Firstly, is the quotation, which I attribute to Polk, correct? I have been unable to verify it in the Wiki. And secondly, any thoughts on this conflict, which predates the Civil War but had many subsequent antagonists fighting on the same side.
See A Wicked War, by Amy S. Greenberg. She takes the title from Ulysses Grant, who fought in Mexico and called it "the wickedest war I ever saw." As presented by Greenberg, the war bears a strong resemblance to Iraq, with a president who was determined to have a war and lied the country into it. Mexico was apparently more than willing to sell the territory that we took.
Many Americans who fought were deeply affecte by the experience, and some even switched sides and fought for Mexico.
Ah, yes: the San Patricios, I had forgotten about them!
Al, I'm not so sure Mexico was "more than willing" to sell California, particularly the ports of Los Angeles and San Diego. The Spanish families who owned the land of SoCal were among the wealthiest, friends of the rulers. And a war was already in progress, the Californios trying to win their independence. As I remember my studies, U.S. General Fremont was invited into California to save the Californios from defeat. (That does sound familiar though, doesn't it -- being invited in by the current despot?)
Where's Zorro when you need him?
I should have made it clearer, Jack, that it was territory bordering on Texas.
Ha. I think that was my error, Al, except getting Gen. Fremont and the U.S. into California was probably the work of Stanford, Huntington, and Crocker, the big Californios who turned about a third of the new state (I'm exaggerating) into their private property. Excuse me if I was confused, thought you were talking about California. :)
I think Grant has a lot of nerve calling anything wicked.
But Grant hated the results of Cold Harbour, which did much to get him the reputation of being a "butcher".
A very political war. President James Polk thought it would secure him a second term (even though he promised not to run again). However, he feared Gen. Winfield Scott as a political opponent, so he sent Scott south to Mexico's east coast and held up supplies and reinforcements from going to him. Polk pushed everything to Gen. Zachary Taylor's force in the north of Mexico because Taylor supposely had no political ambitions.
Didn't work out the way Polk thought it would. Taylor's victory in the north of Mexico made him a national hero. As Scott was fighting his much bigger and more important campaign (marching on Mexico City), Taylor entered the race for president and eventually won. Polk ended up being forced to keep his promise to be a one term president.