Annexation of Texas: A British Conspiracy
The 19th century was a time of great expansion for the United States. With the purchase of Louisiana from the French, the US greatly expanded its land mass. Even though American territory now extended to the Rocky Mountains, Americans were far from content. This is how the idea of “Manifest Destiny” was established. Americans felt like it was their destiny to expand all the way to the Pacific Ocean. After Texas won its independence from Mexico, the US saw the perfect opportunity to continue its expansion. However, Britain, with its anti-slavery views, thought the annexation of Texas was another chance for the US to expand the slave trade. Britain already had ties to Mexico, due to Mexico’s financial troubles, thus making British interference with Texas’ annexation highly plausible. After looking at the evidence presented in “Discovering the American Past”, I believe that Britain was involved in a conspiracy. One with a preface of abolition but filled with the need for power, land, and money- a conspiracy to derail the US’ annexation of Texas. In the mid-19th century, slavery was dying down worldwide. However, the United States was one of the only countries still participating in slavery. On the other hand, Great Britain was a world power at the head of the abolitionist movement. This is where the main conflict arose between the two nations. Texas, if annexed would be added to the Union as a slave state. This was in direct conflict with Britain’s beliefs. Since British and Mexico already had strong ties- Mexico had abolished slavery as well- Britain officials felt like it was in both countries best interest to keep Texas independent. Effingham Wilson stated in “Texas. An English Question”, a British pamphlet, that the annexation of Texas into the Union would “strengthen the slavery interest in Congress” and directly oppose Britain’s plans for “total universal abolition”. According to Wilson, Texas’ annexation would slow...
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