The annexation of Texas to the United States was a process that took several years and involved a variety of political and diplomatic maneuvers. Here is a brief overview of the key events and factors involved:
- Texas Declaration of Independence: On March 2, 1836, a group of Texans signed the Texas Declaration of Independence, declaring their independence from Mexico and establishing the Republic of Texas.
- Republic of Texas: For the next nine years, Texas existed as an independent republic, with its own government and military.
- Treaty of Velasco: In May 1836, Texas forces under General Sam Houston defeated Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto, securing Texas’ independence. After his capture, Santa Anna signed the Treaty of Velasco, recognizing Texas as an independent nation.
- Annexation Controversy: Almost immediately, there was a debate in the United States about whether or not to annex Texas. Supporters of annexation argued that it would expand the nation’s territory and resources, while opponents were concerned about the potential for war with Mexico and the extension of slavery into new territories.
- Tyler’s Proposal: In April 1844, President John Tyler proposed that Texas be annexed by a joint resolution of Congress, rather than by treaty. This would have required only a simple majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, rather than the two-thirds vote needed for a treaty.
- Annexation by Joint Resolution: In February 1845, Congress passed a joint resolution to annex Texas, and President Tyler signed it into law. On December 29, 1845, Texas was officially admitted to the United States as the 28th state.
- Mexico’s Reaction: Mexico strongly protested the annexation of Texas, arguing that it was still part of their territory. This led to the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), which further expanded the territory of the United States.
Overall, the annexation of Texas was a controversial and divisive issue in the United States, with significant implications for the nation’s politics and territorial expansion.