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The Mexican-American War

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the 1846-48 American war against Mexico, in which America won over a million square kilometres of Mexican territory, including California.

Melvyn and guests discuss the 1846-48 conflict after which the United States of Mexico lost half its territory to the United States of America. The US gained land covered by the states of Texas, Utah, California, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona and part of Colorado. The outcome had a profound impact on Native Americans and led to civil war in defeated Mexico. It also raised the question of whether slavery would be legal in this acquired territory - something that would only be resolved in the US Civil War, which this victory hastened.


Frank Cogliano
Professor of American History at the University of Edinburgh

Jacqueline Fear-Segal
Professor of American and Indigenous Histories at the University of East Anglia


Thomas Rath
Lecturer in Latin American History at University College London

Producer: Simon Tillotson.

Available now

43 minutes

Last on

Thu 28 Jun 2018 21:30


Frank Cogliano at the University of Edinburgh

Jacqueline Fear-Segal at the University of East Anglia

Thomas Rath at University College London

Mexican-American War - Wikipedia



James E. Crisp, Sleuthing the Alamo (Oxford University Press, 2004)

Brian DeLay, War of a Thousand Deserts: Indian Raids and the U.S.-Mexican War (Yale University Press, 2009)

Will Fowler, Santa Anna of Mexico (University of Nebraska Press, 2008)

Amy Greenberg, A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico (Vintage, 2013)

Peter Guardino, The Dead March: A History of the Mexican-American War (Harvard University Press, 2017)

S. C. Gwynne, Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History (Constable, 2011)

Pekka Hämäläinen, The Comanche Empire: A Study of Indigenous Power, 1700-1875 (Yale University Press, 2009)

Daniel Walker Howe, What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 (Oxford University Press, 2009)

Robert W. Merry, A Country of Vast Designs: James K. Polk, the Mexican War and the Conquest of the American Continent (Simon & Schuster, 2010)

Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience (first published in 1849 as Resistance to Civil Government; CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014)



Role Contributor
Presenter Melvyn Bragg
Interviewed Guest Frank Cogliano
Interviewed Guest Jacqueline Fear-Segal
Interviewed Guest Thomas Rath
Producer Simon Tillotson


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