By the late 1810s, a global revolution in cotton had remade the U.S.-Mexico border, bringing wealth and waves of Americans to the Gulf Coast while also devastating the lives and villages of Mexicans in Texas. In response, Mexico threw open its northern territories to American farmers in hopes that cotton could bring prosperity to the region. Thousands of Anglo-Americans poured into Texas, but their insistence that slavery accompany them sparked pitched battles across Mexico. An extraordinary alliance of Anglos and Mexicans in Texas came together to defend slavery against abolitionists in the Mexican government, beginning a series of fights that culminated in the Texas Revolution. In the aftermath, Anglo-Americans rebuilt the Texas borderlands into the most unlikely creation: the first fully committed slaveholders' republic in North America.
Seeds of Empire tells the remarkable story of how the cotton revolution of the early nineteenth century transformed northeastern Mexico into the western edge of the United States, and how the rise and spectacular collapse of the Republic of Texas as a nation built on cotton and slavery proved to be a blueprint for the Confederacy of the 1860s.
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Andrew J. Torget is assistant professor of history at the University of North Texas.Review:
Written in a clear, engaging style, and supported by prodigious research in both Mexican and U.S. archives, Seeds of Empire offers a complete reconfiguration of this period of Texas history. It will undoubtedly serve as the standard work on the topic.--American Historical Review
[An] insightful volume [that] provides a new analysis focused on the development of cotton farming.--Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Incisive and accessible . . . bridges borderlands history with that of the Atlantic World, crafting a multifaceted view of the rise of 'King Cotton' across borders and oceans.--Choice
A well-argued, brisk survey of the formative decades of modern Texas that challenges us to reconsider why it is that the legacy of slavery continues to haunt our civic and cultural life, both in Texas and throughout the nation.--Western Historical Quarterly
Torget ultimately has crafted a work to which scholars of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands should aspire--one that effectively balances U.S. and Mexican sources and addresses vital historical issues resonating from shifting national and imperial spaces.--Journal of American History
Well written, expertly researched, and interpretatively ambitious, Seeds of Empire immediately moves to the front ranks of monographs examining the long Civil War era on both sides of the Rio Grande.--Journal of the Civil War Era
Deeply researched and clearly written.--Journal of Southern History
The most nuanced and authoritative rewriting of Texas's origin myth to date.--Texas Monthly
Deeply researched and artfully written . . . Seeds of Empire brings new insight and nuance to the story of early Texas. . . . This is a fine and valuable addition to the library of Southwestern history, and it's a pleasure to read, as well.--Dallas Morning News
Expertly supports thoughtful arguments and deeply expands our understanding of the intersection between cotton, slavery, and empire.--H-Net Reviews
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