By linking the usually separate fields of Southern and Mexican history, Seeds of Empire provides a new framework for understanding the transformation of the Texas borderlands in the first half of the nineteenth century. Andrew Torget's account shows, once and for all, that the Texas Revolution (1835–36) was due neither to Manifest Destiny nor to intractable cultural differences but to conflicts between cotton producers and the Mexican government over the agricultural and economic development of Coahuila y Texas.

Seeds of Empire offers a sweeping reinterpretation of the origins of Anglo settlement in the Texas borderlands. The book opens with an image of desolation—a haunting description of the flood that nearly destroyed drought-stricken San Antonio in 1819. Although the natural topography and climate contributed to the forsaken condition of northern New Spain, Torget argues that “a century of neglect and mismanagement by Spanish...

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