The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 27, July 1923 - April, 1924 Page: 2
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
rights. That party which had fought the war of 1846-1848, but
had not been fully satisfied with the territorial gains it had
brought, was once more in power with a two-thirds majority in
the House and thirty-seven out of sixty senators. Noisy procla-
mations of manifest destiny were to be heard on every hand, and
the more impetuous of the expansionists, filibusters on a far flung
battle line, were girding their loins and putting on their armor in
Texas and California. Mexican troops were advancing along the
northern frontier, the United States was re-enforcing its army
in the southwest, and the newspapers of both countries were dis-
cussing the possibility of another war. The situation was ex-
tremely critical. Would war actually result?
There were several factors which tended to induce both coun-
tries at least to attempt a peaceful settlement of the points at
issue. The officials at the head of the Mexican government, no
matter how much they talked of going to war, must have known
that they were without funds and without equipment, and pos-
sibly with no better prospects for European allies than they had
in 1841.1 Moreover, the storm of protest and opposition aroused in
the United States by the recent war with Mexico surely had not
been entirely forgotten by American statesmen. The Pierce admin-
istration and the editors of the expansionist organs of Democracy,
even if they had been in favor of a resort to arms, must have
known that another conflict with Mexico, the expenses of which
could only be collected in territory, would not only endanger the
solidarity of their party, but even imperil the Union itself. Un-
doubtedly a pacific settlement could be calculated to commend
itself both to Mexico and to the United States.
Moreover, why should the Pierce administration go to war when
there was a reasonable prospect of obtaining everything it desired
by purchase. Was not purchase good democratic procedure, and
was not Santa Anna, that unscrupulous soldier of fortune, now at
the helm in Mexico and much in need of funds to sustain his
government? If he could be convinced that a treaty would serve
to strengthen his position, might he not be expected to assume
dictatorial powers in order to effect it?
With the view of pursuing this line of action, the administra-
'It will be recalled that in the summer of 1853 the question of the Near
East was threatening to convulse Europe.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 27, July 1923 - April, 1924, periodical, 1924; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101086/m1/8/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.