Annexation of Texas – the Lone Star State
Texas “The Lone Star State” went through a lot before it became the gun-slinging, cowboy riding state that we know it to be today. In the 19th century Texas went through events that would inevitably lead to its annexation to The Union. Texas declaring itself independent from Mexico would cause conflict between the formerly united lands. The annexation of Texas would cause conflict between the North and the South. The North did not want Texas to be annexed in fears that this would bring a new slave state into the Union.
The annexation was widely debated throughout the government and took multiple presidential terms before the decision was made. In 1821 Mexico gained its independence from Spain. The Mexicans invited American settlers in 1822 to Texas in hopes that they would help to develop the new land. “In order to gain title to their free land and qualify for Mexican tax breaks, the settlers had to agree to speak Spanish, convert to Catholicism, and adhere to Mexican laws—which included the abolition of slavery” (A New Land 190). The American settlers did not abide to the rules set by the Spanish government.
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The kept their own language and their religion and they did not abolish slavery. The settlers needed the slaves to plant their cotton. By 1830 the settlers quadrupled the number of Mexicans living in Texas. Mexico began to get worried. More settlers were coming than what the Mexican government expected so they tried to stop the migration of settlers to Mexico. Mexico struggled with enforcing the stop of migration so they abolished slavery and enhanced their military presence in Texas (A New Land 190). The military presence in Texas enraged the settlers and they began to rebel against the Mexicans and their new laws.
The Texans now started to think about breaking free of Mexico and becoming independent. In 1836 Mexico had a new dictator, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, who marched 6000 Mexican soldiers into San Antonio, Texas where Texans were taking shelter at a former mission named The Alamo. A couple of weeks later volunteer Texans captured Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. “The Texans forced Santa Anna to grant independence, but the Mexican government later reneged, claiming that the act had been coerced” (Texas Annexation 996). Although Texas was now an independent county they were denied annexation by the Union.
There were three major reasons why the Union did not want to annex Texas. The three reasons were “annexation would upset the delicate balance of 13 slave states and 13 non-slave states currently making up the country. The United States, additionally, did not wish to further aggravate their political relationship with Mexico. Moreover, the common perception of U. S. citizens was that Texas’ population largely consisted of undesirables. And again, in 1838 Congress defeated a bill to annex Texas” (Texas Annexation 996). Annexing Texas did not have enough benefits at the time to be considered for annexation.
The north held much of the power in the Union at the time. Since Texas had not been annexed by the Union they had to find a way to stimulate economic growth. The first step would be to get more citizens so the new leader of Texas, President Sam Houston “encouraged immigration from the United states and Europe” (Texas Annexation 997). The settlers started to migrate rapidly on the promise of free land. “An agrarian slave-based cotton economy flourished on the fertile soils along the rivers” (997) and the economy started to bloom.
Slavery was frowned upon in the Union so many of “slavery based economies” (997) in the south of the Union were moving to Texas. France and Great Britain wanted to get involved with Texas and knew how much potential allying with Texas Held. France and Britain viewed Texas as their opportunity to stop The U. S. from expanding (997). “Politically savvy Texas diplomats also knew that their acceptance of British overtures would quickly catch the attention of the American government” (A New Land 191).
Texas knew that the U. S would want to step in because they did not want to put the expansion of the U. S. at harm. While Texas already included parts of present-day New Mexico, Colorado, and Arkansas, in 1842 the Texas congress voted to extend Texas’ boundaries all the way west to the Pacific Ocean to what was later California and some parts of northern Mexico” (Texas Annexation 997). When the U. S. heard of what Texas was planning the annexation became the number one topic of discussion in the U. S. government. The 1845 election was close and the annexation became an “election issue” (997). John Tyler (1841–1845) submitted a treaty of annexation to Congress. The proposal immediately became an 1844 presidential election issue.
An ardent proponent of annexation, James K. Polk (1845–1849) won the election, but before he could be inaugurated, Congress voted for annexation in 1845. Texas officially became part of the United States on December 29, 1845 (Texas Annexation 997). After all the years Texas had finally become a part of the expanding U. S. After Texas was annexed the U. S went to war with Mexico “the victorious United States came away with control of the American Southwest and California through the Treaty of Guadalupe in 1848” (Texas Annexation 997). The history of how Texas was annexed is unlike any other U.
S. state. There are so many events that contributed to its long process of annexation. After the settlers of Texas had enough of the Mexican laws they rebelled and broke apart from Mexico. On December 29, 1845 Texas was annexed and became the 28th state to join the Union. “Texas Annexation. ” Gale Encyclopedia of U. S. Economic History. Ed. Thomas Carson and Mary Bonk. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale, 2000. 996-997. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 1 May 2012. The article gives a brief history on the events leading up to the annexation. The article is a reliable source and up to date.
The information in the article was exactly what I needed for my research paper. Although the article was brief it covered all the areas I need to complete the paper. A New Land: Texas and Annexation. ” American Eras. Vol. 6: Westward Expansion, 1800-1860. Detroit: Gale, 1997. 189-192. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 9 May 2012 This article gives a more detailed look in to Texas on the years before and after the annexation. This article gave insight on the political side of the annexation as well. This article helped me to include some of the major details my paper lacked.