About the Project

A Continent Divided seeks to promote awareness of and scholarly activity in the U.S. - Mexico War. A joint project of the Center for Greater Southwestern Studies and the Library at the University of Texas at Arlington, the website was initiated in 2011 with a $10,000 start-up grant from UT Arlington's College of Liberal Arts. In 2012 the Center for Greater Southwestern Studies received a $30,000 grant from the Summerlee Foundation, Dallas, Texas, making it possible to add new content and an interactive timeline. In 2013 the Center received additional funding from the Office of the Provost, the Library, and the College of Liberal Arts to continue the project, developing the site as it exists today.

A Continent Divided is committed to digitizing primary source materials drawn from the UT-Arlington Library's Special Collections, long recognized as one of the premier repositories on the 1846-1848 conflict. Given the archive's strengths in U.S. and Mexican materials, UT Arlington is uniquely positioned to take on this project. Though fought entirely on soil claimed by Mexico, the war remains very much an American story for historians in the United States. This website, as its title suggests, seeks to address this imbalance, adopting a bi-national focus to examine the war as part of a larger and more integrated North American narrative.

Just as this project aims to bridge the histories of two very different nations, it also seeks to serve two separate audiences. Scholars actively engaged in research and teachers looking for ways to engage their students tend to approach the same subject in very different ways. It is hoped that this project will be of benefit to researchers by making available for the first time online one of the largest collections of primary source materials on the U.S. - Mexico War. At the same time, this website is also designed for teachers, by providing educational resources that can be used in the classroom. Ultimately, the goal of A Continent Divided is to promote interest at every level in the issues that confronted the two North American republics as they struggled to define themselves during their early national periods.

New archival materials, as well as biographies and essays, will be added to the site on a regular basis. In addition, future elements will include:

  • Lesson Plans for K-12 educators
  • A GIS (Geographic Information Systems) component, which will enable scholars and students to gather and analyze geographic patterns and data related to the war.
  • Recorded iterations of popular music

Center for Greater Southwestern StudiesUniversity of Texas at Arlington Library
College of Liberal ArtsSummerlee Foundation