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In contrast to central New Spain, coastal colonists found little mineral wealth.Some became farmers or ranchers, working for themselves on their own land or for other colonists.

In California, Spanish settlement began in 1769 with the establishment of the Presidio and Catholic mission of San Diego.

20 more missions were established along the California coast by 1823, along with military Presidios and civilian communities.

Both groups were settled mostly in the eastern part of the territory.

The Mexican government became concerned about the increasing volume of Anglo-American immigration and restricted the number of settlers from the United States allowed to enter Texas.

Most were Mexican Americans of Spanish descent and other Hispanicized European settlers who settled in the Southwest during Spanish colonial times, as well as local and Mexican Indians.

Approximately ten percent of the current Mexican-American population are descended from the early colonial settlers; their families claim hundreds of years' residency in the country.

Mexican-American history spans more than 400 years and varies from region to region within the United States.

In 1900, there were slightly more than 500,000 Hispanics of Mexican descent living in New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, California and Texas.

As early as 1813, some of the Tejanos who colonized Texas in the Spanish Colonial Period established a government in Texas that desired independence from Spanish-ruled Mexico.

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