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Not Now

The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 15, July 1911 - April, 1912

Book Reviews and Notices


The Annexation of Texas. By Justin H. Smith. (New York:
The Baker and 'Taylor Co. 1911. Pp. ix, 496.)1
Exceptional opportunities and laborious industry have enabled
Dr. Smith to give us a solid and comprehensive history of the
annexation of Texas, based on a minute study of practically all
the sources. Every phase of the subject is painstakingly, and, in
most cases, it seems, conclusively covered. As gathered by the
present reviewer, his most important conclusions, which agree in
the main with recent investigations based on narrower sources,
may be stated as follows: (1) The Texas revolution was "a
legitimate measure of self-defense" against the despotism of Santa
Anna. (2) The rebels were aided by people of the United
States, and there were "no, doubt substantial violations of the
neutrality latw," but these "cannot be shown to, have been the
fault of our national authorities." (3) "Very good reasons ex-
isted" for the recognition of Texas in March, 1837, and Jackson
did well to follow the implied advice of Congress to recognize it.
(4) Sectional influences caused the rejection of the Texan over-
tures for annexation in 1837, but by 1844 annexation sentiment
was "largely non-partisan." (5) British interest in Texas was
very great, and though Aberdeen's government seems not to have
entertained the idea of annexing Texas, in 1844 it calmly con-
templated war, if necessary, to prevent its annexation by the
United States. (6) Tyler's desire to effect annexation, there-
fore, though partly due to personal and political ambition, was
backed by patriotism and sound statesmanship; and "the method
adopted to avert the peril was the most available and very likely
the only effectual one that could have been devised." (7)
Actually Texas was independent at the time, and the annexation
treaty violated no principle of international law. (8) "Real
opposition to the acceptance of Texas makes but a very small show-
ing" in the rejection of the treaty, domestic politics being mainly
'This review is reprinted from The American Historical Review for April,

Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 15, July 1911 - April, 1912. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 6, 2016.

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