The territory of Texas was first owned by the Spanish, and then it became Mexican after Mexico won independence from Spain in 1821. It was not included in the Louisiana Purchase, through which the United States bought vast territories in the west from France. However, Mexico encouraged Americans to colonize Texas, which was very sparsely populated. Stephen Austin led a large band of settlers into Mexican territory in Texas, and soon the American colonists in Texas outnumbered Mexicans.
Rebelling against the Mexican government, American Texans declared their independence and formed their own country. The Mexicans won a victory at the Alamo, but later military commander Sam Houston won battles against Mexican forces that caused the Mexicans to withdraw.
Although the Texans elected Sam Houston as their first president, their intention was always to join the Union as a part of the United States, and they voted for annexation. What complicated and delayed this process in this volatile era...
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