The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947 Page: 68
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
The Democratic platform contained a strong expansion plank.
Controversy with England over the boundary of Oregon was
active, and Oregon and Texas were linked together in the
demand for "the re-occupation of Oregon and the re-annexa-
tion of Texas at the earliest practicable period." The play on
"re-occupation" and "re-annexation" begged important histori-
cal questions, but they were good slogans with which to excite
voters. In the November election Polk won a popular plurality
of 40,000 votes over Clay, and his electoral vote was 170 to 105.
England had used strong diplomatic pressure to induce Mex-
ico to recognize the independence of Texas and make a peace
guaranteed by England and France, hoping thereby to make
the prospect of national independence so attractive to Texas
leaders that they would reject annexation, but Mexico would
not yield. Then the governments of England and France con-
templated a joint declaration against annexation in the hope of
winning votes for Clay and the anti-annexationists. Fortu-
nately, they consulted their respective ministers in Washington
and were told that no action they might take could contribute
more to the victory of Polk and annexation.
XIV. CONGRESS VOTES ANNEXATION
Tyler and his advisers believed sincerely that there was
danger of losing Texas. The fear of British designs was very
real, and he did not wait for the incoming administration to
take action. In his message of December 3, 1844, he reviewed
the history of Texas to show that it was actually independent
and that there was no obstacle to annexation in international
law. The chief argument against ratification of the treaty, he
said, had been that "the question of annexation had not been
submitted to the ordeal of public opinion in the United States."
That objection no longer existed.
The great popular election which has just been terminated afforded the
best opportunity of ascertaining the will of the states and the people upon
it; ... the decision of the people and the states ... has been decisively
manifested. The question of annexation has been presented nakedly to
their consideration. ... A controlling majority of the people and a large
majority of the states have declared in favor of immediate annexation.
... It is the will of both the people and the states that Texas shall be
annexed to the Union promptly and immediately.
Of course, we know that interpretation of election returns
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947, periodical, 1947; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101117/m1/84/: accessed January 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.