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Texas Annexation and the Presidential Election of 1844 in the Richmond, Virginia, and New Orleans, Louisiana, Newspaper

Description: This thesis examines the issue of Texas annexation from the viewpoints of two southern cities: Richmond, Virginia, and New Orleans, Louisiana. It looks primarily at four major newspapers, two in each city: the Richmond Enquirer and the Richmond Whig; and the New Orleans Times-Picayune and the New Orleans Whig. These four newspapers were examined thoroughly from January 1844 to July 1845. In addition to the above newspapers, the Congressional Globe and national voting patterns on Texas annexation were examined. Analysis of the editorial articles in the above newspapers offers the best possibility of understanding public sentiment toward Texas annexation and the presidential election of 1844. The evidence examined in this study indicates that Texas annexation became a decisive issue in the presidential election of 1844. It also shows that, although the press and elements within both Democratic and Whig parties were aware that the slavery question was intricately linked to the Texas annexation issue, slavery and sectional politics were not the primary factors influencing annexation. Ultimately, fundamental concerns regarding western expansion in general, especially for the Whigs, and political party loyalty proved the decisive factors in the presidential election of 1844 and Texas annexation. The evidence gathered in this study indicates that Texas annexation deliberately became an issue in the presidential election by the Democratic party. It also shows that although consideration was given to the slavery question by elements of both the Whig and Democratic parties, sectional politics did not enter into play concerning the annexation of Texas.
Date: December 2001
Creator: Short, Steven W.
Partner: UNT Libraries