Chapter 15 Section 3, Political and Economic Issues, P. 322

Chapter 15 Section 3, Political and Economic Issues, P. 322
Key Terms
1. Democratic Party: one of two political parties that dominated the U.S. in the 1840s and
50s; strong throughout the South; every TX governor between 1845-57 was a Democrat
2. Republican Party: emerged after the collapse of the Whig Party; made up of mostly
northern Whigs who supported the banning of slavery in all states and territories; not
popular in Texas
3. Know-Nothing Party: a third political party in the 1850s whose members supported
slavery and were anti-immigration and anti-Catholic
4. George T. Wood: a friend of Sam Houston who won the governor’s race in 1847;
frontier defense issues and state boundary issues were key issues during his term
5. Peter H. Bell: defeated Wood in the governor’s race of 1849; he served two terms
before resigning to take a seat in the U.S. Congress
6. Elisha M. Pease: elected governor in 1853; was popular and led many education and
other reforms; led the building of many government buildings in Austin; the state’s debt
was completely paid off during his two terms
7. Sam Houston: lost the governor’s race in 1857 to Hardin Runnels, the only election he
ever lost; defeated Runnels in the governor’s race of 1859; only Texan ever to hold
titles: commander-in-chief of the army, president of the Republic, senator, and governor
8. Hardin Runnels: won the governor’s race in 1857, but was overwhelmed by the rising
violence between Texas settlers and Native Americans; lost the 1859 governor’s election
9. The Compromise of 1850: Texas gave up its claim to 67 million acres of present-day CO,
KS, NM, OK, WY and in return the U.S. government gave Texas money to pay off its debt
Main Idea Questions
1. Political Parties had not existed in the Republic of Texas.
2. By the late 1840s, Texans had started to join the Democratic and the Whig parties.
3. What party was especially popular in Texas during this time? This party generally
represented the views of whom? Democratic Party; farmers and small business owners
4. What happened to the Democratic Party in Texas in the 1850s? Why did this occur? It
split into two factions (strong central government vs. strong state governments); party
members often fought amongst themselves because the party was so powerful in Texas
and was rarely challenged by other political parties
5. Why was the Whig Party unpopular in Texas? Why did the party collapse in the 1850s?
It stood for banking and large business interests and was anti-annexation; it collapsed
due to divisions over slavery
6. To which new party did many Whigs move after the collapse of the Whig Party? What
was this party’s view on slavery? The Republican Party; they wanted slavery outlawed
in all of the U.S.
7. Why were many Texans disinterested in the Know-Nothing Party? It was antiimmigration and anti-Catholic and many Texans were both
8. Why did the first governor of Texas, James P. Henderson, want to leave his position as
governor so quickly after taking office? What position did he take after leaving office?
He wanted to join the U.S. Army in the Mexican-American War; he was appointed
commander of the Second Texas Regiment
9. At the time of annexation, Texas was $10 million in debt. How did the state try to raise
money to pay down the debt? By selling public land
10. The debt reached $12 million by 1850, but was finally paid off in 1855.
11. After the debt was paid off, what 3 things did the Texas government do with public
lands in the state? 1) gave it away to settlers (mostly for farming), 2) set aside some for
colleges, universities, and public schools, 3) designated some for roads, harbors, and