The Annexation of Texas was one of the most debatable
events in American history. The question at hand would, in either
which way chosen, deeply impact the United States for generations
to come. There was on one side a long list of reasons for why to not
allow annexation, but there was the same kind of list on the other
side for reasons to push forward for annexation. Some of these
reasons of both sides were slaves, war, manifest destiny, politics ,
and constitutional rights. Also the way Texas began in a way said that
they should be apart of the United States In the end there were more
important reasons for annex Texas into the union, than to leave
Texas the was she was.
From the early days of pioneers and settlers, thousands of
Americans began to move into what would become Texas. The
Mexican government was wanting to populate the Texas area to
increase the economy. For a long period of time the Mexican
government had placed many laws on the territory, but none that
were deeply inforced. Finally when a new dictatorship came into
power, they began to enforce the laws. Slavery among other issues
was the big problem with the American Settlers, which with in a few
years out numbered the Mexican population twice if not more in
Texas. The United States had been trying to purchase Texas and
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other territories unsuccessfully. A movement began to stir in Texas
for revolution. The American Settlers were tired of Mexican
dictatorship and wanted the same freedoms they enjoyed back in
America. So with a little bit more influence from America a revolt was
formed. Eventually Texas would capture Santa Anna the Mexican
dictator and with independence for Texas. So a major reason for
Texas to be annexed into the United States was that the
overwhelming majority of the population was former Americans.
From the very time of winning independence, annexation of
Texas to the United States was at the top of the list of things to do.
But as soon as the Texas minister was sent to Washington to
neglagate for an annexation, the Martin Van Buren administration told
that the proposition could not be entertained. The reasons given were
constitutional scruples and fear of war with Mexico.
The real reason behind Washington’s excuses was slavery.
From the very second the words of annexation of Texas hit the US
borders anti-slavery activists were on the ball. The American
Anti-Slavery Society began to work towards preventing annexation at
any cost. Petitions and memorials circulated and signed by
abolitionists poured into Congress. It was said that six hundred
thousand signatures were presented against annexation in a single
session. One of the major voices against annexations was
ex-president, John Quincy Adams. He was at that time a member of
the House of Representatives. Near the close of the session for that
year, Adams made a three weeks’ address in opposition to
annexation. He is quoted in his diary for saying “The annexation of
Texas to the Union is the First maritime, colonizing, slave-tainted
monarchy, and of extinguishment of freedom”(Wharton).
For fear of the northerns’’ and abolitionists, neither Jackson or
Van Buren dared to push hard for annexation. Though the reasons
for ending slavery were not their prime concern. If Texas was
admitted into the union the new slave state would wreck the hard won
The annexation of Texas in the 1840 s had many advantages and disadvantages to our country. The divisions between those who supported and opposed this annexation were divided, mainly between the North and South and those representatives supporting each area of the nation. Southerners saw the acquisition of Texas as a way to expand our nation, spread slavery in the South to help empower them, and ...
balance of slave and free states in the Senate. Thus giving the south
an advantage over the north. The abolitionists believed that this
would eventually lead to the south pushing for laws inferior of their
ways of life, being new slave laws, and disunion in the
country.(Haley) Once Texas is annexed its territory could become as
many as 11 new slave states with 22 new pro-slavery senators. This
would be a political nightmare for the north’s anti-slavery politations.
Though they could not fully see the end result at that time, the
annexation of Texas was another stronger push of the ball of
dis-unification. 16 years after the annexation of Texas, Texas would
succeed from the union, and enter into the Confederate States of
In the hearts of many Americans at that time was the fear of
another great war. In the beginning of the annexation period, Mexico
still considered Texas its own territory. They held the belief that the
treaty sighed by Santa Anna while he was a prisoner was invalid, and
that the territory of Texas was still in the Mexican empire.
As the push for annexation continued France and Great Britain
needed a dependable, heavy supplier of high-grade cotton, and a
moneyed customer for their manufactured goods, which Texas could
buy. They also wanted a way around American tariffs. (Haley)
Therefore if Texas was annexed into the United States they would
loose their consumer. On British advice, the Mexican government
would agree to acknowledge Texas as a free nation, so long as she
never be annexed into any country. (Webb) Now the Americans had
to face that if Texas was annexed the Mexican government stated
that they would consider it an act of war.(Carpenter) As time would
tell, as soon as Texas was legally annexed into the union the
Mexican government immediately broke off all diplomatic ties with
the United States and began to prepare for war. (Encarta 5)
During this time period the Idea of manifest destiny was
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sweeping through the American nation. The idea of manifest destiny
ment that it was our destiny, and the will of god for the free American
race to control all of North America.(Britannica) They wanted the
American nation too touch both of the great oceans. With the
annexation of Texas, it would increase the size of the United States
roughly about 1/5 of the continantal United States today. Texas at
that time would include parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, and
Oklahoma. With the idea of manifest destiny in the air the American
people wanted to push all the way to the Pacific. In order to do this
they would have to fight the Mexicans in order to get it, because the
Mexican government at that time was not willing to loose any more
land. So to get to the Pacific America would have to fight the
Mexicans, whether at the time of annexation or another time.
To add to this idea of manifest destiny, a very large percent of
the Texas population were former American citizens’. Many in the
United States felt that it was their duty to help there brethren. In
Texas, American money was more widely used than their own
currency. Eventually when Texas is annexed, it stopped the
aggressions of England in North America. It also was the corner
stone for the acquisition of Oregon, and led to caring our flag to the
One of the key issues in every kind of debate is the question of
finances. The major reason for Texas being annexed was that the
United States would assume Texas’s poverty and a $1,500,000 war
debt.(Weems) The thoughts of assuming Texas’s great debt was
enough to turn a few heads way from Texas. A Boston daily paper
wrote: “We have territory enough, bad morals enough, public debt
enough ,slavery enough without adding Texas.(Wharton) By the time
you get to the Joint Resolution for Annexing Texas, the thoughts on
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both sides have changed. President Tyler of Texas relized that a
treaty of annexation would never work because you would need a
2/3rd’s vote in congress to get it, that of which would never happen.
So Tyler pushed of a Joint Resolution for Annexation, in which Texas
“as a state” would keep both its public land and its public debt.
(Carefoot) Though they would have to keep their debt, they would
also be able to enter the union in the enormous size of the republic at
that time. This also would work out with the United States because
they would not have to assume its debts into their own.
The politics of the annexation was what changed the entire
corse of direction of favor. “When the Texas minister arrived in
Washington he was told that the United States had treaty obligations
with Mexico which must be respected. And an expressed regret that
the people of Texas had voted for annexation before its
independence had even been recognized”(Wharton)
When Houston relized that annexation was not going to be
relized as quickly as was expected, he began to play one of the most
political games the world had ever seen, or was ever to see again.
He began to send minister’s and diplomats to European countries to
get treaties for trade, and other things. Houston would tease France
and Britain that they might be able to groom Texas as a thorn to stick
in the side of the United States. They would drive harder bargains
with American traders with Texas cotton, evading American tariffs. Of
all the teases Houston sent, Britain would see Texas as a wedge to
drive between British Oregon and the British West Indies, stopping
American expansion. About this time the United States began to
notice that the friend ship between Texas and European nations was
growing stronger by the day. Many began to think that if Texas
became a satellite nation of Great Britain the idea of manifest destiny
was finished. The motives of European Nations and the United States
allowed Texas to play one against another and the Texans loved it.
Houston would later explain his strategy:
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“Supposing a charming lady has two suitors. One of them she
is inclined to believe would make the better husband, but is a little
slow to make interesting propositions. Do you think if she was a
skillful practitioner in Cupid’s court she would pretent that she loved
the other feller the best and be sure that her favorite would know it?
“If ladies are justified in making use of coquetry in securing
their annexation to good and agreeable husbands, you must excuse
me for making use of the same meens to annex Texas to Uncle
By using this trick, Houston lead the United States to believe
that its interests lay more in Europe than in the United States. It even
fooled Andrew Jackson, who was retired, to write to his connections
in Washington that Texas must be Acquired, “peaceably if we can,
forcibly if we must.” So by 1844 the entire nation was worried that
Texas was going to become Great Britians sidekick. And if Texas
interred into treaties with European nations the United States would
be hammered on for years to come. The answer to the American
people to solve this growing problem was to get Texas Annexed into
the Union as quickly as possible, to keep her out of European
The major obstacle for pro-annexation fighter in the US was
that for a treaty of annexation to pass they would need 2/3 rd’s of the
votes in congress. President Tyler suggested that a Joint Resolution
would be the best bet to win. It was faster than a treaty, and needed
to pass only by a simple majority instead of two thirds. By doing this
Texas would enter as a state, not a territory. She could keep all of her
public domain and her debt. Leaving better reasons for annexation on
the political table. (Richardson, Wallace, Anderson)
One of the minor complaints against annexation was about
constutinal scruples. Many believed that it was unconstitutional for
the government to purchase or neglagate a treaty to obtain land for
the Country. This argument has continued to be argued over the
years. Though it was one of minor importance it was mentioned as a
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reason for rejecting annexation.
Though there are many good and bad reasons for the
annexation of Texas, the good slightly weighed out the bad. Also
eventhough there may have not been as many good reasons back
when Texas was annexed, the effect that it left was that the United
States became a better nation because of it. Sense Texas was
annexed into the union we can look to see what good came out of the
annexation of Texas.
First the United States achieved its dream of manifest destiny.
By annexing Texas, it caused the United States to go to war with
Mexico. By winning the Mexican war the United States was able to
force Mexico from taking back Texas, and was able to gain land all
the way to the Pacific. By paying the Mexicans for the extra land
gained out of the war, it smooth out the bad guy look of the United
States and made it look like a legal aqusion of land.
Second, when Texas began neglogating with European
nations, and proceeding to make treaties with them, it became a topic
of national security. It would bring in more European influence to bully
around the United States. It would jeopardize the idea of manifest
destiny, and tamper with American tariffs. Because Texas was
annexed these threats never surfaced to haunt us. By Annexing
Texas we ended the biggest European threat to the United States.
The Third reason is that by entering Texas into the Union by a
Joint Resolution the United States was able to gain not only land to
add to it borders but the entire armament of the Texas Republic,
added trade of cotton and other crops, and other economic ventures.
The US did this with out having to take in the national debt of Texas
to add to the already large national debt of the United States. And
sense Texas entered into the union so large that later down the road
the United States could pay Texas to brake apart into four other
states. Thus creating four sovereign states out of one. Texas would
use that money to pay off its national debt and set up an educational
fund. So in the end it was a great deal politically.
Even though there still were a few down sides, most of which
would have came anyways. Though we will never know, that if Texas
had not been annexed, if the Civil war would have still taken place.
But with the coarse of events that had happened prier to the
annexation it would seem that the country was already headed into
that direction. If so the Civil war may have still taken place even if
Texas had not been annexed.
The great fear of a war with Mexico would have also inevitably
have still have taken place. Manifest Destiny would have push for the
war because it was the only way to get to the Pacific.
Therefore, it was for the greater good of United States of
America to have proceeded in the coarse it chose, too annex The
Republic of Texas into the union. For if Texas had not been admitted,
not only would the boundaries of the United States be changed, but
the entire history, government, and the American way of life would
have been altered.