John Tyler's Presidency Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

What are the pros and cons regarding the annexation of Texas?  

Expert Answers info

Philip Arrington eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write1,439 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

Texas declared its independence from Mexico on March 2, 1836, and became a state on December 29, 1845. The intervening years were exceedingly tumultuous, as there was great controversy about whether or not Texas should be annexed.

One of the main arguments in favor of the annexation of Texas was the fact that most Texans desired it. The settlers who had declared independence had come from the United States, and the first president of Texas, Sam Houston, was a former senator from Tennessee. The Texans were concerned that Mexico would attempt to reassert its control over the territory, and so they sought the protection of the United States government to prevent this. In addition, the belief in Manifest Destiny, which emphasized that Americans were meant to expand their territories across the West, was very strong at the time.

On the other hand, one of the main reasons that many Americans opposed annexation was the fear that claiming Texas would start a war with Mexico. Additionally, in this era just before the Civil War, Congress was divided between pro-slavery and anti-slavery states, and Texas would join the Union as a pro-slavery state. As a result, Congress argued the issue for years.

The question of the annexation of Texas had a major impact on the presidential election of 1844. James K. Polk, the Democratic candidate, was in favor of Manifest Destiny and the annexation of Texas, while Henry Clay, the Whig candidate, was against annexation. In the end, Polk narrowly defeated Clay, and annexation went forward. The Mexican-American War erupted in 1846 over a dispute concerning the Texas border.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Michael Koren eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write2,982 answers

starTop subjects are History, Law and Politics, and Social Sciences

There was support for and opposition to the annexation of Texas. While much of the concern dealt with the slavery issue, there were other factors also involved.

The South was very supportive regarding the annexation of Texas. The South knew Texas would be a slave state since slavery existed in Texas. The North opposed the annexation because they were concerned it would add another slave state to the Union. Maintaining the balance between the free and the slave states was very important as this could impact legislation being discussed in Congress.

Another factor impacting annexation was our desire to expand from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Many people wanted us to expand, and Texas was part of the expansion plan. However, there were people who were concerned that the annexation of Texas might lead to war with Mexico. Mexico had never recognized the independence of Texas. There was concern that if we annexed Texas, Mexico would view this as an act of aggression against them.

Thus, there were reasons for and reasons against the annexation of Texas.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial