Contrary to what many may think, the 1845 incorporation of Texas into the United States wasn’t a simple transition of authority. In fact, it was a part of a settlement agreement to end the Mexican-American War, which was resulting in mounting political pressures against the U.S. federal government. Much of the conflict started as a border dispute between the United States and Mexico. At the time, Mexico had large stretches of land that went through modern-day New Mexico and Colorado. President Polk was a strong proponent of expansionism, meaning that he believed U.S. foreign policy objectives ought to prioritize acquiring new land and territories. As a result, the U.S. took a hardline approach to the disputed issue: was the border defined by the Rio Grande River or the Nueces River? Eager to declare war, Polk used small border disputes as justification for Congress to declare war.
Terms of the Sale
Although the United States fared well in the war, it was clear to Polk that continuing U.S. involvement would have long-term political ramifications. Rather, he found it strategic to buy Mexico out of the war. It was a win-win. The U.S. would end up saving not only taxpayer dollars and lives, but it would also greatly expand its national territory. More specifically, the sale was under the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo that was officially signed in 1848. Under its terms, around 525,000 square miles was sold for 15 million U.S. dollars. Furthermore, this included debt forgiveness and other diplomatic clauses.
The treaty was ratified with much controversy in the United States Senate as many politicians either didn’t believe in the United States’ expansionist mission at such a cost or believed that there were more territorial gains to be made if the United States continued its war effort.
The treaty was signed on March 10th, 1848. In a separate capacity, the treaty sparked a national debate surrounding the status of slavery in the new American state. Whether Texas allowed slavery could greatly change the dynamic in American federal politics, adding new dimensions to the controversy.
Texas is a part of the United States because of the vision of President Polk. What’s your vision? If you want to be a champ like President Polk contact the Mendel Law Firm Estate Planning attorneys for a free initial consultation on estate planning, trust planning, and/or probate issues.