Texas

Texas

Overview
Texas is the second largest U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States
Contiguous United States
The contiguous United States are the 48 U.S. states on the continent of North America that are south of Canada and north of Mexico, plus the District of Columbia....

.
The name, based on the Caddo
Caddo language
Caddo is the only surviving Southern Caddoan language of the Caddo language family. It is spoken by the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma. Today, only 25 elderly speakers are estimated to remain, none of whom are monolingual Caddo speakers, making Caddo a critically endangered language...

 word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo
Caddo
The Caddo Nation is a confederacy of several Southeastern Native American tribes, who traditionally inhabited much of what is now East Texas, northern Louisiana and portions of southern Arkansas and Oklahoma. Today the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma is a cohesive tribe with its capital at Binger, Oklahoma...

 themselves and to the region of their settlement in East Texas
East Texas
East Texas is a distinct geographic and ecological area in the U.S. state of Texas.According to the Handbook of Texas, the East Texas area "may be separated from the rest of Texas roughly by a line extending from the Red River in north central Lamar County southwestward to east central Limestone...

. Located in the South Central United States
South Central United States
The South Central United States or South Central states is a region of the United States located in the south central part of the country. It evolved out of the archaic southwest, which originally was literally the western U.S. South...

, Texas is bordered by Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 to the south, New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

 to the west, Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

 to the north, Arkansas
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

 to the northeast, and Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

 to the east.
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Timeline

1528   Shipwrecked Spanish conquistador Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca becomes the first known European to set foot in Texas.

1685   Fort St. Louis is established by a Frenchman at Matagorda Bay thus forming the basis for France's claim to Texas.

1823   Stephen F. Austin receives a grant of land in Texas from the government of Mexico.

1836   A convention of delegates from 57 Texas communities convenes in Washington-on-the-Brazos, Texas, to deliberate independence from Mexico.

1836   The Treaties of Velasco are signed in Velasco, Texas.

1845   A majority of voters in the Republic of Texas approve a proposed constitution, that if accepted by the U.S. Congress, will make Texas a U.S. state.

1845   According with International Boundary delimitation, U.S.A annexes the Mexican state of Texas, following the Manifest Destiny doctrine. For others, the Republic of Texas is admitted as the 28th U.S. state.

1846   Thornton Affair: Open conflict begins over the disputed border of Texas, triggering the Mexican-American War.

1850   The Compromise of 1850 transfers a third of Texas's claimed territory (now parts of Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Wyoming) to federal control in return for the U.S. federal government assuming $10 million of Texas's pre-annexation debt.

1850   The Compromise of 1850 transfers a third of Texas's claimed territory (now parts of Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Wyoming) to federal control in return for the U.S. federal government assuming $10 million of Texas's pre-annexation debt.

 
Encyclopedia
Texas is the second largest U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States
Contiguous United States
The contiguous United States are the 48 U.S. states on the continent of North America that are south of Canada and north of Mexico, plus the District of Columbia....

.
The name, based on the Caddo
Caddo language
Caddo is the only surviving Southern Caddoan language of the Caddo language family. It is spoken by the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma. Today, only 25 elderly speakers are estimated to remain, none of whom are monolingual Caddo speakers, making Caddo a critically endangered language...

 word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo
Caddo
The Caddo Nation is a confederacy of several Southeastern Native American tribes, who traditionally inhabited much of what is now East Texas, northern Louisiana and portions of southern Arkansas and Oklahoma. Today the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma is a cohesive tribe with its capital at Binger, Oklahoma...

 themselves and to the region of their settlement in East Texas
East Texas
East Texas is a distinct geographic and ecological area in the U.S. state of Texas.According to the Handbook of Texas, the East Texas area "may be separated from the rest of Texas roughly by a line extending from the Red River in north central Lamar County southwestward to east central Limestone...

. Located in the South Central United States
South Central United States
The South Central United States or South Central states is a region of the United States located in the south central part of the country. It evolved out of the archaic southwest, which originally was literally the western U.S. South...

, Texas is bordered by Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 to the south, New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

 to the west, Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

 to the north, Arkansas
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

 to the northeast, and Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

 to the east. Texas has an area of 268820 square miles (696,240.6 km²), and a growing population of 25.1 million residents.

During the Spanish colonial rule, the area was officially known as the Nuevo Reino de Filipinas : La Provincia de Texas. Antonio Margil de Jesús was known to be the first person to use the name in a letter to the Viceroy of Mexico in 20 July 1716. The name was not popularly used in daily speech but often appeared in legal documents until the end of the 1800s.

Houston is the largest city in Texas and the fourth-largest in the United States, while San Antonio is the second largest in the state and seventh largest in the United States. Dallas–Fort Worth
Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex
The Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington Metropolitan Statistical Area, a title designated by the U.S. Census as of 2003, encompasses 12 counties within the U.S. state of Texas. The area is divided into two metropolitan divisions: Dallas–Plano–Irving and Fort Worth–Arlington. Residents of the area...

 and Greater Houston
Greater Houston
Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown is a 10-county metropolitan area defined by the Office of Management and Budget. It is located along the Gulf Coast region in the U.S. state of Texas...

 are the fourth and sixth largest United States metropolitan areas, respectively. Other major cities include El Paso
El Paso, Texas
El Paso, is a city in and the county seat of El Paso County, Texas, United States, and lies in far West Texas. In the 2010 census, the city had a population of 649,121. It is the sixth largest city in Texas and the 19th largest city in the United States...

 and Austin
Austin, Texas
Austin is the capital city of the U.S. state of :Texas and the seat of Travis County. Located in Central Texas on the eastern edge of the American Southwest, it is the fourth-largest city in Texas and the 14th most populous city in the United States. It was the third-fastest-growing large city in...

—the state capital
Capital City
Capital City was a television show produced by Euston Films which focused on the lives of investment bankers in London living and working on the corporate trading floor for the fictional international bank Shane-Longman....

. Texas is nicknamed the Lone Star State to signify Texas as an independent republic and as a reminder of the state's struggle for independence from Mexico. The "Lone Star" can be found on the Texas state flag and on the Texas state seal today.

Due to its size and geologic features such as the Balcones Fault
Balcones Fault
The Balcones Fault Zone is a tensional structural system in Texas that runs approximately from the southwest part of the state near Del Rio to the north central region near Waco along Interstate 35. The Balcones Fault zone is made up of many smaller features, including normal faults, grabens, and...

, Texas contains diverse landscapes
Geography of Texas
The geography of Texas is diverse and far reaching in scope. Occupying about 7% of the total water and land area of the U.S., it is the second largest state after Alaska, and is the southernmost part of the Great Plains, which end in the south against the folded Sierra Madre Oriental of Mexico...

 that resemble both the American South
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

 and Southwest
Southwestern United States
The Southwestern United States is a region defined in different ways by different sources. Broad definitions include nearly a quarter of the United States, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah...

. Although Texas is popularly associated with the Southwestern deserts, less than 10% of the land area is desert
Desert
A desert is a landscape or region that receives an extremely low amount of precipitation, less than enough to support growth of most plants. Most deserts have an average annual precipitation of less than...

. Most of the population centers are located in areas of former prairie
Prairie
Prairies are considered part of the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome by ecologists, based on similar temperate climates, moderate rainfall, and grasses, herbs, and shrubs, rather than trees, as the dominant vegetation type...

s, grassland
Grassland
Grasslands are areas where the vegetation is dominated by grasses and other herbaceous plants . However, sedge and rush families can also be found. Grasslands occur naturally on all continents except Antarctica...

s, forests
Piney Woods
The Piney Woods is a temperate coniferous forest terrestrial ecoregion in the Southern United States covering of East Texas, southern Arkansas, western Louisiana, and southeastern Oklahoma. These coniferous forests are dominated by several species of pine as well as hardwoods including hickory and...

, and the coastline. Traveling from east to west, one can observe terrain that ranges from coastal swamp
Swamp
A swamp is a wetland with some flooding of large areas of land by shallow bodies of water. A swamp generally has a large number of hammocks, or dry-land protrusions, covered by aquatic vegetation, or vegetation that tolerates periodical inundation. The two main types of swamp are "true" or swamp...

s and piney woods
Piney Woods
The Piney Woods is a temperate coniferous forest terrestrial ecoregion in the Southern United States covering of East Texas, southern Arkansas, western Louisiana, and southeastern Oklahoma. These coniferous forests are dominated by several species of pine as well as hardwoods including hickory and...

, to rolling plains and rugged hills, and finally the desert
Desert
A desert is a landscape or region that receives an extremely low amount of precipitation, less than enough to support growth of most plants. Most deserts have an average annual precipitation of less than...

 and mountains of the Big Bend
Big Bend (Texas)
The Big Bend is a colloquial name of a geographic region in the western part of the state of Texas in the United States along the border with Mexico, roughly defined as the counties north of the prominent northward bend in the Rio Grande as it passes through the gap between the Chisos Mountains in...

.

The term "six flags over Texas
Six flags over Texas
Six Flags Over Texas is the slogan used to describe the six nations that have had sovereignty over some or all of the current territory of the U.S. state of Texas. This slogan has been incorporated into shopping malls, theme parks , and other enterprises...

" came from the several nations that had ruled over the territory. Spain
Spanish Texas
Spanish Texas was one of the interior provinces of New Spain from 1690 until 1821. Although Spain claimed ownership of the territory, which comprised part of modern-day Texas, including the land north of the Medina and Nueces Rivers, the Spanish did not attempt to colonize the area until after...

 was the first European country to claim the area of Texas. France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 held a short-lived colony in Texas. Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 controlled the territory until 1836 when Texas won its independence, becoming an independent Republic
Republic of Texas
The Republic of Texas was an independent nation in North America, bordering the United States and Mexico, that existed from 1836 to 1846.Formed as a break-away republic from Mexico by the Texas Revolution, the state claimed borders that encompassed an area that included all of the present U.S...

. In 1845 it joined the United States as the 28th state. The state's annexation
Texas Annexation
In 1845, United States of America annexed the Republic of Texas and admitted it to the Union as the 28th state. The U.S. thus inherited Texas's border dispute with Mexico; this quickly led to the Mexican-American War, during which the U.S. captured additional territory , extending the nation's...

 set off a chain of events that caused the Mexican–American War
Mexican–American War
The Mexican–American War, also known as the First American Intervention, the Mexican War, or the U.S.–Mexican War, was an armed conflict between the United States and Mexico from 1846 to 1848 in the wake of the 1845 U.S...

 in 1846. A slave state
Slave state
In the United States of America prior to the American Civil War, a slave state was a U.S. state in which slavery was legal, whereas a free state was one in which slavery was either prohibited from its entry into the Union or eliminated over time...

, Texas declared its secession from the United States in early 1861, joining the Confederate States of America
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

 during the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. After the war and its restoration to the Union, Texas entered a long period of economic stagnation.

One Texas industry that thrived after the Civil War was cattle
Cattle
Cattle are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos, and are most commonly classified collectively as Bos primigenius...

. Due to its long history as a center of the industry, Texas is associated with the image of the cowboy
Cowboy
A cowboy is an animal herder who tends cattle on ranches in North America, traditionally on horseback, and often performs a multitude of other ranch-related tasks. The historic American cowboy of the late 19th century arose from the vaquero traditions of northern Mexico and became a figure of...

. The state's economic fortunes changed in the early 20th century, when oil
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 discoveries
Spindletop
Spindletop is a salt dome oil field located in the southern portion of Beaumont, Texas in the United States. The Spindletop dome was derived from the Louann Salt evaporite layer of the Jurassic geologic period. On January 10, 1901, a well at Spindletop struck oil . The new oil field soon produced...

 initiated an economic boom
Boom and bust
A credit boom-bust cycle is an episode characterized by a sustained increase in several economics indicators followed by a sharp and rapid contraction. Commonly the boom is driven by a rapid expansion of credit to the private sector accompanied with rising prices of commodities and stock market index...

 in the state. With strong investments in universities, Texas developed a diversified economy
Economy of Texas
The economy of Texas is one of the largest and most rapidly growing economies in the United States. In 2011, Texas is home to six of the top 50 companies on the Fortune 500 list and 51 overall,...

 and high tech
High tech
High tech is technology that is at the cutting edge: the most advanced technology currently available. It is often used in reference to micro-electronics, rather than other technologies. The adjective form is hyphenated: high-tech or high-technology...

 industry in the mid-20th century. As of 2010 it shares the top of the list of the most Fortune 500
Fortune 500
The Fortune 500 is an annual list compiled and published by Fortune magazine that ranks the top 500 U.S. closely held and public corporations as ranked by their gross revenue after adjustments made by Fortune to exclude the impact of excise taxes companies collect. The list includes publicly and...

 companies with California at 57. With a growing base of industry, the state leads in many industries, including agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

, petrochemicals, energy
Energy industry
The energy industry is the totality of all of the industries involved in the production and sale of energy, including fuel extraction, manufacturing, refining and distribution...

, computers
Computer industry
Computer industry is a collective term used to describe the whole range of businesses involved in developing computer software, designing computer hardware and computer networking infrastructures, the manufacture of computer components and the provision of information technology services.-See...

 and electronics
Consumer electronics
Consumer electronics are electronic equipment intended for everyday use, most often in entertainment, communications and office productivity. Radio broadcasting in the early 20th century brought the first major consumer product, the broadcast receiver...

, aerospace
Aerospace
Aerospace comprises the atmosphere of Earth and surrounding space. Typically the term is used to refer to the industry that researches, designs, manufactures, operates, and maintains vehicles moving through air and space...

, and biomedical sciences. It leads the nation in export revenue since 2002 and has the second-highest gross state product
Gross state product
Gross state product is a measurement of the economic output of a state or province...

.

Geography


Texas is the second largest U.S. state, behind Alaska, with an area of 268820 square miles (696,240.6 km²). It is 10% larger than France and almost twice as large as Germany or Japan, though it ranks only 27th worldwide amongst country subdivisions by size. If it were a country, Texas would be the 40th largest behind Chile and Zambia.

Texas is in the south-central
South Central United States
The South Central United States or South Central states is a region of the United States located in the south central part of the country. It evolved out of the archaic southwest, which originally was literally the western U.S. South...

 part of the United States of America. Three of its border
Border
Borders define geographic boundaries of political entities or legal jurisdictions, such as governments, sovereign states, federated states and other subnational entities. Some borders—such as a state's internal administrative borders, or inter-state borders within the Schengen Area—are open and...

s are defined by rivers. The Rio Grande
Rio Grande
The Rio Grande is a river that flows from southwestern Colorado in the United States to the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way it forms part of the Mexico – United States border. Its length varies as its course changes...

 river forms a natural border with the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila
Coahuila
Coahuila, formally Coahuila de Zaragoza , officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Coahuila de Zaragoza is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico...

, Nuevo León
Nuevo León
Nuevo León It is located in Northeastern Mexico. It is bordered by the states of Tamaulipas to the north and east, San Luis Potosí to the south, and Coahuila to the west. To the north, Nuevo León has a 15 kilometer stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border adjacent to the U.S...

, and Tamaulipas
Tamaulipas
Tamaulipas officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Tamaulipas is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 43 municipalities and its capital city is Ciudad Victoria. The capital city was named after Guadalupe Victoria, the...

 to the south. The Red River
Red River (Mississippi watershed)
The Red River, or sometimes the Red River of the South, is a major tributary of the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers in the southern United States of America. The river gains its name from the red-bed country of its watershed. It is one of several rivers with that name...

 forms a natural border with Oklahoma and Arkansas to the north. The Sabine River
Sabine River (Texas-Louisiana)
The Sabine River is a river, long, in the U.S. states of Texas and Louisiana. In its lower course, it forms part of the boundary between the two states and empties into Sabine Lake, an estuary of the Gulf of Mexico. The river formed part of the United States-Mexican international boundary during...

 forms a natural border with Louisiana to the east. The Texas Panhandle
Texas Panhandle
The Texas Panhandle is a region of the U.S. state of Texas consisting of the northernmost 26 counties in the state. The panhandle is a rectangular area bordered by New Mexico to the west and Oklahoma to the north and east...

 has an eastern border with Oklahoma at 100° W
100th meridian west
The meridian 100° west of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, North America, the Pacific Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

, a northern border with Oklahoma at 36°30' N
Parallel 36°30' north
The parallel 36° 30′ north is a circle of latitude that is 36 and one-half degrees north of the Equator of the Earth. This parallel of latitude is particularly significant in the History of the United States as the line of the Missouri Compromise, which was used to divide the prosepctiveslave and...

 and a western border with New Mexico at 103° W
103rd meridian west
The meridian 103° west of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, North America, the Pacific Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

. El Paso
El Paso
El Paso, a city in the U.S. state of Texas, on the border with Mexico.El Paso may also refer to:-Geography:Colombia:* El Paso, CesarSpain:*El Paso, Santa Cruz de TenerifeUnited States:...

 lies on the state's western tip at 32° N
32nd parallel north
The 32nd parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 32 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Africa, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America and the Atlantic Ocean....

 and the Rio Grande.
With 10 climatic regions
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

, 14 soil regions
Agricultural soil science
Agricultural soil science is a branch of soil science that deals with the study of edaphic conditions as they relate to the production of food and fiber. In this context, it is also a constituent of the field of agronomy.-History:...

, and 11 distinct ecological regions
Ecoregion
An ecoregion , sometimes called a bioregion, is an ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than an ecozone and larger than an ecosystem. Ecoregions cover relatively large areas of land or water, and contain characteristic, geographically distinct assemblages of natural...

, regional classification becomes problematic with differences in soils, topography, geology, rainfall, and plant and animal communities. One classification system divides Texas, in order southeast to west, into the following: Gulf Coastal Plains
Gulf Coastal Plains
The Texas Coastal Bend refers to the flat area of land along the Texas coast. It is home to many cities including Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Kingsville, Port Lavaca, Galveston, Victoria, Beaumont, and Houston. The Coastal Bend includes the barrier islands of Texas and the Laguna Madre...

, Interior Lowlands, Great Plains
Great Plains
The Great Plains are a broad expanse of flat land, much of it covered in prairie, steppe and grassland, which lies west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada. This area covers parts of the U.S...

, and Basin and Range Province. The Gulf Coastal Plains region wraps around the Gulf of Mexico on the southeast section of the state. Vegetation in this region consists of thick pineywoods. The Interior Lowlands region consists of gently rolling to hilly forested land is part of a larger pine-hardwood forest. The Great Plains region in central Texas is located in spans through the state's panhandle
Texas Panhandle
The Texas Panhandle is a region of the U.S. state of Texas consisting of the northernmost 26 counties in the state. The panhandle is a rectangular area bordered by New Mexico to the west and Oklahoma to the north and east...

 and Llano Estacado
Llano Estacado
Llano Estacado , commonly known as the Staked Plains, is a region in the Southwestern United States that encompasses parts of eastern New Mexico and northwestern Texas, including the South Plains and parts of the Texas Panhandle...

 to the state's hill country
Texas Hill Country
The Texas Hill Country is a vernacular term applied to a region of Central Texas featuring tall rugged hills consisting of thin layers of soil atop limestone or granite. It also includes the Llano Uplift and the second largest granite monadnock in the United States, Enchanted Rock, which is located...

 near Austin. This region is dominated by prairie
Prairie
Prairies are considered part of the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome by ecologists, based on similar temperate climates, moderate rainfall, and grasses, herbs, and shrubs, rather than trees, as the dominant vegetation type...

 and steppe
Steppe
In physical geography, steppe is an ecoregion, in the montane grasslands and shrublands and temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biomes, characterized by grassland plains without trees apart from those near rivers and lakes...

. "Far West Texas" or the "Trans-Pecos
Trans-Pecos
The term Trans-Pecos, as originally defined in 1887 by the Texas geologist Robert T. Hill, refers to the portion of Texas that lies west of the Pecos River. The term is considered synonymous with "Far West Texas", a subdivision of West Texas...

" region is the state's Basin and Range Province. The most varied of the regions, this area includes Sand Hills, the Stockton Plateau, desert valleys, wooded mountain slopes and desert grasslands.
Texas has 3,700 named streams and 15 major rivers. The largest of these rivers is the Rio Grande
Rio Grande
The Rio Grande is a river that flows from southwestern Colorado in the United States to the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way it forms part of the Mexico – United States border. Its length varies as its course changes...

. Other major rivers include the Pecos
Pecos River
The headwaters of the Pecos River are located north of Pecos, New Mexico, United States, at an elevation of over 12,000 feet on the western slope of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range in Mora County. The river flows for through the eastern portion of that state and neighboring Texas before it...

, the Brazos
Brazos River
The Brazos River, called the Rio de los Brazos de Dios by early Spanish explorers , is the longest river in Texas and the 11th longest river in the United States at from its source at the head of Blackwater Draw, Curry County, New Mexico to its mouth at the Gulf of Mexico with a drainage...

, Colorado
Colorado River (Texas)
The Colorado River is a river that runs through the U.S. state of Texas; it should not be confused with the much longer Colorado River which flows from Colorado into the Gulf of California....

, and Red River, which forms the border with Oklahoma. While Texas has few natural lakes, Texans have built over 100 artificial reservoirs.

Texas's size and unique history make its regional affiliation debatable: it can be fairly considered a Southern or a Southwestern state, or both. The vast geographic, economic, and cultural diversity within the state itself prohibits easy categorization of the whole state into a recognized region of the United States. The East, Central, and North Texas regions have a stronger association with the American South
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

 than with the Southwest
Southwestern United States
The Southwestern United States is a region defined in different ways by different sources. Broad definitions include nearly a quarter of the United States, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah...

. Others, such as far West Texas and South Texas share more similarities with the latter.

Geology



Texas is the southernmost part of the Great Plains, which ends in the south against the folded Sierra Madre Occidental
Sierra Madre Occidental
The Sierra Madre Occidental is a mountain range in western Mexico.-Setting:The range runs north to south, from just south of the Sonora–Arizona border southeast through eastern Sonora, western Chihuahua, Sinaloa, Durango, Zacatecas, Nayarit, Jalisco, Aguascalientes to Guanajuato, where it joins...

 of Mexico. The continental crust
Continental crust
The continental crust is the layer of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks which form the continents and the areas of shallow seabed close to their shores, known as continental shelves. This layer is sometimes called sial due to more felsic, or granitic, bulk composition, which lies in...

 forms a stable Mesoproterozoic
Mesoproterozoic
The Mesoproterozoic Era is a geologic era that occurred between 1600 Ma and 1000 Ma . The Mesoproterozoic was the first period of Earth's history with a respectable geological record. Continents existed in the Paleoproterozoic, but we know little about them...

 craton
Craton
A craton is an old and stable part of the continental lithosphere. Having often survived cycles of merging and rifting of continents, cratons are generally found in the interiors of tectonic plates. They are characteristically composed of ancient crystalline basement rock, which may be covered by...

 which changes across a broad continental margin and transitional crust into true oceanic crust
Oceanic crust
Oceanic crust is the part of Earth's lithosphere that surfaces in the ocean basins. Oceanic crust is primarily composed of mafic rocks, or sima, which is rich in iron and magnesium...

 of the Gulf of Mexico. The oldest rocks in Texas date from the Mesoproterozoic and are about 1,600 million years old. These Precambrian
Precambrian
The Precambrian is the name which describes the large span of time in Earth's history before the current Phanerozoic Eon, and is a Supereon divided into several eons of the geologic time scale...

 igneous and metamorphic rock
Metamorphic rock
Metamorphic rock is the transformation of an existing rock type, the protolith, in a process called metamorphism, which means "change in form". The protolith is subjected to heat and pressure causing profound physical and/or chemical change...

s underlie most of the state, and are exposed in three places: Llano
Llano, Texas
-History:Llano County was established in compliance with a February 1, 1856, state legislative act. The Llano River location was chosen in an election held on June 14, 1856, under a live oak on the south bank of the river, near the present site of Roy Inks Bridge in Llano...

 uplift, Van Horn
Van Horn, Texas
Van Horn is a town in and the county seat of Culberson County, Texas, United States. The population was 2,435 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Van Horn is located at ....

, and the Franklin Mountains
Franklin Mountains (Texas)
The Franklin Mountains of Texas are a small range that extend from El Paso, Texas north into New Mexico. The Franklins were formed due to crustal extension related to the Cenozoic Rio Grande rift...

, near El Paso. Sedimentary rocks overlay most of these ancient rocks. The oldest sediments were deposited on the flanks of a rifted continental margin, or passive margin
Passive margin
A passive margin is the transition between oceanic and continental crust which is not an active plate margin. It is constructed by sedimentation above an ancient rift, now marked by transitional crust. Continental rifting creates new ocean basins. Eventually the continental rift forms a mid-oceanic...

 that developed during Cambrian
Cambrian
The Cambrian is the first geological period of the Paleozoic Era, lasting from Mya ; it is succeeded by the Ordovician. Its subdivisions, and indeed its base, are somewhat in flux. The period was established by Adam Sedgwick, who named it after Cambria, the Latin name for Wales, where Britain's...

 time. This margin existed until Laurasia
Laurasia
In paleogeography, Laurasia was the northernmost of two supercontinents that formed part of the Pangaea supercontinent from approximately...

 and Gondwana
Gondwana
In paleogeography, Gondwana , originally Gondwanaland, was the southernmost of two supercontinents that later became parts of the Pangaea supercontinent. It existed from approximately 510 to 180 million years ago . Gondwana is believed to have sutured between ca. 570 and 510 Mya,...

 collided in the Pennsylvanian
Pennsylvanian
The Pennsylvanian is, in the ICS geologic timescale, the younger of two subperiods of the Carboniferous Period. It lasted from roughly . As with most other geochronologic units, the rock beds that define the Pennsylvanian are well identified, but the exact date of the start and end are uncertain...

 subperiod to form Pangea. This is the buried crest of the Appalachian Mountains
Appalachian Mountains
The Appalachian Mountains #Whether the stressed vowel is or ,#Whether the "ch" is pronounced as a fricative or an affricate , and#Whether the final vowel is the monophthong or the diphthong .), often called the Appalachians, are a system of mountains in eastern North America. The Appalachians...

Ouachita Mountains
Ouachita Mountains
The Ouachita Mountains are a mountain range in west central Arkansas and southeastern Oklahoma. The range's subterranean roots may extend as far as central Texas, or beyond it to the current location of the Marathon Uplift. Along with the Ozark Mountains, the Ouachita Mountains form the U.S...

 zone of Pennsylvanian continental collision
Continental collision
Continental collision is a phenomenon of the plate tectonics of Earth that occurs at convergent boundaries. Continental collision is a variation on the fundamental process of subduction, whereby the subduction zone is destroyed, mountains produced, and two continents sutured together...

. This orogenic
Orogeny
Orogeny refers to forces and events leading to a severe structural deformation of the Earth's crust due to the engagement of tectonic plates. Response to such engagement results in the formation of long tracts of highly deformed rock called orogens or orogenic belts...

 crest is today buried beneath the Dallas–Waco
Waco, Texas
Waco is a city in and the county seat of McLennan County, Texas. Situated along the Brazos River and on the I-35 corridor, halfway between Dallas and Austin, it is the economic, cultural, and academic center of the 'Heart of Texas' region....

—Austin–San Antonio trend.

The late Paleozoic
Paleozoic
The Paleozoic era is the earliest of three geologic eras of the Phanerozoic eon, spanning from roughly...

 mountains collapsed as rifting in the Jurassic
Jurassic
The Jurassic is a geologic period and system that extends from about Mya to  Mya, that is, from the end of the Triassic to the beginning of the Cretaceous. The Jurassic constitutes the middle period of the Mesozoic era, also known as the age of reptiles. The start of the period is marked by...

 period began to open the Gulf of Mexico. Pangea began to break up in the Triassic
Triassic
The Triassic is a geologic period and system that extends from about 250 to 200 Mya . As the first period of the Mesozoic Era, the Triassic follows the Permian and is followed by the Jurassic. Both the start and end of the Triassic are marked by major extinction events...

, but seafloor spreading
Seafloor spreading
Seafloor spreading is a process that occurs at mid-ocean ridges, where new oceanic crust is formed through volcanic activity and then gradually moves away from the ridge. Seafloor spreading helps explain continental drift in the theory of plate tectonics....

 to form the Gulf of Mexico occurred only in the mid and late Jurassic
Late Jurassic
The Late Jurassic is the third epoch of the Jurassic Period, and it spans the geologic time from 161.2 ± 4.0 to 145.5 ± 4.0 million years ago , which is preserved in Upper Jurassic strata. In European lithostratigraphy, the name "Malm" indicates rocks of Late Jurassic age...

. The shoreline shifted again to the eastern margin of the state and the Gulf of Mexico passive margin began to form. Today 9 miles (14 km) to 12 miles (19 km) of sediments are buried beneath the Texas continental shelf and a large proportion of remaining US oil reserves
Oil reserves
The total estimated amount of oil in an oil reservoir, including both producible and non-producible oil, is called oil in place. However, because of reservoir characteristics and limitations in petroleum extraction technologies, only a fraction of this oil can be brought to the surface, and it is...

 are located here. At the start of its formation, the incipient Gulf of Mexico basin was restricted and seawater often evaporated completely to form thick evaporite
Evaporite
Evaporite is a name for a water-soluble mineral sediment that result from concentration and crystallization by evaporation from an aqueous solution. There are two types of evaporate deposits, marine which can also be described as ocean deposits, and non-marine which are found in standing bodies of...

 deposits of Jurassic age. These salt deposits formed salt dome
Salt dome
A salt dome is a type of structural dome formed when a thick bed of evaporite minerals found at depth intrudes vertically into surrounding rock strata, forming a diapir....

 diapir
Diapir
A diapir is a type of intrusion in which a more mobile and ductily-deformable material is forced into brittle overlying rocks. Depending on the tectonic environment, diapirs can range from idealized mushroom-shaped Rayleigh-Taylor instability-type structures in regions with low tectonic stress...

s, and are found in East Texas along the Gulf coast.

East Texas outcrops consist of Cretaceous
Cretaceous
The Cretaceous , derived from the Latin "creta" , usually abbreviated K for its German translation Kreide , is a geologic period and system from circa to million years ago. In the geologic timescale, the Cretaceous follows the Jurassic period and is followed by the Paleogene period of the...

 and Paleogene
Paleogene
The Paleogene is a geologic period and system that began 65.5 ± 0.3 and ended 23.03 ± 0.05 million years ago and comprises the first part of the Cenozoic Era...

 sediments which contain important deposits of Eocene
Eocene
The Eocene Epoch, lasting from about 56 to 34 million years ago , is a major division of the geologic timescale and the second epoch of the Paleogene Period in the Cenozoic Era. The Eocene spans the time from the end of the Palaeocene Epoch to the beginning of the Oligocene Epoch. The start of the...

 lignite
Lignite
Lignite, often referred to as brown coal, or Rosebud coal by Northern Pacific Railroad,is a soft brown fuel with characteristics that put it somewhere between coal and peat...

. The Mississippian and Pennsylvanian sediments in the north; Permian sediments in the west; and Cretaceous sediments in the east, along the Gulf coast and out on the Texas continental shelf
Continental shelf
The continental shelf is the extended perimeter of each continent and associated coastal plain. Much of the shelf was exposed during glacial periods, but is now submerged under relatively shallow seas and gulfs, and was similarly submerged during other interglacial periods. The continental margin,...

 contain oil. Oligocene
Oligocene
The Oligocene is a geologic epoch of the Paleogene Period and extends from about 34 million to 23 million years before the present . As with other older geologic periods, the rock beds that define the period are well identified but the exact dates of the start and end of the period are slightly...

 volcanic rocks are found in far west Texas in the Big Bend area. A blanket of Miocene
Miocene
The Miocene is a geological epoch of the Neogene Period and extends from about . The Miocene was named by Sir Charles Lyell. Its name comes from the Greek words and and means "less recent" because it has 18% fewer modern sea invertebrates than the Pliocene. The Miocene follows the Oligocene...

 sediments known as the Ogallala formation
Ogallala Aquifer
The Ogallala Aquifer, also known as the High Plains Aquifer, is a vast yet shallow underground water table aquifer located beneath the Great Plains in the United States...

 in the western high plains region is an important aquifer
Aquifer
An aquifer is a wet underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock or unconsolidated materials from which groundwater can be usefully extracted using a water well. The study of water flow in aquifers and the characterization of aquifers is called hydrogeology...

. Located far from an active plate tectonic boundary, Texas has no volcanoes and few earthquakes.

Climate



The large size of Texas and its location at the intersection of multiple climate zones
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 gives the state highly variable weather. The Panhandle
Panhandle
A panhandle is an informal geographic term for an elongated arm-like protrusion of a geo-political entity, such as a subnational entity or a sovereign state.-Term:...

 of the state has colder winters than North Texas, while the Gulf Coast has mild winters. Texas has wide variations in precipitation patterns. El Paso, on the western end of the state, averages as little as 8 inches (203.2 mm) of annual rainfall while Houston, in southeast Texas, averages as much as 54 inches (1,371.6 mm) per year. Dallas in the North Central region averages a more moderate 37 inches (939.8 mm) per year.

Snow falls multiple times each winter in the Panhandle and mountainous areas of West Texas, once or twice a year in North Texas, and once every few years in Central and East Texas. Snow rarely falls south of San Antonio or on the coast except in rare circumstances. Of note is the 2004 Christmas Eve Snowstorm
2004 Christmas Eve Snowstorm
The 2004 Christmas Eve Snowstorm was a rare weather event that took place in Louisiana and Texas in the United States on December 24, 2004 before the storm moved northeast to affect the coastal sections of the Mid-Atlantic states and New England in the succeeding few days...

, when 6 inches (152.4 mm) of snow fell as far south as Kingsville
Kingsville, Texas
As of the census of 2000, there were 25,575 people, 8,943 households, and 6,134 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,848.8 people per square mile . There were 10,427 housing units at an average density of 753.8 per square mile...

, where the average high temperature in December is 65° F
Fahrenheit
Fahrenheit is the temperature scale proposed in 1724 by, and named after, the German physicist Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit . Within this scale, the freezing of water into ice is defined at 32 degrees, while the boiling point of water is defined to be 212 degrees...

.

Maximum temperatures in the summer months average from the 80s °F
Fahrenheit
Fahrenheit is the temperature scale proposed in 1724 by, and named after, the German physicist Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit . Within this scale, the freezing of water into ice is defined at 32 degrees, while the boiling point of water is defined to be 212 degrees...

 (26 °C
Celsius
Celsius is a scale and unit of measurement for temperature. It is named after the Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius , who developed a similar temperature scale two years before his death...

) in the mountains of West Texas and on Galveston Island
Galveston Island
Galveston Island is a barrier island on the Texas Gulf coast in the United States, about 50 miles southeast of Houston. The entire island, with the exception of Jamaica Beach, is within the city limits of the City of Galveston....

 to around 100 °F (38 °C) in the Rio Grande Valley
Rio Grande Valley
The Rio Grande Valley or the Lower Rio Grande Valley, informally called The Valley, is an area located in the southernmost tip of South Texas...

, but most areas of Texas see consistent summer high temperatures in the 90 °F (32 °C) range.

Night time summer temperatures range from the upper 50s °F (14 °C) in the West Texas mountains to 80 °F (27 °C) in Galveston.

Thunderstorms strike Texas often, especially the eastern and northern portions of the state. Tornado Alley
Tornado Alley
Tornado Alley is a colloquial and popular media term that most often refers to the area of the United States where tornadoes are most frequent. Although an official location is not defined, the area between the Rocky Mountains and Appalachian Mountains is usually associated with it.The areas...

 covers the northern section of Texas. The state experiences the most tornado
Tornado
A tornado is a violent, dangerous, rotating column of air that is in contact with both the surface of the earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud. They are often referred to as a twister or a cyclone, although the word cyclone is used in meteorology in a wider...

es in the United States, an average of 139 a year. These strike most frequently in North Texas and the Panhandle. Tornadoes in Texas generally occur in the months of April, May, and June.

Some of the most destructive hurricanes in U.S. history have impacted Texas. A hurricane in 1875 killed approximately 400 people in Indianola
Indianola, Texas
Indianola is a ghost town located on Matagorda Bay in Calhoun County, Texas, United States. The community, once the county seat of Calhoun County, is a part of the Victoria, Texas, Metropolitan Statistical Area. In 1875, the city had a population of 5,000, but on September 15 of that year, a...

, followed by another hurricane
Indianola Hurricane of 1886
The Indianola Hurricane of 1886 destroyed the town of Indianola, Texas. It was one of the most intense hurricanes ever to hit the United States.-Meteorological history:...

 in 1886 that destroyed the town. These events allowed Galveston
Galveston, Texas
Galveston is a coastal city located on Galveston Island in the U.S. state of Texas. , the city had a total population of 47,743 within an area of...

 to take over as the chief port city. The Galveston hurricane of 1900
Galveston Hurricane of 1900
The Hurricane of 1900 made landfall on the city of Galveston in the U.S. state of Texas, on September 8, 1900.It had estimated winds of at landfall, making it a Category 4 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale...

 subsequently devastated that city killing approximately 8,000 people (possibly as many as 12,000), making it the deadliest natural disaster
Natural disaster
A natural disaster is the effect of a natural hazard . It leads to financial, environmental or human losses...

 in U.S. history. Other devastating Texas hurricanes include the 1915 Galveston Hurricane
1915 Galveston Hurricane
The 1915 Galveston Hurricane was a deadly hurricane that struck Leeward Islands, Hispanola, Cuba and Texas, in mid August of the 1915 Atlantic hurricane season...

, Hurricane Audrey
Hurricane Audrey
Hurricane Audrey was the first major hurricane of the 1957 Atlantic hurricane season. Audrey was the only storm to reach Category 4 status in June. A powerful hurricane, Audrey caused catastrophic damage across eastern Texas and western Louisiana. It then affected the South Central United States as...

 in 1957 which killed over 600 people, Hurricane Carla
Hurricane Carla
Hurricane Carla was one of two Category 5 tropical cyclones during the 1961 Atlantic hurricane season. It struck the Texas coast as a Category 4 hurricane, becoming one of the most powerful storms to ever strike the United States. Hurricane Carla was the second most intense storm to ever...

 in 1961, Hurricane Beulah
Hurricane Beulah
Hurricane Beulah was the second tropical storm, second hurricane, and only major hurricane during the 1967 Atlantic hurricane season. It tracked through the Caribbean, struck the Yucatán peninsula of Mexico as a major hurricane, and moved west-northwest into the Gulf of Mexico, briefly gaining...

 in 1967, Hurricane Alicia
Hurricane Alicia
Hurricane Alicia was the costliest tropical cyclone in the Atlantic since Hurricane Agnes in 1972. Alicia was the third depression, the first tropical storm, and the only major hurricane of the 1983 Atlantic hurricane season...

 in 1983, Hurricane Rita
Hurricane Rita
Hurricane Rita was the fourth-most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded and the most intense tropical cyclone ever observed in the Gulf of Mexico. Rita caused $11.3 billion in damage on the U.S. Gulf Coast in September 2005...

 in 2005, and Hurricane Ike
Hurricane Ike
Hurricane Ike was the second-costliest hurricane ever to make landfall in the United States, the costliest hurricane ever to impact Cuba and the second most active hurricane to reach the Canadian mainland in the Great Lakes Region after Hurricane Hazel in 1954...

 in 2008. Tropical storms
Tropical cyclone
A tropical cyclone is a storm system characterized by a large low-pressure center and numerous thunderstorms that produce strong winds and heavy rain. Tropical cyclones strengthen when water evaporated from the ocean is released as the saturated air rises, resulting in condensation of water vapor...

 have also caused their share of damage: Allison
Tropical Storm Allison (1989)
Tropical Storm Allison was a tropical cyclone that produced severe flooding in the southern United States. The second tropical cyclone and the first named storm of the 1989 Atlantic hurricane season, Allison formed on June 24 in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. Development of Allison was a result...

 in 1989 and again during 2001
Tropical Storm Allison
Tropical Storm Allison was a tropical storm that devastated southeast Texas in June of the 2001 Atlantic hurricane season. The first storm of the season, Allison lasted an unusually long period of time for a June storm, remaining tropical or subtropical for 15 days...

, and Claudette
Tropical Storm Claudette (1979)
Tropical Storm Claudette was a long living tropical storm that produced heavy rain across Puerto Rico and Texas in late July 1979. The storm killed 2 people and left $1.1 billion in damage...

 in 1979 among them.

Texas emits the most greenhouse gas
Greenhouse gas
A greenhouse gas is a gas in an atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone...

es in the U.S. The state emits nearly 1.5 trillion pounds (680 billion kg) of carbon dioxide annually. As an independent nation, Texas would rank as the world's seventh-largest producer of greenhouse gases. Causes of the state's vast greenhouse gas emissions include the state's large number of coal power plants
Fossil fuel power plant
A fossil-fuel power station is a power station that burns fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas or petroleum to produce electricity. Central station fossil-fuel power plants are designed on a large scale for continuous operation...

 and the state's refining and manufacturing industries.

Pre-European era



Texas lies between two major cultural spheres of Pre-Columbian North America: the Southwestern and the Plains
Plains Indians
The Plains Indians are the Indigenous peoples who live on the plains and rolling hills of the Great Plains of North America. Their colorful equestrian culture and resistance to White domination have made the Plains Indians an archetype in literature and art for American Indians everywhere.Plains...

 areas. Archaeologists have found that three major indigenous cultures lived in this territory, and reached their developmental peak before the first European contact. These were:
  • the Pueblo
    Ancient Pueblo Peoples
    Ancient Pueblo People or Ancestral Pueblo peoples were an ancient Native American culture centered on the present-day Four Corners area of the United States, comprising southern Utah, northern Arizona, northwest New Mexico, and southern Colorado...

     from the upper Rio Grande
    Rio Grande
    The Rio Grande is a river that flows from southwestern Colorado in the United States to the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way it forms part of the Mexico – United States border. Its length varies as its course changes...

     region, centered west of Texas;
  • the Mississippian culture
    Mississippian culture
    The Mississippian culture was a mound-building Native American culture that flourished in what is now the Midwestern, Eastern, and Southeastern United States from approximately 800 CE to 1500 CE, varying regionally....

    , also known as Mound Builder, which extended along the Mississippi River Valley east of Texas; and
  • the civilizations of Mesoamerica
    Mesoamerica
    Mesoamerica is a region and culture area in the Americas, extending approximately from central Mexico to Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, within which a number of pre-Columbian societies flourished before the Spanish colonization of the Americas in the 15th and...

    , centered south of Texas. Influence of Teotihuacan
    Teotihuacan
    Teotihuacan – also written Teotihuacán, with a Spanish orthographic accent on the last syllable – is an enormous archaeological site in the Basin of Mexico, just 30 miles northeast of Mexico City, containing some of the largest pyramidal structures built in the pre-Columbian Americas...

     in northern Mexico peaked around AD 500 and declined over the 8th to 10th centuries.


No culture was dominant in the present-day Texas region, and many peoples inhabited the area. Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 tribes that lived inside the boundaries of present-day Texas include the Alabama
Alabama (people)
The Alabama or Alibamu are a Southeastern culture people of Native Americans, originally from Mississippi...

, Apache
Apache
Apache is the collective term for several culturally related groups of Native Americans in the United States originally from the Southwest United States. These indigenous peoples of North America speak a Southern Athabaskan language, which is related linguistically to the languages of Athabaskan...

, Atakapan, Bidai
Bidai
The Bidai were a band of Atakapa Indians from eastern Texas.-History:Their oral history says that the Bidai were the original peoples in their region. Their central settlements were along Bedias Creek, but their territory ranged from the Brazos River to the Neches River. The first written record...

, Caddo
Caddo
The Caddo Nation is a confederacy of several Southeastern Native American tribes, who traditionally inhabited much of what is now East Texas, northern Louisiana and portions of southern Arkansas and Oklahoma. Today the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma is a cohesive tribe with its capital at Binger, Oklahoma...

, Coahuiltecan
Coahuiltecan
Coahuiltecan or Paikawa was a proposed language family in John Wesley Powell's 1891 classification of Native American languages that consisted of Coahuilteco and Cotoname. The proposal was expanded to include Comecrudo, Karankawa, and Tonkawa...

, Comanche
Comanche
The Comanche are a Native American ethnic group whose historic range consisted of present-day eastern New Mexico, southern Colorado, northeastern Arizona, southern Kansas, all of Oklahoma, and most of northwest Texas. Historically, the Comanches were hunter-gatherers, with a typical Plains Indian...

, Choctaw
Choctaw
The Choctaw are a Native American people originally from the Southeastern United States...

, Coushatta
Coushatta
----The Coushatta are a historic Muskogean-speaking Native American people living primarily in the U.S. state of Louisiana. When first encountered by Europeans, they lived in the territory of present-day Georgia and Alabama...

, Hasinai
Hasinai
The Hasinai Confederacy was a large confederation of Caddo-speaking Native Americans located between the Sabine and Trinity rivers in eastern Texas...

, Jumano, Karankawa
Karankawa
Karankawa were a group of Native American peoples, now extinct as a tribal group, who played a pivotal part in early Texas history....

, Kickapoo, Kiowa
Kiowa
The Kiowa are a nation of American Indians and indigenous people of the Great Plains. They migrated from the northern plains to the southern plains in the late 17th century. In 1867, the Kiowa moved to a reservation in southwestern Oklahoma...

, Tonkawa
Tonkawa
The Tickanwa•tic Tribe , better known as the Tonkawa , are a Native American people indigenous to present-day Oklahoma and Texas. They once spoke the now-extinct Tonkawa language believed to have been a language isolate not related to any other indigenous tongues...

, and Wichita
Wichita (tribe)
The Wichita people are indigenous inhabitants of North America, who traditionally spoke the Wichita language, a Caddoan language. They have lived in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas...

. The name Texas derives from , a word in the Caddoan language
Caddoan languages
The Caddoan languages are a family of Native American languages. They are spoken by Native Americans in parts of the Great Plains of the central United States, from North Dakota south to Oklahoma.-Family division:...

 of the Hasinai, which means "friends" or "allies".

Whether a Native American tribe was friendly or warlike was critical to the fates of European explorers and settler
Settler
A settler is a person who has migrated to an area and established permanent residence there, often to colonize the area. Settlers are generally people who take up residence on land and cultivate it, as opposed to nomads...

s in that land. Friendly tribes taught newcomers how to grow indigenous crops, prepare foods, and hunt wild game
Game (food)
Game is any animal hunted for food or not normally domesticated. Game animals are also hunted for sport.The type and range of animals hunted for food varies in different parts of the world. This will be influenced by climate, animal diversity, local taste and locally accepted view about what can or...

. Warlike tribes made life difficult and dangerous for Europeans through their attacks and resistance to the newcomers.

Colonization


The first historical document related to Texas was a map of the Gulf Coast, created in 1519 by Spanish explorer Alonso Álvarez de Pineda
Alonso Álvarez de Pineda
Alonso Álvarez de Pineda was a Spanish explorer and cartographer. His map marks the first document in Texas history.-Expedition:The Spanish thought there must be a sea lane from the Gulf of Mexico to Asia...

. Nine years later, shipwrecked Spanish explorer Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca
Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca
Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca was a Spanish explorer of the New World, one of four survivors of the Narváez expedition...

 and his cohort became the first Europeans
European ethnic groups
The ethnic groups in Europe are the various ethnic groups that reside in the nations of Europe. European ethnology is the field of anthropology focusing on Europe....

 in Texas. European powers ignored Texas until accidentally settling there in 1685. Miscalculations by René Robert Cavelier de La Salle resulted in his establishing the colony of Fort Saint Louis at Matagorda Bay
Matagorda Bay
Matagorda Bay is a large estuary bay on the Texas coast, lying in Calhoun and Matagorda counties and located approximately northeast of Corpus Christi, southeast of San Antonio, southwest of Houston, and southeast of Austin. It is separated from the Gulf of Mexico by Matagorda Peninsula and...

 rather than along the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

. The colony lasted only four years before succumbing to harsh conditions and hostile natives.

In 1690 Spanish authorities, concerned that France posed competitive threat, constructed several missions
Spanish missions in Texas
The Spanish Missions in Texas comprise a series of religious outposts established by Spanish Catholic Dominicans, Jesuits, and Franciscans to spread the Christian doctrine among the local Native Americans, but with the added benefit of giving Spain a toehold in the frontier land. The missions...

 in East Texas
East Texas
East Texas is a distinct geographic and ecological area in the U.S. state of Texas.According to the Handbook of Texas, the East Texas area "may be separated from the rest of Texas roughly by a line extending from the Red River in north central Lamar County southwestward to east central Limestone...

. After Native American resistance, the Spanish missionaries returned to Mexico. When France began settling Louisiana, mostly in the southern part of the state, in 1716 Spanish authorities responded by founding a new series of missions in East Texas. Two years later, they created San Antonio
San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio is the seventh-largest city in the United States of America and the second-largest city within the state of Texas, with a population of 1.33 million. Located in the American Southwest and the south–central part of Texas, the city serves as the seat of Bexar County. In 2011,...

 as the first Spanish civilian settlement in Texas.

Hostile native tribes and distance from nearby Spanish colonies discouraged settlers from moving to Texas. It was one of New Spain's least populated provinces. In 1749, the Spanish peace treaty with the Lipan Apache angered many tribes, including the Comanche
Comanche
The Comanche are a Native American ethnic group whose historic range consisted of present-day eastern New Mexico, southern Colorado, northeastern Arizona, southern Kansas, all of Oklahoma, and most of northwest Texas. Historically, the Comanches were hunter-gatherers, with a typical Plains Indian...

, Tonkawa
Tonkawa
The Tickanwa•tic Tribe , better known as the Tonkawa , are a Native American people indigenous to present-day Oklahoma and Texas. They once spoke the now-extinct Tonkawa language believed to have been a language isolate not related to any other indigenous tongues...

, and Hasinai
Hasinai
The Hasinai Confederacy was a large confederation of Caddo-speaking Native Americans located between the Sabine and Trinity rivers in eastern Texas...

. The Comanche signed a treaty with Spain in 1785 and later helped to defeat the Lipan Apache and Karankawa
Karankawa
Karankawa were a group of Native American peoples, now extinct as a tribal group, who played a pivotal part in early Texas history....

 tribes. With more numerous missions being established, priests led a peaceful conversion of most tribes. By the end of the 18th century only a few nomadic tribes had not converted to Christianity
Christianization
The historical phenomenon of Christianization is the conversion of individuals to Christianity or the conversion of entire peoples at once...

.

When the United States purchased Louisiana
Louisiana Purchase
The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition by the United States of America of of France's claim to the territory of Louisiana in 1803. The U.S...

 from France in 1803, American authorities insisted that the agreement also included Texas. The boundary between New Spain and the United States was finally set at the Sabine River
Sabine River (Texas-Louisiana)
The Sabine River is a river, long, in the U.S. states of Texas and Louisiana. In its lower course, it forms part of the boundary between the two states and empties into Sabine Lake, an estuary of the Gulf of Mexico. The river formed part of the United States-Mexican international boundary during...

 in 1819. Eager for new land, many United States settlers refused to recognize the agreement. Several filibusters
Filibuster (military)
A filibuster, or freebooter, is someone who engages in an unauthorized military expedition into a foreign country to foment or support a revolution...

 raised armies to invade Texas. In 1821, the Mexican War of Independence
Mexican War of Independence
The Mexican War of Independence was an armed conflict between the people of Mexico and the Spanish colonial authorities which started on 16 September 1810. The movement, which became known as the Mexican War of Independence, was led by Mexican-born Spaniards, Mestizos and Amerindians who sought...

 included the Texas territory, which became part of Mexico. Due to its low population, Mexico made the area part of the state of Coahuila y Tejas
Coahuila y Tejas
Coahuila y Tejas was one of the constituent states of the newly established United Mexican States under its 1824 Constitution.It had two capitals: first Saltillo, and then Monclova...

.

Hoping that more settlers would reduce the near-constant Comanche raids, Mexican Texas
Mexican Texas
Mexican Texas is the name given by Texas history scholars to the period between 1821 and 1836, when Texas was an integral part of Mexico. The period began with Mexico's victory over Spain in its war of independence in 1821. For the first several years of its existence, Mexican Texas operated very...

 liberalized its immigration policies to permit immigrants from outside Mexico and Spain. Under the Mexican immigration system, large swathes of land were allotted to empresario
Empresario
An empresario was a person who, in the early years of the settlement of Texas, had been granted the right to settle on Mexican land in exchange for recruiting and taking responsibility for new settlers. The word is Spanish for entrepreneur.- Background :...

s
, who recruited settlers from the United States, Europe, and the Mexican interior. The first grant, to Moses Austin
Moses Austin
Moses Austin played a large part in the development of the American lead industry and is the father of Stephen F. Austin, a leading American settler of Texas. He was the first to be allowed to gather Anglo Americans for settlement in Spanish Texas...

, was passed to his son Stephen F. Austin
Stephen F. Austin
Stephen Fuller Austin was born in Virginia and raised in southeastern Missouri. He was known as the Father of Texas, led the second, but first legal and ultimately successful colonization of the region by bringing 300 families from the United States. The capital of Texas, Austin in Travis County,...

 after his death.

Austin's settlers, the Old Three Hundred
Old Three Hundred
The Old Three Hundred is a term used to describe the 297 grantees, made up of families and some partnerships of unmarried men, who purchased 307 parcels of land from Stephen Fuller Austin and established a colony near present day Brenham in Washington County, Texas.Moses Austin was the original...

, made places along the Brazos River
Brazos River
The Brazos River, called the Rio de los Brazos de Dios by early Spanish explorers , is the longest river in Texas and the 11th longest river in the United States at from its source at the head of Blackwater Draw, Curry County, New Mexico to its mouth at the Gulf of Mexico with a drainage...

 in 1822. Twenty-three other empresarios brought settlers to the state, the majority of whom were from the United States. The population of Texas grew rapidly. In 1825, Texas had a population of approximately 3,500, with most of Mexican descent. By 1834, Texas had grown to approximately 37,800 people, with only 7,800 of Mexican descent.

Many immigrants openly flouted Mexican law, especially the prohibition against slavery
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

. Combined with United States' attempts to purchase Texas, Mexican authorities decided in 1830 to prohibit continued immigration from the United States. New laws also called for the enforcement of customs duties
Duty (economics)
In economics, a duty is a kind of tax, often associated with customs, a payment due to the revenue of a state, levied by force of law. It is a tax on certain items purchased abroad...

 angering both native Mexican citizens (Tejano
Tejano
Tejano or Texano is a term used to identify a Texan of Mexican heritage.Historically, the Spanish term Tejano has been used to identify different groups of people...

s
) and recent immigrants.

The Anahuac Disturbances
Anahuac Disturbances
The Anahuac Disturbances were uprisings of settlers in and around Anahuac, Texas in 1832 and 1835 which helped to precipitate the Texas Revolution. This eventually led to the territory's secession from Mexico and the founding of the Republic of Texas...

 in 1832 were the first open revolt against Mexican rule and they coincided with a revolt in Mexico against the nation's president. Texian
Texian
Texian is an archaic, mostly defunct 19th century demonym which defined a settler of current-day Texas, one of the southern states of the United States of America which borders the country of Mexico...

s sided with the federalists
Federalism
Federalism is a political concept in which a group of members are bound together by covenant with a governing representative head. The term "federalism" is also used to describe a system of the government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and...

 against the current government and drove all Mexican soldiers out of East Texas. They took advantage of the lack of oversight to agitate for more political freedom. Texians met at the Convention of 1832
Convention of 1832
The Convention of 1832 was the first political gathering of colonists in Mexican Texas. Delegates sought reforms from the Mexican government and hoped to quell the widespread belief that settlers in Texas wished to secede from Mexico...

 to discuss requesting independent statehood, among other issues. The following year, Texians reiterated their demands at the Convention of 1833
Convention of 1833
The Convention of 1833 , a political gathering of settlers in Mexican Texas, was a successor to the Convention of 1832, whose requests had not been addressed by the Mexican government...

.

Republic





Within Mexico, tensions continued between federalists and centralists. In early 1835, wary Texians formed Committees of Correspondence and Safety. The unrest erupted into armed conflict in late 1835 at the Battle of Gonzales
Battle of Gonzales
The Battle of Gonzales was the first military engagement of the Texas Revolution. It was fought near Gonzales, Texas, on October 2, 1835, between rebellious Texian settlers and a detachment of Mexican army troops....

. This launched the Texas Revolution
Texas Revolution
The Texas Revolution or Texas War of Independence was an armed conflict between Mexico and settlers in the Texas portion of the Mexican state Coahuila y Tejas. The war lasted from October 2, 1835 to April 21, 1836...

, and over the next two months, the Texian
Texian
Texian is an archaic, mostly defunct 19th century demonym which defined a settler of current-day Texas, one of the southern states of the United States of America which borders the country of Mexico...

s successfully defeated all Mexican troops in the region. Texians elected delegates to the Consultation, which created a provisional government. The provisional government soon collapsed from infighting, and Texas was without clear governance for the first two months of 1836.

During this time of political turmoil, Mexican President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna
Antonio López de Santa Anna
Antonio de Padua María Severino López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón , often known as Santa Anna or López de Santa Anna, known as "the Napoleon of the West," was a Mexican political leader, general, and president who greatly influenced early Mexican and Spanish politics and government...

 personally led an army to end the revolt. The Mexican expedition was initially successful. General Jose de Urrea
José de Urrea
José de Urrea was a noted general for Mexico. He fought under General Antonio López de Santa Anna during the Texas Revolution. Urrea's forces were never defeated in battle during the Texas Revolution...

 defeated all the Texian resistance along the coast culminating in the Goliad Massacre
Goliad massacre
The Goliad Massacre was an execution of Republic of Texas soldiers and their commander, James Fannin, by Mexico, reluctantly carried out by General Jose de Urrea.-Background:...

. Santa Anna's forces, after a thirteen-day siege
Siege of the Alamo
The siege of the Alamo describes the first twelve days of the Battle of the Alamo. On February 23, Mexican troops under General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna entered San Antonio de Bexar, Texas and surrounded the Alamo Mission...

, overwhelmed Texian defenders at the Battle of the Alamo
Battle of the Alamo
The Battle of the Alamo was a pivotal event in the Texas Revolution. Following a 13-day siege, Mexican troops under President General Antonio López de Santa Anna launched an assault on the Alamo Mission near San Antonio de Béxar . All but two of the Texian defenders were killed...

. News of the defeats sparked panic amongst Texas settlers.
The newly elected Texian delegates to the Convention of 1836
Convention of 1836
The Convention of 1836 was the meeting of elected delegates in Washington-on-the-Brazos, Texas in March 1836. The Texas Revolution had begun five months previously, and the interim government, known as the Consultation, had wavered over whether to declare independence from Mexico or pledge to...

 quickly signed a Declaration of Independence
Texas Declaration of Independence
The Texas Declaration of Independence was the formal declaration of independence of the Republic of Texas from Mexico in the Texas Revolution. It was adopted at the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos on March 2, 1836, and formally signed the following day after errors were noted in the...

 on March 2, forming the Republic of Texas
Republic of Texas
The Republic of Texas was an independent nation in North America, bordering the United States and Mexico, that existed from 1836 to 1846.Formed as a break-away republic from Mexico by the Texas Revolution, the state claimed borders that encompassed an area that included all of the present U.S...

. After electing interim officers, the Convention disbanded. The new government joined the other settlers in Texas in the Runaway Scrape
Runaway Scrape
The Runaway Scrape was the name given to the flight and subsequent hostilities that occurred, as Texan, Tejano, and American settlers and militia encountered the pursuing Mexican army in early 1836....

, fleeing from the approaching Mexican army. After several weeks of retreat, the Texian Army
Texian Army
The Texian Army was a military organization consisting of volunteer and regular soldiers who fought against the Mexican army during the Texas Revolution. Approximately 3,700 men joined the army between October 2, 1835 during the Battle of Gonzales through the end of the war on April 21, 1836, at...

 commanded by Sam Houston
Sam Houston
Samuel Houston, known as Sam Houston , was a 19th-century American statesman, politician, and soldier. He was born in Timber Ridge in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, of Scots-Irish descent. Houston became a key figure in the history of Texas and was elected as the first and third President of...

 attacked and defeated Santa Anna's forces at the Battle of San Jacinto
Battle of San Jacinto
The Battle of San Jacinto, fought on April 21, 1836, in present-day Harris County, Texas, was the decisive battle of the Texas Revolution. Led by General Sam Houston, the Texian Army engaged and defeated General Antonio López de Santa Anna's Mexican forces in a fight that lasted just eighteen...

. Santa Anna was captured and forced to sign the Treaties of Velasco
Treaties of Velasco
The Treaties of Velasco were two documents signed at Velasco, Texas, on May 14, 1836, between Antonio López de Santa Anna of Mexico and the Republic of Texas, in the aftermath of the Battle of San Jacinto ....

, ending the war.

While Texas had won their independence, political battles raged between two factions of the new Republic. The nationalist faction, led by Mirabeau B. Lamar
Mirabeau B. Lamar
Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar was a Texas politician, diplomat and soldier who was a leading Texas political figure during the Texas Republic era. He was the second President of the Republic of Texas, after David G. Burnet and Sam Houston.-Early years:Lamar grew up at Fairfield, his father's...

, advocated the continued independence of Texas, the expulsion of the Native Americans
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

, and the expansion of the Republic to the Pacific Ocean. Their opponents, led by Sam Houston, advocated the annexation of Texas to the United States and peaceful co-existence with Native Americans. The conflict between the factions was typified by an incident known as the Texas Archive War
Texas Archive War
The Texas Archive War was an 1842 dispute over an attempted move of the Republic of Texas national archives from Austin to Houston and, more broadly, over then-president Sam Houston's efforts to make Houston the capital of Texas.-Background:...

.
Mexico launched two small expeditions into Texas in 1842. The town of San Antonio was captured twice and Texans were defeated in battle in the Dawson Massacre
Dawson Massacre
The Dawson Massacre, also called the Dawson Expedition, was an incident during the Mexican Invasions of Texas, in which thirty-six Texan militiamen were killed by Mexican soldiers with artillery on September 17, 1842 near San Antonio de Bexar...

. Despite these successes, Mexico did not keep an occupying force in Texas, and the republic survived. The republic's inability to defend itself added momentum to Texas's eventual annexation into the United States.

Statehood



As early as 1837, the Republic made several attempts to negotiate annexation
Annexation
Annexation is the de jure incorporation of some territory into another geo-political entity . Usually, it is implied that the territory and population being annexed is the smaller, more peripheral, and weaker of the two merging entities, barring physical size...

 with the United States. Opposition within the republic from the nationalist faction, along with strong abolitionist opposition within the United States, slowed Texas's admission into the Union. Texas was finally annexed
Texas Annexation
In 1845, United States of America annexed the Republic of Texas and admitted it to the Union as the 28th state. The U.S. thus inherited Texas's border dispute with Mexico; this quickly led to the Mexican-American War, during which the U.S. captured additional territory , extending the nation's...

 when the expansionist James K. Polk
James K. Polk
James Knox Polk was the 11th President of the United States . Polk was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. He later lived in and represented Tennessee. A Democrat, Polk served as the 17th Speaker of the House of Representatives and the 12th Governor of Tennessee...

 won the election of 1844
United States presidential election, 1844
In the United States presidential election of 1844, Democrat James K. Polk defeated Whig Henry Clay in a close contest that turned on foreign policy, with Polk favoring the annexation of Texas and Clay opposed....

. On December 29, 1845, Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 admitted Texas to the U.S. as a constituent state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 of the Union.

After Texas's annexation, Mexico broke diplomatic relations with the United States. While the United States claimed that Texas's border stretched to the Rio Grande, Mexico claimed it was the Nueces River
Nueces River
The Nueces River is a river in the U.S. state of Texas, approximately long. It drains a region in central and southern Texas southeastward into the Gulf of Mexico. It is the southernmost major river in Texas northeast of the Rio Grande...

. While the former Republic of Texas could not enforce its border claims, the United States had the military strength and the political will to do so. President Polk ordered General Zachary Taylor
Zachary Taylor
Zachary Taylor was the 12th President of the United States and an American military leader. Initially uninterested in politics, Taylor nonetheless ran as a Whig in the 1848 presidential election, defeating Lewis Cass...

 south to the Rio Grande on January 13, 1846. A few months later Mexican troops routed an American cavalry patrol in the disputed area in the Thornton Affair
Thornton Affair
The Thornton Affair, also known as the Thornton Skirmish, Thornton's Defeat, or Rancho Carricitos was a battle between the military forces of the United States and Mexico. It served as the primary justification for U.S. President James K. Polk's declaration of war against Mexico in 1846,...

 starting the Mexican-American War. The first battles of the war were fought in Texas: the Siege of Fort Texas
Siege of Fort Texas
The Siege of Fort Texas marked the beginning of active campaigning by the armies of the United States and Mexico during the Mexican-American War. The battle is sometimes called The Siege of Fort Brown, but this is not entirely accurate — the name Fort Brown was taken from Major Jacob Brown,...

, Battle of Palo Alto
Battle of Palo Alto
The Battle of Palo Alto was the first major battle of the Mexican-American War and was fought on May 8, 1846, on disputed ground five miles from the modern-day city of Brownsville, Texas...

 and Battle of Resaca de la Palma
Battle of Resaca de la Palma
At the Battle of Resaca de la Palma, one of the early engagements of the Mexican-American War,United States General Zachary Taylor engaged the retreating forces of the Mexican Ejército del Norte under General Mariano Arista on May 9, 1846.-Background:During the night of May 8, following...

. After these decisive victories, the United States invaded Mexican territory ending the fighting in Texas.

After a series of United States victories, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is the peace treaty, largely dictated by the United States to the interim government of a militarily occupied Mexico City, that ended the Mexican-American War on February 2, 1848...

 ended the two year war. In return, for US $
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

18,250,000, Mexico gave the U.S. undisputed control of Texas, ceded the Mexican Cession
Mexican Cession
The Mexican Cession of 1848 is a historical name in the United States for the region of the present day southwestern United States that Mexico ceded to the U.S...

 in 1848, most of which today is called the American Southwest, and Texas's borders were established at the Rio Grande.

The Compromise of 1850
Compromise of 1850
The Compromise of 1850 was a package of five bills, passed in September 1850, which defused a four-year confrontation between the slave states of the South and the free states of the North regarding the status of territories acquired during the Mexican-American War...

 set Texas's boundaries at their present form. Texas ceded its claims to land which later became half of present day New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

, a third of Colorado
Colorado
Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

, and small portions of Kansas
Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

, Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

, and Wyoming
Wyoming
Wyoming is a state in the mountain region of the Western United States. The western two thirds of the state is covered mostly with the mountain ranges and rangelands in the foothills of the Eastern Rocky Mountains, while the eastern third of the state is high elevation prairie known as the High...

 to the federal government, in return for the assumption of $10 million of the old republic's debt. Post-war Texas grew rapidly as migrants poured into the cotton lands of the state.

Civil War and Reconstruction




Texas was at war again after the election of 1860
United States presidential election, 1860
The United States presidential election of 1860 was a quadrennial election, held on November 6, 1860, for the office of President of the United States and the immediate impetus for the outbreak of the American Civil War. The nation had been divided throughout the 1850s on questions surrounding the...

. Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

's election triggered South Carolina's declaration of secession from the Union, which was quickly followed by that of five other Lower South states
Deep South
The Deep South is a descriptive category of the cultural and geographic subregions in the American South. Historically, it is differentiated from the "Upper South" as being the states which were most dependent on plantation type agriculture during the pre-Civil War period...

. A State Convention considering secession opened in Austin on January 28, 1861. On February 1, by a vote of 166–8, the Convention adopted an Ordinance of Secession
Ordinance of Secession
The Ordinance of Secession was the document drafted and ratified in 1860 and 1861 by the states officially seceding from the United States of America...

 from the United States. Texas voters approved this Ordinance on February 23, 1861. Texas joined the Confederate States of America, ratifying the permanent C.S. Constitution
Confederate States Constitution
The Constitution of the Confederate States of America was the supreme law of the Confederate States of America, as adopted on March 11, 1861 and in effect through the conclusion of the American Civil War. The Confederacy also operated under a Provisional Constitution from February 8, 1861 to March...

 on March 23, 1861. Not all Texans favored secession initially, although many of the same would later support the Southern cause. Texas's most notable unionist
Union (American Civil War)
During the American Civil War, the Union was a name used to refer to the federal government of the United States, which was supported by the twenty free states and five border slave states. It was opposed by 11 southern slave states that had declared a secession to join together to form the...

 was the state Governor, Sam Houston. Not wanting to aggravate the situation, Houston refused two offers from President Lincoln for Union troops to keep him in office. After refusing to swear an oath of allegiance to the Confederacy, Houston was deposed as governor.

While far from the major battlefields
Eastern Theater of the American Civil War
The Eastern Theater of the American Civil War included the states of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, and the coastal fortifications and seaports of North Carolina...

 of the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, Texas contributed large numbers of men and equipment to the rest of the Confederacy. Union troops briefly occupied
First Battle of Galveston
The Battle of Galveston Harbor or the First Battle of Galveston was primarily a naval engagement fought on October 4, 1862 near the city of Galveston, Texas between forces from the Union Navy and the Confederate States of America.-Battle:...

 the state's primary port, Galveston. Texas's border with Mexico was known as the "backdoor of the Confederacy" because trade occurred at the border, bypassing the Union blockade. The Confederacy repulsed all Union attempts to shut down this route, but Texas's role as a supply state was marginalized in mid-1863 after the Union capture of the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

. The final battle of the Civil War
Battle of Palmito Ranch
The Battle of Palmito Ranch, also known as the Battle of Palmito Hill and the Battle of Palmetto Ranch, was fought on May 12–13, 1865, during the American Civil War. It was the last major clash of arms in the war...

 was fought near Brownsville, Texas at Palmito Ranch
Palmito Ranch Battlefield
The Palmito Ranch Battlefield preserves the location of the last major battle of the American Civil War. Fought near Brownsville, Texas, the Battle of Palmito Ranch was a victory for the Confederacy. Today the area is relatively unchanged and the marshy, windswept prairies are almost the same as...

 with a Confederate victory.

Texas descended into anarchy for two months between the surrender
Battle of Appomattox Courthouse
The Battle of Appomattox Court House, fought on the morning of April 9, 1865, was the final engagement of Confederate States Army General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia before it surrendered to the Union Army under Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, and one of the last battles of the American...

 of the Army of Northern Virginia
Army of Northern Virginia
The Army of Northern Virginia was the primary military force of the Confederate States of America in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War, as well as the primary command structure of the Department of Northern Virginia. It was most often arrayed against the Union Army of the Potomac...

 and the assumption of authority by Union General Gordon Granger
Gordon Granger
Gordon Granger was a career U.S. army officer and a Union general during the American Civil War. He distinguished himself at the Battle of Chickamauga.-Early life & Mexico:...

. Violence marked the early months of Reconstruction. Juneteenth
Juneteenth
Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is a holiday in the United States honoring African American heritage by commemorating the announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. State of Texas in 1865...

 commemorates the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation
Emancipation Proclamation
The Emancipation Proclamation is an executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, during the American Civil War using his war powers. It proclaimed the freedom of 3.1 million of the nation's 4 million slaves, and immediately freed 50,000 of them, with nearly...

 in Galveston by General Gordon Granger, over two and a half years after the original announcement. President Johnson, in 1866, declared the civilian government restored in Texas. Despite not meeting reconstruction requirements, Congress readmitted Texas into the Union
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 in 1870. Social volatility continued as the state struggled with agricultural depression and labor issues.

20th century to present



On January 10, 1901, the first major oil well
Oil well
An oil well is a general term for any boring through the earth's surface that is designed to find and acquire petroleum oil hydrocarbons. Usually some natural gas is produced along with the oil. A well that is designed to produce mainly or only gas may be termed a gas well.-History:The earliest...

 in Texas, Spindletop
Spindletop
Spindletop is a salt dome oil field located in the southern portion of Beaumont, Texas in the United States. The Spindletop dome was derived from the Louann Salt evaporite layer of the Jurassic geologic period. On January 10, 1901, a well at Spindletop struck oil . The new oil field soon produced...

, was found south of Beaumont
Beaumont, Texas
Beaumont is a city in and county seat of Jefferson County, Texas, United States, within the Beaumont–Port Arthur Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city's population was 118,296 at the 2010 census. With Port Arthur and Orange, it forms the Golden Triangle, a major industrial area on the...

. Other fields were later discovered nearby in East Texas
East Texas oil field
The East Texas Oil Field is a large oil and gas field in east Texas. Covering and parts of five counties, and having 30,340 historic and active oil wells, it is the largest oil field in the United States outside of Alaska, both in extent and in total volume of oil recovered since its discovery in...

, West Texas
West Texas
West Texas is a vernacular term applied to a region in the southwestern quadrant of the United States that primarily encompasses the arid and semi-arid lands in the western portion of the state of Texas....

, and under the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

. The resulting "Oil Boom
Texas Oil Boom
The Texas Oil Boom, sometimes called the Gusher Age, was a period of dramatic change and economic growth in U.S. state of Texas during the early 20th century that began with the discovery of a large petroleum reserve near Beaumont, Texas...

" transformed Texas. Oil production eventually averaged three million barrels per day at its peak in 1972.

The Great Depression and the Dust Bowl
Dust Bowl
The Dust Bowl, or the Dirty Thirties, was a period of severe dust storms causing major ecological and agricultural damage to American and Canadian prairie lands from 1930 to 1936...

 dealt a double blow to the state's economy, which had significantly improved since the Civil War. Migrants abandoned the worst hit sections of Texas during the Dust Bowl years. Especially from this period on, blacks left Texas in the Great Migration
Great Migration (African American)
The Great Migration was the movement of 6 million blacks out of the Southern United States to the Northeast, Midwest, and West from 1910 to 1970. Some historians differentiate between a Great Migration , numbering about 1.6 million migrants, and a Second Great Migration , in which 5 million or more...

 to get work in the Northern United States
Northern United States
Northern United States, also sometimes the North, may refer to:* A particular grouping of states or regions of the United States of America. The United States Census Bureau divides some of the northernmost United States into the Midwest Region and the Northeast Region...

 or California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 and to escape the oppression of segregation. In 1940, Texas was 74% Anglo
Non-Hispanic Whites
Non-Hispanic Whites or White, Not Hispanic or Latino are people in the United States, as defined by the Census Bureau, who are of the White race and are not of Hispanic or Latino origin/ethnicity. Hence the designation is exclusive in the sense that it defines who is not included as opposed to who is...

, 14.4% black, and 11.5% Hispanic.

World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 had a dramatic impact on Texas, as federal money poured in to build military bases, munitions factories, POW detention camps and Army hospitals; 750,000 young men left for service; the cities exploded with new industry; the colleges took on new roles; and hundreds of thousands of poor farmers left for much better paying war jobs, never to return to agriculture.

Texas modernized and expanded its system of higher education through the 1960s. The state created a comprehensive plan for higher education, funded in large part by oil revenues, and a central state apparatus designed to manage state institutions more efficiently. These changes helped Texas universities receive federal research funds.

On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated
Assassination of John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the thirty-fifth President of the United States, was assassinated at 12:30 p.m. Central Standard Time on Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas...

 in Dallas.

Government and politics


The current Texas Constitution
Texas Constitution
The Constitution of the State of Texas is the document that describes the structure and function of the government of the U.S. State of Texas.Texas has had seven constitutions: the constitution of Coahuila y Tejas, the 1836 Constitution of the Republic of Texas, the state constitutions of 1845,...

 was adopted in 1876. Like many states
State constitution (United States)
In the United States, each state has its own constitution.Usually, they are longer than the 7,500-word federal Constitution and are more detailed regarding the day-to-day relationships between government and the people. The shortest is the Constitution of Vermont, adopted in 1793 and currently...

, it explicitly provides for a separation of powers. The state's Bill of Rights is much larger than its federal counterpart
United States Bill of Rights
The Bill of Rights is the collective name for the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. These limitations serve to protect the natural rights of liberty and property. They guarantee a number of personal freedoms, limit the government's power in judicial and other proceedings, and...

, and has provisions unique to Texas.

State government



Texas has a plural executive branch system limiting the power of the Governor. Except for the Secretary of State
Secretary of State of Texas
The Secretary of State of Texas is one of six state officials designated by the Texas Constitution to form the executive department of that U.S. state...

, voters elect executive officers independently making candidates being directly answerable to the public, not the Governor. This election system has led to some executive branches split between parties. When Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 served as Texas's governor, the state had a Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 Lieutenant Governor, Bob Bullock
Bob Bullock
Robert Douglas Bullock, known as Bob Bullock , was a Democratic politician from Texas, whose career spanned four decades. His service culminated in his term as Lieutenant Governor of Texas from January 15, 1991–January 19, 1999 during the terms of Governors Ann Richards and George W...

. The executive branch positions consist of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor
Lieutenant Governor of Texas
The Lieutenant Governor of Texas is the second-highest executive office in the government of Texas, a state in the U.S. It is the second most powerful post in Texas government because its occupant controls the work of the Texas Senate and controls the budgeting process as a leader of the...

, Comptroller of Public Accounts, Land Commissioner, Attorney General, Agriculture Commissioner, the three-member Texas Railroad Commission, the State Board of Education, and the Secretary of State.

The bicameral Texas Legislature
Texas Legislature
The Legislature of the state of Texas is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Texas. The legislature is a bicameral body composed of a 31-member Senate and a 150-member House of Representatives. The Legislature meets at the Capitol in Austin...

 consists of the House of Representatives
Texas House of Representatives
The Texas House of Representatives is the lower house of the Texas Legislature. The House is composed of 150 members elected from single-member districts across the state. The average district has about 150,000 people. Representatives are elected to two-year terms with no term limits...

, with 150 members, and a Senate
Texas Senate
The Texas Senate is the upper house of the Texas Legislature. There are 31 members of the Senate, representing 31 single-member districts across the state with populations of approximately 672,000 per constituency. There are no term limits, and each term is four years long. The Senate meets at the...

, with 31 members. The Speaker of the House leads the House, and the Lieutenant Governor, the Senate. The Legislature meets in regular session biennially, but the Governor can call for special sessions as often as desired. The state's fiscal year spans from the previous calendar year's September 1 to the current year's August 31. Thus, the FY dates from September 1, through August 31, .

The judicial system of Texas
Texas judicial system
The structure of the Texas judicial system is laid out in Article 5 of the Texas Constitution, and is further defined under the Texas Government Code and, with regards to probate matters, under the Texas Probate Code....

 is one of the most complex in the United States, with many layers and overlapping jurisdictions. Texas has two courts of last resort: the Texas Supreme Court
Texas Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Texas is the court of last resort for non-criminal matters in the state of Texas. A different court, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, is the court of last resort for criminal matters.The Court is composed of a Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices...

, for civil cases, and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is the court of last resort for all criminal matters in the State of Texas, United States. The Court, which is based in the Supreme Court Building in Downtown Austin, is composed of a Presiding Judge and eight judges....

. Except for some municipal benches, partisan elections select judges at all levels of the judiciary; the Governor fills vacancies by appointment. Texas leads the nation in executions– 442 as of October 2009 (see Capital punishment in Texas
Capital punishment in Texas
Capital punishment has been used in the U.S. state of Texas and its predecessor entities since 1819.As of 16 November 2011, 1,228 individuals have been executed. Only Virginia has executed more individuals overall; however, since the death penalty was re-instituted in the United States in the...

).

The Texas Ranger Division
Texas Ranger Division
The Texas Ranger Division, commonly called the Texas Rangers, is a law enforcement agency with statewide jurisdiction in Texas, and is based in Austin, Texas...

 of the Texas Department of Public Safety
Texas Department of Public Safety
The Texas Department of Public Safety is a department of the government of the state of Texas. The DPS is responsible for statewide law enforcement and vehicle regulation. The Public Safety Commission oversees the DPS. Its five members are appointed by the Governor of Texas and confirmed by the...

 is a law enforcement agency
Police
The police is a personification of the state designated to put in practice the enforced law, protect property and reduce civil disorder in civilian matters. Their powers include the legitimized use of force...

 with statewide jurisdiction
Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted legal body or to a political leader to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and, by implication, to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility...

. Over the years, the Texas Rangers have investigated crimes ranging from murder to political corruption
Political corruption
Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by...

. They have acted as riot
Riot
A riot is a form of civil disorder characterized often by what is thought of as disorganized groups lashing out in a sudden and intense rash of violence against authority, property or people. While individuals may attempt to lead or control a riot, riots are thought to be typically chaotic and...

 police and as detectives, protected the Texas governor, tracked down fugitives, and functioned as a paramilitary
Paramilitary
A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military, but which is not considered part of a state's formal armed forces....

 force both for the republic and the state. The Texas Rangers were unofficially created by Stephen F. Austin
Stephen F. Austin
Stephen Fuller Austin was born in Virginia and raised in southeastern Missouri. He was known as the Father of Texas, led the second, but first legal and ultimately successful colonization of the region by bringing 300 families from the United States. The capital of Texas, Austin in Travis County,...

 in 1823 and formally constituted in 1835. The Rangers were part of several important events of Texas history and some of the best-known criminal cases in the history of the Old West
American Old West
The American Old West, or the Wild West, comprises the history, geography, people, lore, and cultural expression of life in the Western United States, most often referring to the latter half of the 19th century, between the American Civil War and the end of the century...

.

Politics



Texas Presidential elections results
Year Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

2008
United States presidential election, 2008
The United States presidential election of 2008 was the 56th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on November 4, 2008. Democrat Barack Obama, then the junior United States Senator from Illinois, defeated Republican John McCain, the senior U.S. Senator from Arizona. Obama received 365...

55.48% 4,467,748 43.72% 3,521,164
2004
United States presidential election, 2004
The United States presidential election of 2004 was the United States' 55th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 2, 2004. Republican Party candidate and incumbent President George W. Bush defeated Democratic Party candidate John Kerry, the then-junior U.S. Senator...

61.09% 4,526,917 38.30% 2,832,704
2000
United States presidential election, 2000
The United States presidential election of 2000 was a contest between Republican candidate George W. Bush, then-governor of Texas and son of former president George H. W. Bush , and Democratic candidate Al Gore, then-Vice President....

59.30% 3,799,639 38.11% 2,433,746
1996
United States presidential election, 1996
The United States presidential election of 1996 was a contest between the Democratic national ticket of President Bill Clinton of Arkansas and Vice President Al Gore of Tennessee and the Republican national ticket of former Senator Bob Dole of Kansas for President and former Housing Secretary Jack...

48.80% 2,736,166 43.81% 2,459,683
1992
United States presidential election, 1992
The United States presidential election of 1992 had three major candidates: Incumbent Republican President George Bush; Democratic Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton, and independent Texas businessman Ross Perot....

40.61% 2,496,071 37.11% 2,281,815
1988
United States presidential election, 1988
The United States presidential election of 1988 featured no incumbent president, as President Ronald Reagan was unable to seek re-election after serving the maximum two terms allowed by the Twenty-second Amendment. Reagan's Vice President, George H. W. Bush, won the Republican nomination, while the...

56.01% 3,036,829 43.41% 2,352,748
1984
United States presidential election, 1984
The United States presidential election of 1984 was a contest between the incumbent President Ronald Reagan, the Republican candidate, and former Vice President Walter Mondale, the Democratic candidate. Reagan was helped by a strong economic recovery from the deep recession of 1981–1982...

63.58% 3,433,428 36.18% 1,949,276
1980
United States presidential election, 1980
The United States presidential election of 1980 featured a contest between incumbent Democrat Jimmy Carter and his Republican opponent, Ronald Reagan, as well as Republican Congressman John B. Anderson, who ran as an independent...

55.30% 2,510,705 41.51% 1,881,148


As in other "Solid South
Solid South
Solid South is the electoral support of the Southern United States for the Democratic Party candidates for nearly a century from 1877, the end of Reconstruction, to 1964, during the middle of the Civil Rights era....

" states, whites resented the Republican Party after the American Civil War, and the Democratic Party dominated Texas politics
Politics of Texas
For approximately 100 years, from the end of Reconstruction until the 1970s, the Democratic Party was dominant in Texas politics. However, since the 1950s the Republican Party has grown more prominent within the state, and became the state's dominant political party in the mid-1990s...

 from the end of Reconstruction until the late 20th century. The state has since become a Republican stronghold.

The Texas political atmosphere leans towards fiscal
Fiscal conservatism
Fiscal conservatism is a political term used to describe a fiscal policy that advocates avoiding deficit spending. Fiscal conservatives often consider reduction of overall government spending and national debt as well as ensuring balanced budget of paramount importance...

 and social conservatism
Social conservatism
Social Conservatism is primarily a political, and usually morally influenced, ideology that focuses on the preservation of what are seen as traditional values. Social conservatism is a form of authoritarianism often associated with the position that the federal government should have a greater role...

. Since 1980, most Texas voters have supported Republican presidential candidates. In 2000 and 2004, Republican George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 won Texas with 60.1% of the vote, partly due to his "favorite son" status as a former Governor of the state. John McCain
John McCain
John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election....

 won the state in 2008
United States presidential election, 2008
The United States presidential election of 2008 was the 56th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on November 4, 2008. Democrat Barack Obama, then the junior United States Senator from Illinois, defeated Republican John McCain, the senior U.S. Senator from Arizona. Obama received 365...

, but with a smaller margin of victory compared to Bush at 55% of the vote. Austin consistently leans Democratic in both local and statewide elections.
Counties along the Rio Grande generally vote for Democrats, while most rural and suburban areas of Texas vote Republican.

The 2003 Texas redistricting
2003 Texas redistricting
The 2003 Texas redistricting refers to a controversial mid-decade congressional redistricting plan appealed to the United States Supreme Court in League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry...

 of Congressional districts led by the Republican Tom Delay
Tom DeLay
Thomas Dale "Tom" DeLay is a former member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Texas's 22nd congressional district from 1984 until 2006. He was Republican Party House Majority Leader from 2003 to 2005, when he resigned because of criminal money laundering charges in...

, was called by the New York Times "an extreme case of partisan gerrymandering
Gerrymandering
In the process of setting electoral districts, gerrymandering is a practice that attempts to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating geographic boundaries to create partisan, incumbent-protected districts...

". A group of Democratic legislators, the "Texas Eleven
Texas Eleven
The Texas Eleven were a group of Texas Senate Democrats who fled Texas for Albuquerque, New Mexico for 46 days in 2003 aimed at preventing the passage of controversial redistricting legislation that was intended to benefit Texas Republicans. A group of Texas House representatives, dubbed the Killer...

", fled the state in a quorum-busting
Quorum
A quorum is the minimum number of members of a deliberative assembly necessary to conduct the business of that group...

 effort. Despite these efforts, the legislature passed a map heavily in favor of Republicans. Protests of the redistricting reached the national Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 in the case League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry
League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry
League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry, 548 U. S. 399 , is a Supreme Court of the United States case in which the Court ruled that only District 23 of the 2003 Texas redistricting violated the Voting Rights Act. The Court refused to throw out the entire plan, ruling that the plaintiffs...

, but the ruling went in the Republicans' favor.

As of the general elections of 2010
United States general elections, 2010
The 2010 United States elections were held on Tuesday, November 2, 2010. During this midterm election year, all 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 37 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate were contested in this election along with 38 state and territorial...

, a large majority of the members of Texas's U.S. House delegation are Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

, along with both U.S. Senators. In the 112th United States Congress
112th United States Congress
The One Hundred Twelfth United States Congress is the current meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It convened in Washington, D.C. on January 3, 2011, and will end on January...

, of the 32 Congressional districts in Texas, 23 are held by Republicans and 9 by Democrats. Texas's Senators are Kay Bailey Hutchison
Kay Bailey Hutchison
Kathryn Ann Bailey Hutchison, known as Kay Bailey Hutchison , is the senior United States Senator from Texas.She is a member of the Republican Party. In 2001, she was named one of the thirty most powerful women in America by Ladies Home Journal. The first woman to represent Texas in the U.S....

 and John Cornyn
John Cornyn
John Cornyn, III is the junior United States Senator for Texas, serving since 2003. He is a member of the Republican Party. He was elected Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee for the 111th U.S. Congress....

. Since 1994, Texans have not elected a Democrat to a statewide office. The state's Democratic presence comes primarily from some minority groups in East Texas and South Texas as well as urban voters, particularly in Beaumont, El Paso, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston.

Administrative divisions



Texas has 254 counties— the most nationwide. Each county runs on Commissioners' Court
Commissioners' Court
Commissioners' Court is the governing body of county government in several US states, including Texas and Missouri. It is similar in function to a board of county commissioners....

 system consisting of four elected commissioners (one from each of four precincts in the county, roughly divided according to population) and a county judge elected at large from the entire county. County government runs similar to a "weak" mayor-council system; the county judge has no veto authority, but votes along with the other commissioners.

Although Texas permits cities and counties to enter "interlocal agreements" to share services, the state does not allow consolidated city-county governments
Consolidated city-county
In United States local government, a consolidated city–county is a city and county that have been merged into one unified jurisdiction. As such it is simultaneously a city, which is a municipal corporation, and a county, which is an administrative division of a state...

, nor does it have metropolitan governments. Counties are not granted home rule
Home rule
Home rule is the power of a constituent part of a state to exercise such of the state's powers of governance within its own administrative area that have been devolved to it by the central government....

 status; their powers are strictly defined by state law. The state does not have townships— areas within a county are either incorporated or unincorporated. Incorporated areas are part of a municipality. The county provides limited services to unincorporated areas. Municipalities are classified either "general law" cities or "home rule". A municipality may elect home rule status once it exceeds 5,000 population with voter approval. Municipal elections are nonpartisan
Nonpartisan
In political science, nonpartisan denotes an election, event, organization or person in which there is no formally declared association with a political party affiliation....

 as are elections for school boards and community college districts.

Economy




As of 2010, Texas had a gross state product
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

 (GSP) of $1.207 trillion, the second highest in the U.S. Its GSP is comparable to the GDP of India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 or Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, which are the world's 12th- and 11th-largest economies, respectively. Texas' economy is the fourth-largest of any country subdivision globally, behind England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 (as part of the UK), California, and Tokyo Prefecture. Its Per Capita personal income in 2009 was $36,484, ranking 29th in the nation. Texas's large population, abundance of natural resources, thriving cities and leading centers of higher education
Higher education
Higher, post-secondary, tertiary, or third level education refers to the stage of learning that occurs at universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, and institutes of technology...

 have contributed to a large and diverse economy. Since oil was discovered, the state's economy has reflected the state of the petroleum
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 industry. In recent times, urban centers of the state have increased in size, containing two-thirds of the population in 2005. The state's economic growth has led to urban sprawl
Urban sprawl
Urban sprawl, also known as suburban sprawl, is a multifaceted concept, which includes the spreading outwards of a city and its suburbs to its outskirts to low-density and auto-dependent development on rural land, high segregation of uses Urban sprawl, also known as suburban sprawl, is a...

 and its associated symptoms.

As of July 2011, the state's unemployment rate is 8.4%.

Texas has a "low taxes, low services" reputation. According to the Tax Foundation
Tax Foundation
The Tax Foundation is a Washington, D.C.-based think tank founded in 1937 that collects data and publishes research studies on tax policies at the federal and state levels. The organization is broken into three primary areas of research which are the Center for Federal Fiscal Policy, The and the...

, Texans' state and local tax burdens rank among the lowest in the nation, 7th lowest nationally; state and local taxes cost $3,580 per capita, or 8.4% of resident incomes. Texas is one of seven states that lack a state income tax
State income tax
State and local income taxes are imposed in addition to Federal income tax. State income tax is allowed as a deduction in computing Federal income tax, subject to limitations for individuals. Some localities impose an income tax, often based on state income tax calculations. Forty-three states...

. Instead, the state collects revenue from a state property tax
Property tax
A property tax is an ad valorem levy on the value of property that the owner is required to pay. The tax is levied by the governing authority of the jurisdiction in which the property is located; it may be paid to a national government, a federated state or a municipality...

 and sales tax
Sales tax
A sales tax is a tax, usually paid by the consumer at the point of purchase, itemized separately from the base price, for certain goods and services. The tax amount is usually calculated by applying a percentage rate to the taxable price of a sale....

, which is charged at the rate of 6.25%, but local taxing jurisdictions (cities, counties, special purpose districts, and transit authorities) may also impose sales and use tax up to 2% for a total maximum combined rate of 8.25%. Texas is a "tax donor state"; in 2005, for every dollar Texans paid to the federal government in federal income taxes
Income tax in the United States
In the United States, a tax is imposed on income by the Federal, most states, and many local governments. The income tax is determined by applying a tax rate, which may increase as income increases, to taxable income as defined. Individuals and corporations are directly taxable, and estates and...

, the state received approximately $0.94 in benefits.

In 2010, Site Selection Magazine ranked Texas as the most business-friendly state in the nation, in part because of the state's three-billion-dollar Texas Enterprise Fund
Texas Enterprise Fund
The Texas Enterprise Fund is a business incentive fund that was created by legislation in 2003. The fund, which had an initial $295 million investment, is used for ensuring the growth of business in Texas...

. Texas has the joint-highest number of Fortune 500
Fortune 500
The Fortune 500 is an annual list compiled and published by Fortune magazine that ranks the top 500 U.S. closely held and public corporations as ranked by their gross revenue after adjustments made by Fortune to exclude the impact of excise taxes companies collect. The list includes publicly and...

 company headquarters in the United States, along with California.

In 2010, there were 346,000 millionaires in Texas, constituting the second-largest population of millionaires in the nation.

Agriculture and mining





Texas has the most farms and the highest acreage in the United States. Texas leads the nation in livestock production. Cattle is the state's most valuable agricultural product, and the state leads nationally in production of sheep and goat products. Texas leads the nation in production of cotton. The state grows significant amounts of cereal crops and produce. Texas has a large commercial fishing industry. With mineral resources, Texas leads in creating cement, crushed stone, lime, salt, sand and gravel.

Energy


Ever since the discovery of oil at Spindletop
Spindletop
Spindletop is a salt dome oil field located in the southern portion of Beaumont, Texas in the United States. The Spindletop dome was derived from the Louann Salt evaporite layer of the Jurassic geologic period. On January 10, 1901, a well at Spindletop struck oil . The new oil field soon produced...

, energy has been a dominant force politically and economically within the state. According to the Energy Information Administration
Energy Information Administration
The U.S. Energy Information Administration is the statistical and analytical agency within the U.S. Department of Energy. EIA collects, analyzes, and disseminates independent and impartial energy information to promote sound policymaking, efficient markets, and public understanding of energy and...

, Texans consume the most energy in the nation per capita and as a whole. Unlike the rest of the nation, most of Texas is on its own alternating current
Alternating current
In alternating current the movement of electric charge periodically reverses direction. In direct current , the flow of electric charge is only in one direction....

 power grid, the Texas Interconnection
Texas Interconnection
The Texas Interconnection is one of the three minor alternating current power grids in North America. The other two minor interconnections are the Québec Interconnection and the Alaska Interconnection...

. Texas has a deregulated
Deregulation of the Texas Electricity Market
Electricity deregulation in Texas was the result of the coming into force of Texas Senate Bill 7 on January 1, 2002. According to the law, deregulation is to be phased in over several years....

 electric service.

The Railroad Commission of Texas
Railroad Commission of Texas
The Railroad Commission of Texas is the state agency that regulates the oil and gas industry, gas utilities, pipeline safety, safety in the liquefied petroleum gas industry, and surface coal and uranium mining .Established by the Texas Legislature in 1891, it is the state's oldest regulatory...

, contrary to its name, regulates the state's oil and gas industry, gas utilities, pipeline safety, safety in the liquefied petroleum gas industry, and surface coal
Coal
Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure...

 and uranium
Uranium
Uranium is a silvery-white metallic chemical element in the actinide series of the periodic table, with atomic number 92. It is assigned the chemical symbol U. A uranium atom has 92 protons and 92 electrons, of which 6 are valence electrons...

 mining. Until the 1970s, the commission controlled the price of petroleum because of its ability to regulate Texas's oil reserves. The founders of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) used the Texas agency as one of their models for petroleum price control.

Texas has known petroleum deposits of about 5 Goilbbl, which makes up approximately one-fourth of the known U.S. reserves. The state's refineries
Oil refinery
An oil refinery or petroleum refinery is an industrial process plant where crude oil is processed and refined into more useful petroleum products, such as gasoline, diesel fuel, asphalt base, heating oil, kerosene, and liquefied petroleum gas...

 can process 4.6 Moilbbl of oil a day. The Baytown Refinery
Baytown Refinery
ExxonMobil's Baytown Refinery in Baytown, Texas is the largest oil refinery in the United States, with an input capacity of per day as of June 1, 2010. The site first opened in 1919 and was originally operated by the Humble Oil Company. Today, it is the largest employer in the city...

 in the Houston area is the largest refinery in America. Texas also leads in natural gas
Natural gas
Natural gas is a naturally occurring gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, typically with 0–20% higher hydrocarbons . It is found associated with other hydrocarbon fuel, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is an important fuel source and a major feedstock for fertilizers.Most natural...

 production, producing one-fourth of the nation's supply. Several petroleum companies are based in Texas such as: Conoco-Phillips, Exxon-Mobil, Halliburton
Halliburton
Halliburton is the world's second largest oilfield services corporation with operations in more than 70 countries. It has hundreds of subsidiaries, affiliates, branches, brands and divisions worldwide and employs over 50,000 people....

, Valero, and Marathon Oil
Marathon Oil
Marathon Oil Corporation is a United States-based oil and natural gas exploration and production company. Principal exploration activities are in the United States, Norway, Equatorial Guinea, Angola and Canada. Principal development activities are in the United States, the United Kingdom, Norway,...

.

The state is a leader in renewable energy
Renewable energy
Renewable energy is energy which comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat, which are renewable . About 16% of global final energy consumption comes from renewables, with 10% coming from traditional biomass, which is mainly used for heating, and 3.4% from...

 sources; it produces the most wind power
Wind power in Texas
Wind power in Texas consists of many wind farms with a total installed nameplate capacity of 10,223 MW from over 40 different projects. Texas produces the most wind power of any U.S. state, followed by Iowa with 3,708 MW...

 in the nation. The Roscoe Wind Farm
Roscoe Wind Farm
The Roscoe Wind Farm in Roscoe, Texas, owned and operated by E.ON Climate & Renewables is the world's largest capacity wind farm with 627 wind turbines and a total installed capacity of 781.5 MW, which surpasses the nearby 735.5 MW Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center.Roscoe was constructed in four phases...

 in Roscoe, Texas
Roscoe, Texas
Roscoe is a town in Nolan County, Texas, United States. The population was 1,378 at the 2000 census, but has decreased to only 900.-Geography:Roscoe is located at ....

, is the world's largest wind farm
Wind farm
A wind farm is a group of wind turbines in the same location used to produce electric power. A large wind farm may consist of several hundred individual wind turbines, and cover an extended area of hundreds of square miles, but the land between the turbines may be used for agricultural or other...

 as of October 2009 with a 781.5 megawatt (MW) capacity. The Energy Information Administration states that the state's large agriculture and forestry industries could give Texas an enormous amount biomass
Biomass
Biomass, as a renewable energy source, is biological material from living, or recently living organisms. As an energy source, biomass can either be used directly, or converted into other energy products such as biofuel....

 for use in biofuels. The state also has the highest solar power
Solar power
Solar energy, radiant light and heat from the sun, has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar radiation, along with secondary solar-powered resources such as wind and wave power, hydroelectricity and biomass, account for most of the available...

 potential for development in the nation.

Technology


With large universities systems coupled with initiatives like the Texas Enterprise Fund and the Texas Emerging Technology Fund
Texas Emerging Technology Fund
The Texas Emerging Technology Fund is a technology investment fund created by legislation in 2005 at the urging of Governor Rick Perry to provide Texas with an unparalleled advantage in the research, development, and commercialization of emerging technologies...

, a wide array of different high tech
High tech
High tech is technology that is at the cutting edge: the most advanced technology currently available. It is often used in reference to micro-electronics, rather than other technologies. The adjective form is hyphenated: high-tech or high-technology...

 industries have developed in Texas. The Austin area is nicknamed the "Silicon Hills" and the north Dallas area the "Silicon Prairie
Silicon Prairie
The Silicon Prairie can refer to one of several places in the United States: an area in Illinois, one in a multi-state region comprised loosely of parts of Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Missouri, one in Wyoming, and one in Texas.- Dallas-Fort Worth Silicon...

". Texas has the headquarters of many high technology companies, such as Dell, Inc.
Dell
Dell, Inc. is an American multinational information technology corporation based in 1 Dell Way, Round Rock, Texas, United States, that develops, sells and supports computers and related products and services. Bearing the name of its founder, Michael Dell, the company is one of the largest...

, Texas Instruments
Texas Instruments
Texas Instruments Inc. , widely known as TI, is an American company based in Dallas, Texas, United States, which develops and commercializes semiconductor and computer technology...

, Perot Systems
Perot Systems
Perot Systems was an information technology services provider founded in 1988 by a group of investors led by Ross Perot and based in Plano, Texas, United States. A Fortune 1000 corporation with offices in more than 25 countries, Perot Systems employed more than 23,000 people and had an annual...

, and AT&T
AT&T
AT&T Inc. is an American multinational telecommunications corporation headquartered in Whitacre Tower, Dallas, Texas, United States. It is the largest provider of mobile telephony and fixed telephony in the United States, and is also a provider of broadband and subscription television services...

.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's center for human spaceflight training, research and flight control. The center consists of a complex of 100 buildings constructed on 1,620 acres in Houston, Texas, USA...

 (NASA JSC) located in Southeast Houston, sits as the crown jewel of Texas's aeronautics industry. Fort Worth
Fort Worth, Texas
Fort Worth is the 16th-largest city in the United States of America and the fifth-largest city in the state of Texas. Located in North Central Texas, just southeast of the Texas Panhandle, the city is a cultural gateway into the American West and covers nearly in Tarrant, Parker, Denton, and...

 hosts both Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin is an American global aerospace, defense, security, and advanced technology company with worldwide interests. It was formed by the merger of Lockheed Corporation with Martin Marietta in March 1995. It is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, in the Washington Metropolitan Area....

's Aeronautics division
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company is a major unit of Lockheed Martin with headquarters at Fort Worth, Texas.Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is also based in Marietta, Georgia and Palmdale, California. Palmdale is home to the Advanced Development Programs , informally known as the "Skunk Works"...

 and Bell Helicopter Textron
Bell Helicopter Textron
Bell Helicopter is an American rotorcraft manufacturer headquartered in Hurst, Texas, near Fort Worth. A division of Textron, Bell manufactures military helicopter and tiltrotor products in and around Fort Worth, as well as in Amarillo, Texas, and commercial rotorcraft products in Mirabel, Quebec,...

. Lockheed builds the F-16 Fighting Falcon
F-16 Fighting Falcon
The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon is a multirole jet fighter aircraft originally developed by General Dynamics for the United States Air Force . Designed as an air superiority day fighter, it evolved into a successful all-weather multirole aircraft. Over 4,400 aircraft have been built since...

, the largest Western fighter program, and its successor, the F-35 Lightning II
F-35 Lightning II
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, fifth generation multirole fighters under development to perform ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defense missions with stealth capability...

 in Fort Worth.

Commerce


Texas's affluence
Affluence in the United States
Affluence in the United States refers to an individual's or household's state of being in an economically favorable position in contrast to a given reference group...

 stimulates a strong commercial sector consisting of retail, wholesale, banking and insurance, and construction industries. Examples of Fortune 500 companies not based on Texas traditional industries are AT&T
AT&T
AT&T Inc. is an American multinational telecommunications corporation headquartered in Whitacre Tower, Dallas, Texas, United States. It is the largest provider of mobile telephony and fixed telephony in the United States, and is also a provider of broadband and subscription television services...

, Men's Warehouse, Landry's Restaurants
Landry's Restaurants
-External links:*...

, Kimberly-Clark
Kimberly-Clark
Kimberly-Clark Corporation is an American corporation that produces mostly paper-based consumer products. Kimberly-Clark brand name products include "Kleenex" facial tissue, "Kotex" feminine hygiene products, "Cottonelle", Scott and Andrex toilet paper, Wypall utility wipes, "KimWipes"...

, Blockbuster, Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods Market is a foods supermarket chain based in Austin, Texas which emphasizes "natural and organic products." The company has been ranked among the most socially responsible businesses and placed third on the U.S...

, and Tenet Healthcare
Tenet Healthcare
Tenet Healthcare Corporation, an investor-owned health-care delivery systems company based in Dallas, Texas. THC owns and operates 49 acute-care hospitals in 11 states and 90 outpatient centers in 12 states, with a majority of these hospitals in California, Florida and Texas...

.
Nationally, the Dallas–Fort Worth area, home to the second shopping mall
Highland Park Village
Highland Park Village is an upscale shopping mall located at the southwest corner of Mockingbird Lane and Preston Road in Highland Park, Texas and was the first self-contained shopping center in America. The Highland Park Village was declared a National Historic Landmark in 2000.-History:Mr....

 in the United States, has the most shopping malls per capita of any American metropolitan area.

Mexico, the state's largest trading partner, imports a third of the state's exports because of the North American Free Trade Agreement
North American Free Trade Agreement
The North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA is an agreement signed by the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America. The agreement came into force on January 1, 1994. It superseded the Canada – United States Free Trade Agreement...

 (NAFTA). NAFTA has encouraged the formation of controversial maquiladoras on the Texas/Mexico border.

Demographics




As of 2009, the state has an estimated population of 24,782,406, an increase of 1.97% from the prior year and 16.1% since the year 2000. The state's rate of natural increase
Rate of natural increase
In demographics, the rate of natural increase is the crude birth rate minus the crude death rate of a population. If we neglect the migration, then a positive RNI number means that the population increases and a negative number means that the population decreases.When looking at countries, it...

 (births and deaths) since the last census was 1,389,275 people, immigration
Immigration to the United States
Immigration to the United States has been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of the history of the United States. The economic, social, and political aspects of immigration have caused controversy regarding ethnicity, economic benefits, jobs for non-immigrants,...

 from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 801,576 people, and migration within the country produced a net increase of 451,910 people. As of 2004, the state had 3.5 million foreign-born residents (15.6 percent of the state population), of which an estimated 1.2 million are illegal aliens
Illegal immigration to the United States
An illegal immigrant in the United States is an alien who has entered the United States without government permission or stayed beyond the termination date of a visa....

. Texas from 2000–2006 had the fastest growing illegal immigration rate in the nation. In 2010, illegal aliens constituted an estimated 6.0% of the population. This was the fifth highest percentage of any state in the country.

Texas's population density is 34.8 persons/km2 which is slightly higher than the average population density of the US as a whole, at 31 persons/km2. In contrast, while Texas and France are similarly sized geographically, the European country has a population density of 116 persons/km2.

Two-thirds of all Texans live in a major metropolitan area such as Houston. The Dallas-Fort Worth Metropolitan Area is the largest in Texas. While Houston is the largest city in Texas and the fourth largest city in the United States, the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area is considerably larger than that of Houston.

Racial groups and ethnic origins


According to the 2010 United States census
United States Census
The United States Census is a decennial census mandated by the United States Constitution. The population is enumerated every 10 years and the results are used to allocate Congressional seats , electoral votes, and government program funding. The United States Census Bureau The United States Census...

, the racial and ethnic composition of Texas was the following:
  • White
    White American
    White Americans are people of the United States who are considered or consider themselves White. The United States Census Bureau defines White people as those "having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa...

    : 70.4% (Non-Hispanic Whites
    Non-Hispanic Whites
    Non-Hispanic Whites or White, Not Hispanic or Latino are people in the United States, as defined by the Census Bureau, who are of the White race and are not of Hispanic or Latino origin/ethnicity. Hence the designation is exclusive in the sense that it defines who is not included as opposed to who is...

    : 45.3%)
  • Black or African American: 11.8%
  • Native American
    Native Americans in the United States
    Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

    : 0.7%
  • Asian
    Asian American
    Asian Americans are Americans of Asian descent. The U.S. Census Bureau definition of Asians as "Asian” refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan,...

    : 3.8% (1.0% Indian
    Indian American
    Indian Americans are Americans whose ancestral roots lie in India. The U.S. Census Bureau popularized the term Asian Indian to avoid confusion with Indigenous peoples of the Americas who are commonly referred to as American Indians.-The term: Indian:...

    , 0.8% Vietnamese
    Vietnamese American
    A Vietnamese American is an American of Vietnamese descent. They make up about half of all overseas Vietnamese and are the fourth-largest Asian American group....

    , 0.6% Chinese
    Chinese American
    Chinese Americans represent Americans of Chinese descent. Chinese Americans constitute one group of overseas Chinese and also a subgroup of East Asian Americans, which is further a subgroup of Asian Americans...

    , 0.4% Filipino
    Filipino American
    Filipino Americans are Americans of Filipino ancestry. Filipino Americans, often shortened to "Fil-Ams", or "Pinoy",Filipinos in what is now the United States were first documented in the 16th century, with small settlements beginning in the 18th century...

    , 0.3% Korean
    Korean American
    Korean Americans are Americans of Korean descent, mostly from South Korea, with a small minority from North Korea...

    , 0.2% Pakistani
    Pakistani American
    A Pakistani American is any citizen or resident of the United States who has Pakistani heritage.- History in the United States :Muslim immigrants from areas that are now part of Pakistan have been migrating to America and first entered the United States as early as the eighteenth century, working...

    , 0.07% Japanese
    Japanese American
    are American people of Japanese heritage. Japanese Americans have historically been among the three largest Asian American communities, but in recent decades have become the sixth largest group at roughly 1,204,205, including those of mixed-race or mixed-ethnicity...

    , 0.05% Laotian
    Laotian American
    A Laotian American is a resident of the United States who was originally from Laos, a person of Laotian descent residing in America, or a citizen born in the United States whose parents were originally from Laos. Laotian Americans are included in the larger category of Asian Americans...

    , 0.05% Cambodian
    Cambodian American
    A Cambodian American is an American who is born, raised, or from Cambodia usually of Khmer descent but also including Chinese Cambodians, Vietnamese Cambodians, Cham people and other ethnicities of Cambodia...

    )
  • Pacific Islander
    Pacific Islander American
    Pacific Islander Americans, also known as Oceanian Americans, are residents of the United States with original ancestry from Oceania. They represent the smallest racial group counted in the United States census of 2000. They numbered 874,000 people or 0.3 percent of the United States population...

    : 0.1% (0.02% Guamanian, 0.01% Samoan, 0.01% Tongan, 0.01% Native Hawaiian)
  • Some other race: 10.5%
  • Two or more races
    Multiracial American
    Multiracial Americans, US residents who identify themselves as of "two or more races", were numbered at around 9 million, or 2.9% of the population, in the census of 2010. However there is considerable evidence that the real number is far higher. Prior to the mid-20th century many people hid their...

    : 2.7%

  • Hispanic or Latino
    Hispanic and Latino Americans
    Hispanic or Latino Americans are Americans with origins in the Hispanic countries of Latin America or in Spain, and in general all persons in the United States who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino.1990 Census of Population and Housing: A self-designated classification for people whose origins...

     (of any race): 37.6% (31.6% Mexican
    Mexican American
    Mexican Americans are Americans of Mexican descent. As of July 2009, Mexican Americans make up 10.3% of the United States' population with over 31,689,000 Americans listed as of Mexican ancestry. Mexican Americans comprise 66% of all Hispanics and Latinos in the United States...

    , 0.5% Puerto Rican
    Puerto Rico
    Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

    , 0.2% Cuban
    Cuban American
    A Cuban American is a United States citizen who traces his or her "national origin" to Cuba. Cuban Americans are also considered native born Americans with Cuban parents or Cuban-born persons who were raised and educated in US...

    )


White Americans are the racial majority in Texas. However, non-Hispanic whites represent roughly 48% of the population; therefore, Texas is a minority-majority state. Just over 17,020,000 Texans are white (both non-Hispanic and Hispanic), and roughly 11.4 million are non-Hispanic whites. German
German American
German Americans are citizens of the United States of German ancestry and comprise about 51 million people, or 17% of the U.S. population, the country's largest self-reported ancestral group...

, Irish
Irish American
Irish Americans are citizens of the United States who can trace their ancestry to Ireland. A total of 36,278,332 Americans—estimated at 11.9% of the total population—reported Irish ancestry in the 2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau...

, and English American
English American
English Americans are citizens or residents of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in England....

s are the three largest European ancestry groups in Texas. German Americans make up 11.3% of the population, and number over 2.7 million members. Irish Americans make up 8.2% of the population, and number over 1.9 million members. There are roughly 600,000 French American
French American
French Americans or Franco-Americans are Americans of French or French Canadian descent. About 11.8 million U.S. residents are of this descent, and about 1.6 million speak French at home.An additional 450,000 U.S...

s and 472,000 Italian American
Italian American
An Italian American , is an American of Italian ancestry. The designation may also refer to someone possessing Italian and American dual citizenship...

s residing in Texas; these two ethnic groups make up 2.5% and 2.0% of the population respectively. In the 1980 United States census
United States Census
The United States Census is a decennial census mandated by the United States Constitution. The population is enumerated every 10 years and the results are used to allocate Congressional seats , electoral votes, and government program funding. The United States Census Bureau The United States Census...

 the largest ancestry group reported in Texas was English
English American
English Americans are citizens or residents of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in England....

 with 3,083,323 Texans citing that they were of English
English American
English Americans are citizens or residents of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in England....

 or mostly English
English American
English Americans are citizens or residents of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in England....

 ancestry making them 27% of the state at the time.. Their ancestry primarily goes back to the original thirteen colonies and for this reason many of them today simply claim "American" ancestry, though they are of predominately English
English American
English Americans are citizens or residents of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in England....

 stock.

Black Americans are the largest racial minority in Texas. Blacks of both Hispanic and non-Hispanic origin make up 11.5% of the population; blacks of non-Hispanic origin form 11.3% of the populace. Black Americans of both Hispanic and non-Hispanic origin number at roughly 2.7 million individuals.

Native Americans are a smaller minority in the state. Native Americans make up 0.5% of Texas' population, and number over 118,000 individuals. Native Americans of non-Hispanic origin make up 0.3% of the population, and number over 75,000 individuals. Cherokee
Cherokee
The Cherokee are a Native American people historically settled in the Southeastern United States . Linguistically, they are part of the Iroquoian language family...

 Indians made up 0.1% of the population, and numbered over 19,400 members. In contrast, only 583 were identified as Chippewa.

Asian Americans are a sizable minority group in Texas. Americans of Asian descent form 3.4% of the population, with those of non-Hispanic descent making up 3.3% of the populace. Altogether, they number over 808,000 individuals. Non-Hispanic Asians number over 795,000. Just over 200,000 Indians
Indian American
Indian Americans are Americans whose ancestral roots lie in India. The U.S. Census Bureau popularized the term Asian Indian to avoid confusion with Indigenous peoples of the Americas who are commonly referred to as American Indians.-The term: Indian:...

 make Texas their home. Texas is also home to over 187,000 Vietnamese
Vietnamese American
A Vietnamese American is an American of Vietnamese descent. They make up about half of all overseas Vietnamese and are the fourth-largest Asian American group....

 and 136,000 Chinese
Chinese American
Chinese Americans represent Americans of Chinese descent. Chinese Americans constitute one group of overseas Chinese and also a subgroup of East Asian Americans, which is further a subgroup of Asian Americans...

. In addition to 92,000 Filipinos
Filipino American
Filipino Americans are Americans of Filipino ancestry. Filipino Americans, often shortened to "Fil-Ams", or "Pinoy",Filipinos in what is now the United States were first documented in the 16th century, with small settlements beginning in the 18th century...

 and 62,000 Koreans
Korean American
Korean Americans are Americans of Korean descent, mostly from South Korea, with a small minority from North Korea...

, there are 18,000 Japanese American
Japanese American
are American people of Japanese heritage. Japanese Americans have historically been among the three largest Asian American communities, but in recent decades have become the sixth largest group at roughly 1,204,205, including those of mixed-race or mixed-ethnicity...

s living in the state. Lastly, over 111,000 people are of other Asian ancestry groups, such as Cambodian
Cambodian American
A Cambodian American is an American who is born, raised, or from Cambodia usually of Khmer descent but also including Chinese Cambodians, Vietnamese Cambodians, Cham people and other ethnicities of Cambodia...

, Thai
Thai American
A Thai American is an American of whose parents or grandparents came from Thailand. Many of them may in fact be of Thai Chinese or at least part Chinese ancestry, but they are still considered to be Thais.-History in U.S.:...

, and Hmong
Hmong American
A Hmong American is a resident of the United States who is of ethnic Hmong descent. Hmong Americans are one group of Asian Americans. Many Lao Hmong war refugees resettled in the U.S. following the communist takeover of Laos in 1975...

.

Americans with origins from the Pacific are the smallest minority in Texas. According to the survey, only 18,000 Texans are Pacific Islanders; 16,400 are of non-Hispanic descent. There are roughly 5,400 Native Hawaiians
Native Hawaiians
Native Hawaiians refers to the indigenous Polynesian people of the Hawaiian Islands or their descendants. Native Hawaiians trace their ancestry back to the original Polynesian settlers of Hawaii.According to the U.S...

, 5,300 Guamanians, and 6,400 people from other groups. Samoan Americans were very scant; only 941 people were from this group.

Multiracial individuals are also a visible minority in Texas. People of multiracial heritage form 1.9% of the population, and number over 448,000 people. Almost 80,000 Texans claim European and African heritage, and make up 0.3% of the population. People of European and Native American heritage number over 108,800 (close to the number of Native Americans), and make up 0.5% of the population. People of European and Asian heritage number over 57,600, and form just 0.2% of the population. People of African and Native American heritage were even smaller in number (15,300), and make up just 0.1% of the total population.

Hispanics and Latinos are the second largest group in Texas after non-Hispanic European American
European American
A European American is a citizen or resident of the United States who has origins in any of the original peoples of Europe...

s. Over 8.5 million people claim Hispanic or Latino ethnicity. This group forms 36% of Texas' population. People of Mexican
Mexican American
Mexican Americans are Americans of Mexican descent. As of July 2009, Mexican Americans make up 10.3% of the United States' population with over 31,689,000 Americans listed as of Mexican ancestry. Mexican Americans comprise 66% of all Hispanics and Latinos in the United States...

 descent alone number over 7.3 million, and make up 30.7% of the population. Over 104,000 Puerto Ricans
Puerto Ricans in the United States
Stateside Puerto Ricans are American citizens of Puerto Rican origin, including those who migrated from Puerto Rico to the United States and those who were born outside of Puerto Rico in the United States...

 live in the state. Roughly 38,000 Cubans
Cuban American
A Cuban American is a United States citizen who traces his or her "national origin" to Cuba. Cuban Americans are also considered native born Americans with Cuban parents or Cuban-born persons who were raised and educated in US...

 reside in the state. Over 1.1 million people (4.7% of the population) are of varying Hispanic and Latino ancestries, such as Costa Rican
Costa Rican American
A Costa Rican American is an inhabitant of the United States who is of Costa Rican descent or birth.The American Community Survey estimated the population of Costa Rican Americans to be 117,563 in 2007.- History :...

, Venezuelan
Venezuelan American
Venezuelan Americans are citizens and residents of the United States who trace their heritage to the South American nation of Venezuela.Venezuelan Americans are one of 20 Hispanic or Latino groups in the U.S. While other U.S...

, and Argentine
Argentine American
Argentine Americans are citizens and residents of the United States whose origins are in the South American nation of Argentina.The profile of the Argentine American population is generally similar to the overall U.S. population's. Among the key differences, however, is educational attainment...

.

German descendants inhabit much of central and southeast-central Texas. Over one-third of Texas residents are of Hispanic origin; while many have recently arrived, some Tejanos have ancestors with multi-generational ties to 18th century Texas. In addition to the descendants of the state's former slave population, many African American college graduates have come to the state for work recently in the New Great Migration
New Great Migration
The New Great Migration is the term for demographic changes from 1965 to the present which are a reversal of the previous 35-year trend of black migration within the United States...

. Recently, the Asian population in Texas has grown—primarily in Houston and Dallas. Other communities with a significantly growing Asian American population is in Austin, Corpus Christi, and the Sharyland area next McAllen, Texas
McAllen, Texas
McAllen is the largest city in Hidalgo County, Texas, United States. It is located at the southern tip of Texas in an area known as the Rio Grande Valley and is part of the . Its southern boundary is located about five miles from the U.S.–Mexico border and the Mexican city of Reynosa, the Rio...

. Currently, three federally recognized Native American tribes reside in Texas: the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe, the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe, and the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo
Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo
Ysleta del Sur Pueblo is a Puebloan Native American tribal entity in the Ysleta section of El Paso, Texas, comprising a formerly Southern Tiwa-speaking people who were displaced from New Mexico in 1680 and 1681 during the Pueblo Revolt against the Spaniards.-Tigua:In Spanish the people and...

.

In 2010, 49% of all birth
Birth
Birth is the act or process of bearing or bringing forth offspring. The offspring is brought forth from the mother. The time of human birth is defined as the time at which the fetus comes out of the mother's womb into the world...

s were Hispanics; 35% were non-Hispanic whites; 11.5% were non-Hispanic blacks, and 4.3% were Asians/Pacific Islanders. Based on Census Bureau data released at Medio February 2011, for the first time in recent history, Texas' white population is below 50 percent (45 percent) and Hispanics grew to 38 percent. Between 2000 and 2010, the total population growth by 20.6 percent, but Hispanics growth by 65 percent, whereas non-Hispanic whites only grew by 4.2 percent.

Religion

Religion
Roman Catholic 28%
Baptist
Baptist
Baptists comprise a group of Christian denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers , and that it must be done by immersion...

21%
No religion
Irreligion
Irreligion is defined as an absence of religion or an indifference towards religion. Sometimes it may also be defined more narrowly as hostility towards religion. When characterized as hostility to religion, it includes antitheism, anticlericalism and antireligion. When characterized as...

11%
Methodist 8%
Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 – Others
7%
Lutheran 3%
Pentecostal 3%
Presbyterian 2%
Non-denominational 2%
Mormon 2%
Episcopalian
Episcopal Church (United States)
The Episcopal Church is a mainline Anglican Christian church found mainly in the United States , but also in Honduras, Taiwan, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, the British Virgin Islands and parts of Europe...

1%
Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

1%
Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The religion reports worldwide membership of over 7 million adherents involved in evangelism, convention attendance of over 12 million, and annual...

1%
Assemblies of God 1%
Church of God 1%
Other 2%


The largest denominations by number of adherents in 2000 were the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 with 4,368,969; the Southern Baptist Convention
Southern Baptist Convention
The Southern Baptist Convention is a United States-based Christian denomination. It is the world's largest Baptist denomination and the largest Protestant body in the United States, with over 16 million members...

 with 3,519,459; and the United Methodist Church
United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church is a Methodist Christian denomination which is both mainline Protestant and evangelical. Founded in 1968 by the union of The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church, the UMC traces its roots back to the revival movement of John and Charles Wesley...

 with 1,022,342.

Known as the buckle of the Bible Belt
Bible Belt
Bible Belt is an informal term for a region in the southeastern and south-central United States in which socially conservative evangelical Protestantism is a significant part of the culture and Christian church attendance across the denominations is generally higher than the nation's average.The...

, East Texas is socially conservative. Dallas-Fort Worth is home to three major evangelical seminaries and a host of monasteries. Lakewood Church
Lakewood Church
Lakewood Church is a non-denominational Christian megachurch located in Houston, Texas. It is the largest congregation in the United States, averaging more than 43,500 in attendance per week. The 16,800-seat Lakewood Church Central Campus, home to four English language services and two Spanish...

 in Houston, boasts the largest attendance in the nation averaging more than 43,000 weekly. Lubbock
Lubbock, Texas
Lubbock is a city in and the county seat of Lubbock County, Texas, United States. The city is located in the northwestern part of the state, a region known historically as the Llano Estacado, and the home of Texas Tech University and Lubbock Christian University...

, according to local lore, has the most churches per capita in the nation.

Adherents of many non-Christian religions reside predominantly in the urban centers of Texas. In 1990, the Islamic population stood at approximately 140,000 with more recent figures putting the current population of Muslims between 350,000 to 400,000. The Jewish
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 population stands at around 128,000. Approximately 146,000 adherents of non-Abrahamic religions
Abrahamic religions
Abrahamic religions are the monotheistic faiths emphasizing and tracing their common origin to Abraham or recognizing a spiritual tradition identified with him...

 such as Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 and Sikhism
Sikhism
Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded during the 15th century in the Punjab region, by Guru Nanak Dev and continued to progress with ten successive Sikh Gurus . It is the fifth-largest organized religion in the world and one of the fastest-growing...

 live in Texas.

Cities and towns



The state has three cities with populations exceeding one million: Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas. These three rank among the 10 most populous cities of the United States. As of 2000, six Texas cities had populations greater than 500,000 people. Austin, Fort Worth, and El Paso are among the 25 largest U.S. cities. Texas has four metropolitan areas with populations greater than a million: , , , and . The Dallas–Fort Worth and Houston metropolitan areas number about 6.3 million and 5.7 million residents, respectively. Three interstate highways
Interstate Highway System
The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, , is a network of limited-access roads including freeways, highways, and expressways forming part of the National Highway System of the United States of America...

I-35 to the west (Dallas–Fort Worth to San Antonio, with Austin in between), I-45 to the east (Dallas to Houston), and I-10 to the south (San Antonio to Houston) define the Texas Urban Triangle region. The region of 60000 square miles (155,399.3 km²) contains most of the state's largest cities and metropolitan areas as well as 17 million people, nearly 75 percent of Texas's total population. Dallas and Houston have been recognized as beta world cities
Global city
A global city is a city that is deemed to be an important node in the global economic system...

. These cities are spread out amongst the state. Texas has 254 counties, which is more than any state by 95. (Georgia)

In contrast to the cities, unincorporated rural settlements known as colonias often lack basic infrastructure
Infrastructure
Infrastructure is basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function...

 and are marked by poverty
Poverty
Poverty is the lack of a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty or destitution is inability to afford basic human needs, which commonly includes clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. About 1.7 billion people are estimated to live...

. As of 2007, Texas had at least 2,294 colonias, located primarily along the state's 1248 miles (2,008.5 km) border with Mexico. Texas has the largest concentration of people, approximately 400,000, living in colonias.




Culture



Historically, the whole of Texas culture comes from a blend of Southern (Dixie)
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

, Western (frontier)
Frontier Strip
The Frontier Strip are the six states in the United States forming a north-south line from North Dakota to Texas. In the American Old West, westward from this strip was the frontier of the United States toward the latter part of the 19th century...

, and Southwestern (Mexican/Anglo fusion)
Southwestern United States
The Southwestern United States is a region defined in different ways by different sources. Broad definitions include nearly a quarter of the United States, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah...

 influences, varying in degrees of such from one intra-state region to another. A popular food item, the breakfast burrito, draws from all three, having a soft flour tortilla wrapped around bacon and scrambled eggs or other hot, cooked fillings. Adding to Texas's traditional culture, established in the 18th and 19th centuries, immigration has made Texas a melting pot
Melting pot
The melting pot is a metaphor for a heterogeneous society becoming more homogeneous, the different elements "melting together" into a harmonious whole with a common culture...

 of cultures from around the world.

Arts




Houston is one of only five American cities with permanent professional resident companies in all of the major performing arts disciplines: the Houston Grand Opera
Houston Grand Opera
Houston Grand Opera Houston Grand Opera was founded in 1955 through the joint efforts of Maestro Walter Herbert and cultural leaders Mrs. Louis G. Lobit, Edward Bing and Charles Cockrell...

, the Houston Symphony Orchestra
Houston Symphony Orchestra
The Houston Symphony is an American orchestra based in Houston, Texas. Since 1966, it has performed at the Jesse H. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts in downtown Houston....

, the Houston Ballet
Houston Ballet
The Houston Ballet, operated by the Houston Ballet Foundation, is the fourth-largest professional ballet company in the United States, based in Houston, Texas. The foundation also maintains a ballet academy, the Ben Stevenson Academy, which trains more than half of the company's dancers...

, and The Alley Theatre. Known for the vibrancy of its visual
Visual arts
The visual arts are art forms that create works which are primarily visual in nature, such as ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, design, crafts, and often modern visual arts and architecture...

 and performing arts
Performing arts
The performing arts are those forms art which differ from the plastic arts insofar as the former uses the artist's own body, face, and presence as a medium, and the latter uses materials such as clay, metal or paint which can be molded or transformed to create some physical art object...

, the Houston Theatre District— a 17-block area in the heart of Downtown Houston
Downtown Houston
Downtown Houston is the largest business district of Houston, Texas, United States. Downtown Houston, the city's central business district, contains the headquarters of many prominent companies. There is an extensive network of pedestrian tunnels and skywalks connecting the buildings of the district...

— ranks second in the country in the number of theater seats in a concentrated downtown area, with 12,948 seats for live performances and 1,480 movie seats.

Founded in 1892, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth was first granted a Charter from the State of Texas in 1892 as the "Fort Worth Public Library and Art Gallery", evolving through several name changes and different facilities in Fort Worth...

, also called "The Modern", is Texas's oldest art museum. Fort Worth also has the Kimbell Art Museum
Kimbell Art Museum
The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, hosts a small but excellent art collection as well as traveling art exhibitions, educational programs and an extensive research library. Its initial artwork came from the private collection of Kay and Velma Kimbell, who also provided funds for a new...

, the Amon Carter Museum
Amon Carter Museum
The Amon Carter Museum of American Art is located in Fort Worth, Texas. It was established by Amon G. Carter to house his collection of paintings and sculpture by Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell. Carter’s will provided a museum in Fort Worth devoted to American art.When the museum opened...

, the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame
National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame
The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame is a museum and association which honors women of the American West who have displayed courage or spirit and who have distinguished themselves while exemplifying the pioneer spirit...

, the Will Rogers Memorial Center
Will Rogers Memorial Center
The Will Rogers Memorial Center is an public entertainment, sports and livestock complex located in Fort Worth, Texas . The complex is named for American humorist and writer Will Rogers. The WRMC is the home of the annual Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo...

, and the Bass Performance Hall
Bass Performance Hall
The Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, Texas is located in downtown Fort Worth near Sundance Square, occupies a whole city block, and was opened in 1998. It was built entirely with private funds and seats 2,056 people in a city with an estimated 2009 population of 720,250...

 downtown. The Arts District
Arts District, Dallas
The Arts District is a performing and visual arts district in downtown Dallas Texas .It is south of State Thomas, southeast of Uptown, north of the City Center District, west of Bryan Place and east of the West End Historic District. It is bounded by St...

 of Downtown Dallas
Downtown Dallas
Downtown Dallas is the Central Business District in Dallas, Texas USA, located in the geographic center of the city. The area termed "Downtown" has traditionally been defined as bounded by the downtown freeway loop: bounded on the east by I-345 Downtown Dallas is the Central Business District...

 has arts venues such as the Dallas Museum of Art
Dallas Museum of Art
The Dallas Museum of Art is a major art museum located in the Arts District of downtown Dallas, Texas, USA, along Woodall Rodgers Freeway between St. Paul and Harwood. In 1984, the museum moved from its previous location in Fair Park to the Arts District, Dallas, Texas...

, the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center
Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center
The Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center is a concert hall located in the Arts District of downtown Dallas, Texas . Ranked one of the world's greatest orchestra halls, it was designed by architect I.M. Pei and acoustician Russell Johnson's Artec Consultants, Inc...

, the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House, the Trammell & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art
The Trammell & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art
The Trammell & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art, located downtown Dallas, Texas , is a member of the Dallas arts district and offers free daily admission. The museum is a gift to the people and visitors of Dallas from Mr. and Mrs. Crow...

, and the Nasher Sculpture Center
Nasher Sculpture Center
Opened in 2003, the Nasher Sculpture Center is a museum in Dallas, Texas that houses a collection of modern and contemporary sculpture. It is located on a site adjacent to the Dallas Museum of Art in the heart of the Dallas Arts District...

.

The Deep Ellum
Deep Ellum
Deep Ellum is an arts and entertainment district near downtown in east Dallas, Texas . It lies directly east of the elevated I-45/US 75 freeway and extends to Exposition Avenue, connected to downtown by, from north to south, Pacific, Elm, Main, Commerce, and Canton streets...

 district within Dallas became popular during the 1920s and 1930s as the prime jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

 and blues
Blues
Blues is the name given to both a musical form and a music genre that originated in African-American communities of primarily the "Deep South" of the United States at the end of the 19th century from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads...

 hotspot in the Southern United States. The name Deep Ellum comes from local people pronouncing "Deep Elm" as "Deep Ellum". Artists such as Blind Lemon Jefferson
Blind Lemon Jefferson
"Blind" Lemon Jefferson was an American blues singer and guitarist from Texas. He was one of the most popular blues singers of the 1920s, and has been titled "Father of the Texas Blues"....

, Robert Johnson, Huddie "Leadbelly
Leadbelly
Huddie William Ledbetter was an iconic American folk and blues musician, notable for his strong vocals, his virtuosity on the twelve-string guitar, and the songbook of folk standards he introduced....

" Ledbetter, and Bessie Smith
Bessie Smith
Bessie Smith was an American blues singer.Sometimes referred to as The Empress of the Blues, Smith was the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and 1930s...

 played in early Deep Ellum clubs.

Austin, The Live Music Capital of the World
Music of Austin
The music of Austin, Texas, USA has gone beyond 6th Street and now includes other areas such as Red River, the University of Texas, the Warehouse District and Downtown, South Lamar, South Austin, East Austin and the Market District where bars and clubs of every kind can be found. Every night over...

, boasts "more live music venues per capita than such music hotbeds as Nashville, Memphis, Los Angeles, Las Vegas or New York City." The city's music revolves around the nightclub
Nightclub
A nightclub is an entertainment venue which usually operates late into the night...

s on 6th Street; events like the film, music, and multimedia
Multimedia
Multimedia is media and content that uses a combination of different content forms. The term can be used as a noun or as an adjective describing a medium as having multiple content forms. The term is used in contrast to media which use only rudimentary computer display such as text-only, or...

 festival South by Southwest
South by Southwest
South by Southwest is an Austin, Texas based company dedicated to planning conferences, trade shows, festivals and other events. Their current roster of annual events include: SXSW Music, SXSW Film, SXSW Interactive, SXSWedu, and SXSWeco and take place every spring in Austin, Texas, United States...

; the longest-running concert music program on American television, Austin City Limits
Austin City Limits
Austin City Limits is an American public television music program recorded live in Austin, Texas by Public Broadcasting Service Public television member station KLRU, and broadcast on many PBS stations around the United States...

; and the Austin City Limits Music Festival
Austin City Limits Music Festival
The Austin City Limits Music Festival is an annual three-day American music festival that takes place in Austin, Texas at the city's central public park, Zilker Park...

 held in Zilker Park
Zilker Park
Zilker Metropolitan Park is a recreational area in the heart of south Austin that comprises over of publicly owned land. It is named after its benefactor Andrew Jackson Zilker, who donated the land to the city in 1917. It was developed into the park during the Great Depression in the 1930s...

.

Since 1980, San Antonio has evolved into the "The Tejano Music
Tejano music
Tejano music or Tex-Mex music is the name given to various forms of folk and popular music originating among the Mexican-American populations of Central and Southern Texas...

 Capital Of The World." The Tejano Music Awards
Tejano Music Awards
The Tejano Music Awards had been launched in 1980 by former art teacher and music veteran Rudy Trevino and the leader of the Latin Breed Band, Gilbert Escobedo. Only 1,500 fans turned out for the first Tejano Music Awards. Over the years, San Antonio evolved into the Nashville of Tejano music...

 have provided a forum to create greater awareness and appreciation for Tejano music and culture.

Education



The second president of the Republic of Texas, Mirabeau B. Lamar
Mirabeau B. Lamar
Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar was a Texas politician, diplomat and soldier who was a leading Texas political figure during the Texas Republic era. He was the second President of the Republic of Texas, after David G. Burnet and Sam Houston.-Early years:Lamar grew up at Fairfield, his father's...

, is the Father of Texas Education. During his term, the state set aside three leagues
League (unit)
A league is a unit of length . It was long common in Europe and Latin America, but it is no longer an official unit in any nation. The league originally referred to the distance a person or a horse could walk in an hour...

 of land in each county for equipping public schools. An additional 50 leagues of land set aside for the support of two universities would later become the basis of the state's Permanent University Fund
Permanent University Fund
The Permanent University Fund is one of the methods by which the State of Texas funds public higher education within the state. A portion of the returns from the PUF are annually directed towards the Available University Fund , which distributes the funds according to provisions set forth by the...

. Lamar's actions set the foundation for a Texas-wide public school system. Texas ranked 29th in the American Legislative Exchange Council
American Legislative Exchange Council
The American Legislative Exchange Council is a politically conservative 501 non-profit Policy Organization, consisting of both state legislators and members of the private sector. ALEC's mission statement describes the organization's purpose as the advancement of free-market principles, limited...

's Report Card on American Education. Texas students ranked higher than average in mathematics, but lower in reading. Between 2006–2007, Texas spent $7,275 per pupil ranking it below the national average of $9,389. The pupil/teacher ratio was 14.9, below the national average of 15.3. Texas paid instructors $41,744, below the national average of $46,593. The state provided 88.0% of the funding for education, the federal government 12.0%.

The Texas Education Agency
Texas Education Agency
The Texas Education Agency is a branch of the state government of Texas in the United States responsible for public education. The agency is headquartered in the William B...

 (TEA) administers the state's public school systems. Texas has over 1,000 school district
School district
School districts are a form of special-purpose district which serves to operate the local public primary and secondary schools.-United States:...

s- all districts except the Stafford Municipal School District
Stafford Municipal School District
Stafford Municipal School District is a school district based in Stafford, Texas, United States. The district covers all of the city of Stafford and is controlled by the city, the only school district in Texas that is not an independent school district operated by an independent school board.There...

 are independent from municipal government and many cross city boundaries. School districts have the power to tax their residents and to assert eminent domain
Eminent domain
Eminent domain , compulsory purchase , resumption/compulsory acquisition , or expropriation is an action of the state to seize a citizen's private property, expropriate property, or seize a citizen's rights in property with due monetary compensation, but without the owner's consent...

 over privately owned property. Due to court-mandated equitable school financing for school districts, the state has a controversial tax redistribution system called the"Robin Hood plan
Robin Hood plan
The Robin Hood plan was a media nickname given to legislation enacted by the U.S. state of Texas in 1993 to provide court-mandated equitable school financing for all school districts in the state...

". This plan transfers property tax revenue from wealthy school districts to poor ones. The TEA has no authority over private
Private school
Private schools, also known as independent schools or nonstate schools, are not administered by local, state or national governments; thus, they retain the right to select their students and are funded in whole or in part by charging their students' tuition, rather than relying on mandatory...

 or home school
Homeschooling
Homeschooling or homeschool is the education of children at home, typically by parents but sometimes by tutors, rather than in other formal settings of public or private school...

 activities.

Students in Texas take the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills
Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills
The Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills is a standardized test used in Texas primary and secondary schools to assess students' attainment of reading, writing, math, science, and social studies skills required under Texas education standards. It is developed and scored by Pearson Educational...

 (TAKS) in primary
Primary education
A primary school is an institution in which children receive the first stage of compulsory education known as primary or elementary education. Primary school is the preferred term in the United Kingdom and many Commonwealth Nations, and in most publications of the United Nations Educational,...

 and secondary school
Secondary education
Secondary education is the stage of education following primary education. Secondary education includes the final stage of compulsory education and in many countries it is entirely compulsory. The next stage of education is usually college or university...

. TAKS assess students' attainment of reading, writing
Writing
Writing is the representation of language in a textual medium through the use of a set of signs or symbols . It is distinguished from illustration, such as cave drawing and painting, and non-symbolic preservation of language via non-textual media, such as magnetic tape audio.Writing most likely...

, mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

, science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

, and social studies
Social studies
Social studies is the "integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence," as defined by the American National Council for the Social Studies...

 skills required under Texas education standards and the No Child Left Behind Act
No Child Left Behind Act
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 is a United States Act of Congress concerning the education of children in public schools.NCLB was originally proposed by the administration of George W. Bush immediately after he took office...

. In spring 2007, Texas legislators replaced the TAKS for freshmen in the 2011–2012 school year and onward with End of Course exams for core high school classes.

Colleges and universities




Texas's controversial alternative affirmative action
Affirmative action
Affirmative action refers to policies that take factors including "race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or national origin" into consideration in order to benefit an underrepresented group, usually as a means to counter the effects of a history of discrimination.-Origins:The term...

 plan, Texas House Bill 588
Texas House Bill 588
Texas House Bill 588, commonly referred to as the "Top 10% Rule", is a Texas law passed in 1997.The law guarantees Texas students who graduated in the top ten percent of their high school class automatic admission to all state-funded universities. The bill was created as a means to avoid the...

, guarantees Texas students who graduated in the percent of their high school class automatic admission to state-funded universities. The bill encourages diversity
Multiculturalism
Multiculturalism is the appreciation, acceptance or promotion of multiple cultures, applied to the demographic make-up of a specific place, usually at the organizational level, e.g...

 while avoiding problems stemming from the Hopwood v. Texas
Hopwood v. Texas
Hopwood v. Texas, 78 F.3d 932 , was the first successful legal challenge to a university's affirmative action policy in student admissions since Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, 438 U.S. 265...

(1996) case.

Six state university system
State university system
A state university system in the United States is a group of public universities supported by an individual state, or a similar entity such as the District of Columbia. These systems constitute the majority of public-funded universities in the country...

s and four independent public universities exist in Texas. Discovery of minerals on Permanent University Fund
Permanent University Fund
The Permanent University Fund is one of the methods by which the State of Texas funds public higher education within the state. A portion of the returns from the PUF are annually directed towards the Available University Fund , which distributes the funds according to provisions set forth by the...

 land, particularly oil, has helped fund the rapid growth the state's largest university systems: University of Texas
University of Texas System
The University of Texas System encompasses 15 educational institutions in Texas, of which nine are academic universities and six are health institutions. The system is headquartered in Austin and has a total enrollment of over 190,000 students...

 and Texas A&M
Texas A&M University System
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the United States. Through a statewide network of eleven universities, eight state agencies and a comprehensive health science center, the Texas A&M System educates over 100,000 students, conducts more than $600...

. The PUF principal in fall 2005 was approximately $15 billion, second in size only to Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

's endowment. The other four university systems are the , the University of North Texas
University of North Texas System
The University of North Texas System consists of four educational institutions in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex area...

, , and .

Texas has three nationally recognized top-tier public research universities: The University of Texas at Austin
University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin is a state research university located in Austin, Texas, USA, and is the flagship institution of the The University of Texas System. Founded in 1883, its campus is located approximately from the Texas State Capitol in Austin...

, Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University is a coeducational public research university located in College Station, Texas . It is the flagship institution of the Texas A&M University System. The sixth-largest university in the United States, A&M's enrollment for Fall 2011 was over 50,000 for the first time in school...

, and the University of Houston
University of Houston
The University of Houston is a state research university, and is the flagship institution of the University of Houston System. Founded in 1927, it is Texas's third-largest university with nearly 40,000 students. Its campus spans 667 acres in southeast Houston, and was known as University of...

. The University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University are flagship universities of the state of Texas. Both were established by the Texas Constitution
Texas Constitution
The Constitution of the State of Texas is the document that describes the structure and function of the government of the U.S. State of Texas.Texas has had seven constitutions: the constitution of Coahuila y Tejas, the 1836 Constitution of the Republic of Texas, the state constitutions of 1845,...

 and hold stakes in the Permanent University Fund. The state has been putting effort to expand the number of flagship universities by elevating some of its seven institutions designated as "emerging research universities." The two that are expected to emerge first are the University of Houston and Texas Tech University, likely in that order according to discussions during the 82nd Texas Legislature.

The state is home to many private institutions ranging from liberal arts colleges to a nationally recognized top-tier research university. in Houston is one of the leading teaching and research universities of the United States and is ranked the nation's 17th-best overall university by U.S. News & World Report. The former republic chartered the private universities , , and .

Universities in Texas currently host two presidential libraries
Presidential library
In the United States, the Presidential library system is a nationwide network of 13 libraries administered by the Office of Presidential Libraries, which is part of the National Archives and Records Administration...

: George Bush Presidential Library
George Bush Presidential Library
The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum is the presidential library of George H. W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States. It was dedicated on Nov. 6, 1997 and opened to the public shortly thereafter...

 at Texas A&M University and the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum
Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum
The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum is one of 13 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. The library houses 45 million pages of historical documents, including the papers of Lyndon Baines Johnson and those of his close associates and others...

 at The University of Texas at Austin. An agreement has been reached to create a third; the George W. Bush Presidential Library
George W. Bush Presidential Library
The George W. Bush Presidential Center is a future complex that will include former President George W. Bush's presidential library and museum, the George W. Bush Policy Institute, and the offices of the George W. Bush Foundation. The facility will occupy roughly on the campus of Southern...

 at Southern Methodist University.

Healthcare



The Commonwealth Fund ranks the Texas healthcare system the third worst in the nation. Texas ranks close to last in access to healthcare, quality of care, avoidable hospital spending, and equity among various groups. Causes of the state's poor rankings include politics, a high poverty rate, and the highest rate of illegal immigration in the nation. In May 2006, Texas initiated the program "code red" in response to the report that the state had 25.1% of the population without health insurance, the largest proportion in the nation. Texas also has controversial non-economic damages caps
Non-economic damages caps
Non-economic damages caps are controversial tort reforms to limit damages for intangible harms such as severe pain, physical and emotional distress, disfigurement, loss of the enjoyment of life that an injury has caused, including sterility, physical impairment and loss of a loved one, etc...

 for medical malpractice
Medical malpractice
Medical malpractice is professional negligence by act or omission by a health care provider in which the treatment provided falls below the accepted standard of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient, with most cases involving medical error. Standards and...

 lawsuits, set at $250,000, in an attempt to "curb rising malpractice premiums, and control escalating healthcare costs".

The Trust for America's Health
Trust for America's Health
Trust for America's Health is a Washington, D.C.-based health policy organization. The organization's website calls the group "a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national...

 ranked Texas 15th highest in adult obesity
Obesity
Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems...

, with 27.2% of the state's population measured as obese. The 2008 Men's Health
Men's Health (magazine)
Men's Health , published by Rodale Inc. in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, United States, is the world’s largest men’s magazine brand, with 44 editions around the world. It is also the best-selling men's magazine on U.S. newsstands. It covers fitness, nutrition, sexuality, lifestyle and other aspects of...

 obesity survey ranked four Texas cities among the top 25 fattest cities in America; Houston ranked 6th, Dallas 7th, El Paso 8th, and Arlington
Arlington, Texas
Arlington is a city in Tarrant County, Texas within the Dallas–Fort Worth metropolitan area. According to the 2010 census results, the city had a population of 365,438, making it the third largest municipality in the Metroplex...

 14th. Texas had only one city, Austin, ranked 21st, in the top 25 among the "fittest cities" in America. The same survey has evaluated the state's obesity initiatives favorably with a "B+". The state is ranked forty-second in the percentage of residents who engage in regular exercise.

Medical research



Many elite research medical centers are located in Texas. The state has nine medical schools, three dental schools, and one optometry
Optometry
Optometry is a health care profession concerned with eyes and related structures, as well as vision, visual systems, and vision information processing in humans. Optometrists, or Doctors of Optometry, are state licensed medical professionals trained to prescribe and fit lenses to improve vision,...

 school. Texas has two Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4) laboratories: one at The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, and the other at the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research
Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research
Texas Biomedical Research Institute , located in San Antonio, Texas, is an independent biomedical research institution, specializing in genetics and in virology and immunology...

 in San Antonio—the first privately owned BSL-4 lab in the United States.

The Texas Medical Center
Texas Medical Center
The Texas Medical Center is the largest medical center in the world with one of the highest densities of clinical facilities for patient care, basic science, and translational research...

 in Houston, holds the world's largest concentration of research
Research
Research can be defined as the scientific search for knowledge, or as any systematic investigation, to establish novel facts, solve new or existing problems, prove new ideas, or develop new theories, usually using a scientific method...

 and healthcare institutions, with 47 member institutions. Texas Medical Center performs the most heart transplants in the world. The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston is a highly regarded academic institution that centers around cancer patient care, research, education and prevention.

San Antonio's South Texas Medical Center
South Texas Medical Center
The South Texas Medical Center consists of of medical-related facilities in northwest San Antonio.The STMC, which directly serves 38 counties, consists of forty-five medically related institutions; separate medical, dental and nursing schools, five higher educational institutions, twelve...

 facilities rank sixth in clinical medicine research impact in the United States. The University of Texas Health Science Center is another highly ranked research and educational institution in San Antonio.

Both the American Heart Association
American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a non-profit organization in the United States that fosters appropriate cardiac care in an effort to reduce disability and deaths caused by cardiovascular disease and stroke. It is headquartered in Dallas, Texas...

 and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center is one of the biomedical research institutions of the University of Texas System, incorporating three degree-granting institutions, four affiliated hospitals, including Parkland Memorial, the teaching hospital, and biomedical research...

 call Dallas home. The Southwestern Medical Center ranks "among the top academic medical centers in the world". The institution's medical school employs the most medical school Nobel laureates in the world.

Environment


Texas emits far more greenhouse gases than any other state, which Port Arthur
Port Arthur
Port Arthur may refer to:* Port Arthur naval base in Manchuria, now called Lüshunkou** Port Arthur massacre in the Sino-Japanese War in 1894** Battle of Port Arthur, a sea battle in the Russo-Japanese War in 1904...

 has some of the dirtiest air in the United States. In 2010, there were 2,553 "emission events" which poured 44.6 million pounds of contaminants in the Texas sky.

Transportation


Texans have historically had difficulties traversing Texas due to the state's large size and rough terrain. Texas has compensated by building both America's largest highway
Highway
A highway is any public road. In American English, the term is common and almost always designates major roads. In British English, the term designates any road open to the public. Any interconnected set of highways can be variously referred to as a "highway system", a "highway network", or a...

 and railway systems in terms of length, as well as the largest number of airports. The regulatory authority
Regulatory Authority
A regulatory agency is a public authority or government agency responsible for exercising autonomous authority over some area of human activity in a regulatory or supervisory capacity...

, the Texas Department of Transportation
Texas Department of Transportation
The Texas Department of Transportation is a governmental agency in the U.S. state of Texas. Its stated mission is to "work cooperatively to provide safe, effective and efficient movement of people and goods" throughout the state...

 (TxDOT) maintains the state's immense highway system, regulates aviation
Aviation
Aviation is the design, development, production, operation, and use of aircraft, especially heavier-than-air aircraft. Aviation is derived from avis, the Latin word for bird.-History:...

, and public transportation systems.
Located centrally in North America, the state is an important transportation hub
Transportation hub
A transport hub is a place where passengers and cargo are exchanged between vehicles or between transport modes. Public transport hubs include train stations, rapid transit stations, bus stops, tram stop, airports and ferry slips. Freight hubs include classification yards, seaports and truck...

. From the Dallas/Fort Worth area, trucks can reach 93% of the nation's population within 48 hours, and 37% within 24 hours. Texas has 33 foreign trade zones
Special Economic Zone
A Special Economic Zone is a geographical region that has economic and other laws that are more free-market-oriented than a country's typical or national laws...

 (FTZ), the most in the nation. In 2004, a combined total of $298 billion of goods passed though Texas FTZs.

Highways



Texans have heavily traveled their freeways since the 1948 opening of the Gulf Freeway in Houston. As of 2005, 79535 miles (127,999 km) of public highway crisscrossed Texas (up from 71000 miles (114,263 km) in 1984). To fund recent growth in the state highways, Texas has 17 toll roads (see list) with several additional tollways proposed. In west Texas, both I-10 and I-20 have speed limits of 80 miles per hour (128.7 km/h), the highest in the nation. All federal and state highways in Texas are paved.

In March 2011, Texas ranked as a bottom-ten "Worst" state (tied with Montana
Montana
Montana is a state in the Western United States. The western third of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller, "island ranges" are found in the central third of the state, for a total of 77 named ranges of the Rocky Mountains. This geographical fact is reflected in the state's name,...

 and North Dakota
North Dakota
North Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States of America, along the Canadian border. The state is bordered by Canada to the north, Minnesota to the east, South Dakota to the south and Montana to the west. North Dakota is the 19th-largest state by area in the U.S....

) in the American State Litter Scorecard, presented at the American Society for Public Administration
American Society for Public Administration
The American Society for Public Administration is a membership association in the United States sponsoring conferences and providing professional services primarily to those who study the implementation of government policy, public administration, and, to a lesser degree, programs of civil society...

 national conference. Public roadways in the Lone Star State suffer from an overall poor quality of landscape cleanliness, attributed to ineffective roadside and adjacent property litter/debris abatement standards, seemingly politicized procedural efforts, and other relevant public performance indicators.

Airports


Texas has the most airports of any state in the nation. Largest in Texas by size and passengers served, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is located between the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, and is the busiest airport in the U.S. state of Texas...

 (DFW) is the second largest by area in the United States, and fourth in the world with 18076 acres (73.2 km²). In traffic, DFW is the busiest in the state and the fourth in the United States, and sixth worldwide. AMR Corporation's American
American Airlines
American Airlines, Inc. is the world's fourth-largest airline in passenger miles transported and operating revenues. American Airlines is a subsidiary of the AMR Corporation and is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas adjacent to its largest hub at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport...

 / American Eagle
American Eagle Airlines
American Eagle Airlines is a brand name used by American Eagle Airlines, Inc. , based in Fort Worth, Texas, and Executive Airlines based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in the operation of passenger air service as regional affiliates of American Airlines. All three airlines are wholly owned subsidiaries...

, the world's second largest airline in total passengers-miles transported (after Delta Air Lines, and soon third, after the combined United and Continental airlines) and passenger fleet size, uses DFW as its largest and main hub
Airline hub
An airline hub is an airport that an airline uses as a transfer point to get passengers to their intended destination. It is part of a hub and spoke model, where travelers moving between airports not served by direct flights change planes en route to their destinations...

. Southwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines Co. is an American low-cost airline based in Dallas, Texas. Southwest is the largest airline in the United States, based upon domestic passengers carried,...

, also headquartered in Dallas, has its operations currently at Dallas Love Field. It ranks as the largest airline in the United States by number of passengers carried domestically per year and the largest airline in the world by number of passengers carried.

Texas's second-largest air facility is Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport
George Bush Intercontinental Airport
George Bush Intercontinental Airport, is a Class B international airport in Houston, Texas, serving the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area, the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the United States. Located north of Downtown Houston between Interstate 45 and U.S. Highway 59...

 (IAH) with. It serves as Houston based Continental Airlines
Continental Airlines
Continental Airlines was a major American airline now merged with United Airlines. On May 3, 2010, Continental Airlines, Inc. and UAL, Inc. announced a merger via a stock swap, and on October 1, 2010, the merger closed and UAL changed its name to United Continental Holdings, Inc...

's largest hub. IAH offers service to the most Mexican destinations of any U.S. airport. The next four largest airports in the state all serve over 4 million passengers annually; they include:Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is a mixed-use commercial airport located southeast of the central business district of Austin, Texas, United States. It covers and has two runways and three helipads.The airport began passenger service on May 23, 1999...

, William P. Hobby Airport
William P. Hobby Airport
William P. Hobby Airport is a public airport in Houston, Texas, located from Downtown Houston. The airport covers and has four runways. Hobby Airport is Houston's oldest commercial airport and was the city's primary air terminal until the opening of Houston Intercontinental Airport in 1969...

, San Antonio International Airport
San Antonio International Airport
San Antonio International Airport is a commercial airport in San Antonio, Texas, USA. The airport has three runways and covers . Its elevation is above sea level. SAT is a Class C airport.- Overview :...

, and Dallas Love Field. The smallest airport in the state to be designated an international airport is Del Rio International Airport
Del Rio International Airport
Del Rio International Airport is a public airport located just west of Del Rio, Texas. The airport has a single 6300' runway. The airport is owned by the City of Del Rio with a seven member airport advisory board, appointed by the City Council, monitors the development and operations of the...

.

Ports



Around 1,150 seaports dot Texas's coast with over 1000 miles (1,609.3 km) of channels
Channel (geography)
In physical geography, a channel is the physical confine of a river, slough or ocean strait consisting of a bed and banks.A channel is also the natural or human-made deeper course through a reef, sand bar, bay, or any shallow body of water...

. Ports employ nearly one-million people and handle an average of 317 million metric tons. Texas ports connect with the rest of the U.S. Atlantic seaboard with the Gulf
Gulf Intracoastal Waterway
The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway is the portion of the Intracoastal Waterway located along the Gulf Coast of the United States. It is a navigable inland waterway running approximately 1700 kilometers from Carrabelle, Florida, to Brownsville, Texas.The waterway provides a channel with a controlling...

 section of the Intracoastal Waterway
Intracoastal Waterway
The Intracoastal Waterway is a 3,000-mile waterway along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States. Some lengths consist of natural inlets, salt-water rivers, bays, and sounds; others are artificial canals...

. The Port of Houston
Port of Houston
The Port of Houston is a port in Houston—the fourth-largest city in the United States. The Port is a 25-mile-long complex of diversified public and private facilities located a few hours' sailing time from the Gulf of Mexico...

 today is the busiest port in the United States in foreign tonnage, second in overall tonnage, and tenth worldwide in tonnage. The Houston Ship Channel
Houston Ship Channel
The Houston Ship Channel, located in Houston, Texas, is part of the Port of Houston—one of the United States's busiest seaports. The channel is the conduit for ocean-going vessels between the Houston-area shipyards and the Gulf of Mexico.-Overview:...

 currently spans 530 feet (161.5 m) wide by 45 feet (13.7 m) deep by 50 miles (80.5 km) long.

Railroads




Part of the state's tradition originates from cattle drives
Cattle drives in the United States
Cattle drives were a major economic activity in the American west, particularly between the years 1866-1886, when 20 million cattle were herded from Texas to railheads in Kansas for shipments to stockyards in Chicago and points east...

 in which wranglers
Wrangler (profession)
In North America, a wrangler is someone employed to handle animals professionally, especially horses, but also other types of animals. Wranglers also handle the horses and other animals during the making of motion pictures...

 herded livestock to railroads
Rail transport
Rail transport is a means of conveyance of passengers and goods by way of wheeled vehicles running on rail tracks. In contrast to road transport, where vehicles merely run on a prepared surface, rail vehicles are also directionally guided by the tracks they run on...

 in Kansas. The first railroad to operate in Texas was the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado Railway, opening in August 1853. The first railroad to enter Texas from the north, completed in 1872, was the . Since 1911, Texas has led the nation in railroad length. Texas railway length peaked in 1932 at 17078 miles (27,484.3 km), but declined to 14006 miles (22,540.4 km) by 2000. While the Railroad Commission of Texas
Railroad Commission of Texas
The Railroad Commission of Texas is the state agency that regulates the oil and gas industry, gas utilities, pipeline safety, safety in the liquefied petroleum gas industry, and surface coal and uranium mining .Established by the Texas Legislature in 1891, it is the state's oldest regulatory...

 originally regulated state railroads, in 2005 the state reassigned these duties to TxDOT.

Both Dallas and Houston feature light rail
Light rail
Light rail or light rail transit is a form of urban rail public transportation that generally has a lower capacity and lower speed than heavy rail and metro systems, but higher capacity and higher speed than traditional street-running tram systems...

 systems. Dallas Area Rapid Transit
Dallas Area Rapid Transit
The Dallas Area Rapid Transit authority is a transit agency based in Dallas, Texas . It operates buses, light rail, commuter rail, and high-occupancy vehicle lanes in Dallas and 12 of its suburbs...

 (DART) built the first light rail system in the Southwest United States.
The Trinity Railway Express
Trinity Railway Express
The Trinity Railway Express is a commuter rail line in the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex. It was established by an interlocal agreement between Dallas Area Rapid Transit and the Fort Worth Transportation Authority . Each transit authority owns a 50% stake in the joint rail project and...

 (TRE) commuter rail service that links Fort Worth and Dallas is provided by the Fort Worth Transportation Authority
Fort Worth Transportation Authority
The Fort Worth Transportation Authority is the operator of the bus system in Fort Worth, Texas and Richland Hills, Texas popularly known as The T...

 (the T) and DART. In the Austin area Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or Capital Metro, is a public transportation provider located in Austin, Texas. It operates bus, paratransit services and a commuter rail/light rail system known as Capital MetroRail for Austin and several suburbs in Travis and Williamson counties...

 operates a commuter rail service known as Capital MetroRail
Capital MetroRail
Capital MetroRail is a commuter rail system that serves the Greater Austin, Texas, area and which is owned by the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The Red Line, Capital Metro's first and only rail line, connects Downtown Austin with Austin's northern suburbs. The line operates on 32...

 to the northwestern suburbs. The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas
Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas
The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County is a major public transportation agency based in Houston . It operates bus, light rail, future commuter rail, and paratransit service in the city as well as most of Harris County...

 (METRO) operates light rail lines in the Houston area.

Amtrak
Amtrak
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

 provides Texas limited intercity passenger rail service both in size and frequency. Just three scheduled routes serve the state: the daily Texas Eagle
Texas Eagle
The Texas Eagle is a 1306-mile passenger train route operated by Amtrak in the central and western United States. Trains run daily between Chicago, Illinois, and San Antonio, Texas, and continue to Los Angeles, California, 2728 miles total, three days a week...

; the tri-weekly Sunset Limited
Sunset Limited
The Sunset Limited is a passenger train that for most of its history has run between New Orleans, Louisiana and Los Angeles, California, and that from early 1993 through late August 2005 also ran east of New Orleans to Jacksonville, Florida, making it during that time the only true transcontinental...

, with stops in Texas; and the daily Heartland Flyer
Heartland Flyer
The Heartland Flyer is a daily passenger train that follows a 206-mile route between Fort Worth, Texas and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Amtrak serves as contractor, initially only for the State of Oklahoma, but now also to the State of Texas....

.

Sports



While American football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

 has long been considered "king" in the state, Texans today enjoy a wide variety of sports.

Texans can cheer for a plethora of professional sports
Professional sports
Professional sports, as opposed to amateur sports, are sports in which athletes receive payment for their performance. Professional athleticism has come to the fore through a combination of developments. Mass media and increased leisure have brought larger audiences, so that sports organizations...

 teams. Within the "Big Four" professional leagues, Texas has two NFL
National Football League
The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

 teams (the Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys are a professional American football franchise which plays in the Eastern Division of the National Football Conference of the National Football League . They are headquartered in Valley Ranch in Irving, Texas, a suburb of Dallas...

 and the Houston Texans
Houston Texans
The Houston Texans are a professional American football team based in Houston, Texas. The team is currently a member of the Southern Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

), two Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 teams (the Texas Rangers
Texas Rangers (baseball)
The Texas Rangers are a professional baseball team in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, based in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League, and are the reigning A.L. Western Division and A.L. Champions. Since , the Rangers have...

 and the Houston Astros
Houston Astros
The Houston Astros are a Major League Baseball team located in Houston, Texas. They are a member of the National League Central division. The Astros are expected to join the American League West division in 2013. Since , they have played their home games at Minute Maid Park, known as Enron Field...

), three NBA
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

 teams (the Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets
The Houston Rockets are an American professional basketball team based in Houston, Texas. The team plays in the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association . The team was established in 1967, and played in San Diego, California for four years, before being...

, the San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas. They are part of the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association ....

, and the Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks are a professional basketball team based in Dallas, Texas. They are members of the Southwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association , and the reigning NBA champions, having defeated the Miami Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals.According to a 2011...

), and one National Hockey League team (the Dallas Stars
Dallas Stars
The Dallas Stars are a professional ice hockey team based in Dallas, Texas. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League . The team was founded during the 1967 NHL expansion as the Minnesota North Stars, based in Bloomington, Minnesota. The...

). The Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex is one of only thirteen American metropolitan areas
U.S. cities with teams from four major sports
There are 12 U.S. cities with teams from four major sports, where "city" is defined as the entire metropolitan area, and "major professional sports leagues" as:...

 that hosts sports teams from all the "Big Four" professional leagues. Outside of the "Big Four" leagues, Texas also has one WNBA
Women's National Basketball Association
The Women's National Basketball Association is a women's professional basketball league in the United States. It currently is composed of twelve teams. The league was founded on April 24, 1996 as the women's counterpart to the National Basketball Association...

 team (the San Antonio Silver Stars
San Antonio Silver Stars
The San Antonio Silver Stars are a professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas, playing in the Western Conference in the Women's National Basketball Association . The team was founded in Salt Lake City, Utah before the league's inaugural 1997 season began; the team moved to San Antonio...

) and two Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer is a professional soccer league based in the United States and sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation . The league is composed of 19 teams — 16 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada...

 teams (the Houston Dynamo
Houston Dynamo
The Houston Dynamo is an American professional soccer club, based in Houston, Texas, that plays in Major League Soccer, the top professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. Founded in 2005 as Houston 1836, the team name was renamed to Houston Dynamo following protests from Hispanic...

 and FC Dallas
FC Dallas
FC Dallas is an American professional soccer club based in the Dallas suburb of Frisco, Texas which competes in Major League Soccer , the top professional soccer league in the United States of America and Canada...

).

Collegiate athletics
College athletics
College athletics refers primarily to sports and athletic competition organized and funded by institutions of tertiary education . In the United States, college athletics is a two-tiered system. The first tier includes the sports that are sanctioned by one of the collegiate sport governing bodies...

 have deep significance in Texas culture, especially football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

. The state has ten Division I-FBS schools, the most in the nation. Four of the state's universities, the Baylor Bears
Baylor Bears
Baylor Bears refers to the sports teams of Baylor University. Baylor's men's sports teams are nicknamed the Bears, and some women's teams are nicknamed the Lady Bears. Student athletes participate in the NCAA's Division I, and Baylor is the only private school in the Big 12 Conference...

, Texas Longhorns, Texas A&M Aggies
Texas A&M Aggies
Texas A&M Aggies refers to the students, graduates, and sports teams of Texas A&M University. The nickname "Aggie" is common at land-grant or "Ag" schools in many states. The teams compete in Division I of NCAA sports...

, and Texas Tech Red Raiders
Texas Tech Red Raiders
The Texas Tech Red Raiders are the athletic teams that represent Texas Tech University . The women's basketball team uses the name Lady Raiders; however, the school's other women's teams use the "Red Raiders" name. The university's athletic program fields teams in 15 varsity sports and 30 club sports...

, compete in the Big 12 Conference
Big 12 Conference
The Big 12 Conference is a college athletic conference of ten schools located in the Central United States, with its headquarters located in Las Colinas, a community in the Dallas, Texas suburb of Irving...

. Also, four of the state's schools, the Texas Longhorns, the Texas A&M Aggies
Texas A&M Aggies
Texas A&M Aggies refers to the students, graduates, and sports teams of Texas A&M University. The nickname "Aggie" is common at land-grant or "Ag" schools in many states. The teams compete in Division I of NCAA sports...

, the TCU Horned Frogs
TCU Horned Frogs
The TCU Horned Frogs are the athletic teams that represent Texas Christian University, consisting of 18 varsity teams. The "horned frog" nickname and mascot refer to the Texas horned lizard, as known as the "horned frog". The women's athletics teams are often referred to often as the Lady Frogs...

, and the SMU Mustangs
SMU Mustangs
The SMU Mustangs is the name of the athletic teams representing Southern Methodist University. The Mustangs participate in the NCAA's Division I as a member of Conference USA. In 2005, SMU accepted an invitation to the Western Division of Conference USA, and left the Western Athletic Conference...

 claim at least one national championship in the sport.

According to a survey of Division I-A coaches the rivalry
College rivalry
Pairs of schools, colleges and universities, especially when they are close to each other either geographically or in their areas of specialization, often establish a college rivalry with each other over the years. This rivalry can extend to both academics and athletics, the latter being typically...

 between the University of Oklahoma
University of Oklahoma
The University of Oklahoma is a coeducational public research university located in Norman, Oklahoma. Founded in 1890, it existed in Oklahoma Territory near Indian Territory for 17 years before the two became the state of Oklahoma. the university had 29,931 students enrolled, most located at its...

 and the University of Texas, the Red River Shootout, ranks the third best in the nation. A fierce rivalry, the Lone Star Showdown, also exists between the state's two largest universities, Texas A&M University and the University of Texas.
The TCU Horned Frogs
TCU Horned Frogs
The TCU Horned Frogs are the athletic teams that represent Texas Christian University, consisting of 18 varsity teams. The "horned frog" nickname and mascot refer to the Texas horned lizard, as known as the "horned frog". The women's athletics teams are often referred to often as the Lady Frogs...

 and SMU Mustangs
SMU Mustangs
The SMU Mustangs is the name of the athletic teams representing Southern Methodist University. The Mustangs participate in the NCAA's Division I as a member of Conference USA. In 2005, SMU accepted an invitation to the Western Division of Conference USA, and left the Western Athletic Conference...

 also share a rivalry and compete annually in the Battle for the Iron Skillet
Battle for the Iron Skillet
The Battle for the Iron Skillet is the name of the college football rivalry between the Southern Methodist University Mustangs and the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs. The campuses are located 40 miles apart in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex...

.

The University Interscholastic League
University Interscholastic League
The University Interscholastic League is an organization that creates rules for and administers almost all athletic, music, and academic contests for public primary and secondary schools in the American state of Texas....

 (UIL) organizes most primary and secondary school competitions. Events organized by UIL include contests in athletics (the most popular being high school football
High school football
High school football, in North America, refers to the game of football as it is played in the United States and Canada. It ranks among the most popular interscholastic sports in both of these nations....

) as well as artistic and academic subjects.

Texans also enjoy the rodeo
Rodeo
Rodeo is a competitive sport which arose out of the working practices of cattle herding in Spain, Mexico, and later the United States, Canada, South America and Australia. It was based on the skills required of the working vaqueros and later, cowboys, in what today is the western United States,...

. The world's first rodeo was hosted in Pecos, Texas
Pecos, Texas
Pecos is the largest city in and the county seat of Reeves County, Texas, United States. It is situated in the river valley on the west bank of the Pecos River at the eastern edge of the Chihuahuan Desert and the Trans-Pecos region of west Texas and near the southern border of New Mexico...

. The annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, also called RodeoHouston, is the world's largest live entertainment and livestock exhibition. It also includes the richest regular-season rodeo event. It has been held at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, since 2003...

 is the largest rodeo in the world. It begins with trail rides that originate from several points throughout the state that convene at Reliant Park
Reliant Park
Reliant Park is a complex in Houston, Texas, USA, named after the energy company Reliant Energy. It is located on Kirby Drive at the 610 Loop...

. The Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show
Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show
The Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show, known commonly as the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo is the oldest continual running livestock show and rodeo. It has been held annually in Fort Worth, Texas since 1896. In 1918, the Stock Show held the world's first indoor rodeo, and in subsequent...

 in Fort Worth is the oldest continuously running rodeo incorporating many of the state's most historic traditions into its annual events. Dallas hosts the State Fair of Texas
State Fair of Texas
The State Fair of Texas is an annual state fair held in Dallas, Texas . The fair season usually begins the last Friday in September and ends 24 days later. The fair is held at the historic Fair Park where it has been held since 1886. The 2012 State Fair of Texas will run from September 28th...

 each year at Fair Park
Fair Park
Dallas Fair Park is a recreational and educational complex located in Dallas, Texas . The complex is registered as a Dallas Landmark, National Historic Landmark and is home to nine museums, six performance facilities, a lagoon, and the largest Ferris wheel in North America...

.

From 2012 Austin will play host to a round of the Formula 1 World Championship – the first at a permanent road circuit in the United States since the 1980 Grand Prix
1980 United States Grand Prix
The 1980 United States Grand Prix was a Formula One race held on October 5, 1980 at the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Race Course in Watkins Glen, New York...

 at Watkins Glen International
Watkins Glen International
Watkins Glen International is an auto race track located near Watkins Glen, New York, at the southern tip of Seneca Lake. The facility is owned by International Speedway Corporation...



See also


  • Gulf of Mexico
    Gulf of Mexico
    The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

  • List of National Register of Historic Places in Texas
    National Register of Historic Places listings in Texas
    The following is a list of historic properties and districts in the state of Texas that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. There are properties and/or districts listed in most of Texas's 254 counties....

  • List of people from Texas

  • U.S. state
    U.S. state
    A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...



External links



State Government
  • The State of Texas
  • Texas State Databases – Annotated list of searchable databases produced by Texas state agencies and compiled by the Government Documents Roundtable of the American Library Association.
  • Texas Politics. An online textbook from the College of Liberal Arts, The University of Texas.

U.S. Government
Other