The Truth behind the Mexican-American War and the War in Iraq
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The paper discusses how publications like the New York Herald would legitimize U.S. intervention in Mexico by presenting Mexicans as uncivilized people without democratic government, who then become the beneficiaries of American democracy and not victims of American military aggression. The paper argues that this tactic has been used countless times in American history, from the disenfranchisement and genocide of Native American nations in the 19th century to the 2003 conquest of Iraq, driven by oil but promoted with the lofty values of freedom and democracy. The paper describes the Irish defection to the Mexican war effort and the formation of the San Patricio Battalion and goes on to show how the invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq have had very similar trajectories to the Mexican-American war.
From the Paper:"At a time when nearly 10 percent of the American population was foreign-born, the argument for war based in aggressive nationalism was not especially appealing. However, immigrants were interested in land, money, and social mobility, and all of these were offered to volunteers by the American army in the form of citizenship, up to "$7 to $10 a month," and "a federal bounty of $24 or 160 acres of land" (Zinn 2003, 160). Unfortunately for the U.S., the Mexican army offered a better deal, and as a result many Irish immigrants crossed over to the Mexican side and formed the San Patricio Battalion. The U.S. government attempted to keep this bit of history well under wraps, and the reasons for this are clear. At the time, public knowledge of mass defections to the Mexican side would not only discourage American supporters of the war, it would call into question the entire basis of their support: national pride. In the aftermath, anything other than a seamless campaign of U.S. expansion would reveal weakness and disorganization in a growing nation; in short, the San Patricio story is much more complicated than the neat, tidy, and divinely mandated story of Manifest Destiny, and would only serve to dilute the arguments in support of American expansion."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Zinn,Howard. A People's History of the United States. 2 ed. New York: Harper Collins, 2003.
Cite this Persuasive Essay:
The Truth behind the Mexican-American War and the War in Iraq (2013, May 23) Retrieved July 31, 2021, from https://www.academon.com/persuasive-essay/the-truth-behind-the-mexican-american-war-and-the-war-in-iraq-153347/
"The Truth behind the Mexican-American War and the War in Iraq" 23 May 2013. Web. 31 July. 2021. <https://www.academon.com/persuasive-essay/the-truth-behind-the-mexican-american-war-and-the-war-in-iraq-153347/>