Spanish Texas, and Mexican Texas

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Spanish Texas, and Mexican Texas

Post  kosovohp on Mon Oct 11, 2010 12:29 am

The first historical document related to Texas was a map of the Gulf Coast, created in 1519 by Spanish explorer Alonso Álvarez de Pineda.[23][24] Nine years later, shipwrecked Spanish explorer Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca and his cohort became the first Europeans in Texas.[25][26] European powers ignored Texas until accidentally settling there in 1685. Miscalculations by René Robert Cavelier de La Salle resulted in his establishing the colony of Fort Saint Louis at Matagorda Bay rather than along the Mississippi River.[27] The colony lasted only four years before succumbing to harsh conditions and hostile natives.[28]

In 1690 Spanish authorities, concerned that France posed competitive threat, constructed several missions in East Texas.[29] After Native American resistance, the Spanish missionaries returned to Mexico.[30] When France began settling Louisiana, mostly in the southern part of the state, in 1716 Spanish authorities responded by founding a new series of missions in East Texas.[31][32] Two years later, they created San Antonio as the first Spanish civilian settlement in Texas.[33]

Hostile native tribes and distance from nearby Spanish colonies discouraged settlers from moving to Texas. It was one of New Spain's least populated provinces.[34] In 1749, the Spanish peace treaty with the Lipan Apache[35] angered many tribes, including the Comanche, Tonkawa, and Hasinai.[36] The Comanche signed a treaty with Spain in 1785[37] and later helped to defeat the Lipan Apache and Karankawa tribes.[38][39] With more numerous missions being established, priests led a peaceful conversion of most tribes. By the end of the 18th century only a few nomadic tribes had not converted to Christianity.[40]

When the United States purchased Louisiana from France in 1803, American authorities insisted that the agreement also included Texas. The boundary between New Spain and the United States was finally set at the Sabine River in 1819.[41] Eager for new land, many United States settlers refused to recognize the agreement. Several filibusters raised armies to invade Texas.[42] In 1821, the Mexican War of Independence included the Texas territory, which became part of Mexico.[43] Due to its low population, Mexico made the area part of the state of Coahuila y Tejas.[44]
Stephen F. Austin was the first American empresario given permission to operate a colony within Mexican Texas.

Hoping that more settlers would reduce the near-constant Comanche raids, Mexican Texas liberalized its immigration policies to permit immigrants from outside Mexico and Spain.[45] Under the Mexican immigration system, large swathes of land were allotted to empresarios, who recruited settlers from the United States, Europe, and the Mexican interior. The first grant, to Moses Austin, was passed to his son Stephen F. Austin after his death.

Austin's settlers, the Old Three Hundred, made places along the Brazos River in 1822.[46] Twenty-three other empresarios brought settlers to the state, the majority of whom were from the United States.[46][47] The population of Texas grew rapidly. In 1825, Texas had a population of approximately 3,500, with most of Mexican descent.[48] By 1834, Texas had grown to approximately 37,800 people, with only 7,800 of Mexican descent.[49]

Many immigrants openly flouted Mexican law, especially the prohibition against slavery. Combined with United States' attempts to purchase Texas, Mexican authorities decided in 1830 to prohibit continued immigration from the United States.[50] New laws also called for the enforcement of customs duties angering both native Mexican citizens (Tejanos) and recent immigrants.[51]

The Anahuac Disturbances in 1832 were the first open revolt against Mexican rule and they coincided with a revolt in Mexico against the nation's president.[52] Texians sided with the federalists against the current government and drove all Mexican soldiers out of East Texas.[53] They took advantage of the lack of oversight to agitate for more political freedom. Texians met at the Convention of 1832 to discuss requesting independent statehood, among other issues.[54] The following year, Texians reiterated their demands at the Convention of 1833.

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