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Mexico gained independence from Spain and declared itself a nation in 1821. The relationship between the United States and Mexico began as a peaceful one. During the 1820’s Mexico encouraged American immigrants in hopes of attracting new settlers to its northern areas. An increase in social conflict developed in the 1830’s due to Americans neglecting Mexican rules and regulations for immigrants. Tension arose when Mexican citizens became concerned about the Anglo influence. In an attempt to ease this tension, Mexico required immigrants to convert to Catholicism, banned protestant churches and slavery. Many American immigrants ignored Mexico’s bans on slavery and protestant churches. Leading Mexico to close immigration to their territory in 1930. Even though immigration was outlawed, Americans still immigrated to Mexican territories.
In 1834, Mexico was under the rule of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna due to conflicts between federalists and centralists in the government. Santa Anna began governing as a dictator. Anglo settlers in Texas who disagreed with this centralized style of government drafted a document declaring Texas to be a separate state within Mexico. After Mexico’s leaders denied this request, Texas’s leaders declared independence on March 2, 1836. The Texas revolution was a success and Texas was now a Republic. The war between Mexico and Texas ended in a Texan victory when the Mexicans were defeated at the battle of San Jacinto. Santa Anna was captured and forced to sign the Treaty of Velasco on May 14, 1836.
Texas was not immediately accepted into the union. The annexation of Texas remained controversial and many American citizens feared retaliation from Mexico or even inequality in the number of free and slave states. However, in the end of his presidency, President John Tyler extended an offer to Texas on March 3, 1845. The republic accepted and became state number 28 on the 4th of July. The annexation of Texas was viewed by Mexico as disrespectful and sparked a tension between Mexico and The United States. Not only was tension present due to the annexation of Texas, but also both nations claimed a narrow strip of land between two rivers. Mexico claimed the border of Texas ended at the Nueces River, while Texans claimed the border was west of the Rio Grande. So, in 1845 the United States sent a representative to negotiate a purchase of land. When an agreement could not be reached, U.S. forces that were standing by in Texas moved in. The U.S. army invaded Mexico in 1846 and within in a year, General Winfield Scott’s took control of Mexico City. This occupation of Mexico City did not end the war. The war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848. The war between Mexico and America had a noticeable effect on both countries. The victory helped put the United States on the path to becoming one of the leading world powers.
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