Mexico and Texas
The President on the issue of Texas has a few options on the table. It is important to note that those options have their own repercussions in that they are likely to throw the region into a boundary conflict or go contrary to the manifest destiny, a belief that most in the United States have been drawn into. Manifest destiny is an informed belief that the United States will and should expand its territory to the Pacific Ocean (O’Sullivan 328).
The president can fail to initiate the annexation and consolidate the support of the Whigs, majority of who feel that the annexation is unnecessary. This reasoning is based on the imbalance that will consequently occur between the North and the South and the imminent war with Mexico
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Mexico gained independent in 1821 from Spain, its territory then comprising of three provinces of which Texas is the core. The newly created Mexican government has overtime being embroiled in a financial crisis that in the early twenties would lead to the government granting leeway to Americans to settle in Texas. The settlement that would follow after this was more than the government had anticipated and the region was suddenly growing with American settlers. This is what would draw the American government interest towards the acquisition of Texas, an interest that has been opposed by the successive regimes (Norman 33).
Another important point to note in this conflict is the willingness of Texans to join the union. The Mexican government has left Texas under the command of outlaws masquerading as soldiers; this has exacerbated the resentment that exists between the government and the Texans. The many years that these citizens have spent in America have made them to be accustomed to the idea of having own rights, these rights are scarce or non altogether in Mexico. One discord that has been noted by Texans is the lack of freedom of worship especially in the imposition of Catholicism. Farmers also want to sell their product to the world without having to satiate the local demand in the understanding that it is more profitable selling cotton across Europe than locally in Mexico (Matthew and Garrity 43).
Texans have also over the years since 1836 been concerned by the abolishment of the 1824 constitution, paving way for a new one that has led to amassment of absolute power by the government. The new constitution places more power on the presidency surpassing the powers in the hands of the judiciary and the congress.
Texans have a number of grievances; the ones mentioned above are important to the understanding of the need by Texans to revolt and to be annexed into the union. The understanding of this will be key in making the decision on whether the annexation of Texans and the likely conflict with Mexico is worthwhile.
The Texas revolution kicked off in earnest, a few years ago in 1936. This started with a declaration of independence and invasion by the Mexicans forces. This invasion was successfully quashed and general Santa Auna himself ratifying the treaties of Velasco agreeing to formally recognize Texas as a republic. A treaty which the Mexican government refused to recognize.
Notable though is the effort which has been employed by Texas to strengthen itself in the eyes of the world. Most importantly is the initiation of close diplomatic ties with a number of key nations such as France, United States and Britain. The fact that a sizeable proportion of Texans are immigrants from the United States means that America has some social responsibility towards Texas and any decision to be made has to be favorable to Texas. This hence is a pointer that the president should decide to support Texans in their wish to be annexed into the United States. Annexation of Texas into the union will also be in tune with the Monroe Doctrine. The Monroe doctrine was a principle created by a former president of the United States on December 2nd 1823. According to this doctrine the European powers are not supposed to encroach on the territory of United States. Any such encroachment should be interpreted as an act of hostility towards America. There is a high possibility that if the United States government does not move fast and annex Texas, one of the major European powers might see it as an opportune moment to curtail the spreading influence of the United States towards the pacific. The application of the Monroe doctrine hence would dictate that the United States support Texas over Mexico to avert any chances of European powers acquiring Texas and hence drawing both nations into a possible boundary conflict (Merk 38).
According to the Monroe doctrine, European colonies should not colonize the south, central or north America or the region in the Caribbean. It goes on to state that the United States should not be embroiled in a conflict with the European powers unless any of its interest is violated. Any attempt by the European powers to colonize any of the stated territories should be considered an act of hostility and hence going against national security. On this aspect, it is important to note that Texas has opened close diplomatic ties with Britain, a tie that might possibly lead to colonization if the United States does not move fast enough.
Annexation of Texas at the moment should be the United States core concern. It should be also be in the same breath be reminded that the president a few days ago in the Tyler’s doctrine asserted that Hawaii is a no go zone for the European powers. America as has been stated in the president’s speech should peruse national destiny. It has to shape the interactions in the region especially for the nations that surround us.
In the spirit of pragmatism, it is important to recognize the need if the United States to expand its territory if it is to remain a force to reckon with in today’s progressive world. It is important that this territory be expanded towards the pacific. This has been a dominant foreign policy in the last two years, since taking over the mantle of leadership.
It is apparent that the president has limited options as far as the growing crisis is concerned. Texas has emerged as an important territory especially as it seems to be attracting diplomatic attention from European powers ranging from Britain and France. This but indicates the seriousness with which this issue should be handled with. One option that the president should take is to ignore Texas revolution and choose to ignore its new republic status. This will avoid a possible conflict with Mexico but risk losing the territory to a major European power. The other option is to lean towards Texas, formally recognize and sustain the diplomatic relations already evident and in turn spark a highly eminent war with Mexico. This remains the most viable option to make at the moment as it is in line with what the United States has been standing for in the last few years. It is in tandem with the Monroe doctrine and will see it acquire a useful territory in the region.
John L. O’Sullivan. The Great Nation of Futurity. The United States Democratic Review, Volume 6, Issue 23. 1839; 426-430
Frederick Merk. The Monroe Doctrine and American Expansionism, 1843-1849. New York: Knopf, 1966; 38.
Spalding, Matthew and Patrick J. Garrity. A Sacred Union of Citizens: George Washington’s Farewell Address and the American Character Roman & Littlefield. 1996, 43
Graebner, Norman. Empire on the Pacific: A Study in American Continental Expansion. New York: Ronald Press. 1955; 33.