The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 30, July 1926 - April, 1927 Page: 76
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
ally, for a port of entry on the Gulf of Lower California, or an
area of great strategic importance retained by Mexico with too
fragile a grip, as the peninsula of Lower California" (p. 361).
Factors promoting aggressive action of the United States upon
Mexico were: (1) geographical proximity; (2) Mexico's fabulous
natural resources; (3) the disorderly and bankrupt state of Mex-
ico; (4) the active, enterprising, and aggressive people of the
United States, who, "in moments of ecstacy . .. have exag-
gerated their ambitions, and overstated their sense of destiny,
and this much to the perturbation of Mexico" (p. 361); and (5)
the European factor which frequently served as a goad to drastic
action, but more often was exaggerated by expansionist leaders to
cloak their aggressive plans. Why, then, since the spirits of
manifest destiny and expansion have been such powerful forces
in the United States, has not Mexico succumbed to them? It
was because "conflicting interests of sections and groups have
often held the government in check." For example, "the slavery
issue retarded rather than promoted expansion. Indeed, it per-
haps saved Mexico from obliteration as a nation prior to 1860"
(p. 363). The subjection of Mexico to the alternating influence
of these sectional and class conflicts constitutes the subject matter
of the book.
The earliest and most telling blows ever delivered upon the
body of Mexico, the secession of Texas, and the Mexican War,
are not recounted in this history. The events of 1821 to 1848
are summarized in a short introductory chapter, the author's pur-
pose being to present a background for his second chapter, "The
Unfinished Mission." Conflicting factions in the United States,
the slavery question being the principal issue, saved Mexico from
annihilation by a very narrow margin. The expansionists retired
in 1848, temporarily confounded but fully determined, to com-
plete the "mission" of the United States at the earliest oppor-
tunity. To demonstrate that the ardor for territory did not abate
after 1848, Dr. Rippy quotes numerous expressions of destiny
from contemporary periodicals and from Congressional debates.
"These illustrations .. . indicate the prevalence of the spirit
of expansion during the decade preceding the Civil War" (p. 28).
In such an atmosphere the diplomatic difficulties of the two
countries were discussed. Little wonder that serious crises arose.
The principal subjects of controversy were: (1) United States
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 30, July 1926 - April, 1927, periodical, 1926; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117142/m1/84/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.