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Pioneer Life in Texas. Population Growth. A Rapidly Growing Republic. Between 1836 and 1846 (the 10 years that Texas was a Republic) the population of Texas grew by about 350% Approx. 35,000 in 1836 to over 125,000 in 1846

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pioneer life in texas

Pioneer Life in Texas

Population Growth

a rapidly growing republic
A Rapidly Growing Republic
  • Between 1836 and 1846 (the 10 years that Texas was a Republic) the population of Texas grew by about 350%
    • Approx. 35,000 in 1836 to over 125,000 in 1846
  • In 1839 the Texas Congress passed the Homestead Act which protected a family’s home, tools, and 50 acres of land from seizure for nonpayment of debts.
  • “It is their own and their children’s with no proud landowner to look up to, no rents or taxes to pay. To use an American expression, ‘One feels freed and one is free.’ They enjoy life and their families, certain that poverty cannot threaten them.” – William Bollaert
immigrant agents
Immigrant Agents
  • The Texas Congress granted contracts to immigrant agents – people paid in land or money to relocate settlers to an area – to bring colonists to Texas.
    • Agents received 6,400 acres for every 100 families they brought in….sound familiar?
  • The German Emigration Company (or Adelsverein) promoted German immigration to Texas.
    • Overpopulation, poverty, political problems, and heavy taxes influenced many Germans to leave their country.
    • New Braunfels, Fredericksburg, Boerne, Comfort, and Sisterdale were all established by German immigrants.
german influence
German Influence?

Braunfels, Germany

New Braunfels, Texas

slavery continues in texas
Slavery Continues in Texas
  • After gaining independence the government of the Republic of Texas made no efforts to limit slavery.
    • One out of every four families in Texas had at least one slave.
  • By the mid 1840s, African Americans made up almost 30% of Texas’ population.
  • Slavery was justified by quoting parts of the Bible, using “scientific” research, or by citing economic advantages of slavery.

Slaves found many ways to resist slavery by:

    • Withholding cooperation
    • Breaking their tools
    • Pretending to be ill or
    • Running away
  • Despite the harsh conditions slaves were able to sustain a rich culture through:
    • Family
    • Artistic expression and
    • Religion


not all were slaves
Not ALL Were Slaves
  • Several hundred free African Americans lived in Texas before the Civil War
    • Many of these were granted land for their service in the Texas military during the revolution
    • Most of them lived on farms in rural parts of Texas
  • In 1840 the Congress of Texas passed a law allowing free African Americans to petition for the right to remain in Texas.
    • Most petitions were denied
tejano tensions in texas
Tejano Tensions in Texas
  • Mexican Texans (Tejanos) also faced hardships in the new republic.
    • Despite the fact that many of them had fought for Texas’ independence, new Anglos in Texas assumed that Tejanos opposed the war for independence.
  • Some Anglo settlers took Tejano land by force while other Tejanos fled to Mexico out of fear
    • Even Juan Seguin sought refuge in Mexico for several years stating that he felt as if he were, “a foreigner in my native land.”
  • Still, between 1838 and 1841 more than 500 Mexicans obtained land grants in Texas.