Brief Thoughts on the Mexican-American War and U.S. History

The Mexican-American War (April 25th, 1846-Feb. 2nd, 1848), provoked by U.S. troops on Mexican soil (now in Texas, if I read Howard Zinn correctly), was covered so briefly in my U.S. History classes, which I find both pathetic and appalling. What an enormous, awful mess, as all war is. It was just another example of an empire ruthlessly expanding on the backs of soldiers and innocent civilians, in this case Mexicans especially but also economically disenfranchised Americans (e.g., family members and friends of soldiers, themselves largely disenfranchised).

I humbly admit that, as a preteen and teenager, my interest in U.S. History was virtually nonexistent, sadly. I’m glad that has long since changed. The whitewashing and abridgement of whole chunks of America’s history, which appear to only be ratcheting up in several if not likely all– to varying degrees– state school systems, is deeply concerning. There are so many people who, like defiant children sticking their fingers in their ears and shouting and kicking at anyone sharing painful but relevant information, do not want our collective history known. Heaven forbid we actually learn from the past and grow from it.

2 thoughts on “Brief Thoughts on the Mexican-American War and U.S. History

  1. So true. Though Zinn’s work has its own issues, it played an important role in opening eyes and ears to history that was buried by the narrative of the dominant culture. WHY our education system (and culture generally) can’t seem to flex away from the rigidity of the “this” OR “that” dichotomous thinking model, I don’t know. I always enjoyed employing Gerry Graf’s model of Teaching the Conflicts (designed for college students but I adapted it), where you begin with seemingly unsolvable and/or sometimes hideous conflict and approach with open mind/curiosity etc. to engage in creative and collaborative processes of thinking. Rather amazing things in my classroom would happen. (But then word got out about the topics of discussion…OMG they were discussing the N wood in Huck Finn…and that was the end of that.) Most people are too afraid to have their structures of reality and beliefs challenged in any way, so those who do are silenced in one way or another. “Cancel Culture” has existed forever, on all facets of the political and sociology-economic spectra. It makes me laugh 😆 that people think it is a new thing suddenly. As if just because the media is proclaiming about it.

    Liked by 1 person

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