (UTC)

The casus bellum was not a geographical one of disputed boundaries in a nearly unsettled area. The issue was national pride. Mexico was determined to get all of Texas back under its full control. Its mistake was to massacre an American army unit instead of escorting them out of the disputed area. Rjensen (talk) 12:55, 24 February 2016 (UTC)

I would say that the fact of which country started the conflict is debatable. General Ampudia had sent a letter to general Taylor requesting the withdrawing of American troops, and not only the letter was ignored but Taylor advanced up to Rio Grande and built Fort Brown, which Mexico saw as a de facto occupation of the disputed land. Which side was right is not my concern, but I do believe that there are many points that are debatable in this conflict (from the validity of the Treaties of Velasco to the consequences of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo), and I think the Wikipedia page should show those unresolved areas instead of giving a single answer as indisputable. In fact, no other than Ulysses S. Grant tells the following in his "Personal Memoirs": "The presence of United States troops on the edge of the disputed territory furthest from the Mexican settlements, was not sufficient to provoke hostilities. We were sent to provoke a fight, but it was essential that Mexico should commence it. It was very doubtful whether Congress would declare war; but if Mexico should attack our troops, the Executive could announce, “Whereas, war exists by the acts of, etc.,” and prosecute the contest with vigor.".... "Mexico showing no willingness to come to the Nueces to drive the invaders from her soil, it became necessary for the “invaders” to approach to within a convenient distance to be struck. Accordingly, preparations were begun for moving the army to the Rio Grande, to a point near Matamoras. It was desirable to occupy a position near the largest centre of population possible to reach, without absolutely invading territory to which we set up no claim whatever". (Chapter IV) ¿So Mexico started the conflict because its troops fired first, or were the American troops, who were following orders to press on further into "her soil" until a fight was inevitable? I would think that the point of which side started the war is certainly debatable.--Agar73 (talk) 14:59, 24 February 2016 (UTC)

Title[edit]

I have always heard of this war referred to as the Mexican War, and most people whom I address using that term, understand what war I am talking about.

Why call it the "Mexican-American War"?

Mexico lost. 108.38.35.162 (talk) 01:44, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

If you take the time to skim the archives for this talk page, you will find two major reasons for why "Mexican–American War" is used:
  1. As per WP:COMMONNAME, the most commonly used term is the (generally) preferred title. Past surveys have determined "Mexican–American War" is the more commonly used name for this conflict. The bias toward this name is even stronger when you restrict yourself to texts published since around 1980 (Many older texts published in the United States use Mexican War, but this term appears to have declined in popularity since the mid-1970s).
  2. Wikipedia is written for an international audience. Mexico has fought in a number of conflicts and the term "Mexican War" is ambiguous outside of a strictly American context.
--Allen3 talk 02:33, 2 July 2016 (UTC)