This paper describes how America came to own the territory of Texas. The territory was obtained and there were many short-term and long-term consequences that came from the obtaining of this territory. These will be described as well.
The United States did not start out as all 50 states united at first. They were all individual territories at first. There were many treaties and wars that led to the different territories being taken over and passed from form ownership to another. Sometimes there were territories that were taken back from previous owners. The United States obtained many territories over the years and Texas was one of the largest territories obtained.
President Polk obtained the territory by negotiating with Great Britain and signing the Oregon Treaty. “The territory became a focus of those who believed that it was the United States’ obligation and right to extend its rule and liberties across the North American continent. The Oregon Territory stretched from the Pacific coast to the Rocky Mountains, encompassing the area including present-day Oregon, Washington, and most of British Columbia.” (Milestones: 1830-1860, n.d.) The treaty was signed in 1846 and at the conclusion of the Mexican-American War in 1848, which was ended by the signing and the ratification of the treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in 1848. (The Annexation of Texas, n.d.) There were many problems when Polk tried to obtain this territory. Mexico made many threats that if the United States tried to annex Texas then they would declare war on the United States. Polk sent out a man to try and negotiate the ownership of Texas. “Polk dispatched Congressman John Slidell to Mexico with instructions to negotiate the purchase of the disputed areas along the Texas-Mexican border, and the territory comprising the present-day states of New Mexico and California.” (The Annexation of Texas, n.d.)
After the failure of Slidell’s mission to try and negotiate the territories, The United States declared war on Mexico. After capturing Mexico City in September of 1847, Polk’s peace emissary and the head of the Department of State began to press the negotiations that Slidell had presented the previous year. This led to the constant arguments over the talk of peace and whether or not the war would be put to a stop. Once the war finally stopped in 1848, the Oregon Treaty was signed and there was a treaty and the annexation of Texas was put into motion. (The Annexation of Texas, n.d.)
Some of the consequences of annexing this territory were that President Polk had lost trust in one of his most trusted men, Nicholas Trist. He began the notion that the United States should annex Mexico as well as Texas and he befriended General Winfield Scott, a Whig who was thought to be a strong contender for his party’s presidential nomination for the 1848 election. This led President Polk to recall Nicholas Trist from his duty. Even though Trist was recalled, he believed he was on the brink of making negotiations with the Mexicans and ignored the recall order and presented Polk with the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, which was signed in Mexico City on February 2, 1848. Under the terms of the treaty, Mexico ceded to the United States approximately 525,000 square miles in exchange for a $15 million lump sum payment, and the assumption by the U.S. Government of up to $3.25 million worth of debts owed by Mexico to U.S. citizens. (The Annexation of Texas, n.d.)
One of the longest and most troublesome consequences of annexing Texas is that Mexico did not declare war like they intended and told the United States they would do if they tried to annex Texas from them. This has led to a constant tenseness between the United States and Mexico and their borders. Even today there is much tension between the two countries. There is a big problem with Mexicans trying to sneak over the border into the United States and people of the United States trying to take off into Mexico over the border and out of the United States jurisdiction. Many of the people fleeing to Mexico are wanted for a type of crime and are trying to evade the jurisdiction of the United States. Another consequence of the war and the annexation of Texas was, “on August 8, 1846, Congressman David Wilmot introduced a rider to an appropriations bill that stipulated that “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall ever exist” in any territory acquired by the United States in the war against Mexico.” This provoked a political firestorm. The questions of whether slavery could expand throughout the United States continue to spread until the defeat of the Confederacy in 1865. (The Annexation of Texas, n.d.) A short term consequence that was endured during the talk and actions of the annexation of Texas was trying to get the people of the United States on board with the decision. There were the people of the North that opposed it because it was another state that allowed and pushed slavery. Also, the culture and ways of living in Texas were not something the people of the north wanted to be a part of. They did not want to include it within their country and be involved with their certain customs and behaviors. The majority of the south was in favor of the annexation but the two different opinions of the north and the south caused a great deal of headache on top of the argument of their previous differences and arguments. This only added to the tension between the states in the north and the states in the south. President Tyler attempted to bring about the annexation in 1844 as a matter of national policy. But that all came to a hold when John C. Calhoun, the secretary of state, stated that annexation was necessary for the preservation of slavery in America, was published in April, sectional controversy arose.
So through the trials and errors of the annexation of Texas, there was a war and many disagreements and conflict that arose and some that still go on in today’s society. The United States keeps growing as the years pass. The United States’ growth has slowed down over the years but there is belief that there will always be the need for obtaining new territories throughout life and the wars will never cease. This may be an ongoing issue throughout life and there may never be any sort of relief or way to avoid it as the future becomes the present. The past has shown that the need and want for a territory for the gain of the country is and always will be a must and a necessity from then until time ends.
The Annexation of Texas, the Mexican-American War, and the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, 1845-1848 (n.d.) Retrieved from http://history.state.gov/milestones/1830-1860/TexasAnnexation Milestones: 1830-1860 (n.d.) Retrieved from http://history.state.gov/milestones/1830-1860/OregonTerritory Annexation of Texas (n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h302.html