Stealing California

President James K. Polk (1795 –1849) ordered the US Army at Corpus Christi, Texas, to advance to the Rio Grande in Mexican territory on January 13, 1846.  Commanding General Zachary Taylor advanced with about half of the US land Army.  Polk’s objective was to deliberately provoke Mexico into war, since the Mexican government had refused to sell their republic’s legitimately owned lands in California and Texas.   Polk and Taylor knew that their powerful military forces could overpower the Mexicans, and thus the provocation was a strategic tactic to forcibly seize the land that the Mexicans did not wish to sell them.