Nhsc-v1-305

From GrassrootWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Previous Page Next Page

nhsc-v1-305

Text Only

territory was added to Arizona by the Gadsden treaty with Mexico of December 3, 1853-June 30, 1854; and Alaska was annexed by treaty of purchase from Russia on March 30, 1867.

In addition, in 1867 the United States proposed to annex Denmark's islands of St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix by treaty. Those treaties contained a clause for the assent of the islands' people. The people assented, but the treaty failed. 231/ St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix were later annexed by treaty in 1917. A proposed treaty for Santo Domingo failed in 1870 when the clause for the assent of the people resulted in a rejection. The Congressional consideration of the Santo Domingo matter is helpful. After the failure of the treaty to pass the Senate in 1870, numerous attempts were made to pass a joint resolution to annex Santo Domingo, but the Senate resolution that finally passed called only for an investigation of the annexation subject. 232/ The House then proceeded to kill any hopes of annexation using the resolution approach by passing an amendment that stated nothing in the resolution shall be "understood or construed as committing Congress to the policy of annexing..." 233/ When the investigation report was submitted, promoting annexation, it was debated for several days and finally died because "it was impossible to obtain the approval of two-thirds of the senators for a treaty, equally impossible to get a majority vote in the House for a joint resolution." 234/

In addition to these annexations of territory by either treaty of purchase or conquest, the United States also acquired a large number of islands under the Act of August 15, 1856. 235/ This act provided that private American citizens could take possession of (uninhabited) islands for the United States under the principle of discovery. The principal object of such annexations was to secure the guano located on those islands. Approximately 70 islands became United States territory during the period of October 28, 1856, through June 21, 1894. 236/ In addition, the island of Midway was annexed by the Executive Office in 1868 under the principle of discovery, "to create a naval station there." 237/

Another means of acquiring territory was the Proclamation used by President Madison in 1810 to acquire "possession" of territory purchased by the United States in the Louisiana Purchase. 238/ The territory had been allowed to remain under Spanish authority since the treaty with France in 1803.

The annexation most analogous to that of Hawaii, however, was the annexation of Texas. Both were "independent foreign states" that became territories of the United States under joint resolutions. Texas assumed independence from Mexico and negotiated a treaty with the United States for annexation on April 12, 1844. This treaty was rejected by the United States Senate. In indignation, a powerful movement started in Texas favoring a treaty of alliance with Great Britain or possible reconciliation with Mexico. 239/ This movement aroused the people of the United States and, in consequence, a joint resolution passed both houses of Congress providing for the admittance of the territory of Texas into the Union as a state. The resolution left to the discretion of the President whether to accept Texas by treaty "or by articles of agreement with the Government of Texas under legislative authority, or by the act of a convention chosen by the people of Texas, under like authority." 240/ Texas preferred the convention method, and the matter was submitted to the people of Texas who voted in favor of annexation.

-p305-

Previous Page Next Page