Key Events in the Mexican-American War

Mexico snubs Slidell November 1845 Mexico City Pres. Polk instructs John Slidell to offer up to $25 million for New Mexico and California. Insulted Mexicans refuse to see Slidell.
Polk orders troops to southern TexasJanuary 1846Rio Grande RiverZachary Taylor and 4000 men are sent to disputed territory, expecting attack. Conflict with Mexican troops results in 16 American casualties.
Congress declares war on MexicoMay 1846Washington, D.C.Polk asks for war with Mexico. Northern Whigs fear victory would add more slave states to U.S. Declaration passes 40-2 in Senate, 174-14 in House. Whig Congressman Lincoln asks for the spot on American soil where American blood was shed.
Bear Flag Republic establishedJune 1846Northern CaliforniaJohn C. Fremont and volunteers capture town of Sonoma and hoist Bear Flag.
Americans capture MontereyJuly 1846Monterey, California250 sailors capture Mexico's California capital without a shot.
Kearny takes Santa FeAugust 1846New MexicoMarching from Kansas to California, Stephen Kearny's 1700 men take key Mexican trading post.
Battle of San PascualDecember 1846San Diego, CaliforniaIn fierce fighting, Kearny's forces barely survive attack of Mexican lancers.
Battle of San GabrielJanuary 1847San Gabriel, CaliforniaCalifornio forces retreat as American forces cross San Gabriel River and take Los Angeles
Battle of Buena VistaFebruary 1847Central MexicoWith a much larger army (20,000 to Taylor's 5,000), Santa Anna is unable to defeat Taylor's American forces.
VeracruzMarch 1847East coast of MexicoWinfield Scott and 14,000 men capture port and begin following Cortez's route to Mexico City
Mexico CitySeptember 1847Central MexicoU.S. captures city. Santa Anna loses 4,000 of his 25,000-man army, while Scott loses 900 of his 10,000.
Treaty of Guadalupe HidalgoFebruary 2, 1848Central MexicoMexico gives up all claim to Texas. U.S. pays Mexico $15 million and agrees to assume American citizens' claims ($3,250,000) against Mexico. Expansionists call for "All Mexico." Senate passes treaty 38-14.

Results of Mexican-American War:

Please cite this source when appropriate:

Feldmeth, Greg D. "U.S. History Resources" (31 March 1998).

Back to Outlines & Charts Index

Back to U.S. History Resources main page.