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A Morality Ranking of the US Presidents

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12 hours ago, Patine said:

Santa Anna was not as solidly an absolute, iron-gripped, popular dictator as American history seems to make him out to be. He still Constitutionally required the approval of the Mexican Congress to enact laws and ratify treaties. While he did indeed stack the Mexican Congress through heavy-handed means with his supporters, they still, despite that fact (and much to Santa Anna's surprise and rage) made a legislative revolt and REFUSED to ratify the Treaty of Velasco, which he only signed (and the Mexican lawmakers were well aware of this fact) as a condition of being released from being a POW of the Texan Republican Militia. Thus, though usually running the country as a corrupt despot, the underhanded and strong-armed method he relied on to get his desires through the Mexican Congress failed, and thus the treaty, by Mexican Constitutional law, was killed, and the independence of Texas was not formally or legally recognized by Mexico.

Just because it was not recognized by the Mexicans doesn't mean that Texas wasn't independent.  They had fought hard and won despite all odds.  The US, France, and eventually Great Britain recognized Texas as an independent country.

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8 hours ago, vcczar said:

Your analogies you mentions at the bottom of this message don't apply to the Texas Mexico situation. As @Patine stated, Santa Ana was not an absolute dictator, he still had to work with his congress. On top of this, he wasn't truly a dictator until the 1840s, which was after the Treaty of 1836, which aimed to settle boundaries between the Republic of Texas and Mexico. The area was legally a no-man's land. I looked more into this, and part of this dispute rested on that the Mexican government kicked Santa Ana out of office prior to his signing the Treaty of Velasco. Since there was a new government, Mexico didn't recognize the 1836 treaty since their legal head of state didn't sign it. Part of that treaty also stipulated that Santa Ana would be transported safely to Mexico, but the Americans kept him captive once they learned he wasn't the head of state anymore. 

So the clear fact is that it was clearly disputed land. Texas had a claim to it, but it wasn't yet legal to make it valid. The US would have inherited that same claim. Mexico probably had a slightly stronger claim since Texas had to extend its border through the treaty, which proved to be invalid. Additionally, the fact that America kept trying to purchase the land after 1836 also shows that the US didn't legally own it, and it sort of implies that Mexico still did. I'd really like to read more about this. 

All I'm trying to say is that it wasn't as clear cut, and the blame wasn't solely on the Mexicans. It was a muddy situation and Polk took the most aggressive stance. a Warhawk would find his method favorable, and someone that isn't, wouldn't. I think both Americans and Mexicans sincerely believed the land was theirs. The best method would have been to have let the citizens of that territory vote on their status, but I doubt anyone thought of doing that. I'm not sure what the demographic was, but it was probably mostly Mexicans rather than American settlers. I think if Polk had been the Mexican president, he would have also have refused to sell the territory, and I think he would have also fired on US troops occupying that territory.  

I was born, raised and I live in Texas (about 15 min from the capital building). They have a lot of Texas history resources there that I've looked through. I'm going to head there again when I have more time. 

Well, I agree that it cannot totally put on the Mexicans, most of the blame goes there.  Polk didn't have to put troops in that area and probably knew it would start some sort of conflict.  So, Polk is somewhat responsible for the war.

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