Mexican War 1840s

Summary

Our faith made manifest our destiny,
the West a Christian path to Liberty.
A war of dominance with Mexico,
our spirit showcased at the Alamo.

Chapter

The thirty years before the Civil War were fraught
with tension, energy, and growth, as people fought
about their rights to slaves and the expanding west.
To most, our country’s destiny was manifest.
An “Empire,” Jefferson had said, “of Liberty”
awaited us. Amidst the national esprit
occurred religion’s second “Great Awakening,”
which made more clear our Godly destiny, to bring
the Faith to western Indians. And Mister Polk,
the President, was clearly eager to evoke
a spirit of expansionism, Oregon
and Texas as the major targets; whereupon
he took on Mexico, which claimed to still possess
the Texas territory. Trying to assess
the right and wrong is difficult, for Mexico
was also seeking empire. At the Alamo
the wily Santa Anna fought the “renegades
for freedom” – Bowie, Travis, Crockett. Accolades
recall their memory, although the slavery
dissension kept the Texans from the luxury
of statehood. So the volunteers from Tennessee
and other southern states arose with certainty
of victory, “Old Rough and Ready” at their side
(Zach Taylor). Soon America was far and wide
a vibrant land of purple mountain majesty
and farms and plains and cities, sea to shining sea,
with Texas, California, and New Mexico
and Oregon reflecting our expansive glow.…

Patriot’s History: War of 1812

Summary

With Thomas Jefferson a smaller government
would favor industry, and set a precedent
of growth. But due to England’s naval enmity
a “second war of independence” came to be.

Chapter

The years of Washington and Adams were the first
display of central government, a nation versed
in monied Hamiltonian democracy,
with “property secured” ensuring liberty.
The highest court (John Marshall) favored corporate
development, while angry housewives, desperate
when homes of commoners were overtaxed, rebelled
against invasive government. And soldiers quelled
the fray too late for Adams as Republicans
and Jefferson, obliged by Mister Hamilton’s
disparagement of Aaron Burr, defeated Burr
(whose shooting of the chief of commerce would secure
his place in history). The nation would endure
and prosper in the cities (even though manure
{a hundred-thousand horses in New York} was sure
to vex the senses), and the pioneering lure
of going west was compromised by dirt and lice
and worms as westbound “Crackers” found both Paradise
and Hell. And slaves, to abolitionists’ chagrin,
were needed more than ever with the cotton gin.

Indeed, the commerce revolution underway
had positive effects still recognized today.
The vast Louisiana Territory, past
the Mississippi (many critics were aghast
that Jefferson would buy it), would embark
the nation – with adventurers like Lewis, Clark,
Sa-CA-jawea guiding – on a journey west.
But on the foreign front, the urges to divest
the land of military costs was soon to fail,
for Britain ruled the seas, and War Hawks would bewail
our country’s impotence. The Hawks Calhoun and Clay
advanced the War of 1812, and they’d portray
it as the “Second War of Independence.” Hear
the cries for freedom in the frenzied atmosphere:
Said Lawrence, “Don’t give up the ship!” And victory
by Perry followed: “We have met the enemy,
and they are ours!” Raw courage and Old Ironsides
propelled America to unexpected strides
in holding off the British Navy, powerful
and thought to be invincible. And masterful
were Francis Scott Key’s lyrics as the twilight gleamed
and Jackson battled in New Orleans (though, it seemed,
the war had ended two weeks earlier). The end
was deemed an even match, though nothing would transcend
the British terrorist attack on Washington
till 9-11. So our country would begin
to feel its global might: an outcome of the war
would be a Union stronger than it was before.…