Spanish Colonization Timeline

  • 1689

    Although Spain claimed ownership of the territory, which comprised part of the modern-day U.S. state of Texas, the Spanish did not attempt to colonize the area until after discovering evidence of the failed French colony of Fort Saint Louis.
  • 1690

    Alonso De León escorted several Catholic missionaries to East Texas, where they established the first mission in East Texas.
  • 1716

    The Spanish returned to East Texas in 1716, establishing several missions and a presidio to maintain a buffer between Spanish Territory and the French territory of Louisiana.
  • 1718

    On May 1, 1718, the mission San Antonio de Valero was established in San Antonio and it would later become known as “the Alamo”. During this time, the Spanish government, in an effort to save money, decided to reduce the number of troops in the East Texas region which left the East Texas missions vulnerable to attacks by Natives. Without military protection, the missions could not survive.
  • 1731

    The East Texas missions of San Francisco, the mission Concepcion, and the San Jose mission were all moved to San Antonio. Also, in 1731, 15 families -55 people in all arrived at San Antonio de Bexar and built a small village, which they named “San Fernando de Bexar.” The new town quickly became a target for raids by the Lipan Apache.
  • 1749

    Spanish and the Apache made peace
  • 1785

    The threat of Indian attacks did not decrease until 1785, when Spain reached a peace agreement with the Comanche, who later assisted in defeating the Lipan Apache tribe, which had continued to cause difficulties for Spanish settlers.
  • 1800

    By 1800, a feeling of dissatisfaction had begun to spread throughout the colonies. Spain was involved in conflicts with England and France back in Europe and it turned out to be very costly to the Spanish government. Spain had few resources to send to the colonies anymore. Instead, it placed heavy taxes on the colonists to pay for European wars. Many colonists grew unhappy with Spanish rule. They wanted to make their own laws instead of being controlled by the King of Spain. A leader would
  • 1810

    On September 16, 1810, Father Hidalgo gave a speech called the “Grito De Dolores” (Cry of Dolores.) In it, he called for Mexican citizens to rise up and fight for independence. His ideas were supported by many settlers in Texas.
  • 1821

    The struggle for independence continued for a decade before a treaty was signed on August 24, 1821 that made Mexico independent from Spain. Spain was forced to relinquish its control of New Spain and Texas became part of the newly formed Republic of Mexico, leading to a period in Texas history known as Mexican Texas
  • 1821

    , Settlers began coming to Texas to create a new life for themselves by getting a fresh start, and taking advantage of raw, untapped resources they could claim for their own. They were attracted by plentiful and inexpensive land, they sought adventure and personal gain, and some were trying to escape problems in the United States. This was made possible by 27 year old Stephen F. Austin, who was considered the first empresario in Texas.