Discuss the similarities and differences in the process for how California and Texas were settled and how they became part of the United States.

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California and Texas became states in different ways and followed different processes in becoming a state. Texas was a part of Spain. The Spanish wanted more people to settle in Texas, so they offered land to people if they were willing to establish a settlement in Texas. Moses and Stephen Austin established a colony in Texas. After Mexico got its independence from Spain in 1821, Texas was a part of Mexico. Mexico encouraged Americans to settle in Texas by offering land grants. As more American settled in Texas, the Mexican government became concerned that too many Americans were settling there. The Americans did not want to do some of the things they had agreed to do, such as becoming Catholic and becoming Mexican citizens. They also wanted documents printed in English instead of in Spanish. Eventually, a revolution occurred and Texas broke away from Mexico. It became an independent country in 1836 known as The Lone Star Republic. Because of concerns about upsetting the balance between free and slave states (and fears that Mexico might attack us), Texas did not become a state until 1845. In 1845, Texas became part of the United States.

California had been part of Mexican land until the Mexican-American War ended. When Mexico lost this war, Mexico gave a lot of land to the United States in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. California was part of the land that we gained from Mexico. When gold was discovered in California, many Americans moved to California in 1849 hoping to strike it rich. As a result, California’s population exploded. By 1850, California had enough people living there in order to be admitted as a state. Because California wrote a constitution that banned slavery, it had to be a free state. The Compromise of 1850 was made. This allowed California to become a state. Popular sovereignty would be used to determine if the Utah and New Mexico territories would have slavery.

California and Texas followed different paths and processes in achieving statehood.