From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Manifest Destiny & Mexican-American War

Manifest Destiny & Mexican-American War

Ulysses S. Grant in Manifest Destiny & Mexican-American War

Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) served as commander in chief of the Union army during the Civil War, leading the North to victory over the Confederacy. Grant later became the eighteenth President of the United States, serving from 1869-77. After fighting in the Mexican-American War, Grant left the army, only to rejoin at the outbreak of the Civil War. His victories at Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, Vicksburg and Chattanooga convinced Lincoln to promote him to head all Union armies. After a bloody campaign in Virginia, Grant accepted Confederate General Robert E. Lee's surrender on 9 April 1865. Grant's subsequent presidency was mired in corruption, and he became caught up in several political scandals.

At the time of the Mexican-American War, Grant was just a junior officer. Years later, he reflected back on the war as "one of the most unjust...ever waged by a stronger nation against a weaker nation," an act more reminiscent of "European monarchies" than a democratic republic. Grant served in one of the two infantry regiments removed to the western border of Louisiana in May 1844. He wrote that though they were never explicitly told so, they all knew that they were there because of the "prospective annexation of Texas." Technically, the forces were "to prevent filibustering (an armed expedition of Americans) into Texas," but Grant thought it was "really as a menace to Mexico in case she appeared to contemplate war." Although Grant claimed that the other officers "were indifferent whether the annexation was consummated or not," Grant himself "was bitterly opposed to the measure."

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...