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Texas



 

Texas is a state in the South and Southwest regions of the United States. It joined the United States in 1845 as the 28th state, after ten years of self governing (1836-1846). (Annexation occured in 1845, but the actual transfer of power to the United States didn′t occur until 1846.) During those ten years of independence, it was recognized by the United States and several European nations as an independent country called the Republic of Texas.

The state name derives from a word in a Caddoan language of the Hasinai, táyshaÊ” (or tejas, as the Spaniards spelled it), meaning friends or allies. Spanish explorers mistakenly applied the word to the people and their location. (The Texas Department of Transportation pays homage to the origin of Texas in its "Drive Friendly" safe driving campaign.)

With an area of 268,820 square miles (696,241 km2) and a population of 22.5 million, Texas is the second largest U.S. state in both area and population, and the largest state in the contiguous 48 states in area. (Alaska is the largest U.S. state in area and California is the most populous.) Texas has historically had a "larger than life" reputation, especially in cowboy films.

History

Texas can claim that "Six Flags" have flown over its soil: the Fleur-de-lis of France, and the national flags of Spain, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the United States of America and the Confederate States of America.

Native American tribes who once lived inside the boundaries of present-day Texas include Apache, Atakapan, Bidai, Caddo, Comanche, Cherokee, Kiowa, Tonkawa, and Wichita. Currently, there are three federally recognized Native American tribes which reside in Texas: the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas, the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas, and the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo of Texas.

On November 6, 1528 shipwrecked Spanish conquistador Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca became the first known European to set foot on Texas. A member of the Narváez expedition, he was later enslaved by a Native American tribe of the upper Gulf coast, and explored what are now the U.S. states of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona on foot from coastal Louisiana to Sinaloa, Mexico, over a period of roughly six years. He returned to Europe in 1537, where he wrote about his experiences in a work called La relación ("The Tale").

Prior to 1821, Texas was part of the Spanish colony of New Spain. Moses Austin managed to buy land from the Spanish government in Texas. Moses purchased it with the help of Baron Felipe de Bastrop who presented the land scheme to the royal governor of Texas Antonio de Martinez. The governor passed along the favorable idea to his superior Commandant General of the Eastern Interior Province Joaquin de Arredondo. Moses was granted 200,000 acres (800 km²) of land of his choice.

After Mexican independence in 1821, Texas became part of Mexico and in 1824 became the northern section of Coahuila y Tejas. On 3 January 1823, Stephen F. Austin began a colony of 300 American families along the Brazos River in present-day Fort Bend County and Brazoria County, centered primarily in the area of what is now Sugar Land. This group became known as the "Old Three Hundred." The "Conventions" of 1832 and 1833 responded to rising unrest at the policies of the ruling Mexican government.

In 1835, Santa Anna, President of Mexico, proclaimed a unified constitution for all Mexican territories, including Texas. North American settlers in Texas announced they intended to secede from Mexico rather than give up their "right" to slavery, which Mexico had abolished. Other policies that irritated the Texians included 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.

On March 2, 1836, the "Convention of 1836" signed the Texas "Declaration of Independence," declaring Texas an independent nation. On April 21, 1836 the Texans won their independence when they defeated the Mexican forces of Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto. A factor in the defeat of Santa Anna′s army at San Jacinto was the time the Texas Army got to gather itself, thanks to a small group of brave men at The Alamo and General Sam Houston′s strategy of giving up land until he had properly trained his army. Santa Anna himself passed into captivity, and on May 14, Republic of Texas officials and General Santa Anna signed the treaty of Velasco.

Later in 1836, the Texians adopted a constitution that formally legalized slavery in Texas. The Republic of Texas included all the area now included in the state of Texas, although its self-proclaimed western and northwestern borders extended as far west as Santa Fe and as far northwest as present-day Wyoming, respectively.

In 1845, Texas was admitted to the United States as a constituent state of the Union. Annexation was mutually beneficial to Texas and the United States. Texas was in a very susceptible position following independence, with a weak government, little industry, and minimal infrastructure. The U.S. could not allow such a tenuous nation to sit right on its border. Texas also lay partially in the way of the U.S. expansion to the Pacific, and its "Manifest Destiny". The major stumbling block of annexation, besides the potential for war with Mexico, was the fact that Texas was a slave state and potentially would tip the balance between free and slave states due to its huge size. Some southerners were pushing for the ability to divide Texas into multiple states, thereby increasing the number of slave states even more. A compromise was reached in that if Texas were divided, any states north of the Missouri Compromise would be free states.

Some confusion has arisen over the annexation of Texas. Texas was admitted to the Union via a ′Joint Resolution for Annexing Texas to the United States′ on March 1, 1845. Prior to the resolution there were several efforts to arrive at a formal annexation treaty. These efforts failed due to the ongoing struggle between ′slave′, and ′free′ states. Due to the requirement of the US Constitution (Article II, Section 2) that all treaties be approved by 2/3rds of the Senate, a formal treaty was thus blocked. President John Tyler suggested that annexation be accomplished by the ′Joint Resolution for Annexing Texas to the United States′ as it required only a simple majority of members from each chamber of the US Congress for passage.

During the Civil War, Texas seceded from the Union and joined the Confederate States of America. In 1870, the United States Congress readmitted Texas into the Union.

Texans pride themselves in a history of tradition, yet seeking new social and technological developments along the way. Austin is the headquarters of Dell and the surrounding area is known as "Silicon Hills", Dallas is a famously cosmopolitan metropolis and the birthplace of the integrated circuit, Houston is a leader in the oil industry, and cultures of San Antonio and El Paso retain their Mexican heritage while Fort Worth maintains its western heritage. The state tourism slogan is "Texas: It′s like a whole other country."

State designations and symbols

  • state flower — the bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis)
  • state motto — "Friendship"
  • state nickname — The Lone Star State (after the single star on several historical flags of Texas, including the current Texas flag)
  • state tree — the pecan
  • state bird — the mockingbird
  • official state song — Texas Our Texas
  • state mammals (three)
    • small — armadillo
    • large — Texas longhorn (cattle)
    • flying — Mexican free-tailed bat

TEXAS COUNTIES


Travis
Dallas
Collin
Grayson
Denton
Rockwall
Ellis
Navarro
Van Zandt
Kaufman
Henderson
Hunt
Wood
Lamar
Red River
Fannin
Delta
Hopkins
Rains
Camp
Titus
Franklin
Bowie
Cass
Marion
Morris
Gregg
Panola
Upshur
Harrison
Rusk
Smith
Cherokee
Nacogdoches
Anderson
Leon
Trinity
Houston
Freestone
Madison
Angelina
Newton
San Augustine
Sabine
Jasper
Polk
Shelby
Tyler
Tarrant
Parker
Johnson
Wise
Hood
Somervell
Hill
Palo Pinto
Clay
Montague
Cooke
Wichita
Archer
Knox
Wilbarger
Young
Baylor
Haskell
Erath
Stephens
Jack
Shackelford
Brown
Eastland
Hamilton
Comanche
Callahan
Throckmorton
Bell
Milam
Coryell
Mclennan
Williamson
Lampasas
Falls
Robertson
Bosque
Limestone
Mason
Runnels
San Saba
Mcculloch
Coleman
Llano
Concho
Menard
Mills
Kimble
Edwards
Tom Green
Irion
Reagan
Coke
Schleicher
Crockett
Sutton
Sterling
Harris
Montgomery
Walker
Liberty
San Jacinto
Grimes
Hardin
Matagorda
Fort Bend
Colorado
Austin
Wharton
Brazoria
Waller
Washington
Galveston
Chambers
Orange
Jefferson
Brazos
Burleson
Lee
Victoria
Refugio
De Witt
Jackson
Goliad
Lavaca
Calhoun
La Salle
Bexar
Bandera
Kendall
Frio
Mcmullen
Atascosa
Medina
Kerr
Live Oak
Webb
Zapata
Comal
Bee
Guadalupe
Karnes
Wilson
Gonzales
Nueces
Jim Wells
San Patricio
Kenedy
Duval
Brooks
Aransas
Jim Hogg
Kleberg
Hidalgo
Cameron
Starr
Willacy
Bastrop
Burnet
Blanco
Hays
Caldwell
Gillespie
Uvalde
Dimmit
Zavala
Kinney
Real
Val Verde
Terrell
Maverick
Fayette
Oldham
Gray
Wheeler
Lipscomb
Hutchinson
Parmer
Potter
Moore
Hemphill
Randall
Hartley
Armstrong
Hale
Dallam
Deaf Smith
Castro
Lamb
Ochiltree
Carson
Hansford
Swisher
Roberts
Collingsworth
Sherman
Childress
Dickens
Floyd
Cottle
Hardeman
Donley
Foard
Hall
Motley
King
Briscoe
Hockley
Cochran
Terry
Bailey
Crosby
Yoakum
Lubbock
Garza
Dawson
Gaines
Lynn
Jones
Stonewall
Nolan
Taylor
Howard
Mitchell
Scurry
Kent
Fisher
Midland
Martin
Andrews
Reeves
Ward
Pecos
Crane
Jeff Davis
Borden
Glasscock
Ector
Winkler
Upton
Loving
El Paso
Brewster
Hudspeth
Presidio
Culberson

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