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- The acquisition must be read with all the facts; it expressed the national individualism; it was defensive, to preserve the national unity; a mere taking of adjoining land to protect the peace and prosperity at home; it was subjective, not objective. 279/
The circumstances surrounding the annexation of Texas were quite different from the circumstances surrounding acquisition of Florida and Louisiana. Texas was an independent republic and had been since about 1835. At that time, Mexico had begun losing control over the territory and the Anglo-Saxon settlers organized a provisional government of their own. From that point on, there had been constant struggles between the Texans and Mexicans. President John Tyler, in his message to the members of the 28th Congress during its second session, stated that the continued hostile relations between Texas and Mexico would only prove detrimental to the peace and prosperity of the United States. 280/ To avoid this, President Tyler offered a treaty of annexation to Texas that Texas found most agreeable. The Senate, however, did not ratify the treaty. Tyler claimed that the main objection to the treaty was that it was not put to a popular vote among the American people. Thus, he felt it his "duty to submit the whole subject to Congress as the best expounders of popular sentiment." 281/
The flavor of the Congressional debates in the 28th Congress, second session, on the proposition for the annexation or admission of Texas to the Union indicated that the question of slavery was the prime concern. To divert attention from the preeminent slavery issue, however, other arguments against annexation came into focus. These arguments included the constitutional power of Congress to acquire foreign lands, and the effect of the Texas annexation on the rights of Mexico and her possible response to such action.
While slavery was at the heart of the disagreement about the annexation of Texas, the constitutional question regarding the authority of Congress to annex by joint resolution, rather than treaty power, gained the most support from those in opposition. Were it not for an intendment to the joint resolution providing that the President could, if he deemed advisable, negotiate with the republic instead of proceeding with the resolution, the action might never have passed the Senate. 282/
Texas was ultimately annexed to the Union by Joint Resolution No. 8, March 1, 1845 (5 Stat. 797). The resolution of annexation anticipated immediate statehood for the Republic of Texas. Shortly thereafter, Joint Resolution No. 1, December 29, 1845 (9 Stat. 108) was passed, admitting the State of Texas into the Union. Discussions were brief in the 29th Congress on the resolution to admit Texas; however, a few remarks were made concerning the propriety of the action of Congress that effectuated the Texas annexation The dissenting members of Congress apparently became resigned to the majority opinion. 283/
The annexation of Texas was a prime example of the expression of the popular political and social conditions of the time. It was a rejection of Mexico's continued hostilities in the territory, an exercise of an inherent power of Congress, and a submission to the unyielding efforts of the annexationists.
The area of the Pacific Northwest, which had been known as Oregon
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