By issuing empresario grants, Mexico hoped to attract settlers from around the world. Some Europeans did immigrate to Texas, but most settlers were from the United States. Rather than assimilate as loyal Mexican citizens, the American settlers remained a foreign element, and many of them were instrumental in leading the Texas Revolution in 1835-1836.
During the Spanish colonial era in Mexico, Texas was on the far northern fringe of the Spanish empire, and there was little effort to settle the region. In 1820,
In 1821, Mexico became independent of Spanish control.
Austin led the first settlers into Texas in December, 1821. In 1824, the Mexican government passed a law formalizing these colonization efforts, offering land and tax exemptions to foreign settlers. Mexico hoped that these settlers would create a kind of buffer between Mexico and the United States and also deal with the hostile Indians in the region. Most of the American settlers, however, saw their Mexican citizenship as a mere formality and still considered themselves to be Americans.
The vast majority of the settlers who came into Texas were from the United States, but European immigrants established a few colonies, including two of the most successful–
In 1830, about seven thousand Americans were living in Texas. By then, the Mexicans realized that allowing Americans to colonize the province had been a mistake, as the settlers largely resisted assimilation. New laws were passed forbidding further American migration into Texas, but illegal immigration continued. By the time of the Texas Revolution in 1835-1836, about thirty thousand Anglo-American settlers and about three thousand African American slaves were living in the region.
Anderson, Gary Clayton. The Conquest of Texas: Ethnic Cleansing in the Promised Land, 1820-1875. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2005. Cantrell, Gregg. Stephen F. Austin: Empresario of Texas. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1999. Davis, William C. Lone Star Rising: The Revolutionary Birth of the Texas Republic. New York: Free Press, 2004.
Alien land laws
Texas Cart War