Just War Theory Essay

1349 Words 6 Pages
Wars in the United States have been fought over a variety of issues such as territory, resources, or political freedom. A key component of war is why and how the war began . Although ideally war should be avoided and compromise and negotiation should be the focus, wars still occur for a variety of reasons. When war does occur there are conditions outlined in the “Just War Theory” that determine whether the war is just or unjust. In United States history, the Mexican-American War and the Spanish-American War violated the “Just War Theory.” The Mexican-American War is thus more unjust because of the violation of the just war theory, United States ' greed for land expansion in the belief of Manifest Destiny, and power disparity.
Just War Theory
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There were border disputes over the Texas-Mexican border. President Polk instead of compromise over the disputes decided that the war would allow him to get not only Texas, but also the land of New Mexico and California. Polk had John Slidell go to Mexico to purchase California and New Mexico. When the Mexican authorities refused to see Slidell, Polk used this as his means to resort to military action and unify Americans behind the war. This was unjust because the offer that Polk made to the Mexicans was seen as an insult. Next, Polk had Zachary Taylor block the Rio Grande and the river. The Mexicans saw this as a violation of their rights. Polk did not make every attempt to avoid war. The conflict was lasting, grave and certain because Polk was seeking revenge on Mexico since the Alamo. The continual disputes over border boundaries flared greater after the Texas Revolution. Thus, Polk violated the Just War Theory by not attempting to avoid war and not trying to compromise, but instead he sought revenge on Mexico, provoked the war and violated the Mexican’s right to their …show more content…
First, despite pressure from the immigrants of Cuba, American did not intervene. McKinley protested Spain’s tactics on Cuba, but did not go to war. After the sinking of the Maine and the Dupuy de lome insulting the President, McKinley still did not attempt to go to war. In another attempt to avoid war, McKinley asked Spain for an armistice and a peace agreement. When Spain refused the treaty it meant they wanted war. However, Spain was not weak, and they suppressed the revolts of Cuba for thirty years. Thus, McKinley made many efforts to follow the Just War Theory by avoiding war with Spain as long as it was

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