The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973 Page: 276
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Contrary to its earlier efforts, Spain did virtually nothing to foster
immigration in its final decade of control over Louisiana. When the
crown, in 1787 and 1788, permitted Anglo-Americans to settle there, it
did so because it could no longer spend money to transport Spaniards or
loyal Europeans to the colony. The only people obtainable at no cost to
Spain came from the United States. But before long they came to be
considered unreliable citizens. Nevertheless, Spain did not dare order
their total exclusion from Louisiana for fear of invasion. Although
Spanish officials ini Louisiana sought to acquire Europeans, only a few,
already in the United States, migrated to the colony. Because of Spain's
inability to defend the province, Godoy came to terms with the United
States in 1795, and then disposed of the colony to France in 18oo.
Spain's removal from the Mississippi Valley resolved the problem of
confrontation with the United States over Louisiana. The problem the
Iberian nation faced here was, in reality, part of a larger issue. From
1790 on, Spain was in that final phase of its colonial period in the New
World which Charles Chapman once called the "defensive defensive."59
Challenged by more problems than it had solutions for, Spain found it-
self retreating along the periphery of its American empire. On the sur-
face, the Spanish retrocession of Louisiana to France would have been
a brilliant maneuver had France assumed the colony's defense. Instead
France's sale of Louisiana to the United States surprised Spain; and
while Spain protested the sale it did not actively attempt to regain the
province. Unable to colonize Louisiana with a loyal population and
faced with Anglo-Americans entering it at will, Spain probably averted
an internal rebellion by its retrocession to France. Three decades later,
Mexico, facing a similar crisis in Texas, lacked a solution to the same
dilemma. Consequently, Mexico experienced an insurrection in Texas,
led chiefly by Anglo-American immigrants from the United States.
59 Charles Edward Chapman, Colonial Hispanic America: A History (New York, 1933),
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973, periodical, 1973; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101202/m1/318/: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.