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Texas Annexation

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Texas Annexation

Texas was under the control of both Spain and Mexico before becoming an independent republic. Texas became the 28th state when it was annexed in 1845. Read on to find how this came to be.

Annex: take control of a territory or area near yours, often by using force

Texas Annexation: Timeline

DateEvent
1821Mexico won independence from SpainMexico founded the province of Texas
1830Over 7,000 white settlers called Mexican Texas home April: Law passed prohibiting Americans from settling near the border
1835Americans in Texas created a provisional governmentThe Texas Revolution begins October: Battle of Gonzales and Battle of Goliad
1836Americans in Texas demanded independence Texas became the independent Republic of Texas March: Battle of the AlamoApril: Battle of San Jacinto
1845Texas is annexed and officially becomes the 28th state
1846The Mexican-American War began
1848The Mexican-American War ended

province: a division or territory of a country

Map of Mexico 1838. Texas Annexation. StudySmarter. Map of Mexico 1838. Source: Wikimedia Commons

History of Texas Annexation

Mexico's Independence from Spain

In the early 1800s, Spain controlled a large amount of territory stretching from Texas to California. Mexico became independent of Spain in 1821 and established the province of Texas, along with the provinces of California and New Mexico.

When the province of Texas was established, Texas was a sparsely populated area. In order to combat this, the government recruited settlers to come to Texas. There they were given land as long as they pledged to be obedient to the government and follow the local laws. These laws included things like becoming a Mexican citizen, converting to Catholicism, and using Spanish as their written language. Some settlers were happy to do so, but many others pushed back against these regulations. This is especially true where slavery was concerned.

The Mexican government abolished slavery in 1829 and expected its white settlers to follow suit. White settlers pushed back against this and brought slaves into the area anyway. In 1830 Mexico banned settlement by American citizens with the passing of the Law of April 6, 1830.

Campaigns of the Texas Revolution. Texas Annexation. Studysmarter. Campaigns of the Texas Revolution. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Texas Revolution

In 1835, the Mexican army was dispatched by its president, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. This former general thought that an effective way to combat the growing resistance in the area was by sending in troops. This was not effective. In fact, it led to the first battle of the Texas revolution called the Battle of Gonzales (1835). It was followed by the Battle of Goliad.

Things escalated again in the early spring of 1836. In March of that year, a constitutional convention was held and the Texas Declaration of Independence was drafted. Texans assembled a government and elected a president. The Republic of Texas was born.

In 1836, Texans voted to be annexed by the United States. Their request was denied by both Andrew Jackson, who did not want to involve himself in the issue of slavery in the state, and Matin Van Buren, who wanted to avoid war with Mexico.

Annexation would not be approved by both the Texan and American governments until 1845.

No Annexation of Texas. Texas Annexation. Studysmarter. No Annexation of Texas. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Texas Becomes Independent from Mexico

Battle of the Alamo

The Battle of the Alamo was fought from February to March 1836. The Alamo was a former mission that

Mexican President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna dispatched troops to in order to fight against the Republic of Texas and recover the land for Mexico. Santa Anna fought again Texas leaders James Bowie and William Travis and over 200 Texans who wanted to defend their territory.

This battle was not a surprise for Texans. They were aware of the advancing troops beforehand. Sam Houston, a commander of the Texas Army, wanted to abandon the military fort. Despite Huston's orders to retreat, James Bowie and many soldiers decided to stay and fight. Unfortunately, the Texan troops were overtaken. Hundreds of soldiers were killed. Most of the survivors were slaves, women, and children.

One of the men defending the Alamo was the famed frontiersman, Davy Crockett.

Battle of San Jacinto

After the Battle of the Alamo, Sam Houston was ready to avenge the fallen soldiers. He and his men retreated until April of 1836. They rallied to defeat Santa Anna's army in a surprise attack in which President Santa Anna himself was taken prisoner.

Santa Anna was later forced to sign a peace treaty at Velasco, Texas. The treaty basically said that Santa Anna would be freed if he recognized Texas' independence.

Sam Houston, military commander and former senator from Tennessee, was elected the first president of the Republic of Texas.

Location of the Republic of Texas. Texas Annexation. StudySmarter. Location of the Republic of Texas. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Statehood

Citizens of the Republic of Texas were huge proponents for Texas becoming a part of the United States Union. At the time, slavery was legal there, and had Texas become a state, it would have been a slave state. Pro-slavery and anti-slavery camps fought over the legal expansion of slavery.

In the early 1840s, representatives from the United States and the Republic of Texas came together to craft a treat that would allow the annexation of Texas. A few months later, in April 1844, the Senate voted against the passing of the treaty.

Annexation of Texas became an issue of contention in the presidential election. At this point, Texas' admission to the United States had been delayed by Congress for over a decade. President Tyler negotiated a compromise that would allow Texas to be admitted to the Union as a slave state. The resolution was approved by both the Senate and House of Representatives in February 1845.

Texas' government responded favorably to this. A special legislative session was called. The Texan Congress approved an Annexation Convention. The delegates voted on July 4th, 1845. It was approved and the vote was passed on to the Republic of Texas' citizens. They overwhelmingly passed the annexation at the poll. Texas was on its way to being annexed and joining the United States of America as the 28th state.

Texas was officially admitted to the Union on December 29th, 1845 under President James Polk when he approved the annexation bill. It was the 28th state and a legal slave state. This was one of the contributing factors to the America Civil War.

Seal of the Republic of Texas. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Mexican-American War

The Mexican-American war began in the spring of 1846 as tensions heightened between the United States and Mexico in regard to the border between the two countries.

Mexico asserted that the official border between Mexico and Texas was the Nueces River. The Nueces River is farther north, which would give land to Mexico. The United States claimed that the border was the Rio Grande, a river in the southern part of Texas.

As a result of the war, the official boundary between the two became the Rio Grande River.

The United States took possession of California, New Mexico, and Arizona as a result of the Mexican-American War. It also acquired parts of Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, and Colorado. These were parts of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

Texas Annexation Significance

Benefits

Annexing Texas would expand the amount of land the United States was able to excise control over. The agricultural land and slave-based workforce would bring money to the American economy.

Importance

The American annexation of Texas and a subsequent land dispute with Mexico led to the Mexican-American War. The treaty that ended the war granted a large amount of land to the American government, allowing it to expand westward. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hildago ceded either part or whole of seven states to the American government.

Henry Clay

Henry Clay was the 1844 Whig candidate for president of the United States. He was opposed to the annexation of Texas. Clay was concerned that it would lead to war with Mexico, would heighten sectional tensions, and could potentially allow for the increase of too much debt.

Sam Houston. Texas Annexation. StudySmarter. Sam Houston. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Texas Annexation-Summary

The American state of Texas has a long, complicated history. It was under the control of the Spanish before becoming Mexican territory in 1821. A sparsely populated area, the Mexican government encouraged occupation by white settlers until the 1830s, when a law was passed ending settlement.

Revolution began in Texas and it quickly declared independence in 1836. At this point, Texas began to eyeball annexation by the United States and statehood in the Union. While Texans voted to be annexed in 1836, American presidents Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren denied the request.

While Texas was appealing for annexation, it was also fighting for its independence from Mexico. The Texas Revolution ran from 1835to 1836. It included notable battles like the Battle of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto.

In the 1840s, representatives from The Republic of Texas and the United States failed to create a treaty that would lead to annexation. A negotiation that would allow this to happen wouldn't occur until 1844 under the leadership of President Tyler. Texas was officially annexed and became a state in December of 1845, sighed into law by President Polk.

Shortly after this, there was a border dispute with Mexico. The Mexican-American war ran from 1846 to 1848 and ended with a lot of land for the United States.

Texas Annexation - Key takeaways

  • Texas was under the control of both Spain and Mexico until becoming independent in the 1830s.
  • Texas concurrently fought a revolution against Mexico while appealing to be annexed by the United States.
  • The United States denied Texas' annexation request for a decade until a successful negotiation was led in 1844.
  • The annexation was approved by voters in Texas in 1845.
  • The annexation was approved by both the Senate and House of Representatives in 1845.
  • Texas became the 28th state when it was annexed in December 1845.

Frequently Asked Questions about Texas Annexation

The annexation of Texas describes Texas coming under the authority of the United States as the 28th state.  

Not only did it help the United States gain control of the Texan land but also land near it. 

Texas was annexed in 1845. 

Henry Clay was against the annexation of Texas. 

Final Texas Annexation Quiz

Question

What word means take control of a territory or area near yours, often by using force?

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Answer

Annex 

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Question

What word means a division or territory of a county? 

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Answer

province 

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Question

When did Mexico become independent of Spain? 

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Answer

1821

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Question

When did Mexico declare independence?

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Answer

1836

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Question

When was Texas annexed? 

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Answer

1845

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Question

When did Texas become the 28th state? 

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Answer

1835

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Question

Who was the leader of the Mexican army during the Texas revolution? 

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Answer

 Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna

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Question

True or False: citizens of the Republic of Texas wanted Texas to be annexed by the United States. 

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Answer

True

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Question

Why were people against the annexation of Texas?

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Answer

potential war with Mexico

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Question

True or False: in April 1844, the Senate voted for passing the treaty allowing annexation. 

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Answer

False 

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Question

How long was Texas' annexation delayed by Congress?

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Answer

Two years 

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Question

Who negotiated a compromise allowing Texas' annexation? 

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Answer

President Tyler

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Question

What US president officially approved the annexation bill? 

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Answer

President Polk

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Question

True or False: Texas voters passed the annexation at the polls. 

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Answer

True

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