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History of the War Between Mexico and the United States, with a Preliminary View of its Origin, Volume 1   By: (1809-1879)

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First Page:

[Illustration: Ant. Lopez de S^ta Anna]

[Illustration: BATTLE of PALO ALTO 8^th. May 1846. Lith. by E. Weber & Co. Balto.]

[Illustration: BATTLE of RESACA DE LA PALMA 9^th May 1846. Lith. by E. Weber & Co. Balto.]

HISTORY OF THE WAR

BETWEEN

MEXICO AND THE UNITED STATES,

WITH A PRELIMINARY VIEW OF ITS ORIGIN;

BY

BRANTZ MAYER,

FORMERLY SECRETARY OF THE UNITED STATES LEGATION IN MEXICO, AND AUTHOR OF "MEXICO AS IT WAS AND AS IT IS."

Ne dites à la posterité que ce qui est digne de la posterité. VOLTAIRE.

VOLUME I.

NEW YORK & LONDON. WILEY AND PUTNAM.

MDCCCXLVIII.

Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1847, by

BRANTZ MAYER,

in the Clerk's office of the District Court for the District of Maryland.

BOOK FIRST:

PRELIMINARY VIEW OF THE ORIGIN

OF THE WAR.

HISTORY OF THE WAR

BETWEEN

MEXICO AND THE UNITED STATES.

BOOK I.

CHAPTER I.

Introductory views of Mexico The people and government.

The war which broke out between the United States of North America and the Mexican Republic, in the spring of 1846, is an event of great importance in the history of the world. Profound peace had reigned among Christian nations, since the downfall of Napoleon; and, with the exception of internal discords in France, Belgium, Poland and Greece, the civilized world had cause to believe that mankind would henceforth resort to the cabinet rather than the field for the settlement of international disputes. The recent conflicts between the French and the Arabs in Algeria, and between the British and Indian races, have been characterized by ferocity and endurance. But, it will be recollected these encounters took place between nations unequal alike in religion, morals, law, and civilization. The temper or character of Mahomedans was not to be measured by that of Christians nor had we just reason to hope for a pacific or temporizing spirit in people whose savage habits have ever rendered them prompt to return invasion by a blow, and make war the precursor of negotiation. It was, thus, reserved for the Mexicans, whose blood is mixed with that of an Arab ancestry, to exhibit the spectacle of continual domestic broils, and, latterly of a positive warfare against a nation whose friendly hand was the first to summon them into the pale of national independence.

The disorganized condition of our neighbor for nearly thirty years, may, partly account for and palliate this fault. With administrations shifting like the scenes of a drama, and with a stage, at times dyed with blood, and at others imitating the mimic passions and transports of the real theatre, it may be confessed that much should be pardoned by a forbearing nation whose aggregate intelligence and force are not to be compared with the fragmentary and impulsive usurpations in Mexico. To judge faithfully of the justice or injustice of this war, and to comprehend this history in truth and fairness, we must not only narrate in chronological order the simple events that occurred between the two nations; but the student of this epoch must go back a step in order to master the scope and motives of the war. He must study the preceding Mexican history and character; and, it will speedily be discovered that when he attempts to judge the Spanish republics by the ordinary standards applied to free and enlightened governments, he will signally fail in arriving at truth. He must neither imagine that when the name of Republic was engrafted on the Mexican system, that it accommodated itself at once to our ideal standard of political power, nor that the dominant faction was willing to adopt the simple machinery which operates so perfectly in the United States. There are many reasons why this should not be the case. The Spanish race, although it has achieved the most wonderful results in discovery, conquest, colonial settlement, diplomacy, feats of arms, and success of domestic power, has proved itself, within the present century, to be one of the few opponents of the progressive principles of our age... Continue reading book >>




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