The Mexican-American War is "substantially underrated," says historian Peter Guardino.
After annexing Texas in 1845, the United States' pursuit of territorial expansion led a military campaign south to Mexico.
The conflict, which began in 1846 and ended by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, is also known under various other terms, including the "North American Intervention" – a more common distinction in Mexico.
"The United States would not be what it is, both good and bad, without this war having occurred," Guardino says, noting that most American history books tend to gloss over the conflict as a prelude to the Civil War.
How else could the Mexican-American War be interpreted? How was the land that is now Texas crucial to the conflict?
Guest: Peter Guardino, author of "The Dead March: A History of the Mexican-American War"