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A Hercules in the CradleWar, Money, and the American State, 1783-1867$
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Max M. Edling

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226181578

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226181608.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 18 October 2021

The Two Most Powerful Republics in the World: Mr. Polk’s War

The Two Most Powerful Republics in the World: Mr. Polk’s War

(p.145) Chapter Five The Two Most Powerful Republics in the World: Mr. Polk’s War
A Hercules in the Cradle

Max M. Edling

University of Chicago Press

In contrast to its previous international war, the War of 1812 (ch. 4), the United States found the financing of the Mexican War largely unproblematic. Secretary of the Treasury Robert J. Walker sold long-term war bonds to investment bankers led by the firm of Corcoran & Riggs. Chapter five contrasts the financing of the war by the United States, on the one hand, and Mexico, on the other, to highlight the importance of well-ordered public finances to a government’s ability to protect the nation’s territorial integrity and promote its interests. As a result of its weakness, the Mexican republic was forced to give up half its national domain to its stronger northern neighbor. Despite its lack of drama, the financing of the Mexican War was important to the United States in demonstrating that the federal government possessed the means to wage an international war of conquest.

Keywords:   federal government, Mexican War, Mexico, Robert J. Walker, United States, war bonds

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