John C. Calhoun Makes A Speech To Congress

This was a controversial proposition for two reasons.

First, idealistic advocates of Manifest Destiny like John L. O'Sullivan had always maintained that the laws of the United States should not be imposed on people against their will. The annexation of "All Mexico" would be a violation of this principle. And secondly, the annexation of Mexico was controversial because it would mean extending U.S. citizenship to millions of Mexicans. Senator John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, who had approved of the annexation of Texas, was opposed to the annexation of Mexico, as well as the "mission" aspect of Manifest Destiny, for racial reasons. He made these views clear in a speech to Congress on January 4, 1848

After a one year break as the 16th United States Secretary of State, (April 1, 1844 – March 10, 1845) under President John Tyler, being preceded by Abel P. Upshur and succeeded by James Buchanan, Calhoun returned to the Senate in 1845, participating in the epic Senate struggle over the expansion of slavery in the Western states, formerly Imperial Spanish — Mexican lands till as late as 1848, that produced the so called Compromise of 1850.

He died in March 1850, of tuberculosis in Washington, D.C., at the age of 68, and was buried in St. Philips Churchyard in Charleston, South Carolina.