Date of Award

Spring 2008

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Master of Arts

First Advisor

Cynthia J Van Zandt


This study contributes to the historiography of the "all Mexico" movement by showing that America's ability to annex its southern neighbor was never a part of the all Mexico debate. The thesis argues that common American perceptions of the United States and Mexico during the Mexican-American War undermined any grounds on which to challenge the achievability of annexation. Chapter I shows that no politician, regardless of his stance on the value of absorbing Mexico, questioned the feasibility of doing so. Chapter II then demonstrates that portrayals of the United States and Mexico in American newspapers supported confidence in the American ability to dominate its enemy. Finally, chapter III reveals that even American soldiers who came face to face with the realities of the occupation held similar perceptions and shared the common confidence in American capability.