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State nickname: Lone Star State
Largest City Houston
Area Ranked 2nd
- Total 696,241 km2
- Land 678,907 km2
- Water 17,333 km2
- % water 2.5%
Population Ranked 2nd
- Total (2000) 20,851,820
- Density 30/km2
Admittance into Union
- Order 28th
- Date December 29, 1845
Time zone Mountain: UTC-7/-6
All but some part of western TX in Central
Latitude 25°50'N to 36°30'N
Longitude 93°31'W to 106°38'W
Width 1,065 km
Length 1,270 km
-Highest 2,667 meters
-Mean 520 meters
-Lowest 0 meters
ISO 3166-2: US-TX
Texas (in modern Spanish spelling it would be Tejas) is a state of the
United States of America.
The state name derives from a Caddo word meaning friends or allies, and was
mistakenly applied to the people and their location by Spanish explorers.
The state flower is the bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis); the state motto is
"Friendship." The state nickname is The Lone Star State, after the single
star on the state flag. The state tree is the pecan and the state bird is
the mockingbird. The state dish is chili con carne. The state motto is
"friendship". The state insect is the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus).
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.
Texas is bordered to the west by New Mexico, to the north by Oklahoma
(across the Red River), and to the east by Louisiana (across the Sabine
River) and Arkansas. To the south west Texas borders Mexico (across the Rio
Grande), the states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, and Tamaulipas. To
the south east Texas has a shore of the Gulf of Mexico.
Texas is located in the south center of the United States. Depending on who
you talk to (and which part of Texas they are from), Texas is part of the US
South or the US Southwest. Texas shares some cultural elements with both
regions, with more similarities to the South, especially Louisiana, in the
east of the state, and more similarities to the Southwest, especially New
Mexico, in the west.
Among Native American inhabitants of present Texas were Apache, Atakapa,
Bidai, Caddo, Comanche, Karankawa, Kiowa, Tonkawa, and Wichita.
Texas can claim 'Six Flags' have flown over its soil (including the 'Fleur
de Lis' of France).
Texas was part of the Spanish colony of New Spain.
After Mexican independence in 1821 Texas was a part of Mexico.
The Republic of Texas (1836-1845)
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. Álvar NuĖez Cabeća 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
* 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
* 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 General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the
Mexicans executed James Fannin and nearly 400 Texians in the Massacre
* 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 Texans 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
* 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
* 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.
Texas has five major topographic regions: 1) The Coastal Plain, from the
Gulf of Mexico inland to about San Antonio and just southeast of Austin. 2)
The Balcones, a hilly rocky area in east central Texas. 3) The Great Plains
region extends into northern Texas, including the Llano Estacado and the
Panhandle high plains. 4) The North Central Plains. 5) The Trans Pecos Desert.
Texas is divided into 254 counties; See: List of Texas counties
Texas was lagely 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, oil and natural
gas, energy exploration and energy trading, agriculture, and manufacturing.
The two major economic centers are the Houston Metropolitan Area, centered
in Houston, and Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, centered on those two
respective cities. Houston is the center of the petrochemical and NASA
trades while Dallas is the center of the agricultural and IT labor market in
Texas. Other Major cities include Brownsville, Lubbock, 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
But Texas' diversity comes from more than its Hispanic residents. Frontier
Texas was also settled by Germans (particularly in Fredericksburg and New
Braunfels), 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.
Nowadays, especially in Houston and Dallas, the Asian population in Texas is
growing. People from China, India, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Pakistan, and
other countries are settling into Texas.
Important Cities and Towns
* Austin (Capital)
* Corpus Christi
* Eagle Pass
* El Paso
* Fort Worth
* Grand Prairie
* San Angelo
* San Antonio
Colleges and Universities
* Abilene Christian * Texas A&M University System
University o Baylor College of Dentistry
* Amberton University o Texas A&M University, College
* Angelo State University Station
* Arlington Baptist College o Texas A&M University, Commerce
* Art Institute of Dallas o Texas A&M University - Corpus
* Austin College Christi
* Austin Presbyterian o Texas A&M University, Galveston
Theological Seminary o Texas A&M University Health
* Baylor College of Medicine Science Center
* Baylor University o Texas A&M University -
* College of Saint Thomas Kingsville
More o Prairie View A&M University
* Concordia University, o Tarleton State University
Austin o Texas A&M University-Texarkana
* Criswell College o Texas A&M International
* Dallas Baptist University University
* Dallas Christian College o West Texas A&M University
* Dallas Theological Seminary * Texas Christian University
* DeVry University, Dallas * Texas College
* DeVry University, Houston * Texas Lutheran University
* East Texas Baptist * Texas Southern University
University * Texas State Technical College System
* Episcopal Theological o Texas State Technical College-
Seminary of the Southwest Harlingen
* Hardin-Simmons University o Texas State Technical College-
* Houston Baptist University Marshall
* Howard Payne University o Texas State Technical College-
* Huston-Tillotson College Waco
* Institute for Christian o Texas State Technical College-
* ICI University * Texas State University-San Marcos
* Jarvis Christian College * Texas Tech University
* Lamar University * Texas Tech University Health Sciences
* LeTourneau University Center
* Lee College * Texas Wesleyan University
* Lubbock Christian * Texas Woman's University
University * Trinity University
* McMurry University * University of Central Texas
* Midwestern State University * University of Dallas
* Northwood University * University of Houston System
* Our Lady of the Lake o University of Houston
University o University of Houston Clear Lake
* Paul Quinn College o University of Houston-Downtown
* Rice University o University of Houston Victoria
* St. Edward's University * University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
* Saint Mary's University of * University of North Texas
San Antonio * University of North Texas Health
* Sam Houston State Science Center
University * University of Saint Thomas
* Schreiner College * University of Texas System
* Southern Methodist o University of Texas at Arlington
University o University of Texas at Austin
* South Texas College of Law o University of Texas at
* Southwestern Adventist Brownsville
University o University of Texas at Dallas
* Southwestern Assemblies of o University of Texas at El Paso
God University o University of Texas-Pan American
* Southwestern Baptist o University of Texas of the
Theological Seminary Permian Basin
* Southwestern Christian o University of Texas at San
* Southwestern University o University of Texas at Tyler
* Stephen F. Austin State o University of Texas Health
University Science Center at Houston
* Sul Ross State University o University of Texas Health
Science Center at San Antonio
o University of Texas Health
Center at Tyler
o University of Texas M. D.
Anderson Cancer Center
o University of Texas Medical
Branch at Galveston
o University of Texas Southwestern
Medical Center at Dallas
* University of the Incarnate Word
* Wayland Baptist University
* Wiley College
Professional Sports Teams
* National Football League * Major League Baseball
o Dallas Cowboys o Texas Rangers
o Houston Texans o Houston Astros
* Arena Football League * Texas League, Minor League
o Austin Wranglers Baseball
o Dallas Desperados o El Paso Diablos
* Women's Professional Football o Frisco RoughRiders
League, Women's American football o Round Rock Express
o Dallas Diamonds o San Antonio Missions
o Houston Energy o Midland RockHounds
* Dallas Revolution, Independent * Central Baseball League,
Women's Football League Minor League Baseball
* National Basketball Association o Amarillo Dillas
o Dallas Mavericks o Edinburg Roadrunners
o Houston Rockets o Fort Worth Cats
o San Antonio Spurs o Rio Grande Valley White
* Women's National Basketball Wings
Association o San Angelo Colts
o Houston Comets * Major League Soccer
o San Antonio Silver Stars o Dallas Burn
* National Hockey League
o Dallas Stars
* American Hockey League
o Houston Aeros
o San Antonio Rampage
* Central Hockey League
o Austin Ice Bats
The Houston Oilers were based in Texas, but moved to Memphis and later,
Nashville, Tennessee, and became the Tennessee Titans. Houston also formerly
had the Arena Football League team Houston Thunderbears, and the Major
League Soccer team Houston Hotshots.
A number of ships of the United States Navy have been named USS Texas in
honor of this state.
Famous for their role in the history of Texas law enforcement, the Texas
Rangers continue today to provide special law enforcment services to the state.