Texas admitted to the Union in 1845 - Research Paper Example

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Few states have had such a rich history, and few states have been as hotly contested over for their land. The history of Texas spans from pre-colonial times when Native Americans…
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Texas admitted to the Union in 1845
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Texas: The Rich and Colorful Path to hood HERE] HERE] HERE] SUBMITTED HERE] Texas: The Rich and Colorful Path to Statehood
The history of the state of Texas and how it came to be a part of the Union is varied and colorful. Few states have had such a rich history, and few states have been as hotly contested over for their land. The history of Texas spans from pre-colonial times when Native Americans were its only inhabitants, to Spanish conquistadors, and includes a minor attempt at settlement by the French. The events of other countries play a part, for Mexican independence from Spain had a deep and lasting effect. The admittance to the United States in and of itself was hotly contested over the issue of slavery and a war that could occur with another country. The path of Texas from early colonization to statehood has always been filled with events important to American history as a whole.
The first humans to inhabit the land were Native Americans. Over 30,000 Native American tribes roamed the land1. One tribe, the Caddos, were known for not only being a peaceful tribe, but for their distinctive tattoos and clothing2. It is believed that the very word “Texas” can be traced back to Native Americans, as the word “Tejas” is thought to be the Spanish translation for the Caddo word “friend”3. However, the Native Americans of Texas history were not allowed to live peacefully, as Europe soon came in to colonize their lands.
The first country to colonize Texas was Spain. In 1519 Alonzo Alvarez de Pineda made a map of the Texas coastline, allowing Spain to establish its first foothold4. In 1528, Spanish conquistador Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca came to what is now Texas in search of “cities of gold”5. However, the land was not formally claimed for Spain until 1598, and the first permanent Spanish settlement and mission, Corpus Christi de la Isleta, took another eighty-four years to be formed6. Once this was done, Spain would not be forced away from them until hundreds of years in the future.
The main objectives for the Spanish were gold and population growth. No amount of gold was ever found, and many lost their lives while looking for the wealth they believed to be in the area7. In 1682, permanent Spanish missions were established by priests to convert the local Native American population to Christianity8. The belief behind this was that converting the Native American population would strengthen the position of Spain in the New World9. Though the priests tried their best, their actions were hampered by the death rate of Native Americans upon being exposed to European diseases10. This did not deter the Spanish from building more missions; between 1692 and 1783, twenty-six missions were built and run throughout Texas, mostly along the Rio Grande River11. Through establishing their presence, Spain was able to maintain these missions and explore the vast areas of land that Texas had to offer, as well as drive out any other countries that wished to colonize there.
Undaunted by the success of Spain in the area, the French decided to try for a colony as well. In 1682, led by explorer Rene-Robert Cevelier, Sieur de La Salle, the French came to Texas via the Mississippi River12. However, the French were not successful when it came to building a presence in Texas. Between the establishment of the colony in 1682 and 1687, most of the settlers died from malnutrition or disease13. Conflicts with Native Americans were also an issue, as the Karankawa Indians were not as peaceful as others, and in 1687, La Salle was murdered by disgruntled men who were angry at the promises that had not been carried out14. The French abandoned all hope of a settlement within the boundaries of Texas. Since then, the state has laid claim to its primarily Spanish and Mexican influences entirely; the French settlement has, to Texas, become a footnote in its history.
In 1821, the country of Mexico won its independence from the Spanish government, a feat that they had been trying to accomplish since 181015. The issues that came with this transition were not only a problem for Mexico, but for the Americans trying to settle in Texas, as Texas was considered a Mexican state16. An American by the name of Stephen F. Austin had all that was necessary to establish a settlement in Texas, along with 300 colonists17. Politics in Mexico, though, were running rampant, and no sooner did Austin negotiate a contract for a land grant than an emperor would be overthrown and another system initiated18. Finally, Austin, who would become known as the “Father of Texas” received the permissions he had been waiting for from the Mexican government, and began a settlement19. The “Texas 300 original” became the beginning of fast colonization by the Anglo-American population20. However, being a part of Mexico was soon not to the liking of those living in Texas.
The Mexican government brought restrictions upon the Americans living in their country that soon became intolerable for the settlers. Mexico had originally been pleased at the idea of Americans settling in Texas, hoping that they would both develop the area and deter frequent Native American attacks21. Mexico, though, did little to help the Americans after this, and soon Texas resembled an American outpost, rather than a Mexican settlement22. The biggest sore point came when Mexico refused to allow any more Americans to settle in Mexico in 183023. Finally, Austin and the rest of the Americans had had enough, and declared their independence from Mexico on March 2, 1836, choosing to form the Republic of Texas24. It would be nine more years before Texas was officially recognized as part of the Union.
As anticipated, the news of an independent Republic of Texas did not go over well with Mexico. Bloody skirmishes and battles followed, the most famous being at the Alamo25. Six thousand Mexican troops bombarded 187 ill-dressed and undernourished men at the small outpost that had been built by the Spanish in the mid-1700s26. For twelve days, aided by messages that were slipped out through Mexican lines and some 60 men that slipped back in to help, the armies were held off27. In the end, no rescue or help came, and on March 6, 1836, the Mexican armies, headed by the Mexican president, General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, broke through the walls of the Alamo28. Out of the bombardment, only five Texas survivors remained, including the famous Davy Crockett; these men were promptly executed, at the order of General Santa Anna29. The slaughter of the men and the loss at the Alamo did not bring about surrender; rather, it bolstered the spirit of Texas and those who wished for nothing more than their independence from Mexico.
While the battle of the Alamo was occurring, another army was being organized. Sam Houston, who would one day become the President of the Republic of Texas, organized an army that marched against the Mexican forces at San Jacinto30. Though vastly outnumbered, Houston and his army killed 630 Mexicans and captured another 70031. The war for Texas independence came to a sudden and abrupt halt the next day upon their capture of the Mexican General, Santa Anna himself32. The war was over, and Mexico was forced to sign a treaty that would declare Texas an independent republic.
The Republic of Texas was a grand idea, and managed to survive for nine years, though those years were not without problems. The Republic had drafted a Constitution, elected a President, organized a militia, and had a legal system set up like the United States, but it was not enough to face the challenges that kept occurring33. Boundary disputes, as well as continued threats of and actual attacks by the Mexican armies did not help the fledgling republic to survive34. Mexico refused to acknowledge the treaty that had been signed by Santa Anna, and still considered Texas part of Mexico35. Also, those in favor of an independent nation had no idea how much money would be involved in such a task. Texas was nearly bankrupt, and debt was mounting36. All in all, the best way to end the problems of the new republic, according to most citizens of the area, was to have it become a part of the United States of America.
Even the issue of admitting Texas to the United States did not go smoothly. The main problem at hand was slavery, which was fast becoming a political platform. The North did not want Texas to be a slave state, while the South did37. Another issue was the fact that placing Texas under United States protection would almost certainly mean war with Mexico, who had never been happy that Texas had gained independence38. The Senate refused, at first, to ratify the treaty that Sam Houston had drawn up in 1844, and to persuade them to agree, the crafty Houston pretended to be seeking an alliance with Great Britain, an action that the United States did not approve of 39. To prevent Britain from gaining any sort of claim, the United States annexed and admitted Texas to the United States on December 29, 184540. Passed by joint resolution of the United States Congress, the territory that had been established by Spanish conquistadors, attempted by the French, and finally tamed by Americans was no longer a Republic that stood on its own.
The land that would one day become one of the biggest states out of fifty was, finally, a state. It was given the protection of the United States at the time, but nothing could satisfy the feeling of Mexico that it was still entitled to the land. The history of Texas from 1845 to present takes up vast volumes of culture, history and change in and of itself, but as of December 29, 1845, Texas was, and has remained, a state of the United States of America.
Baird, David, Eric Peterson, and Neil Edward Schlecht. Frommers Texas. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley
Publishing, Inc., 2011.
Davidson, James W., and Michael B. Stoff. The American Nation. New York: Prentice Hall,
Haley, James L. Stephen Austin and the Founding of Texas. New York: The Rosen Publishing
Group, Inc., 2003
Wade, Mary Dodson. Texas History. Chicago: Red Elseiver, Inc., 2008. Read More
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