Slavery Expansion

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In December 1845, President James K. Polk would announce to Congress that Texas had accepted the terms by which this state was to be admitted into the Union. The annexation of Texas had been in the works since John Tyler assumed the position of President of the United States of America after the death of William Henry Harrison in 1841; however, President Tyler was unsuccessful in his attempts. It was not until 1845 that Texas would agree to the terms of a new state constitution in order to enter into the Union, one of the terms in this agreement was that Texas would enter as a slave state. Texas, after gaining independence from Mexico in 1836, became an independent, slave-holding republic. Its constitution guaranteed “the right to hold slave property, the right to import slaves from the United States,” and forbid, “free blacks to enter or reside in Texas without the special authorization of the legislature.” For this reason, many of the Northern states were against the annexation of Texas, as well as the tension it would cause between the United States of America and Mexico. However, on December 22, 1845, the resolution to annex Texas was passed by a vote of 31 to 14, and the conflict on slavery would soon intensify. From 1846 until 1848, the United States would be at war against Mexico, fighting for the territory that would later make up Texas, California, Utah Territory, and New Mexico Territory. During the Mexican War, a Democratic congressman named David Wilmot would introduce a piece of legislation to Congress called the Wilmot Proviso that would further fuel the debate on the issue of slavery. Wilmot, although part of the Democratic Party, ideals would largely resemble the ideals of the Free-Soil Party formed in 1848.... ... middle of paper ... ...wedge between the North and South, but it would also lead to great violence in these newly formed territories. Works Cited Earle, Jonathan Halperin. Jacksonian Antislavery and the Politics of Free Soil, 1824-1854. Chapel Hill & London: The University of North Carolina Press, 2004. Kelley, Sean. ""Mexico in His Head": Slavery and the Texas-Mexico Border, 1810-1860." Journal of Social Hsitory, 2004: 709-723. Lubet, Steven. Fugitive Justice: Runaways, Rescuers, and Slavery on Trial. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Pres, 2010. Smith, Justin H. The Annexation of Texas. New York: Barnes & Nobles, Inc., 1941. Wunder, John R., and Joann M. Ross. "An Eclipse of the Sun: The Nebraska-Kansas Act in Historical Perspective." In The Nebraska-Kansas Act of 1854, by John R. Wunder, & Joann M. Ross, 1-12. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2008.
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