The population growth after the war in Texas was greater than other southern states because of the cheap state school land that was made available to immigrants fleeing the hardships brought on by the carpetbagger governments in other states in the South.
Texas disposed of nearly 5-million acres under the Pre-emption and Homestead Acts from 1836 to 1880. Three of my great grandfathers pre-empted (purchased) 160 acres in 1879 under the 1854 Texas Homestead Act for $3 an acre. One great grandfather leased 160 acres in west Texas from one of my other great grandfathers.
My great grandfather P.G. Whaley (Monroe's 1st Arkansas Cavalry) inherited a large plantation from John and Charles T. Anderson in Hempstead County Arkansas. The Andersons moved from Georgia to Missouri and settled in Arkansas by 1825. In 1870, my great,grandfather P.G.Whaley sold his father-in-law John Anderson's share of the Anderson plantation to carpetbaggers and moved to Texas. One of my great, great grandfathers moved from Perry County Tennessee and received a 360 acre headright land grant in Upshur County (now Camp County) from the Republic of Texas in 1840.
The land grants from the Republic of Texas were initially a league (4,428 acres) and a labor (177 acres) to qualifying immigrants but the homestead grants got smaller and smaller until they were reduced to a purchase of 160 acres. The land grants and cheap land available for purchase in Texas is the reason for the phenomenal growth in the state from 1838 through 1890. Many immigrant families traveling through Missouri on the way to the California gold rush, came to Texas instead. Texas state ownership of public (school) lands was part of the agreement when Texas entered the Union in 1848. Texas also gave public land to the railroads for right-of-way which enhanced population growth. The invention of wind-mills in 1884 also helped the population to expand into dry, wind blown, west Texas. Most other states had plenty of surface water and windmills were not needed to bring clean potable water to the surface from deep wells. When other states entered the Union, the public lands became federal property and much of it remains federal land today.
After the Homestead Act of 1854, the only qualifications required to purchase Texas school land was that the original purchaser must remain the owner for three years after the purchase and make improvements such as raisiing crops, grazing livestock or the construction of a home.