Website Analysis Mexican-American War

The U.S.-Mexican War PBS

The U.S.-Mexican War . Prelude to War PBS


In the years preceding the U.S.-Mexican War, the United States and Mexico were two nations headed in opposite directions.

The United States, fueled by new technological breakthroughs and inspired by the concept of "Manifest Destiny," confidently expanded its territories westward.

The young country was regarded as a "go-ahead" nation, looking forward to a future of seemingly endless possibilities for itself and its people.

Meanwhile, Mexico struggled to maintain control over the vast expanses of land it had inherited from Spain following its long war for independence.

Lacking the resources to settle much of its territory and suffering from deep internal political divisions, Mexico looked to the past for its sense of meaning, back to a time when "New Spain" had once promised to be the continental power of the New World.

  • Introduction
  • A Go-Ahead Nation
  • The Power of an Idea
  • Native American Displacement
  • An Ideal or a Justification?
  • An Early Agenda of Expansion
  • A Mexican Viewpoint on the War
  • Manifest Destiny
  • Manifest Destiny
  • Boundary Disputes
  • Expansionism and Imperialism

Trade Routes

James K. Polk
  • Bluffs and Boundaries
  • James K. Polk and the U.S. Mexican War
  • James K. Polk (1845-1849)

Divisions in Mexico
  • Mexico and the US in 1846
  • Divisions in Mexico During the War
  • Public Opinion: Prewar Sentiment in Mexico


Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna
  • Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna
  • Santa Anna's Cloud of Suspicion

The U.S.-Mexican War . War (1846-1848) PBS

The Borderlands
  • The Borderlands on the Eve of War
  • The Travail of War
  • A Major Watershed
  • Mexican Perceptions during the War

A Call to Arms
  • The American Army
  • Organization of the Mexican Army
  • Army Life: Mexican Army
  • Army Life: U.S. Army

Role of the Media
  • Communications
  • Newspapers: Mexican Press
  • Newspapers: U.S. Press
  • War Correspondents

Battles of the War
  • The Battle of Palo Alto
  • The Capture of Monterrey
  • The Battle of Buena Vista
  • The Capture of Veracruz
  • The Battle of Cerro Gordo
  • The Battle of Contreras
  • The Battle of Churubusco
  • The Battle of El Molino del Rey (Attack upon the Molino)
  • The Battle of El Molino del Rey (Attack upon the Casa Mata)
  • The Storming of Chapultepec (General Pillow's Attack)
  • The Storming of Chapultepec (General Quiltmans' Attack)
  • Entrance into the City of Mexico
  • Occupation of Mexico

War's End
  • Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

The U.S.-Mexican War . The Aftermath of War PBS

Violence and Violations: A Conversation With Antonia I. Castañeda

Apuntes and the Lessons of History: A Conversation with Jesús Velasco-Márquez

The Legacy of the U.S.-Mexican War: Miguel Soto

The Legacy of the War: Miguel Ángel González Quiroga

Was the U.S.-Mexican War Necessary?: David M. Pletcher

Crucible for Greatness: John C. Waugh

Vast New Territories: Robert W. Johannsen

The War Between the United States and Mexico: Robert Ryal Miller

Many Truths Constitute the Past: A Conversation With David J. Weber

The U.S.-Mexican War . Biographies PBS

Stephen F. Austin
President James K. Polk
Sam Houston
President John Tyler
General Zachary Taylor
Commodore David Conner
Commissioner John Slidell
Captain John C. Fremont
Colonel Stephen W. Kearny
Commodore John Sloat
General Winfield Scott
Nicholas Trist
Abraham Lincoln
Ulysses S. Grant
James Bowie

Hernán Cortéz
Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla
General General Antonio López de Santa Anna
General José Joaquín de Herrera
Juan Almonte
President Mariano Paredes y Arrillaga
General Mariano Arista
Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo
Valentín Gomez Farias
President Benito Juárez
President Porfirio Diaz

The U.S.-Mexican War . For Educators PBS

Detailed lesson and activity plans that use the content of this site as a springboard for classroom learning

An Interactive Timeline that describes the events of the war and also shows where they took place

An extensive video library of clips from the PBS/KERA documentary "The U.S.-Mexican War (1846-1848)"

Numerous articles written by American, Mexican and Native American historians

Biographical essays about some of the most prominent figures of the war

Primary source materials including maps, illustrations, posters and articles

A list of links to other useful websites on the subject of the U.S.-Mexican War.

The U.S.-Mexican War . For Educators . Manifest Destiny PBS

The U.S.-Mexican War . Resources . Experts PBS


The U.S.-Mexican War . Resources . Primary Sources PBS

Illustrations of Battles
  • Battle of Monterrey
  • Battle of Mexico City (Storming of Chapultepec)
  • Battle of Buena Vista
  • Battle of Cerro Gordo

Maps & Posters
  • Mexico and the United States (Before and After)
  • Original map of the Battle of Buena Vista
  • Polk's First Annual Address to Congress
  • The Maid of Monterrey
  • Yankee Doodle's "Dear Father"
  • Incidents and Sufferings in the Mexican War
  • 1847 U.S. Army Recruiting Poster
  • Sketch of General Zachary Taylor

  • Daguerreotype 1
  • Daguerreotype 2
  • Daguerreotype 3

  • John L. O'Sullivan on Manifest Destiny