This Emmy Award-winning documentary from PBS explores the conflict that resulted in Mexico surrendering nearly half of its territory to the growing United States.
The War That Transformed a Continent--The U.S. Mexican War (1846-1848) tells the dramatic story of a war in which Mexico lost almost half of its national territory to the United States. This national Emmy Award-winning documentary series explores the events surrounding the conflict between two neighboring nations struggling for land, power and identity. Part One: In the 1820s, Mexico is suffering in the aftermath of a devastating war for independence from Spain. To the north, the United States is expanding its territory at a pace that alarms the Mexican government. Tensions mount when Texas breaks free from Mexico in 1836 and is later annexed by the United States. In 1846, U.S. and Mexican troops clash over a border dispute in Texas, and war explodes. President Polk orders the U.S. Army and Navy to conquer the Mexican territories of New Mexico and California. When Mexico refuses to surrender, Polk turns his attention to Mexico City. Part Two: Former Mexican President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna returns from exile to unite Mexico against the U.S. invasion. President Polk decides to open a second front against Mexico and strikes deep into Mexico’s heartland. Santa Anna is unable to turn back the invaders and a dramatic battle for Mexico City ends when the capital finally surrenders on September 14, 1847. A few months later, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is signed, ceding all of the states of th present American Southwest to the United States. This four-hour series, produced in English and Spanish, is a production of KERA-Dallas/Fort Worth.