Page:The Story of Mexico.djvu/355

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On the 18th of February, 1847, General Winfield Scott presented himself before Vera Cruz with a formidable army of American troops. On the 22d Santa Anna lost the battle of Angostura, or Buena Vista as it is better known by Americans, and was forced to retire with his troops upon San Luis. On the 28th the American forces in the north met the Mexicans at Sacramento and beat them, soon after occupying the important town of Chihuahua. These events following close upon one another filled the Mexicans with alarm, but their determination held out, and all the opportunities for peace offered them by the American government were waived as an indignity to their national honor.

To raise money was the great difficulty. Calls were made upon the separate states and upon individuals. The government journals adopted the motto Ser o no ser ("to be or not to be," literally rendered), and were filled with articles urging the hearty support of the war. One plan for raising money was the sequestration of Church property.

As the various religious orders came over to New Spain from the old country they built churches,