Requirements to Live in Texas under Mexican Rule

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Mier y Teran ordered the garrison of Bexar to abandon their fort and create a new presidio. [51] Fort Tenoxtitlán was founded in 1830 on the west bank of the Brazos River, 100 miles (161 km) above San Felipe. Shortly after the fort was completed, 50 immigrants from Tennessee came to the area under the direction of entrepreneur Sterling C. Robertson. The settlers had entered illegally, the Treaty of Robertson having been invalidated by the Guerrero Laws of 1830. The garrison commander decided not to expel them, but sent them to Mexico for advice. Three months later, he was ordered to immediately expel the settlers. He decided not to do so, so that Robertson`s colony could be saved. The fort was closed in 1832.[52] After receiving no replacement or supplies, the commander finally ordered all soldiers to return to San Antonio. [53] Bustamante introduced other measures to make immigration less desirable for Anglo-Americans. He repealed the Property Tax Act, which had exempted immigrants from paying taxes for ten years. It further increased tariffs on goods imported into Mexico from the United States, which led to higher prices.

[37] The laws of the 1830s also placed liquidation contracts under federal rather than state control. [45] Settlements that did not have at least 150 inhabitants were dissolved. Affected colonies included Sterling C. Robertson`s Nashville Company and David G. Burnet`s Galveston Bay and Texas Land Company, Lorenzo de Zavala and Joseph Vehlein. Finally, it prohibited all new immigration from the United States to Texas, although Anglos were still welcome in other parts of Mexico.[40] [37] The ban and other measures have not stopped U.S. citizens from illegally emigrating to Texas by the thousands. In 1834, about 30,000 Anglos lived in Texas,[46] compared to only 7,800 Mexicans. After the Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819 defined the border between the United States and Mexico,[12] Spain began actively encouraging Americans to settle in their northern province. Texas was sparsely populated, and the few Mexican farmers and ranchers who lived there were constantly threatened by hostile Indian tribes, especially the Comanche, who supplemented their hunt with raids on horses and cattle.

In September 1836, military hero Sam Houston was elected president of Texas and, following the relentless logic of American expansion, Texans voted for annexation to the United States. This was the dream of many settlers in Texas. They wanted to expand the United States westward and saw Texas as the next logical step. Slave owners, such as Sam Houston, William B. Travis, and James Bowie (both of whom died in the Alamo), also believed in the fate of slavery. Aware of the vicious debates over Missouri that had led to talk of disunity and war, American politicians were reluctant to annex Texas or even recognize it as a sovereign nation. Annexation would almost certainly mean war with Mexico, and the admission of a state with a large slave population, though permitted by the Missouri Compromise, would bring the issue of slavery back to the forefront. Texas had no choice but to organize itself as an independent Lone Star Republic. To protect itself from Mexican attempts to recover it, Texas sought and obtained recognition from France, Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands.

The United States did not officially recognize Texas as an independent nation until March 1837, nearly a year after the final victory over the Mexican army at San Jacinto. Once the National Colonization Act was passed, approval of the Texas Settlement Agreements was the responsibility of the Saltillo State Government. They were soon besieged by foreign speculators who wanted to bring settlers to the state. [19] Coahuila y Tejas introduced the federal law in 1825. [20] At that time, about 3500 people lived in Texas, most of them in San Antonio and La Bahia. [1] Under the new law, people who did not yet own property in Texas could claim a square league (4438 acres) of irrigable land, with an additional league for those who owned livestock. Soldiers were given the country`s first choice, followed by citizens and immigrants. Emprees and people with large families were exempt from the border. Those who owned land under Spanish control were allowed to keep their property as long as they had not fought alongside the Spanish in the Mexican War of Independence. Immigrants were subject to the same policies as Mexican citizens, and Native Americans who emigrated to Texas after Mexican independence and were not from the region were treated as immigrants. [21] By the end of the 18th century, Spain had stopped allocating new plots to San Antonio and La Bahia, making it difficult for some families to adapt to their growth.

Occupancy rights were granted to northeastern Texas residents, but the new residents had no formal ownership of the land on which they lived. [14] Shortly before Mexico`s independence, Spain changed its policy and passed a colonization law. Although the law did not establish a religious requirement for settlers in Texas, it was assumed that Spain`s only religion was Catholicism under the Constitution of 1812. In particular, article 28 of this law prohibited the importation of slaves into Spanish territories, and if they were brought to the territory, they would be freed. [15] Mexico passed a similar law in 1824. The General Colonization Law allowed all heads of families who were citizens or immigrants of Mexico to claim land. The law did not distinguish between racial or social stature, and people who had obtained occupancy rights could claim the land patent for the apartments. [16] Unlike its predecessor, Mexican law required immigrants to practice Catholicism and emphasized that foreigners must learn Spanish. [17] Settlers were expected to own property or engage in useful trade or commerce, and anyone who wanted to live in Texas had to go to the nearest Mexican authority for permission to settle.

The rules were widely flouted and many families became squatters. [18] Anahuac was placed under the control of Colonel Juan Davis Bradburn. Bradburn strictly enforced the laws of 1830 and angered many settlers. He prohibited the State Commissioner from granting property rights to squatters and insisted on enforcing the law freeing any slave who entered Mexican territory. [54] He and his men also confiscated settler estates for their personal wealth. This angered many Anglos, who felt their rights were violated by the Mexican Constitution of 1824. In 1832, local men organized a militia, ostensibly to protect the colony from Indian attacks, although all Indians in the area were peaceful. [55] Mexican law prohibited residents from forming militias, so Bradburn arrested Chief Patrick C. Jack. [56] Citizens were very angry.

In Brazoria, residents held a city meeting to decide what to do. William H. Wharton complained that there was little support in the Austin colony to confront Bradburn by military force; He and other supporters of the armed conflict felt that their opposition to other settlers was as deep as that of Mexican soldiers in the region. Bradburn eventually agreed to release Jack, and tensions subsided for a short time.[57] [55] The law also determined the amount of land to be allocated to different types of immigrants—i.e., singles, heads of household, farmers, ranchers, and traders—and the amount of land set aside for them. Settlers were exempt from paying taxes for ten years from the date of establishment of the colony, but if they did not fully settle on their land within six years, the land reverted to the state. Much of the state`s colonization law was devoted to determining the establishment of cities in the colonies. Subsequent laws and the constitution of the state of Coahuila y Tejas established the requirements for the administration of the new colonies. In 1836, federal officials repealed the provision allowing governors to preside over land commissions.

Although most governors were honest, in Arizona and California, some land speculators illegally confiscated land and gave it to friends and relatives. The updated rules prohibited anyone who was not a federal public servant from granting the patent. [10] By 1821, there were about 3,500 settlers living across Tejas, mostly in San Antonio and La Bahia,[1] although authorities tried to promote development along the border. The settler population was far outnumbered by the province`s native population. To increase the number of settlers, Mexico enacted the General Colonization Law in 1824, which allowed all heads of households, regardless of race, religion, or immigration status, to acquire land in Mexico. With the new national and state colonization laws, the Mexican government finally began to accede to petitions from men such as Green DeWitt, Robert Leftwich, Benjamin Milam, Hayden Edwards, and Martín De León. Some of these men had already gone to Mexico City in 1822 to obtain treaties of Empresario. Their long wait paid off, as Empresarios was entitled to a bounty of 23,000 acres of land for every 100 families settled in Texas.

The government continued to award land contracts in the 1820s, and by 1830 virtually all land in Texas was under contract with an empresario. Soon after, Mexico gained independence from Spain. The new lands were very sparsely populated. About 6.2 million people lived in an area that stretched from what is now the U.S. state of Oregon to present-day Guatemala. Nearly 10 percent of the population — mostly young men — had been killed during Mexico`s War of Independence, leaving the young nation with a labor shortage. [1] Mexico did not intend to lose its northern province.