This Day In History: The Texas Republic Votes To Be Annexed By The United States

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This day in history Texans voted to accept a new proposed constitution that would allow their Republic to become the 28th State. The Texas population voted by a clear majority to renounce their independence and to become American citizens. Only a minority of Texans wanted to remain independent.

Texans had secured their independence from Mexico only a short period before. The Mexican President Santa Anna had begun to act like a tyrant and this provoked the Texans to rebel in 1835. Santa Anna personally led an army into Texas in order to end the rebellion of the Texans, who were mostly settlers form American states or Europeans. They managed to defeat the Mexican army and this allowed them to declare their independence. Mexico recognized Texan independence but they had warned of the consequences if the territory was annexed by the Americans. Mexico wanted Texas to be a buffer state and still harbored ambitions of retaking Texas. One of the reasons why Texas wanted to be annexed by Wahington was because it feared another war with Mexico especially over the actual borders of the Republic.

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A stamp commemorating Sam Houston and Stephen Austin heroes of Texan Independence

Texas was eager to join the United States. They believed that the only way that the could have a prosperous and peaceful future was if they joined the United States and became a state. Sam Houston who had led the Texans in their struggle for independence had called for the Republic to be annexed by the United States, as he feared for its economic future.

But while many Americans were willing to see the massive Texan Republic join their nation,  many in the North did not like the fact that many of the Republic’s leaders were slave owners. Texas attempts to join the Union was to be greatly complicated by  fact that it legally allowed slavery. The initial efforts of Texas to join the Union were all defeated by abolitionists form the North.

However, in 1844, there was a  President Election and one candidate James Polk  had campaigned for the accession of Texas to the Union, during his election campaign. Seeing that the American public wanted to see Texas allowed to become part of the Union, the then President John Tyler did a u-turn and allowed Texas to join the United States.  An election was held in Texas on the issue and the majority of the voters were in favor of being annexed by the United States.

This caused outrage in Mexico and when the vote was announced they warned of dire consequences. Mexico and the United States were at war within a year. The Americans were to decisively to win this war and they went on to occupy Mexico City. As part of the treaty that ended the war, the United States greatly expanded its territory.

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American troops entering Mexico City

 

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