Do you think it’s time this happened again?
By Dave Jolly
After the formation of the United States and establishment of the original 13 states, America began to expand, mostly westward. Delaware was the first colony to officially become a state on December 7, 1787, followed shortly by Pennsylvania on December 12, 1787 and New Jersey on December 18, 1788. The last of the original 13 colonies to become a state was Rhode Island on May 29, 1790.
The first new states were Vermont (1791), Kentucky (1792) and Tennessee (1796). In 1800, America was a burgeoning nation of 16 states. By 1840, the nation had grown to 26 states with the last one being Michigan in 1837.
In 1836, Texas gained its independence from Mexico and became the Republic of Texas, its own nation. Some members of the US Congress began pushing for the annexation of Texas, but there was strong opposition from many of the northern states as they did not want to allow another slave state into the nation.
In 1844, President John Tyler launched new negotiations with the Republic of Texas for the US annexation of the Lone Star nation with intent to make it a US state. A Treaty of Annexation was agreed to, but northern senators successfully defeated the idea, again because Texas would be another slave state.
Also in 1844, James K. Polk ran for President of the United States. His campaign was largely based on the idea of American expansion. He wanted to make Florida a state and spoke about taking the land from the Mississippi River west (Texas to California) to the Pacific coast and north to Oregon Territory. Polk won the election and was inaugurated on March 4, 1845 as the 11th president.
On March 1, 1945, just three days before his inauguration, Polk successfully negotiated a joint resolution in Congress to pass a Treaty of Resolution to allow Texas into the nation. They officially became the 28th state on December 29, 1845. This action was highly disputed by the Mexican government who still claimed Texas as part of their country.