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Maps: States of Texas

  1520s | 1720s | 1810s | 1824 | 1836 | 1850 

American State, 1850

American State, 1850 Soon after becoming independent from Mexico, Texans voted in favor of joining the United States. But the U.S., deeply divided over the issue of slavery, was reluctant to admit Texas, where slave ownership had been on the rise. President John Tyler proposed annexation again in 1844, amid concerns that Great Britain might become active in Texas. The republic of Texas became the 28th U.S. state in 1845. Mexico disputed the American claim, and the two nations were soon at war over western territories, including Texas and California.

The Mexican-American War ended in 1848 with the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, in which Mexico gave up its claim to Texas. In 1850, to pay debts from its independent days, Texas gave the U.S. government a large part of its western territory, stretching north from present day New Mexico through Utah and into Idaho.

The Mexican-American War Texans built Austin as their republic's new capital city in 1839. Austin's status as the capital city was in doubt until a Texas-wide vote approved it in 1850. After that, the first permanent government buildings were erected. The granite Capitol building opened on San Jacinto Day, April 21, 1888.

"Foreign powers should... look on the annexation of Texas to the United States not as the conquest of a nation... but as the peaceful acquisition of a territory once her own... with the consent of that member, thereby diminishing the chances of war and opening to them new and ever-increasing markets for their products."
-- from President James K. Polk's Inaugural Address, 1845

Image Credit:
Library of Congress

page created on 1.30.2004
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