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Free versus Slave States

We have seen how Oregon became a part of our country. It was settled mostly by people opposed to slavery, so that it came in as free soil. But the Southerners had already asked that Texas be allowed to join the Union as slave soil. Many people wished thus to keep the balance even.

Eight years later, Texas asked permission to join the United States. This pleased the Southern people, for although Texas had been free soil according to Mexican law, slavery was permitted in the “Lone Star Republic” when it gained its independence.

Just before President Tyler finished his four year term, Congress decided to admit Texas (1845); but as a dispute soon arose about its southern boundary, the eleventh President, James K. Polk, found himself with a war on his hands. Many good Americans say that Texas had no right to claim the land between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande, and that this was an unfair and needless war, but others claim that it was for the best.