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Colonization/Empresarios 1821 – Mexico gained independence from Spain 2,500 Mexican people were living in Texas 30,000 Native Americans were living in Texas Mexican settlers and Native Americans had hostile relationship Mexican people did not want to settle in Texas Mexican government was looking for new ways to settle Texas to keep U.S. out Moses Austin Was a successful store owner in Pennsylvania and Virginia. Became a successful land miner in Virginia and Louisiana Territory. In 1796, he received a sitio of land (4428 acres) and a contract to bring 30 families to the Missouri area. Austin became a Spanish citizen. In 1803, when the United States bought Louisiana from France, he became a United States citizen again. He started the Bank of St. Louis and lent money to speculators but his bank ran into trouble and he lost his fortune. Moses decided to start over in Texas. Moses asked Spanish officials to give him permission to settle 300 families in Texas in exchange for large amounts of land. He traveled 800 miles to Texas to discuss this and the Spanish governor rejected his idea and ordered him to leave Texas. Baron de Bastrop met with Moses and agreed to help him. He convinced the Governor to approve the deal. Moses headed back to Missouri to prepare for his new colony but the long journey is too much for the aging man and he arrived home very sick. He never made it back to Texas and died on June 10, 1821. His dying request was for his son Stephen to carry out the plan for his colony in Texas. 1823-1824 – Mexico passed colonization laws to promote settlement in Texas Colonization Law of 1823 Settlers who came from the U.S. could get large amounts of land at a low cost No taxes for six years Settlers who came from the U.S. would have to become Mexican citizens The government in Mexico changed in 1824 and a federal system replaced the military leaders and passed a new law. The State Colonization Law States got to set their own rules for colonization State governor now granted contracts to bring people to the state Empresarios Under these new laws, empresarios were responsible for settling Texas. They worked as a land agent and agreed to settle a number of people in a given place within a few years. In return, the empresario received large grants of land. When new settlers reached Texas, they were given a title to a piece of land. This gave them the right to own it. Empresarios had to find the RIGHT people to move to the area. They also provided loans, supplies, and other necessities to the settlers.
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