Texas was empty. Even today, driving through much of Texas it feels quite empty, especially the further west one travels. What the Mexican government had in Texas was land - lots of it, and very few Mexican settlers.Well, if businesses want something from the government in Washington, they make campaign contributions and hire lobbying firms. The Congressional committees and regulatory agencies are generally strongly influenced by the businesses they legislate on or regulate. My understanding is that in Mexico City thing are more blatantly corrupt.
I can't see how the Spanish and Mexican governments were granting land for free to businessmen, who would then resell it, without those businessmen handing out money in some way.
When Texas became a republic, it gave away lots of acreage for nothing as an inducement to settlers. Free land - what a deal. Castroville south of San Antonio was settled by Alsatians. New Braunfels, Fredericksburg, Weimar, Sisterdale, etc. were settled by Germans. Victoria and other cities on a belt to Houston was settled mostly by Czechs. There were also a few Polish settlements and even a couple of French ones that did not last.
Giving away land for free was actually a rather common practice in the US to the north. That’s where the term “homesteader” came from. The various “land rushes” in new American territories were organized ways to make land claims.
When Texas wanted to build a state Capitol, it had no money, but it paid for the construction of this massive building with - you guessed it - land. One big difference between Texas and other states is that a condition of the union between Texas and the United States is that Texas retained ownership and control over its public lands. Many a great fortune in Texas was founded on this. Of course, they didn’t know then that they were sitting on a giant oil lake.
Don’t know where you’re from Betgo, but if you’ve never been here, it is rather big. OTOH, you can take Alaska, cut it in two, and each half would be bigger than Texas.