Among them was not having enough people, especially on its northern frontier. Mexico needed people to establish settlements and to develop the land. Where to get them was the question.
One answer was from its northern neighbor. In the three decades since the United States had adopted its own constitution, its population had doubled to almost 10 million. After the United States bought Louisiana from France in 1803, stories about the vast new territory pulled people westward. People also were pushed westward by crowding in the east and rising food and land prices.
Americans had already started to cross the Sabine River from Louisiana into Mexico. Some of them were poor squatters looking for free land. Some were pirates and smugglers on the wrong side of the law. Still others were military adventurers with wild plans for starting a new nation.
But those illegal immigrants were not what Mexico wanted.
TEXAS THROUGH THE YEARS
1521–1821 part of New Spain
1821–1824 part of the Mexican Empire
1824–1836 part of United Mexican States/Republic of Mexico
1836–1845 Republic of Texas
1845–1861 U.S. state
1861–1865 Confederate state
1870–present Restored to Union as U.S. state
Mexico passed its first colonization law in 1823. It provided for empresarios (agents) to recruit Catholic immigrants of any nationality to live in Mexico. The empresarios received rewards in the form of land. The law promised at least 177 acres of land to each farmer and 4,428 acres of land to each rancher. Newcomers did not have to pay taxes for six years. Married couples and self-supporting individuals could become citizens of Mexico in three years.
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Celebrating Our Southwest Heritage
A talk with Khristaan Villela
Neighbors North And South
Refugees from the Mexican Revolution in the 1910s head for Marfa, Texas.
A New Conflict Threatened The US And Mexico's Relationship
More than 60 years after the United States and Mexico fought their last battle over land, a new conflict threatened the two countries’ relationship.
The Final Piece
The dark green color in the map depicts the land that was the Gadsden Purchase.
Alta California Becomes A State
This 1750 map captures the Spanish belief—based on the Baja Peninsula—that California was an island.
From Tejas To Texas
The republic of Mexico—newly independent from Spain—faced some big problems in the early 1820s.
The Rise of New Spain
Within a couple of years of arriving in Mexico, Hernán Cortés conquered the Aztec Empire.
Rethinking A Holiday
Columbus Day has been an official U.S. holiday since 1937. But some people question the idea of celebrating Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the “New World.”
The Promise Of Gold And A Sea Route To India
The promise of gold and a sea route to India.
Did you know that the Spanish arrived in North America more than 100 years before the English settled their first colonies in Virginia and Massachusetts?
GETTING TO KNOW CHEF FRANCISCO ALEJANDRI VAZQUEZ
He left behind the kitchens of some of the best hotels in Mexico and journeyed to Canada. Founder of acclaimed Toronto restaurant Agave y Aguacate (now closed, as he recently moved back to Mexico), he sat down with us to talk about his journey.
TRIED AND TESTED HOTEL: ME Cabo, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
BEST FOR World-famous views of El Arco with a beautiful stretch of beach and oceanfront pool
Mexico's Covid Codependency
U.S. stimulus flows to Mexico in the form of remittances and increased export demand
After a Grim Limbo, Hope
A migrant camp empties as Biden undoes Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy
LESSONS FROM LUIS THE MONEY LAUNDERER
What drives one to cross continents the hard way? Is this what Overlanding is about? That persistent feeling that we'll never be caught if nothing can catch us? The optimist in me sure hoped that was the case. And after riding a battered old KLR650 35,000km from Canada to the southern tip of South America I'm still unsure what the purpose or motivation was. Worthwhile? Absolutely. Why? No idea.
What to Expect If You're Flying in 2021
Policies enacted by the airlines in 2020 may change air travel for the long haul.
BEACH BOD: SECURED!
La Bella Vita
Ana Leovy – Confetti in Cancún
Ana Leovy’s glass is half full, effervescent with bubbles, ready to toast the day and share the good news. Maybe on a solo stroll, maybe with friends and neighbors, the message is clear in her ripe gouache and acrylic pictures. Follow the light like a sunflower, lounge proud with purpose. A tropical storm delayed our conversation, but didn’t dampen her spirits.
Short hikes on the long PCT
Other than some extreme sports, one of the most agreed-upon measures of athletic physical endurance is hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.
Spend evenings under the stars in San Miguel de Allende.