The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962 Page: 61
Che A/qgl-Atericat Coloiists
Ulider McicaH Alitia Caws
HENRY W. BARTON
THE COLONIZATION LAWS under which Stephen F. Austin
and others brought settlers into Texas consistently failed
to mention one obligation which the colonists faced. The
omission, however, was not repeated in the empresario's contracts
with the Mexican government. Upon being accepted as a Mexican
citizen, each man among the colonists became subject to militia
duty for the preservation of order and the protection of the col-
ony. The empresario had the extra responsibility to organize and
command the militia until such time as the Mexican government
would put into effect the regular procedures for governing the
It was hardly necessary that the colonization laws mention the
militia, for it was an old tradition among all the European coun-
tries and could, therefore, be taken for granted as part of a citi-
zen's obligation. From the Middle Ages men had faced two mili-
tary obligations: the feudal levy and the militia levy, which was
based on a man's obligation to his community and was invoked,
consequently, for local defensive operations.
Although militias existed in both the English and Spanish
traditions, the two organizations were different as the two peoples
and their experiences were different. Consequently, when the
Anglo-American and Ibero-American cultures met in Texas, the
militia was one of the several agencies of government which they
both took for granted but saw differently.
It is likely that most of the Anglo-American colonists who
came to Texas had not actually served in the militia in the service
of the United States, but they had lived under the Militia Act
of 1792, which indiscriminately put all able-bodied men from
iPaul Lacroix, Military and Religious Life in The Middle Ages and at The
Period of The Renaissance (New York, 1874), 38, 73.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962, periodical, 1962; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101195/m1/81/ocr/: accessed September 28, 2016), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.