AHC: Mexico defeats the USA

Try and find a way for Mexico, from the date of independence in 1821 to date of the Mexican-American war in 1846, to win against the USA and become a stronger power than it is today. Try not to do actions that would only make sense in hindsight(like insider trading but for history), but choices that benefit only in the long run are perfectly fine.
 
No other way than to make Mexico much stronger at the time war erupts.

OTL, the imbalance between Mexico and the US was too deep for Mexico to have any chance defeating the US.

Or you need the US to crumble in civil war 20 years earlier than OTL.
 
Or.........France never recognizes Mexico in 1830. The republic is still a "rogue state" according to France and Spain (who also delay the establishing of diplomatic relations) in 1837 when the Pastry war comes around. France and Spain go full on intervention as per 1861 to establish a friendly Monarchy associated with the Spanish Bourbons (because the Carlist War doesn't happen as Carlos accepted the British pension). No return of Santa Anna. Carlos at the head of a Franco-Spanish force sets himself up as Emperor of Mexico.

The additional forces left to him by France and Spain are enough to repress any republican sentiment. Policy towards Texas becomes one of maintaining it as a buffer state (pretty much as OTL) but annexation of Texas is trigger for war.

Polk hasn't done the deal with the UK over Oregon so US forces are split.

Trouble with this scenario is that even if the stronger Mexican Empire wins round one,. the USA will come back again and again in later years, civil war or no civil war.
 
1821 is to late a point-of-divergence; decisive British victories in the War of 1812 prolong it as the Liverpool Ministry is less inclined to offer lenient terms, and as such the Hartford Convention doesn't end up presenting New England's demands right after the war ended with an American "victory". The war drags on till 1816, when a war weary populace elects Federalist Rufus King. The peace treaty sets the new American-Canadian border at the 42nd parallel west of Lake Michigan.

The US public no longer supports war as a tool to pursue the "manifest destiny" of westwards expansion, and the northern based Federalists dominate US politics till a civil war over slavery erupts rather than the southern based Democrats.
 
1821 is to late a point-of-divergence; decisive British victories in the War of 1812 prolong it as the Liverpool Ministry is less inclined to offer lenient terms, and as such the Hartford Convention doesn't end up presenting New England's demands right after the war ended with an American "victory".

Or, alternatively, the War of 1812 ends as OTL, but there's a later war between the US and the UK over the Oregon Country or the border of Maine. The US gets clobbered, there are internal divisions, and a weakened US is unable to bring as much force to bear against Mexico.

Another possibility is that a far less competent general than Winfield Scott is placed in command of the invasion of central Mexico. Scott's army was outnumbered and, for a while, cut off from Veracruz. If this scenario is combined with competent Mexican leadership, the US army could have suffered defeat.
 
I think the fact that the war was completely one sided is impressing other commentators too much. Many people at the time thought Mexico would win. Reading accounts of the war, it seems to have been the case of the American officers being super-competent across the board and the senior Mexican officers being really incompetent.

You could probably do alot just by killing Santa Anna early in his career. Maybe you could avoid the murder of Vincente Guerrero. Try to get someone into the Zocalo who is competent and makes sure the Mexican army is well organized and staffed, and keep him there.

One problem with taking the Mexico wank to the problem is that you probably butterfly Texas breaking off. If you do a USA screw approach, there is a good chance you have already broken up the USA or the leaders of the Texan republic are not interested in joining it. To over-generalize, the Americans saw that Mexico was a mess and decided to move in and take advantage. It should be possible to adjust things slightly on both ends so that the Americans still move in, but get more than what they bargained for.
 

Skallagrim

Banned
You could probably do alot just by killing Santa Anna early in his career. Maybe you could avoid the murder of Vincente Guerrero. Try to get someone into the Zocalo who is competent and makes sure the Mexican army is well organized and staffed, and keep him there.

Better yet: have Iturbide die right after independence. Guerrero gets to be the first president of Mexico, and becomes the Washington of his country, so to speak. Without the whole monarchy debacle, I don't see things going wrong between Guerrero and Guadalupe Victoria. They can probably get the country well in order, and may be able to prevent the secession of peripheral regions in Meso-America. This would demand that they grant a lot of local autonomy, which is a good thing-- because without it, you won't keep a very large pre-industrial country together anyway. Such a policy might also prevent later OTL problems with local uprisings (Yucatan, Rio Bravo, etc.)

...and yes, as you say: it would in all likelihood also prevent Texan independence, which was a direct response to centralising legislation introduced in Mexico in (I seem to recall) 1835.

Of course, even if we go with the above scenario, and assume that it yields a stable, propering Mexico, the far north is still going to be a rather undeveloped and under-populated region. And Americans will still be moving west, in an area where national borders mostly exist in theory alone. A Texan attempt at independence may just come later than in OTL, just as the USA is pushing Mexico to sell California (as it did in OTL). This stronger Mexico will be even less inclined to agree to such proposals. As a result, we may see a USA-backed Texan secession, co-inciding with an American attempt to seize California-- and roughly at the same time that the Mexican-American War occurred in OTL.

A stronger, larger, richer, better prepared Mexico might just succeed in kicking out the invaders, thus proving its mettle to the world. I do suspect if demographics in texas go roughly as in OTL, a rump-Texas will be recognised as independent by Mexico... if only to keep those damned unruly insurgents out of the country! Such a Texas would be forced into a more definitive treaty than in OTL. That is, no more excessive claims: Texas gets its independence, within defined borders, and has to accept those borders for good. After giving the USA a beating, Mexico can probably get Britain and/or France to act as guarantors for the final treaty.
 
No other way than to make Mexico much stronger at the time war erupts.

OTL, the imbalance between Mexico and the US was too deep for Mexico to have any chance defeating the US.

Or you need the US to crumble in civil war 20 years earlier than OTL.

Did you forget the Americans sent in a half-assed assembled army that was outnumbered three to one? Granted, they were facing general badtaktiks so it worked. A competent Mexican Tactician might be able to salvage the Mexican Empire (or whatever it is at this point) since the Americans in Washington didn't understand the concept of force concentration (I don't know if the field commanders did, if they did they knew one defeat would lose the whole Campaign)
 
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