HISTORY Old' TEXAS. 35~~~~~~~~~~
quantities in proportion to the size of a family
and the industry and activity of the colonists.
Eleven square leagues was the limit of land
that could be owned by the same hands as
prescribed by the national colonization law.
For each square league, or sitio, as it was
denominated, the colonist paid an emption
sum of $30 to the State, $2.50 for each labor
not irrigable, and $3.50 for each that was irrigable;
but these payments were not demanded
until after the expiration of six years from
the time of settlement, and then only in three
installments at long intervals. Contractors
and the military were exempt from this tax.
Thus the terms offered settlers were very
liberal, except that they required them to be
of the Catholic faith and gave preference to
Mexicans. However, after the promulgation
of the above laws an increased tide of immigration
set in from the United States, and
little or no regard was paid to the religious
character of the law. In a few years nearly
the whole of Texas was parceled out to empresarios,
though none fulfilled their contracts
except Austin. Settlers, however, continued
to cofne in and improve the land, mainly
from the United States, with the inevitable
result, as almost any one might have seen, of
turning eventually the province of Texas into
a member of the American Union. The
population increased from 3,500 in 1821 to
about 20,000 in 1830.
EFFECT OF THE NEW IMMIGRATION ON THE
By this time it began to become apparent
that the old regime of government to which
the Spaniards and Mexicans were accustomed,
was obsolete, or " behind the times. " The
new people in Texas were of broader gauge
than the "old fogies" could imagine, and
would not brook the everlasting series of
revolutions and counter-revolutions in which
the Mexicans delighted. But before we proceed
with the causes of the final revolution,
let us glance at further details in reference to
the condition of the people in Texas alid
Prior to 1824 'exas, li:Ld no1 political coInnection
with Coahulila. Tlhe latter was a
richer and more populous country, and temptations
greater there to a corrupt ruler. Oppression
was exercised there on a much larger
scale than in Texas. The commandant general
ruled as it suited him, and while possessing
even superior power to the viceroy, there
was no check whatever upon his authority,
except the presence of his legal adviser, the
auditor (le guerra, who generally did nothing
more than approve and support his opinions.
Great distance from the seat of the general
government rendered local government more
independent and irresponsible, and corrupt
rulers an almost unlimited opportunity to exploit
the interests of the people. Every
enormity was practiced that enmity or covetousness
suggesteJ. Under a le-s oppressive
government the province of Coahuila, with
its fertile soil, its genial climate and exhilarating
atmosphere, would have been all that
man could desire; but the incubus of commercial
and agricultural monopoly pressed
heavily on the land. The prince merchants
smothered development. No factories or
invention stimulated industry. Primitive
and crude methods continued their old and
monotonous way along with no hope of change.
Wine and brandy were about the only exports.
But the inhabitants of Coahuila were
almost exclusively pastoral and agricultural.
Here were to be found simplicity and insensibility
to intrigue, untiring industry and patience
under severe labor, the endurance of
-H-18-TORY OF TEXAS.
Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families. Chicago. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/. Accessed January 29, 2015.