Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott directed the campaign on Mexico City, which had provided the U.S. Army and the military powers worldwide with several insightful lessons. In terms of the main characteristics of the Mexico City occupation, the main issue Americans had to face was the fact they needed to find a perfect balance of how many people and what provisions they required exactly. If they advanced into Mexico City with a couple of hundreds of men, it was evident they would be easily overpowered. The primary lesson from the occupation is that a military leader does indeed have to develop a systematic appreciation of the adversary. Scott’s basic understanding of the multi-ethnic, politically-constrained factors affecting Mexico was of immense assistance when planning the occupation.
The Mexican War has undoubtedly altered the course of American history in the most peculiar of ways. After all, only a few could imagine even the possibility of the United States winning battles against Mexico, a country with a lot more manpower and various other military advantages. In regards to the consequences following the events of 1846-1848 in terms of Manifest Destiny, Mexico had lost a major part of its lands, including the territory stretching from California to Texas (Clark Cunningham, 2021). This fulfilled the Manifest Destiny of the United States, which proclaimed the nation would encompass lands from the Pacific to the Atlantic. Surely, the War took a huge toll on the Native American population. Native Americans who were considered rightful citizens of Mexico would have to face discrimination and no rights of even possibly acquiring citizenship until the 20th century.
The Mexican War was unethical and extremely unfair. While the conflict had not led to many deaths, the War could still be largely considered proportional employment of force by a stronger nation to abuse a weaker nation. The just war theory does not justify American expansion to the West. There had been no just cause for such military operations. Furthermore, it was always rather evident and obvious the potential counter capabilities of Mexico were non-threatening to the prosperity of the U.S.
The Mexican American War provided several invaluable lessons for the American military and beyond. Firstly, the commanders now understood the key to facing a numerically superior enemy lies in logistical planning and efficient leadership. Secondly, the U.S. government learned how to mitigate other potential conflicts through diplomatic engagements, while focusing the military on one main conflict. Thirdly, the U.S. military learned that the objectives of the war might inevitably change, which would require an altering, adaptive war strategy.
Clark Cunningham, S. (2021). Manifest destiny, American exceptionalism, and the city on a hill seen through Winthrop, O’Sullivan, and Bush: Opportunities for religious peacebuilding. Sociology Compass.