The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 29, July 1925 - April, 1926

Book Reviews and Notices

The Expansionist Movement in Texas, 1886-1850. By William
Campbell Binkley, Ph. D., Associate Professor of History,
Colorado College. (University of California Publications
in History, Volume 13.)
The United States has been an expanding nation from its be-
ginning, so much so that expansion can almost be considered as the
chief characteristic of the American people. It is not strange,
then, that the Texans, as soon as they had partially settled their
difficulty with Mexico should take up the burden of extending their
boundaries at the expense of their enemy. It is with this phase
of Texas history that Dr. Binkley deals, and he has made. a real
contribution to the increasing literature of Southwestern history.
The first problem confronting the author is the problem of the
boundary of the Republic of Texas. By a careful examination of
sources he comes to the conclusion that there was little if any claim
on the part of Texas to the Rio Grande as a boundary. Dismissing
the claims of Texas to the Rio Grande, the whole question becomes
one of expansion at the expense of an enemy nation. In this con-
nection he cites letters showing plans to secure California for Texas,
the efforts of Lamar as president to negotiate a treaty for a bound-
ary extending to the Pacific, the expedition to Santa F --also
under the administration of Lamar-and the race between Texas
and the United States for an outlet on the Pacific.
The second problem is the period of transition from an inde-
pendent republic to a state of the United States. Here the author
takes up the relation of the United States to the boundary claims
of the Republic of Texas. This aspect of the question serves more
as a prelude or introduction to his third problem, which is the con-
troversy between the United States and Texas as to boundary after
annexation. The declaration of war by Mexico before the bound-
ary of Texas had been definitely determined by Texas and the
United States relieved Polk of the embarrassment of refusing to
recognize the claims of Texas, when seemingly the war was fought
in order to establish the Rio Grande as the western boundary of
Texas. He could now claim that New Mexico and the parts of
Mexico east of the Rio Grande were annexed as an indemnity
against Mexico for her responsibility in starting the war. Texas,
however, insisted on the validity of her claims until the final settle-
ment in the Compromise of 1850.

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 29, July 1925 - April, 1926. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117141/. Accessed October 25, 2014.