- NBC News
- Event Date:
- Air/Publish Date:
- Resource Type:
- Video Mini-Documentary
- NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
- Copyright Date:
- Clip Length:
The Mexican-American War divided public opinion at first. Many accused President James Polk of provoking a war.
Mexican American War, James Polk, Telegraph, Abraham Lincoln, Whigs, Democrats, Mexico, Slavery, Zachary Taylor, Winfield Scott, U.S. Territory, Territorial Dispute, Sovereignty, Battle, War Reporting, Newspapers, Eric Foner, Columbia University
"Public Opinion of the Mexican-American War." NBC News. NBCUniversal Media. 27 July 2007. NBC Learn. Web. 11 March 2017.
(2007, July 27). Public Opinion of the Mexican-American War. [Television series episode]. NBC News. Retrieved from https://archives.nbclearn.com/portal/site/k-12/browse/?cuecard=456
CHICAGO MANUAL OF STYLE
"Public Opinion of the Mexican-American War" NBC News, New York, NY: NBC Universal, 07/27/2007. Accessed Sat Mar 11 2017 from NBC Learn: https://archives.nbclearn.com/portal/site/k-12/browse/?cuecard=456
Public opinion of the Mexican-American War
NARRATOR: The telegraph brought the front lines of the Mexican American War to the front pages of America’s newspapers and fueled public debate.
The mostly northern anti-slavery Whig Party, and Congressman Abraham Lincoln in particular, accused President James Polk of provoking the conflict by stationing American troops in Mexican territory to incite the Mexicans to fight.
The Whigs were also convinced that the war was a Southern plot.
Professor ERIC FONER (Columbia University): The Mexican War was not popular among certain people, especially in the north. They thought it was meant to expand the territory of slavery.
NARRATOR: For his part, President Polk steadfastly claimed that Mexican soldiers violated U.S. sovereignty by attacking U.S. troops on American soil.
In the end, the public embraced the war. Thrilled by sensationalized newspaper accounts of American victories, they created overnight heroes of commanding generals like Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott, who would both go on to run for president.