"Just as people in the US fought for Independence from England, Mexicans started their war for independence from Spain in 1810 and achieved it in 1821.
After independence, the formerly Spanish territories were under Mexican control. Mexico forbid Anglo immigration.
Whites consistently broke Mexican law when they illegally invaded California and the Southwest.
In Texas, the Mexican government had given permission for some whites to emigrate. But thousands more Anglo immigrants, or criminals, arrived illegally.
Prior to 1823, there were less than three thousand white people in Texas. At that time, the Mexican government had given Stephen Austin permission to live there along with a few hundred other Gringos, with the condition that they would become Mexican citizens, they would speak Spanish, and they would pledge allegiance to the Mexican government. But white colonists began to enter the territory illegally and brought their slaves with them. Within a decade, whites outnumbered the Hispanic inhabitants. Gringos were interested in the rich agricultural lands of the Texan territory. These were the illegal aliens of their day, see Patricia Nelson Limerick, The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West. By 1830, whites outnumbered Mexicans 25,000 to 4,000.
In 1835 Sam Houston, who had illegally crossed into Texas, argued against mixing with the Mexicans, “no matter how long we may live among them.” See Houston speech to Soldiers, January 15, 1836, in the Papers of the Texas Revolution, 1835-1836, gen. Ed. John J. Jenkins, 4:30. The Gringos eventually overwhelmed the original inhabitants of the territory and began to impose the English language on them.
According to Mexican Lieutenant Jose Maria Sanchez, the foreign intruders “have taken possession of practically all the eastern part of Texas, in most cases without the permission of the authorities. They immigrate constantly, finding no one to prevent them, and take possession of the sitio (location) that best suits them without either asking leave or going through any formality other than that of building their homes.”
During the Battle of the Alamo, the defenders were fighting for slavery, which Mexico had abolished in Texas in 1829. After the defeats at the Alamo and Goliad, on April 21, 1836, Sam Houston’s army of less than 800 men defeated Santa Anna's army as it camped out on the San Jacinto River, east of present-day Houston. The next day, Houston's army captured Santa Anna himself and forced him to sign a treaty granting Texas its independence, a treaty that was never ratified by the Mexican government because it was acquired under duress.
Soon after, these Anglo aliens usurped Mexicans’ land. They began to dishonor Mexican land claims. They passed new laws in English, a foreign language for those Mexicans whose border had moved. Often Mexican land was auctioned off for pennies an acre for failure to pay taxes. Mexicans were commonly lynched and whole communities were driven out of Texas towns.
Gringos carried out raids in which they murdered Mexicans and forcibly took their land and stocks. Historian A.B.J. Hammet states that Mexican families were “driven from their homes, their cattle and horse and their lands, by an army of reckless, war-crazy people.” In 1839 over a hundred Mexican families were forced to abandon their houses in the town of Nacogdoches by invading Gringos. The mayor of San Antonio in 1840, Juan Seguin, states in his “Personal Memoirs of John N. Seguin”, how Mexicans came to him repeatedly from protection of the invading whites. Eventually, he had to flee to Mexico because of personal threats against him.
Anglo outlaws raided Mexican ranches, killing the inhabitants, burning homes and stores. Mexican livestock was declared public property and the invaders forcefully took Mexicans’ property and their land. Mexicans were driven out of Austin in 1853 and again in 1855. They were expelled from Seguin in 1854, from Matagorda and Colorado Counties in 1856, and from Uvalde in 1857.
Rancher Faustino Morales recalls that how the Gringos “came in and drove the Mexicans out and took over their ranches.” See Frank H. Dugan, “The 1850 Affairs of the Brownsfield Separatists”. Southwestern Historical Quarterly 61,no.2.
Years later, whites would also use the Texas Rangers to officially carry out their deeds. “Texas Rangers, in cooperation with land speculators, came into small Mexican villages in the border country, massacred hundreds of unarmed, peaceful Mexicans villagers and seized their lands. See “The Mexican Question in the Southwest, “ Political Affairs March 1939.
Most of the illegal aliens were land speculators and criminals. William Barret Travis had escaped to Mexican territory after he had killed a man. Jim Bowie was a slave trader who had gone into Texas hoping to make some business; Sam Houston and Davy Crockett had participated in the massacre of the Creeks at Horseshoe Bend.
Abb Emanuel Domenech, a religious missionary in Southern Texas, states in “Missionary Adventures in Texas and Mexico” that “The American of the Texan frontiers are, for the most part, the very scum of society-bankrupts, escaped criminals, old volunteers, who after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, came into a country protected by nothing that could be called a judicial authority, to seek adventure and illicit gains.”
The Anglo invasion of Mexican territory was not confined to Texas. They arrived in droves and illegally occupied great parts of the Southwest and California.
California Governor Pio Pico warned of how “we find ourselves threatened by hordes of Yankee immigrants who have already begun to flock into our country and whose progress we cannot arrest.”
By the late 1800’s, Anglos had acquired four fifths of the Mexican land grants. See A History of Multicultural America, by Ronald Takaki. Six years after Texas independence, 1.3 million acres had been seized by 13 anglos. David Montejano, Anglos and Mexicans in the Making of Texas.
Believing in its racist ideology to wipe out other races by killing Indians and stretching to the Pacific Ocean, the United States had previously offered to purchase the Mexican territories of California, New Mexico, and Arizona for $15 milion. Mexico had indignantly refused the offer. Just as George Bush used the pretext of Weapons of Mass Destruction to attack Irak, US President James Polk then instigated war against Mexico in 1846 in hopes of acquiring Mexican territory. Most historians agree that this war was unjustified. Opponents of the war included Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Clay, Mark Twain and Daniel Webster.
One of the most interesting episodes of the Mexican War surrounded the St. Patrick's Battalion. Among the American troops was a contingent of Irish-born soldiers. After the war commenced, 200 of these soldiers concluded that they were fighting on the wrong side. They didn't like the fact that the United States was using its overwhelming might to invade and conquer a much weaker nation. They deserted the American army and began fighting for the Mexican army.
When U.S. Gen. Winfield Scott and his troops reached Mexico City, after invading at Veracruz, they captured the St. Patrick soldiers and hanged 50 of them.
The Mexican War ended with the surrender of Mexico and with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848. With this treaty, Mexico lost one-half of its territory. The United States ended up paying what it had previously offered Mexico - $15 million.
But this illegal and unjust war cannot be justified, just as I cannot go into your home, put a gun to your head, force you to sell me your house for $5, and then pretend that this transaction was just or legal."