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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Theme > Expansion and Imperialism (x)
  • Historical Eras > Antebellum America (1816-1860) (x)

We found 14 items that match your search

"To Arms! To Arms!"

This 1847 recruiting poster urges the men of Holmes County, Ohio to enlist for duty in the war against Mexico. The war was fought by the standing, or regular, U.S. army, alongside volunteers. The U.S. War Department first issued a call for states to [...]

A Congressman "Pleads the Case of White Men"

In 1847, Representative David Wilmot of Pennsylvania made a speech (excerpted below) to the House of Representatives in which he proposed a legislative amendment that would ban slavery from any territory acquired as a result of the war with Mexico. [...]

Item Type: Speech
Mexico's President Herrera Decries the Annexation of Texas

In March 1845, shortly before leaving office, President John Tyler signed a Joint Resolution of Congress offering to annex the Texas Republic to the United States. Mexico, which had never recognized the Republic and still claimed Texas as its [...]

The United States Declares War on Mexico

On April 26, 1846, following a tense stand-off between U.S. and Mexican troops on the banks of the Rio Grande (which the U.S. now claimed as its border with Mexico, having annexed the state of Texas), a small patrol of sixty-three U.S. soldiers was [...]

A Mexican General Issues a Proclamation at Matamoros

Before being replaced by General Arista, General Francisco Mejía was the commander of the Mexican army at Matamoros, facing the American forces at Fort Texas on the opposite side of the Rio Grande. In this elaborately-worded proclamation, General [...]

Democrats Outline their 1856 Party Platform

In an attempt to settle sectional conflicts about the expansion of slavery, Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854. The act stated that the residents of Kansas and Nebraska, rather than the federal government, would determine the legality [...]

A Brooklyn Newspaper Warns of "Trouble in the South-West"

In this editorial, published on May 2nd, 1846, Brooklyn Eagle editor and poet Walt Whitman notes the growing "war-fever" that had gripped the nation in recent months. In fact, the "lighted match" which sparked the U.S. to wage war against Mexico had [...]

A New York Democrat Champions Territorial Expansion

Mike Walsh was an Irish immigrant, former gang leader, and editor of the radical Democratic newspaper The Subterranean. An advocate of working-class causes, he was strongly anti-abolitionist and supported the annexation of Texas. He gave the [...]

Item Type: Speech
An Abolitionist Denounces War with Mexico

Theodore Parker, a well-known abolitionist and Congregationalist minister, delivered the following sermon to an antiwar group gathered in Boston in June 1846.

A Southern Senator Opposes the "All-Mexico" Plan

John C. Calhoun, Senator from South Carolina and future spokesman for southern secession, delivered the following speech to Congress on January 4, 1848.  At the time, U.S. and Mexican diplomats were in the midst of negotiating a peace treaty to [...]