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36: Mexican-American War (Part 4): Los Niños Héroes, St. Patrick’s Battalion, & the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

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This is the story of the Mexican-American War’s end and the making of Mexican heros. Winfield Scott is closing in on Mexico City. Battles rage as Mexican troops defend, but General Scott can’t be stopped. American troops even snag one of Santa Anna’s spare prosthetic legs! But sometimes loss can be the breeding ground of heros, and that’s just what happens as US forces close in on Mexico’s capital. Six teenage Mexican cadets--one of whom is only 13-years-old--fight to the death. Meanwhile, Catholic US troops who’ve defected to the Mexican side in response to American anti-Catholicism are caught by the US army and mostly hung to death. Los Niños Héroes and the San Patricios might not make it out of this war alive, but they’ll live forever in the memory of Mexico. And what does the war’s end mean? Should the US annex the parts of Mexico it claimed belonged to Texas, or should it take more? Perhaps all of Mexico? As this is being debated in the US, particularly in the Senate, the question of what it means to be “American” rests at the heart of what will and won’t be taken. As President Polk leans toward “all of Mexico,” an upstart Congressman named Abe Lincoln questions the premise of the war, and Nicholas Trist negotiates a treaty in defiance of the President--this won’t be pretty.