Page:The Story of Mexico.djvu/339

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307
RUMORS OF WAR.

she was in perfectly good condition to resist an attack, and had the cause been a popular one, every State in the Union would have offered with alacrity volunteer troops for the field.

The correspondence between the two countries grew embittered, and as time went on more and more unfriendly. During the negotiation of the treaty for annexation, war was permitted to go on in Texas; the government of the United States protested. In the war of words which followed, the Mexicans made and unfortunately reiterated the declaration that they should consider the ratification of the treaty as equivalent to a declaration of war.

During this period of agitation and irritation, the Mexicans went on with "Plans" and pronunciamentos. Herrera was President during 1844, during which short period Congress decreed the destruction of Santa Anna. Farias returned to the Republic from a voluntary exile abroad. General Paredes on his way to the north with an army to check the approach of United States forces pronounced a revolution and "Plan" at San Luis, and returned to Mexico to enforce it. He was made President, and remained in office six months, giving way then to a pronunciamento against him which resulted in putting General Don Nicholas Bravo at the head of government.

In all this confusion, hurrying to and fro to find a government, there was no true leader of affairs to dictate wise and moderate steps in such an emergency. Santa Anna, the military genius of the country, was ready to serve it in his own way, by placing himself at the head of an army.