According to Ernesto Chavez, the editor of the The U.S. War with Mexico: A Brief History with Documents, the war was significant in part because of the “centrality of race” in defining an enemy and in considering how the spoils of war would be managed. After carefully reading Part I of the book (an introduction that explains the history of the U.S. War with Mexico), along with relevant material on westward expansion from Chapter 13 of Give Me Liberty!, write a well-organized essay that answers the following question:
What role did race play in the U.S. War with Mexico?
In answering this question, you must draw upon at least FIVE documents from Part II of the book, which provides 53 separate historical documents related to manifest destiny, U.S. involvement with Mexcio, the conduct of the war, and its aftermath. As you develop your answer, consider the following questions:
How did race inform U.S. federal expansionist policies?
How did Americans view Native Americans? Mexicans? How did these views shape justifications of westward expansion and territorial acquisition?
What role did slavery play in the colonization of Texas and its development as an independent republic?
How did President James Polk justify war with Mexico? On what grounds did some Americans oppose war with Mexico?
How did race shape popular opinions of the war in the United States? How did Mexicans view the war?
How was the war conducted?
What were the terms of Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo? How issues of race enter into debates over the treaty?
How were Mexican inhabitants of the ceded territories treated after the war?
You do not need to address each question, but do be sure that your essay addresses the full scope of the war and not just one aspect of it. Be sure to use the introduction by Chavez, but do not simply restate his work. Additional note: DO NOT draw on any materials outside of the Chavez book and other course readings to address this question
Provide a strong thesis. The thesis should be a concise statement in the first paragraph of your essay that clearly answers the question and presents a historical argument regarding the role of race in the U.S. War with Mexico.
Develop an appropriate and concise historical context. Information from Chavez’s introduction, along with Chapter 13 of the Foner textbook (Give Me Liberty!) will give you the material you need to provide necessary background on U.S. relations with Mexico and sectional tensions related to territorial expansion in the nineteenth century.
Use specific evidence from your sources to support your thesis. The examples you select should provide support for your argument; do not merely provide a description of the contents of several sources. Also, do not simply restate what Chavez says about the documents in his introduction.
Cite your sources properly and include a works cited page. Be sure to cite both paraphrased and directly quoted information, placing the page number(s) on which you found the cited information in parentheses at the end of the sentence. Example: (Chavez 16).
Provide a conclusion that effectively wraps up your argument and leaves the reader convinced that you have supported your thesis.
Your essay should be five pages, typed, and double-spaced. Use one-inch margins and a suitable 12 pt. font such as Times New Roman.
Do not provide a separate title page. Include your name, the course and section number, and the date single-spaced in the upper left-hand corner of the first page. Provide a title for your paper and center it above the first paragraph.
Make sure that you have a back-up copy for yourself.
Allow yourself plenty of time to read the materials, consider the question, revise an initial draft, and proofread your final paper. Please feel free to discuss with me any questions or concerns you may have about the paper before it is due.
Remember to adhere to the Academic Honesty policies