In November 1845, President James K. Polk dispatched congressman John Slidell to Mexico City to negotiate with the Mexican government over the southern boundary of Texas four months after Congress admitted Texas as the twenty-eight state. Although Mexican officials refused to meet with Slidell, the controversy over the international boundary continued to be a point of contention for the next six months until the start of the Mexican-American War. The debate about the international boundary between the US and Mexico, and the role that played in the war, is the topic of this assignment.


For this assignment you will use (pay special attention to "Section IV: Texas, Mexico, and the United States") and the maps embedded below to create a 2-minute speech and PowerPoint slideshow highlighting your main points, then record a video of you delivering the presentation.

1. First, write a script for your speech. A 2-minute presentation is the equivalent of text comprising approximately 250-300 words, double-spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman or similar font.

2. Second, build a 3-5 slide presentation that clearly articulates the case for your position. You may write in character as a person from the 19th century, but this is not required See the page and the for help with structuring and designing your presentation. When creating your slideshow, pay close attention to the proper layout of each slide—balancing text with visual images from the maps—as well as creating slides for an introduction, conclusion, and Works Cited.

3. Click on the links/maps below. Either download the maps themselves or take screenshots of the maps (or parts of maps) that are relevant to your argument. Be sure to incorporate at least THREE of the maps listed below in your presentation to better illustrate your point.

4. Using the written script you create, practice presenting and explaining this information, then record a video of your presentation.

5. Upload 2 things for your assignment:

a. Your video

b. A copy of your PowerPoint slides in the assignment box.


· White, Gallaher & White,




· Mitchell/Young,


Based on the list below (the first letter of your last name), adopt the correct perspective for your presentation:

· Students whose last names begin with A-M will adopt the persona of a US representative who supports the Rio Grande River boundary.

· Students whose last names begin with N-Z will play the role of a Mexican government official who believes the boundary should be the Nueces River.

When writing your speech keep the following things in mind:

· Effective map analysis involves understanding what you are looking at. One effective way to do this is to locate key features (cities, rivers, mountain ranges, etc.) to better understand what the maps are telling you. For example: since the war between the US and Mexico started over a dispute between the southern boundary of Texas, you’ll need to locate the two rivers in question—the Nueces River and the Rio Grand River (also referred to as Rio del Norte or Rio Bravo)—and trace their extent to see how establishing one or the other as the international boundary would affect the size of the territory claimed by each country.

· When giving your speech, be sure to make specific references to the map images you used on your slides.

· When determining the points you want to make in your speech, consider things like:

· What advantages was your character’s side trying to achieve by claiming that boundary?

· What historical claims were used to justify one boundary versus the other?

· How do land claims of Native Americans factor into this debate?

· If your side wins the dispute, what does your country plan to do with that territory?