Mexican Rule: 1821-1835

After Mexico gained independence from Spain, the region that today is Texas was populated mainly by Native Americans. The Mexican government felt threatened by the native groups and feared that the U.S. would try to take Texas; with the help of empresarios, they moved settlers into the area to implement control over the region. The empresarios operated as land agents in Texas, and worked to bring settlers who would develop Texas for the Mexican government. In exchange, those settlers would receive title to land – a resource that was abundant.

Most people who came to Austin’s settlement were cotton farmers from the U.S. Many brought slaves with them; although the 1820s brought a series of laws abolishing slavery in Mexico, the government granted a temporary exception to the ban in Texas.

The population of Anglos and Tejanos increased greatly by the 1830s, but despite becoming citizens of Mexico, many settlers maintained their kinship for the United States. Texas became a breeding ground for distrust and differences between the U.S. and Mexico. The Mexican government tried to end slavery in the region, impose taxes, and end immigration from the U.S. Engaged in a civil war, the relationship between the Mexican government and the American settlers grew worse.

Relations between the Mexican government and the Texas settlers deteriorated as President Santa Anna abandoned the constitution under which the American settlers had agreed to live. In the summer of 1835, the Santa Anna sent a small army to Texas to confront the rebellious Texans. The beginning of the Texas Revolution soon followed.

Source: Mexican Rule: 1821-1835
Copyright © 2017 Texas Public Broadcasting. All Rights Reserved.

Back to top