The Mexican-American War

Part 2: The Fighting Begins

Mexico was not at all happy about this, and they told the Americans so. Angry words were exchanged, and Mexico soon tired of words. Action was needed, according to Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, and action was taken.

The first major action was at the Alamo, a San Antonio-area fort controlled by Americans but desired by Mexicans. A total of 189 defenders, including such famous Americans as Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett, gave their lives in defense of the Alamo. But the fort was overrun and controlled by Mexico. This was in 1836.

In the same year, at Goliad, following the Battle of Coleto Creek, Mexican General Santa Anna ordered the massacre of 342 American prisoners.

The massacres at the Alamo and Goliad outraged many in America and many in Mexico.

American soldiers responded by fighting back. The result was the Battle of San Jacinto, in which a force of several hundred Americans defeated a much larger Mexican force. Half of the Mexican soldiers were killed, and most of the rest were taken prisoner.

The result was an American-controlled Texas, for the most part. Despite the troubles, Americans continued to move there. Tensions remained high, but fighting was at a minimum for several years.

Next page > Part 3: The Coming of War > Page 1, 2, 3, 4   

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Social Studies for Kids
copyright 2002–2019
David White