Thoughts on the proposed annexation of Texas to the United States Page: 28 of 55
This book is part of the collection entitled: From Republic to State: Debates and Documents Relating to the Annexation of Texas, 1836-1856 and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the UNT Libraries.
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ON THE PROPOSEV
Central America, for hundreds of miles, furnish the materials of
similar arguments. All that coast will supply products rivalling
our own, and that England may desire. The same line of coast
will furnish abundant consumers of English manufactures. If we
annex Texas, the course of events is evident. We are pledged to
a career of conquest, we are pledged to, seize every fertile spot
north of the isthmus of Darien, and* to pause only on the shores
of the Pacific. That this career, begirning in bad faith, nourished
by cupidity, and proceeding in violence, is calculated to nourish
republican virtue, or to strengthen our present form of government,
it requires no little credulity to believe. And who is
to bear the burden and to pay the expenses of these wars T'he
hardy sons of the West, misdirected by crafty statesmen, furnish
indeed the materials of heroic armies, but with what composure
will the industry of the North see debt increased, and taxes levied
for southwestern acquisitions. The manufacturers and the
miners of the North will find a heavy offset against the abundant
sales of their products, which Mr. Walker, in behalf of 'exas,
guarantees to them. The whole argument resolves itself into
this-shall we commit a flagrant wrong for the sake of a temporary
expediency ? Shall we do what is evil, that good may come t
The history of mankind, the fate of empires, and that eternal rule
of right to which both nations and individuals are subject, furnish
an answer to the question.
What will be the probable effect of this measure upon the
The annexation of Texas will add about one seventh to the
present extent of our territory, and in this light the question certainly
deserves consideration. In theory, such a confederacy as
our own is scarcely susceptible of limits, but in practice the difi,culties
are manifestly serious.
The mere extension of territory has in itself perhaps nothing
very formidable. Our internal communications have been so
greatly modified by the influence of steam, that the Union now,
as far as time and distance are concerned, is scarcely so large
as when it only embraced the thirteen States; but the extension
of territory necessarily involves an increased diversity of interests,
and this, when the peculiar character of our government is
regarded, is always a subject of serious consideration. In itself
the federal government has extremely little strength. Wielded
by such a President as Jackson, a man of sound sense, undaunted
courage, and great popularity, the federal government assumes
for the time an appearance of power. When engaged in war, and
sustained by the voice of the nation, the confederate authorities
may acquire sufficient strength. But in time of peace, in its ordinary
condition and administered by an executive without any
peculiar hold upon the popular sympathies, the federal govern,
ment, for all purposes of internal coercion or restraint, is all but
impotent; a just jealousy of consolidation always hampers and
cripples it. The great vice of the overnment is our violent part
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Sedgwick, Theodore. Thoughts on the proposed annexation of Texas to the United States, book, January 1, 1844; New-York. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2387/m1/28/: accessed July 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .