For other meanings of Texas, see Texas (disambiguation).
Texas (old Spanish Tejas) is a southern state of the United States of America.
The state is named for the Native American Texas tribe[?], a subdivision of the Caddo[?] people once living in the east of the state.
The state flower is the bluebonnet[?] (Lupinus texensis); the state motto is both "The lone star state" and the "Friendship state", and the people of Texas are still debating which motto best represents them. However, "The Lone Star State" seems to be the most commonly used today.
Texas (area 690,000 km2) is the second largest state in size after Alaska and has historically been portrayed as larger than life, especially in cowboy films and oil wells.
A number of ships of the United States Navy have been named USS Texas in honour of this state.
Texas was part of the Spanish colony of New Spain; see Spanish Texas[?] for details.
After Mexican independence in 1821 Texas was a part of Mexico. See Mexican Texas[?].
Also see Texas Revolution.
Texas was the first sovereign nation (other than aboriginal nations) to be annexed by the United States. (The other was the Kingdom of Hawaii.) The area now known as Texas was called The Republic of Texas from 1836 to 1845.
- 1519. Alonso Alvarez de Pineda[?], a Spanish explorer, was probably the first European to map the Texas coast.
- 1528 - 1534. ┴lvar Nu˝ez Cabeša de Vaca[?], another Spanish explorer, spent six years visiting Texas for trade.
- 18 February 1685. Rene-Robert Cavelier[?], Sieur de LaSalle[?] established Fort St. Louis at Matagorda Bay[?], thus laying claim to Texas by France.
- 1700 - 1799. Spain established Catholic missions in Texas throughout the 18th century.
- 3 January 1823. Stephen F. Austin began a colony of 300 families in the Brazos River region. This group is now known as the "Old Three Hundred".
- 26 June 1832. The Battle of Velasco[?] resulted in the first casualties of the developing Texas Revolution.
- 1832 - 1833. The "Conventions" of 1832 and 1833 were triggered by rising unrest at the policies of the ruling Mexican government. Among the policies that most irritated the Texians were the Mexican ban on slavery, the forcible disarmament of Texian settlers, and the expulsion of illegal immigrants from the United States of America. The example of the Centralista forces' suppression of dissidents in Zacatecas also inspired fear of the Mexican government.
- Texas Revolution Early in 1835, Stephen F. Austin announced that war with Mexico was necessary to secure Texian freedom.
- 2 October 1835. Texians fought a Mexican Cavalry detachment at the town of Gonzales[?], which began the actual revolution.
- 28 October 1835. At the "Battle of Concepcion[?]", 90 Texians defeated 450 Mexicans.
- 2 March 1836. The "Convention of 1836" signed the Texas "Declaration of Independence", making an attempt at a clear break from Mexican rule.
- 6 March 1836. Approximately 190 Texians, led by William B. Travis[?], were besieged at the Alamo in San Antonio by the Mexican army (numbering 4,000 to 5,000). The thirteen-day siege resulted in the deaths of all of its defenders, including Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie[?] and Travis.
- 27 March 1836. By the order of Santa Anna, the Mexicans executed James Fannin and nearly 400 Texians in the Massacre at Goliad.
- 21 April 1836. General Santa Anna, having defeated the Texas rebellion, while conducting mopping up operations advanced to San Jacinto in pursuit of the fleeing rebels. Led by Sam Houston, independence was won in one of the most decisive battles in history when Texians defeated Mexican forces of Santa Anna at the "Battle of San Jacinto". The entire Mexican force of 1,600 men was killed or captured by Houston's army of 800, with only nine fatal casualties. Santa Anna was among the captives.
- 14 May 1836. The treaty of Velasco was signed by Republic of Texas Officials and General Santa Anna.
- 1836. Five cities served as temporary capitals of Texas (Washington-on-the-Brazos[?], Galveston, Harrisburg[?], Velasco[?], and Columbia[?]) before Sam Houston moved the capital to Houston in 1837.
- 5 March 1842. A Mexican force of over 500 men, led by Rafael Vasquez, invaded Texas for the first time since the revolution. They soon headed back to the Rio Grande after briefly occupying San Antonio.
- 11 September 1842. San Antonio was captured again by 1400 Mexican troops, led by Adrian Woll. They retreated, as before, but with prisoners this time.
- 29 December 1845. President James K. Polk followed through on a campaign platform promising to annex Texas, and signed legislation making Texas the 28th state of the United States.
- 1 February 1861. Following a 171 to 6 vote by the "Secession Convention", Texas seceded from the Union. Sam Houston was one of the voters who opposed secession.
- 30 March 1870. The United States Congress readmitted Texas into the Union.
- 20 January 2001. George W. Bush is inagurated. Born in New Haven, Connecticut he was raised in Midland, Texas.
Law and Government
Its capital is Austin, also known as the "Live Music Capital of the World." The Capitol is loosely modeled after the Capitol Building in Washington, DC, except that it is built of pink granite and its dome is topped by a statue of the "Goddess of Liberty", holding aloft a five-point Texas star. The capitol building is taller than the national capitol, but less massive.
See List of Texas Governors
See List of Texas counties
It is bordered to the north by Oklahoma (across the Red River[?]), to the east by Louisiana and Arkansas, to the south by Mexico (across the Rio Grande) and the Gulf of Mexico, and the west by New Mexico.
Texas was largely rural before World War II with cattle ranching, oil, and agriculture as its main industries. In 1926 San Antonio was the largest city in Texas with over 120,000 people.
After World War II, Texas has become increasingly industralized. Its economy (circa 2000) is largely based on information technology, with Dallas - Fort Worth Metroplex being the largest IT labor market in the United States, oil and natural gas, energy exploration and energy trading, agriculture, and manufacturing. Major cities include Houston, Brownsville, McAllen, Tyler, Odessa and Midland. Other important cities include El Paso, Eagle Pass, and Laredo; these are very important because of their location at the borderline with Mexico, making them important trade points.
The state passed New York in the 1990s to become the second largest state in population after California largely due to the availability of jobs, low cost of living, high living standard, lack of a state income tax, low taxation of business, limited government (the state legislature of Texas meets only once every two years), warm weather, and friendly people.
As of 2000, the population of the state is 20,851,820.
Texas has a large number of Spanish speaking people some of whom have recently
immigrated from Mexico, Central America, and South America but includes others, known as Tejanos[?], whose ancestors have lived in Texas since before independence from Mexico. Unlike other United States states which border Mexico, the culture of Texas gradually merges into that of Mexico producing a vibrant border region.
Texas has been largely fortunate in avoiding the racial and ethnic problems found in many southern states and large cities of the northeast. Much of this is because Texas's immigrant population and cultural connections with Mexico are considered to have a highly positive influence on the area's economy.
But Texas' diversity comes from more than its Hispanic residents. Frontier Texas was also settled by Germans, Poles, Swedes, Norwegians, Czechs, and French, and their influence can still be noted in the names of towns, styles of architecture, genres of music, and variety of foods.
Important Cities and Towns
See: List of cities in Texas
Professional Sports Teams
- Imperial Texas: An Interpretive Essay in Cultural Geography, D. W. Meinig, University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas, 1969, hardback, 145 pages.
- Great River, The Rio Grande in North American History, Paul Horgan, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, reprint, 1977, in one hardback volume, ISBN 0-03-029305-7
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