Professor McClanahan question on Texas

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    In the course U.S. History to 187: The Age of Jackson II, Tyler, Polk, and the War with Mexico, Part I you mention Tyler being one of your top five presidents. The only point might be Texas and how it was brought into the Union. I was wondering if you might expound upon that.

    Being that I’m from Texas and went to public school, I’m interested to hear a more unbiased discussion about it. I’m pretty knowledgeable about Texas history but it’s always been from obviously biased for or dubious sources. In case this was too general for a forum post I’ve some specific questions that would be a suitable consolation prize:

    Is there much to the conflict between Texians and Texicanos?

    What were the motivations behind the movement to become a state? (On the surface it appears Independence and self government but almost immediately people are pushing to join the Union.)

    Texas has a history of supporting the Union economically and militarily with beef and agriculture after the War of Northern Aggression decimated the south, when the south recovered enough to not be as dependent on food oil was discovered, and today over one third of the military comes from the state and a lot of businesses operate there. I was wondering if these are quantifiable facts or just propaganda and if the succession movements I’ve grown up being exposed to are just talk, saber rattling, and positioning or there really is something to it.


    I’m sorry but I don’t know much about the conflict between Texians and Texicanos.

    As to your other questions, yes, there was a push immediately after Texas gained its independence to be admitted to the Union, but there was substantial resistance in the United States to it, mostly from the North, so Texas was in limbo for 9 years. Once Polk was elected and partly on a plank to annex Texas, the issue became settled and Congress annexed it through a joint resolution. Tyler gets the credit, but Polk’s election sealed the deal.

    I am not sure about the statistics behind your last point, but several years ago a friend of mine wrote a great article, not available online, about what an independent South would look like and Texas certainly has a large and vibrant enough economy to be independent, as do most States in the Union today.

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