Although the Herrera regime had severed diplomatic relations with the United States in the spring of 1845 as a result of Washington’s offer to annex Texas, by the fall of 1845 the Mexican government was seeking a face-saving alternative. Privately, Herrera sought to open a dialogue with Washington, in the hopes of negotiating a settlement that would include compensation for the loss of its former province. The Polk administration promptly dispatched a diplomat, John Slidell, to Mexico City to initiate negotiations. However, it had already sent an army under Zachary Taylor to the south Texas frontier, inflaming Mexican public opinion. As a result, the Herrera regime declined to accept Slidell’s diplomatic credentials when he arrived in the nation’s capital in December. Herrera was soon overthrown by conservatives led by General Manuel Paredes y Arillaga, whose government also refused to accept Slidell’s diplomatic credentials. In March Slidell returned to the United States, all hope of a constructive dialogue between the two countries having come to an end. (For more information, see “John Slidell”).

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