How Texas Became a State

by Ari Staggs

Fight for freedom

Texas had been a part of Mexico ever since it gained its freedom from Spain in 1821. Over time, however, Texas began to oppose the government of Mexico. They decided to secede, and became the Republic of Texas; in 1836. Mexico was displeased with this, and they fought many battles over it. The Alamo was one of these battles, and the site became a famous landmark of Texas. Eventually, Texas won, and Sam Houston was elected the first President of Texas.
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Border Skirmishes

In 1845, the United States was joined by Texas; as the 28th state. Like before, Mexico was very unhappy that their former territory had been taken over by the US. They also stated that the border was at the Nueces River, and Texas said that the border was farther south at the Rio Grande; where it is today.
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This is war!

The president of the US, James K. Polk, sent military troops to defend the border. It quickly escalated to the point where the militia of each side was shooting each other. Eventually, the United States declared war. The Mexican militia was commanded by General Santa Anna; while the US was commanded by General Zachary Taylor.

General Taylor's militia fought the first battle at Palo Alto, and Mexico retreated. They advanced into Mexican territory, and fought battles at Monterrey, and a mountain trail called Buena Vista. During the Battle of Buena Vista, Taylor and his army of 4,000 were ambushed by about 14,000 Mexican soldiers. Despite being greatly outnumbered, they managed to defend theirselves, and won the battle.

James K. Polk, the president, did not find Zachary Taylor trustworthy, and actually thought of him as a rival. Rather than reinforcing his troops, who were attacking Mexico City, he sent another army commanded by General Winfield Scott. His troops rushed into Mexico City, and took it in August of 1847.

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Peace Treaty

While the US was in control of their capital and much of their land, Mexico agreed to sign a peace treaty. This treaty, called the Treaty of Guadalupe Hildago, set the Texan border at the Rio Grande River. As well as this, Mexico decided to sell 55% of their land to the US, for 15 million dollars. That land made up all of California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. It also included parts of Wyoming, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Colorado.

In conclusion, the Mexican-American war was very important in forming a lot of the states of our country, and was a crucial part of westward expansion. There were many battles, but in the end, the USA was victorious.