Why the South Lost the Civil War – Cover Page: …
expansionism. But that sadness need not be exacerbated by excessive shame for the conduct of the United States, because Mexico’s disorganization, corruption, and weakness created a power vacuum that would inevitably have been filled by some predator – if not the United States, then Britain, less likely France, and even, remotely, Russia. American haste to occupy California, for example, was prompted more by fear of British action than by concern of what Mexico would do. After all, the United States and Britain were threatening war over the Oregon territory just north of California. Mexico’s weakness stemmed from nearly three centuries of autocratic Spanish rule and from its own devastating war of independence, not from the actions of the United States.
Religiously-based civil unrest and warfare
troops already engaged in battle. This ruse effectively undermined the checks and balances established in the Constitution. Subsequent presidents further enlarged the executive power at the expense of the legislative branch. During the Cold War, presidents undertook covert operations with little or no knowledge by members of Congress, let alone the public. The historian Arthur Schlesinger warned of unchecked presidential powers in his book, The Imperial Presidency (1973). Today, the executive branch has assumed the right to assassinate suspected terrorists, including American citizens, in countries with which the United States is not at war. There is no legal recourse to contest the order to kill and no accountability for civilian casualties.
offer of annexation to Texas, the government of the United States always maintained a proper neutrality between Texas and Mexico. The American people, however, observed no such inhibitions. They openly sympathized with the Anglo-Saxon émigrés whom they now considered Texans; they supplied Sam Houston’s army with weapons; and though brutality occurred on both sides, the Americans sided with the Texan version on every controversial issue. As a result the American public grew progressively more antagonistic toward Mexico as a nation. Mexicans came to be considered less than “civilized” people, undeserving of rights generally accorded to Europeans. It is not surprising, therefore, that rationalizing unjust acts against Mexico would become easy.