Andrew Torget’s Book, Seeds of Empire: Cotton, Slavery, and the Transformation of the Texas Borderlands

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Sets the scene for Texas to be put back into the time frame of the bare beginnings of the nineteenth-century. The time frame at which Texas was still under direct/indirect Spanish control in conjunction with ongoing rise in that of the cotton industry, the slave trade, and the overall notion of what could be referenced as statesmanship, probably better known by the befitting name of geopolitics. All while maintaining the sense of embodiment of the overall history of Texas’s boundary position being diverse in different cultures.

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Torget, in a sense, divides his publication into three main sectors or themes. The first sector having stationed the audience within what is essentially a turf war between the hispanic colonists that were present in the area at the time, these hispanic colonists being known as Tejanos, the attacking native american indian which was often the nearby Comanche tribe, and the Spanish government. Here, Torget begins to show that Spanish governmental reign was beginning to decrease, if not grow weak, within that of the first decennium of the beginning nineteenth century. However, in turn, the ongoing development of the cotton industry was spreading like wildfire, bringing in more and more immigrants to colonize in Texas.

As a result, brought the Comanche tribe as well as various other native american tribes closer to the settlements, which to them were to be seen as that of a market. This being said because the native americans at the time developed a real good operation of going in and commencing plunder of land, horses, and other important goods of necessity to the Tejanos to be able to engage in enterprise with the nearby American populace as well as to be able to stock up their tribe. However, these terrible circumstances began to subside once Mexico had gained their independence in the year 1810. In turn, the Tejanos of the area allowed for the Anglo Saxon settlers to come in and, in a way, set up shop for their own families in order to ballast the area and repopulate. It is here in this first sector that Torget transmits the very quandary of the Tejanos using great detail in the historical sense to present that of the depiction of anguish held by Tejanos that would later be extinguished by a mass migration of a great multitude of Americans which would later commence the belittlement of Tejanos many years later down the line.

The second sector of Torget’s Seeds of Empire pertains to settlement of American Immigrants under that of Hispanic dominance from Mexico. To start off this sector, Torget contends that the assistance from the local Tejanos was that in itself a key element of acquiring the authorization from the hispanic government of Mexico to be able-bodied to allow mass settlement of American immigrants to the area. He also showcases S. F. Austin’s acknowledgment of Texas having the capability of being that of a large cotton plantation.

The main fight, so to speak, being the resistance the Mexico had shown towards that of the very notion of slavery and its entirety, no matter how important slavery may have seemed to American settlers. For most of what was there of the higher up Tejanos who had shown massive favor to the immigration of Americans, in conjunction with the belief present by S. F. Austin, colonization was seen as a way to be able to bring about mass amounts of agronomics as that of a part of economic resource as well as a way to try to better internal groundwork and fortification of the land from native americans. It didn’t take too long for cotton to be referred to as that of a massive cash crop seeing as how it was very profitable, but it seemed that slavery was to be the adding factor to help in mass production for the continuated success of cotton production and sale.

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Andrew Torget’s book, Seeds of Empire: Cotton, Slavery, and the Transformation of the Texas Borderlands. (2021, Oct 16). Retrieved from