The historian David Weber described life on the far northern frontier of Mexico as “neither a romantic holiday nor simply static.” In this essay, your task is to explore the problems that Spanish and later Mexican officials faced in promoting the settlement of the remote province of Texas. To be sure, these challenges came from well-mounted and armed Native Americans, the French, as well as westward-moving Americans. Nevertheless, each group represented both a threat and an opportunity. Explain why Spanish policies in dealing with Indians did not work satisfactorily in Texas. Spanish policy also discouraged French activity within the borders of Texas. However, French traders were active in the region until France surrendered control of Louisiana. What might explain Spanish toleration of French traders? Americans were received in a similar manner under both Spanish and Mexican law. Mexican policies concerning immigration, however, could be considered generous. In short, economic turbulence and political vacillation culminated in a political crisis by the 1830s in Texas. Lastly, explore the view of many Texans who came to believe that democratic government and tranquil prosperity were impossible under Mexican rule.
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