The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 57, July 1953 - April, 1954

THE SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
VOL. LVII JULY, 1953 No. 1
facksonianfH Ciberalism anrd Spaish
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GERALD ASHFORD
HE reasons for the revolt of Texas in 1835-1836 are still
so obscure that hardly any two scholars will be found to
agree on what was the predominant motivation of the
colonists during the conflict with the Mexican government which
culminated in the Declaration of Independence. Slavery, expan-
sionism, land speculation, cultural incompatibility, racial dishar-
mony, oppression, dictatorship, governmental instability, central-
ism, religious intolerance, and other factors have been put for-
ward as causes of the revolution, but none of these has gained
unanimous acceptance as more than a contributing factor.
There is, however, a common denominator which has not re-
ceived proper attention and which, if carefully studied, may
explain not only the revolt but also the first American settlement
of Texas, the long loyalty of the colonists to the Mexican govern-
ment, the politics of the Republic of Texas, the annexation move-
ment, and in fact a good part of the history of the state to the
present time. For a clear understanding of this principle, it would
be best to delay its precise definition until a proper foundation
in history has been laid.
First, it is necessary to consider the political character of the
American settlers in Texas. Although emigrants from the United
States did not come in really significant numbers until Stephen
F. Austin had received and advertised his empresario grant in
1821, there were a few who migrated during the last years of
the eighteenth century and many more between 1803 and 182o.
In giving their reasons to the Spanish authorities for wishing to
settle in the King's dominion, these migrants usually expressed

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 57, July 1953 - April, 1954. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101152/. Accessed May 6, 2015.