When Mexico gained independence from Spain, the population in much of what is Texas today was dominated by Native Americans. The Mexican government felt threatened by the native groups, and it was worried that the United States would try to take Texas. So Mexico made policies to move more settlers into Texas to help control the region.
The Mexican government worked with empresarios, who operated as land agents in Texas. Empresarios worked to bring settlers to develop Texas for the Mexican government. Those settlers would receive land – and there was lots of it.
Anglo Americans had to give up their United States citizenship to move to Texas. Most who came to Austin were cotton farmers. Many brought slaves with them. Although in the 1820s there were Mexican laws forbidding slavery, the government allowed slavery in Texas.
By the 1830s, the Anglo and the Tejano populations of Texas increased significantly. However, despite becoming official citizens of Mexico, many settlers maintained their friendship with the United States. Distrust developed in Texas between the US and Mexico. Mexico tried to enforce control by ending slavery, imposing taxes, and stopping immigration from the United States. There was a civil war in Mexico, and the Mexican government struggled to maintain power in Texas.
In 1834 the situation got worse when President Santa Anna abandoned the constitution under which the American settlers had agreed to live. He sent a small army to Texas to confront the rebellious Texans. There was a confrontation between the Mexican military and the Texans in Gonzales, an event which marked the beginning of the Texas Revolution.
Source: Mexican Rule: 1821-1835-tx
Courtesy Texas Our Texas, Texas PBS