This year marks the 175th anniversary of the Mexican-American War, which lasted from May 13, 1846, when the United States officially declared war on Mexico, until February 2, 1848, when a treaty was signed ending the war. Mexico declared war on the United States on July 7, 1846.

The quiz below, from the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University, Ashland, Ohio, provides an opportunity for you to test your knowledge of the war, which was highly controversial at the time.


1. Who was president of the United States during the Mexican-American War?

A. William Henry Harrison

B. John Tyler

C. James Polk

D. Zachary Taylor


2. What was the primary cause of the war?

A. Incursions by Mexican bandits into U.S. territory

B. Mexico’s snub of a U.S. diplomat sent to cool tensions between the countries

C. The U.S. annexation of Texas and a dispute over the location of the Texas-Mexico border

D. All of the above


3. What was the term used to describe the belief that the United States’ continued expansion westward to the Pacific Ocean was inevitable, which included the territory disputed in the Mexican-American War?

A. Manifest Destiny

B. Land Rush

C. Trail of Tears

D. Western Annexation


4. Which of the following are true about Texas and the Mexican-American War?

A. Texas had been an independent republic for more than a decade when the war began

B. The border between Mexico and Texas was set at the end of the war

C. Texas had already expressed a desire to join the United States and the admission process had begun at the time of the war

D. All of the above


5. Which well-known essayist protested the Mexican-American War by refusing to pay stamp taxes?

A. James Fenimore Cooper

B. Henry David Thoreau

C. Washington Irving

D. Louisa May Alcott


6. Which future president opposed the Mexican-American War, saying it was “unnecessarily and unconstitutionally commenced”?

A. Franklin Pierce

B. Andrew Johnson

C. Abraham Lincoln

D. Ulysses S. Grant


7. Which type of warfare was first used on a large scale during the Mexican-American War?

A. Amphibious assault

B. Trench warfare

C. Ambushes

D. Scorched earth campaign


8. What is the name of the treaty that ended the Mexican-American War?

A. Treaty of Tlatelolco

B. Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

C. Treaty of Paris

D. Anderson-Gual Treaty


9. Which territories became part of the United States at the end of the Mexican-American War?

A. Arizona, California, Nevada, and New Mexico

B. California, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah

C. Colorado, Nevada, Texas, and Utah

D. California, Nevada, Texas, and Utah


10. After the war ended, which future president called the Mexican-American War “one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation”?

A. Andrew Johnson

B. Abraham Lincoln

C. Ulysses S. Grant

D. Rutherford B. Hayes


ANSWERS: 1-C, 2-C, 3-A, 4-D, 5-B, 6-C, 7-A, 8-B, 9-D, 10-C