Mexico encouraged immigration into Texas in the early 1820’s in order to help settle the Texas Mexican State. Many US settlers made the journey including the original Stephen F. Austin group.
In 1830 the President of Mexico implemented several changes in the law to discourage immigration from the United States into Texas because the US settlers were outnumbering the Mexican born settlers.
Some of the measures imposed on the settlers were:
- Settlers were denied freedom of religion and were required to join the Catholic Church.
- Further immigration from the United States was prohibited
- Property taxes were imposed.
- Tariffs were imposed on goods from the US.
- A prohibition against slavery was imposed.
- Mexican criminals were given the choice of prison or serving in the Mexican army in Texas.
- Texas was combined with the Mexican State of Coahuila and the capital moved 500 miles south.
- When Stephen F. Austin went to Mexico to protest and petition for changes he was jailed.
In 1834 Texas there were:
- 30,000 US immigrants
- 7800 Mexican born immigrants
- 5000 slaves
In 1835 Santa Anna abolished the Constitution of 1824 which was based on a Federal Republic type of government (like we have in the United States) and installed a new constitution removing individual freedom and establishing a powerful centralized government. Sound familiar?