Great Britain's victory over France in the Seven Years' War (17561763) meant that France was no longer a colonial power in North America. Without a French threat, Spanish officials believed there was no need for Spain to maintain its far-flung missions in Texas. They ordered settlers in East Texas to leave their homes and move to the missions at San Antonio and Goliad for protection. However, one group of settlers, led by Gil Ybarbo, moved back into East Texas and built the town of Nacogdoches.
Fight for Control of Texas A boundary dispute between the United States and Spain resulted in the Adams-Onís Treaty in 1819. Spain transferred Florida to the United States. In return, the United States surrendered all claims to Texas. Even so, many Americans migrated into Spanish Texas. Some were farmers and ranchers. Others were filibusters who plotted to seize control of Texas. Spanish soldiers ultimately defeated the filibusters' attempts to take Texas. When Mexico became independent from Spain in 1821, the province of Texas became part of that new country. Only San Antonio, Goliad, and Nacogdoches were settled, however. Vast stretches of northern and western Texas lay unoccupied or were controlled by nomadic Native Americans.
Spanish Legacy Although Spain did not populate the region, it did leave its mark on Texas. Many Texas rivers and cities bear Spanish names. Spaniards laid out the first roads, such as El Camino Real. Spanish vaqueros introduced many ranching practices and made the first long cattle drives. The Spaniards also brought their language, their architecture, their systems of law and government, and their religion to Texas.