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Texas (, ;
Spanish Spanish might refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards are a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language, spoken in Spain and many Latin American countries **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Cana ...
: ''Texas'', ''Tejas'') is a state in the South Central region of the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
. At 268,596 square miles (695,662 km2), and with more than 29.1 million residents in 2020, it is the second-largest
U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, ...
by both
area Area is the quantity that expresses the extent of a region on the plane or on a curved surface. The area of a plane region or ''plane area'' refers to the area of a shape or planar lamina, while ''surface area'' refers to the area of an o ...
(after
Alaska Alaska ( ; russian: Аляска, Alyaska; ale, Alax̂sxax̂; ; ems, Alas'kaaq; Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, Yup'ik: ''Alaskaq''; tli, Anáaski) is a U.S. state, state located in the Western United States on the northwest extremity o ...
) and
population Population typically refers to the number of people in a single area, whether it be a city A city is a human settlement of notable size.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, ...
(after
California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States, located along the West Coast of the United States, Pacific Coast. With nearly 39.2million residents across a total area of approximately , it is the List of states and territori ...
). Texas shares borders with the states of
Louisiana Louisiana , group=pronunciation (French: ''La Louisiane'') is a U.S. state, state in the Deep South and South Central United States, South Central regions of the United States. It is the List of U.S. states and territories by area, 20th-smal ...
to the east,
Arkansas Arkansas ( ) is a landlocked U.S. state, state in the South Central United States. It is bordered by Missouri to the north, Tennessee and Mississippi to the east, Louisiana to the south, and Texas and Oklahoma to the west. Its name is from ...
to the northeast,
Oklahoma Oklahoma (; Choctaw language, Choctaw: ; chr, ᎣᎧᎳᎰᎹ, ''Okalahoma'' ) is a U.S. state, state in the South Central United States, South Central region of the United States, bordered by Texas on the south and west, Kansas on the nor ...
to the north,
New Mexico ) , population_demonym = New Mexican ( es, Neomexicano, Neomejicano, Nuevo Mexicano) , seat = Santa Fe, New Mexico, Santa Fe , LargestCity = Albuquerque, New Mexico, Albuquerque , LargestMetro = Albuquerque metropolitan area, Tiguex , Offi ...
to the west, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua,
Coahuila Coahuila (), formally Coahuila de Zaragoza (), officially the Free and Sovereign State of Coahuila de Zaragoza ( es, Estado Libre y Soberano de Coahuila de Zaragoza), is one of the 32 states of Mexico Mexico (Spanish language, Spanish: M ...
,
Nuevo León Nuevo León () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...
, and
Tamaulipas Tamaulipas (), officially the Free and Sovereign State of Tamaulipas ( es, Estado Libre y Soberano de Tamaulipas), is a state in the northeast region of Mexico; one of the 31 states which, along with Mexico City, comprise the 32 Political divis ...
to the south and southwest; and has a coastline with the
Gulf of Mexico The Gulf of Mexico ( es, Golfo de México) is an ocean basin and a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean, largely surrounded by the North American continent. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United ...
to the southeast.
Houston Houston (; ) is the List of cities in Texas by population, most populous city in Texas, the Southern United States#Major cities, most populous city in the Southern United States, the List of United States cities by population, fourth-most pop ...
is the most populous city in Texas and the fourth-largest in the U.S., while
San Antonio ("Cradle of Freedom") , image_map = , mapsize = 220px , map_caption = Interactive map of San Antonio , subdivision_type = Country , subdivision_name = United States , subdivision_type1= U.S. state, State , subdivision_name1 = Texas , s ...
is the second most populous in the state and seventh-largest in the U.S. Dallas–Fort Worth and
Greater Houston Greater Houston, designated by the Office of Management and Budget, United States Office of Management and Budget as Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land, is the List of metropolitan statistical areas, fifth-most populous metropolitan statistical ...
are, respectively, the fourth- and fifth-largest metropolitan statistical areas in the country. Other major cities include
Austin Austin is the capital city of the U.S. state of Texas, as well as the seat and largest city of Travis County, with portions extending into Hays and Williamson counties. Incorporated on December 27, 1839, it is the 11th-most-populous ci ...
, the second most populous
state capital Below is an index of pages containing lists of capital city, capital cities. National capitals *List of national capitals *List of national capitals by latitude *List of national capitals by population *List of national capitals by area *List of ...
in the U.S., and
El Paso El Paso (; "the pass") is a city in and the county seat, seat of El Paso County, Texas, El Paso County in the western corner of the U.S. state of Texas. The 2020 population of the city from the United States Census Bureau, U.S. Census Bureau w ...
. Texas is nicknamed the ''Lone Star State'' for its former status as an independent republic, and as a reminder of the state's struggle for independence from
Mexico Mexico (Spanish language, Spanish: México), officially the United Mexican States, is a List of sovereign states, country in the southern portion of North America. It is borders of Mexico, bordered to the north by the United States; to the so ...
. The ''Lone Star'' can be found on the Texas state flag and on the Texas state seal. The origin of Texas's name is from the Caddo word meaning 'friends'. Due to its size and geologic features such as the Balcones Fault, Texas contains diverse
landscapes A landscape is the visible features of an area of Terrestrial ecoregion, land, its landforms, and how they integrate with Nature, natural or man-made features, often considered in terms of their aesthetic appeal.''New Oxford American Dictionar ...
common to both the U.S. Southern and the Southwestern regions. Although Texas is popularly associated with the U.S. southwestern deserts, less than ten percent of Texas's land area is
desert A desert is a barren area of landscape where little precipitation occurs and, consequently, living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life. The lack of vegetation exposes the unprotected surface of the ground to denudation. About one ...
. Most of the population centers are in areas of former
prairie Prairies are ecosystem An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact. These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient cycles and energy flo ...
s,
grassland A grassland is an area where the vegetation is dominated by grasses (Poaceae). However, sedge (Cyperaceae) and rush (Juncaceae) can also be found along with variable proportions of legumes, like clover, and other Herbaceous plant, herbs. Grassl ...
s,
forests A forest is an area of land dominated by trees. Hundreds of definitions of forest are used throughout the world, incorporating factors such as tree density, tree height, land use, legal standing, and ecological function. The United Nations' ...
, and the
coastline The coast, also known as the coastline or seashore, is defined as the area where land meets the ocean, or as a line that forms the boundary between the land and the coastline. The Earth has around of coastline. Coasts are important zones in n ...
. Traveling from east to west, one can observe terrain that ranges from coastal
swamp A swamp is a forested wetland.Keddy, P.A. 2010. Wetland Ecology: Principles and Conservation (2nd edition). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. 497 p. Swamps are considered to be transition zones because both land and water play a role in ...
s and
piney woods The Piney Woods is a temperate coniferous forest terrestrial ecoregion in the U.S. Southern States, Southern United States covering of East Texas, southern Arkansas, western Louisiana, and Kiamichi Country, southeastern Oklahoma. These coniferou ...
, to rolling plains and rugged hills, and finally the
desert A desert is a barren area of landscape where little precipitation occurs and, consequently, living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life. The lack of vegetation exposes the unprotected surface of the ground to denudation. About one ...
and mountains of the Big Bend. The term "
six flags over Texas Six Flags Over Texas is a 212-acre (86 ha) amusement park An amusement park is a park that features various attractions, such as rides and games, as well as other events for entertainment purposes. A theme park is a type of amusement par ...
" refers to several nations that have ruled over the territory.
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = ''Plus ultra'' (Latin)(English: "Further Beyond") , national_anthem = (English: "Royal March") , i ...
was the first European country to claim and control the area of Texas. France held a short-lived colony. Mexico controlled the territory until 1836 when Texas won its independence, becoming the
Republic of Texas The Republic of Texas ( es, República de Tejas) was a sovereign state in North America that existed from March 2, 1836, to February 19, 1846, that bordered Mexico, the Republic of the Rio Grande in 1840 (another breakaway republic from Mex ...
. In 1845, Texas joined the union as the 28th state. The state's
annexation Annexation (Latin ''ad'', to, and ''nexus'', joining), in international law, is the forcible acquisition of one state's territory by another state, usually following military occupation of the territory. It is generally held to be an illegal act ...
set off a chain of events that led to the
Mexican–American War The Mexican–American War, also known in the United States as the Mexican War and in Mexico as the (''United States intervention in Mexico''), was an armed conflict between the United States and Second Federal Republic of Mexico, Mexico f ...
in 1846. A
slave state In the United States before 1865, a slave state was a U.S. state, state in which Slavery in the United States, slavery and the internal or domestic slave trade were legal, while a free state was one in which they were not. Between 1812 and 185 ...
before the
American Civil War The American Civil War (April 12, 1861 – May 26, 1865; also known by Names of the American Civil War, other names) was a civil war in the United States. It was fought between the Union (American Civil War), Union ("the North") and t ...
, Texas declared its secession from the U.S. in early 1861, and officially joined the
Confederate States of America The Confederate States of America (CSA), commonly referred to as the Confederate States or the Confederacy was an List of historical unrecognized states and dependencies, unrecognized Secession in the United States, breakaway republic in the ...
on March2 of the same year. After the Civil War and the restoration of its representation in the federal government, Texas entered a long period of economic stagnation. Historically, four major industries shaped the
Texas economy The economy of the State of Texas is the second largest by GDP in the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, pri ...
prior to
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
: cattle and bison, cotton, timber, and oil. Before and after the U.S. Civil War, the cattle industry—which Texas came to dominate—was a major economic driver for the state, and created the traditional image of the Texas cowboy. In the later 19th century, cotton and lumber grew to be major industries as the cattle industry became less lucrative. It was ultimately, though, the discovery of major
petroleum Petroleum, also known as crude oil, or simply oil, is a naturally occurring yellowish-black liquid mixture of mainly hydrocarbons, and is found in geological formations. The name ''petroleum'' covers both naturally occurring unprocessed crude ...
deposits (
Spindletop Spindletop is an oil field located in the southern portion of Beaumont, Texas, 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 w ...
in particular) that initiated an
economic boom An economic expansion is an increase in the level of economic activity, and of the goods and services available. It is a period of economic growth as measured by a rise in real GDP. The explanation of fluctuations in aggregate economic activity ...
which became the driving force behind the economy for much of the 20th century. Texas developed a diversified economy and
high tech High technology (high tech), also known as advanced technology (advanced tech) or exotechnology, is technology that is at the state of the art, cutting edge: the highest form of technology available. It can be defined as either the most complex ...
industry during the mid-20th century. As of 2022, it has the most
Fortune 500 The ''Fortune'' 500 is an annual list compiled and published by ''Fortune (magazine), Fortune'' magazine that ranks 500 of the largest United States Joint-stock company#Closely held corporations and publicly traded corporations, corporations by ...
company headquarters (53) in the United States. With a growing base of industry, the state leads in many industries, including
tourism Tourism is travel for pleasure or business; also the theory and practice of touring (disambiguation), touring, the business of attracting, accommodating, and entertaining tourists, and the business of operating tour (disambiguation), tours. Th ...
, agriculture,
petrochemicals Petrochemicals (sometimes abbreviated as petchems) are the product (chemistry), chemical products obtained from petroleum by refining. Some chemical compounds made from petroleum are also obtained from other fossil fuels, such as coal or natural ...
,
energy In physics, energy (from Ancient Greek: wikt:ἐνέργεια#Ancient_Greek, ἐνέργεια, ''enérgeia'', “activity”) is the physical quantity, quantitative physical property, property that is #Energy transfer, transferred to a phy ...
,
computers A computer is a machine that can be programmed to Execution (computing), carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations (computation) automatically. Modern digital electronic computers can perform generic sets of operations known as C ...
and
electronics The field of electronics is a branch of physics and electrical engineering that deals with the emission, behaviour and effects of electrons using Electronic component, electronic devices. Electronics uses Passivity (engineering), active devices ...
,
aerospace Aerospace is a term used to collectively refer to the atmosphere and outer space. Aerospace activity is very diverse, with a multitude of commercial, industrial and military applications. Aerospace engineering consists of aeronautics and astrona ...
, and
biomedical sciences Biomedical sciences are a set of sciences applying portions of natural science or formal science, or both, to develop knowledge, interventions, or technology that are of use in healthcare or public health. Such disciplines as medical microbio ...
. Texas has led the U.S. in state export revenue since 2002, and has the second-highest gross state product. If Texas were a
sovereign state A sovereign state or sovereign country, is a polity, political entity represented by one central government that has supreme legitimate authority over territory. International law defines sovereign states as having a permanent population, defin ...
, it would have the 10th-largest economy in the world.


Etymology

The name ''Texas'', based on the Caddo word () 'friend', was applied, in the spelling or , by the Spanish to the
Caddo The Caddo people comprise the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma, a federally recognized tribe headquartered in Binger, Oklahoma. They speak the Caddo language. The Caddo Confederacy was a network of Indigenous peoples of the Southeastern Woodlands, who ...
themselves, specifically the Hasinai Confederacy, the final ''-s'' representing the Spanish plural. The '' Mission San Francisco de los Tejas'' was completed near the Hasinai village of Nabedaches in May 1690, in what is now Houston County,
East Texas East Texas is a broadly defined cultural, geographic, and ecological region in the eastern part of the U.S. state of Texas that comprises most of 41 counties. It is primarily divided into Northeast Texas, Northeast and Southeast Texas. Most of ...
. During Spanish colonial rule, in the 18th century, the area was known as (' New Philippines') and ('New Kingdom of the Philippines'), or as ('province of the '), later also (or ), ('province of Texas'). It was incorporated as into the Mexican Empire in 1821, and declared a republic in 1836. The
Royal Spanish Academy The Royal Spanish Academy ( es, Real Academia Española, generally abbreviated as RAE) is Spain's official royal institution with a mission to ensure the stability of the Spanish language. It is based in Madrid, Spain, and is affiliated with ...
recognizes both spellings, and , as Spanish-language forms of the name of the U.S. state of Texas. The English pronunciation with is unetymological, contrary to the historical value of the letter x () in
Spanish orthography Spanish orthography is the orthography used in the Spanish language. The alphabet uses the Latin script. The spelling is fairly phonemic orthography, phonemic, especially in comparison to more opaque orthographies like English orthography, Engli ...
. Alternative etymologies of the name advanced in the late 19th century connected the name ''Texas'' with the Spanish word , meaning 'roof tile', the plural being used to designate indigenous
Pueblo In the Southwestern United States The Southwestern United States, also known as the American Southwest or simply the Southwest, is a geographic and cultural region of the United States that generally includes Arizona Arizona ( ; nv, ...
settlements.Charles Dimitry, "American Geographical Nomenclature", ''Appletons' Journal'' 15 (1876)
758f.
/ref> A 1760s map by Jacques-Nicolas Bellin shows a village named ''Teijas'' on the Trinity River, close to the site of modern Crockett.


History


Precontact era

Texas lies between two major cultural spheres of Pre-Columbian North America: the
Southwestern The points of the compass are a set of horizontal, radially arrayed compass directions (or azimuths) used in navigation Navigation is a field of study that focuses on the process of monitoring and controlling the motion, movement of a craft ...
and the Plains areas.
Archaeologists Archaeology or archeology is the scientific study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. The archaeological record consists of Artifact (archaeology), artifacts, architecture, biofact (archaeology), biofacts ...
have found that three major indigenous cultures lived in this territory, and reached their developmental peak before the first European contact. These were: the
Ancestral Puebloans The Ancestral Puebloans, also known as the Anasazi, were an ancient Native American culture that spanned the present-day Four Corners region of the United States, comprising southeastern Utah Utah ( , ) is a state in the Mountain ...
from the upper
Rio Grande The Rio Grande ( and ), known in Mexico as the Río Bravo del Norte or simply the Río Bravo, is one of the principal rivers (along with the Colorado River) in the southwestern United States and in northern Mexico. The length of the Rio G ...
region, centered west of Texas; the
Mississippian culture The Mississippian culture was a Native Americans in the United States, Native American civilization that flourished in what is now the Midwestern United States, Midwestern, Eastern United States, Eastern, and Southeastern United States from appr ...
, also known as
Mound Builders A number of pre-Columbian cultures are collectively termed "Mound Builders". The term does not refer to a specific people or archaeological culture, but refers to the characteristic mound earthworks erected for an extended period of more than 5 ...
, which extended along the
Mississippi River Valley The Mississippi embayment is a physiographic feature in the south-central United States, part of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain. It is essentially a northward continuation of the River delta, fluvial sediments of the Mississippi River Delta to ...
east of Texas; and the civilizations of
Mesoamerica Mesoamerica is a historical region and cultural area in southern North America and most of Central America. It extends from approximately central Mexico through Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and northern Costa Rica. Withi ...
, centered south of Texas. Influence of
Teotihuacan Teotihuacan (Spanish language, Spanish: ''Teotihuacán'') (; ) is an ancient Mesoamerican city located in a sub-valley of the Valley of Mexico, which is located in the State of Mexico, northeast of modern-day Mexico City. Teotihuacan is ...
in northern Mexico peaked around AD 500 and declined over the 8th to 10th centuries. When Europeans arrived in the Texas region, several different cultures of Native peoples, divided into many smaller tribes, were living there. They were
Caddo The Caddo people comprise the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma, a federally recognized tribe headquartered in Binger, Oklahoma. They speak the Caddo language. The Caddo Confederacy was a network of Indigenous peoples of the Southeastern Woodlands, who ...
an,
Atakapa The Atakapa Sturtevant, 659 or Atacapa were an indigenous people of the Southeastern Woodlands, who spoke the Atakapa language and historically lived along the Gulf of Mexico The Gulf of Mexico ( es, Golfo de México) is an ocean basin ...
n, Athabaskan,
Coahuiltecan The Coahuiltecan were various small, autonomous bands of Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Native Americans who inhabited the Rio Grande valley in what is now southern Texas and northeastern Mexico. The various Coahuiltecan groups were hunter-ga ...
, and Uto-Aztecan. The Uto-Aztecan Puebloan peoples lived neared the Rio Grande in the western portion of the state, the Athabaskan-speaking Apache tribes lived throughout the interior, the Caddoans controlled much of the Red River region and the Atakapans were mostly centered along the Gulf Coast. At least one tribe of Coahuiltecans, the Aranama, lived in southern Texas. This entire culture group, primarily centered in northeastern Mexico, is now extinct. It is difficult to say who lived in the northwestern region of the state originally. By the time the region came to be explored, it belonged to the fairly well-known Comanche, another Uto-Aztecan people who had transitioned into a powerful horse culture, but it is believed that they came later and did not live there during the 16th century. It may have been claimed by several different peoples, including Uto-Aztecans, Athabaskans, or even Dhegihan Siouans. No culture was dominant in the present-day Texas region, and many peoples inhabited the area. Native American tribes who lived inside the boundaries of present-day Texas include the
Alabama (We dare defend our rights) , anthem = " Alabama" , image_map = Alabama in United States.svg , seat = Montgomery , LargestCity = Huntsville , LargestCounty = Baldwin County , LargestMetro = Greater Birmingham , area_total_km2 = 135,7 ...
,
Apache The Apache () are a group of culturally related Native American tribes in the Southwestern United States, which include the Chiricahua, Jicarilla, Lipan, Mescalero, Mimbreño, Ndendahe (Bedonkohe or Mogollon and Nednhi or Carrizaleño ...
, Atakapan,
Bidai The Bidai were a tribe of Atakapa Indians from eastern Texas Texas (, ; Spanish language, Spanish: ''Texas'', ''Tejas'') is a state in the South Central United States, South Central region of the United States. At 268,596 square miles (6 ...
, Caddo, Aranama,
Comanche The Comanche or Nʉmʉnʉʉ ( com, Nʉmʉnʉʉ, "the people") are a Native Americans in the United States, Native American tribe (Native American), tribe from the Great Plains, Southern Plains of the present-day United States. Comanche people t ...
,
Choctaw The Choctaw (in the Choctaw language, Chahta) are a Native American people originally based in the Southeastern Woodlands, in what is now Alabama and Mississippi. Their Choctaw language is a Western Muskogean language. Today, Choctaw peop ...
, Coushatta,
Hasinai The Hasinai Confederacy (Caddo The Caddo people comprise the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma, a federally recognized tribe headquartered in Binger, Oklahoma. They speak the Caddo language. The Caddo Confederacy was a network of Indigenous peoples of ...
,
Jumano Jumanos were a tribe or several tribes, who inhabited a large area of western Texas Texas (, ; Spanish language, Spanish: ''Texas'', ''Tejas'') is a state in the South Central United States, South Central region of the United States. At 26 ...
,
Karankawa The Karankawa were an Native Americans in the United States, Indigenous people concentrated in southern Texas along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, largely in the lower Colorado River (Texas), Colorado River and Brazos River valleys."Karankawa." ...
, Kickapoo,
Kiowa Kiowa () people are a Native Americans in the United States, Native American tribe and an indigenous people of the Great Plains of the United States. They migrated southward from western Montana into the Rocky Mountains in Colorado in the 17th a ...
,
Tonkawa The Tonkawa are a Native Americans in the United States, Native American tribe indigenous to present-day Oklahoma. Their Tonkawa language, now extinct language, extinct, is a linguistic isolate. Today, Tonkawa people are enrolled in the Federa ...
, and Wichita. The region was primarily controlled by the Spanish for the first couple centuries of contact, until the Texas Revolution. They were not particularly kind to their native populations—even less so with the Caddoans, who were not trusted as their culture was split between the Spanish and the French. When the Spanish briefly managed to conquer the Louisiana colony, they decided to switch tactics and attempt being exceedingly friendly to the Indians, which they continued even after the French took back the colony. After the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, the United States inherited this odd circumstance. The Caddoans preferred the company of Americans and almost the entire population of them migrated into the states of Louisiana and Arkansas. The Spanish felt jilted after having spent so much time and effort and began trying to lure the Caddo back, even promising them more land. Seemingly without actually knowing how they came by it, the United States (who had begun convincing tribes to self-segregate from whites by selling everything and moving west ever since they gained the Louisiana Purchase) faced an overflow of native peoples in Missouri and Arkansas and were able to negotiate with the Caddoans to allow several displaced peoples to settle on unused lands in eastern Texas. They included the
Muscogee The Muscogee, also known as the Mvskoke, Muscogee Creek, and the Muscogee Creek Confederacy ( in the Muscogee language), are a group of related indigenous (Native American) peoples of the Southeastern WoodlandsHouma Choctaw,
Lenape The Lenape (, , or Lenape , del, Lënapeyok) also called the Leni Lenape, Lenni Lenape and Delaware people, are an indigenous peoples of the Northeastern Woodlands, who live in the United States and Canada. Their historical territory inclu ...
and Mingo Seneca, among others, who all came to view the Caddoans as saviors, making those peoples highly influential.Glover, William B. "A History of the Caddo Indians". Reprinted from 'The Louisiana Historical Quarterly'; Vol. 18, No. 4. October 1935 Whether a Native American tribe was friendly or warlike was critical to the fates of European explorers and
settler A settler is a person who has human migration, migrated to an area and established a permanent residence there, often to colonize the area. A settler who migrates to an area previously uninhabited or sparsely inhabited may be described as a ...
s in that land. Friendly tribes taught newcomers how to grow indigenous crops, prepare foods, and hunt
wild game Game or quarry is any wild animal hunted for animal products (primarily meat), for recreation ("field sports, sporting"), or for trophy hunting, trophies. The species of animals hunted as game varies in different parts of the world and by differ ...
. Warlike tribes made life difficult and dangerous for Europeans through their attacks and resistance to the newcomers. During the Texas Revolution, the U.S. became heavily involved. Prior treaties with the Spanish forbade either side from militarizing its native population in any potential conflict between the two nations. At that time, several sudden outbreaks of violence between Caddoans and Texans started to spread. The Caddoans were always clueless when questioned. The Texan and American authorities in the region could never find hard evidence linking them to it and often it was so far-flung from Caddoan lands, it barely made any sense. It seems most likely that these were false-flag attacks meant to start a cascading effect to force the natives under Caddoan influence into armed conflict without breaking any treaties—preferably on the side of the Spanish. While no proof was found as to who the culprit was, those in charge of Texas at the time attempted multiple times to publicly blame and punish the Caddoans for the incidents with the U.S. government trying to keep them in check. Furthermore, the Caddoans never turned to violence because of it, excepting cases of self-defense. By the 1830s, the U.S. had drafted the Indian Removal Act, which was used to facilitate the Trail of Tears. Fearing retribution of other native peoples, Indian Agents all over the eastern U.S. began desperately trying to convince all their native peoples to uproot and move west. This included the Caddoans of Louisiana and Arkansas. Following the Texas Revolution, the Texans chose to make peace with their Native peoples but did not honor former land claims or agreements. This began the movement of Native populations north into what would become Indian Territory—modern-day Oklahoma.


Colonization

The first historical document related to Texas was a map of the
Gulf Coast The Gulf Coast of the United States, also known as the Gulf South, is the coast, coastline along the Southern United States where they meet the Gulf of Mexico. The list of U.S. states and territories by coastline, coastal states that have a shor ...
, created in 1519 by Spanish explorer Alonso Álvarez de Pineda. Nine years later, shipwrecked Spanish explorer Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca and his cohort became the first Europeans in what is now Texas. Cabeza de Vaca reported that in 1528, when the Spanish landed in the area, "half the natives died from a disease of the bowels and blamed us." Cabeza de Vaca also made observations about the way of life of the Ignaces Natives of Texas:
Francisco Vázquez de Coronado Francisco Vázquez de Coronado y Luján (; 1510 – 22 September 1554) was a Spanish conquistador Conquistadors (, ) or conquistadores (, ; meaning 'conquerors') were the explorer-soldiers of the Spanish Empire, Spanish and Portuguese Em ...
describes his 1541 encounter: European powers ignored the area 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 () is a large Gulf of Mexico bay on the Texas coast, lying in Calhoun County, Texas, Calhoun and Matagorda County, Texas, Matagorda counties and located approximately northeast of Corpus Christi, Texas, Corpus Christi, east-southe ...
rather than along the
Mississippi River The Mississippi River is the List of longest rivers of the United States (by main stem), second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest Drainage system (geomorphology), drainage system in North America, second only to the Hudson B ...
. The colony lasted only four years before succumbing to harsh conditions and hostile natives. In 1690 Spanish authorities, concerned that France posed a competitive threat, constructed several missions in
East Texas East Texas is a broadly defined cultural, geographic, and ecological region in the eastern part of the U.S. state of Texas that comprises most of 41 counties. It is primarily divided into Northeast Texas, Northeast and Southeast Texas. Most of ...
. After Native American resistance, the Spanish missionaries returned to Mexico. When France began settling
Louisiana Louisiana , group=pronunciation (French: ''La Louisiane'') is a U.S. state, state in the Deep South and South Central United States, South Central regions of the United States. It is the List of U.S. states and territories by area, 20th-smal ...
, 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 ("Cradle of Freedom") , image_map = , mapsize = 220px , map_caption = Interactive map of San Antonio , subdivision_type = Country , subdivision_name = United States , subdivision_type1= U.S. state, State , subdivision_name1 = Texas , s ...
as the first Spanish civilian settlement in the area. Hostile native tribes and distance from nearby Spanish colonies discouraged settlers from moving to the area. It was one of New Spain's least populated provinces. In 1749, the Spanish peace treaty with the
Lipan Apache Lipan Apache are a band of Apache, a Southern Athabaskan languages, Southern Athabaskan Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Indigenous people, who have lived in the Oasisamerica, Southwest and Southern Plains for centuries. At the time of Europe ...
angered many tribes, including the
Comanche The Comanche or Nʉmʉnʉʉ ( com, Nʉmʉnʉʉ, "the people") are a Native Americans in the United States, Native American tribe (Native American), tribe from the Great Plains, Southern Plains of the present-day United States. Comanche people t ...
,
Tonkawa The Tonkawa are a Native Americans in the United States, Native American tribe indigenous to present-day Oklahoma. Their Tonkawa language, now extinct language, extinct, is a linguistic isolate. Today, Tonkawa people are enrolled in the Federa ...
, and
Hasinai The Hasinai Confederacy (Caddo The Caddo people comprise the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma, a federally recognized tribe headquartered in Binger, Oklahoma. They speak the Caddo language. The Caddo Confederacy was a network of Indigenous peoples of ...
. The Comanche signed a treaty with Spain in 1785 and later helped to defeat the Lipan Apache and
Karankawa The Karankawa were an Native Americans in the United States, Indigenous people concentrated in southern Texas along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, largely in the lower Colorado River (Texas), Colorado River and Brazos River valleys."Karankawa." ...
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
nomad A nomad is a member of a community without fixed habitation who regularly moves to and from the same areas. Such groups include hunter-gatherers, Nomadic pastoralism, pastoral nomads (owning livestock), tinkers and Merchant, trader nomads. In t ...
ic tribes had not converted to Christianity. When the United States purchased Louisiana from France in 1803, American authorities insisted the agreement also included Texas. The boundary between New Spain and the United States was finally set at the Sabine River in 1819, at what is now the border between Texas and Louisiana. Eager for new land, many United States settlers refused to recognize the agreement. Several filibusters raised armies to invade the area west of the Sabine River. Marked by the
War of 1812 The War of 1812 (18 June 1812 – 17 February 1815) was fought by the United States, United States of America and its Indigenous peoples of the Americas, indigenous allies against the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, United Kingdom ...
, some men who had escaped from the Spanish, held (Old) Philippines had immigrated to and also passed through Texas (New Philippines) and reached
Louisiana Louisiana , group=pronunciation (French: ''La Louisiane'') is a U.S. state, state in the Deep South and South Central United States, South Central regions of the United States. It is the List of U.S. states and territories by area, 20th-smal ...
where Philippine exiles aided the United States in the defense of
New Orleans New Orleans ( , ,New Orleans
Merriam-Webster.
; french: La Nouvelle-Orléans , es, Nuev ...
against a British invasion, with Filipinos in the
Saint Malo Saint-Malo (, , ; Gallo: ; ) is a historic French port in Ille-et-Vilaine, Brittany, on the English Channel coast. The walled city had a long history of piracy, earning much wealth from local extortion and overseas adventures. In 1944, the ...
settlement assisting
Jean Lafitte Jean Lafitte ( – ) was a French pirate and privateer who operated in the Gulf of Mexico in the early 19th century. He and his older brother Pierre Lafitte, Pierre spelled their last name Laffite, but English language documents of the time use ...
in the
Battle of New Orleans The Battle of New Orleans was fought on January 8, 1815 between the British Army under Major General Sir Edward Pakenham and the United States Army under Brevet Major General Andrew Jackson, roughly 5 miles (8 km) southeast of the French ...
. In 1821, the
Mexican War of Independence The Mexican War of Independence ( es, Guerra de Independencia de México, links=no, 16 September 1810 – 27 September 1821) was an armed conflict and political process resulting in Mexico's independence from Spain. It was not a single, co ...
included the Texas territory, which became part of Mexico. Due to its low population, the territory was assigned to other states and territories of Mexico; the core territory was part of the state of
Coahuila y Tejas Coahuila y Tejas, officially the Estado Libre y Soberano de 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 (1822–1825) f ...
, but other parts of today's Texas were part of
Tamaulipas Tamaulipas (), officially the Free and Sovereign State of Tamaulipas ( es, Estado Libre y Soberano de Tamaulipas), is a state in the northeast region of Mexico; one of the 31 states which, along with Mexico City, comprise the 32 Political divis ...
, Chihuahua, or the Mexican Territory of
Santa Fe de Nuevo México Santa Fe de Nuevo México ( en, Holy Faith of New Mexico; shortened as Nuevo México or Nuevo Méjico, and translated as New Mexico in English) was a Kingdom of the Spanish Empire The Spanish Empire ( es, link=no, Imperio español), also k ...
. Hoping more settlers would reduce the near-constant Comanche raids,
Mexican Texas Mexican Texas is the historiographical name used to refer to the era of History of Texas, Texan history between 1821 and 1836, when it was part of Mexico. Mexico gained independence in 1821 after winning its Mexican War of Independence, war a ...
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 An empresario () was a person who had been granted the right to settle on land in exchange for recruiting and taking responsibility for settling the eastern areas of Coahuila y Tejas in the early nineteenth century. The word in Spanish language, ...
s'', who recruited settlers from the United States, Europe, and the Mexican interior. The first grant, to
Moses Austin Moses Austin (October 4, 1761 – June 10, 1821) was an American businessman and pioneer who played a large part in the development of the lead Lead is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Pb (from the Latin ) and atom ...
, was passed to his son Stephen F. Austin after his death. Austin's settlers, the Old Three Hundred, made places along the
Brazos River The Brazos River ( , ), called the ''Río de los Brazos de Dios'' (translated as "The River of the Arms of God") by early Spanish explorers, is the 11th-longest river in the United States at from its headwater source (river or stream), source at ...
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 about 3,500 people, with most of Mexican descent. By 1834, the population had grown to about 37,800 people, with only 7,800 of Mexican descent. Most of these early settlers who arrived with Austin and soon after were persons less than fortunate in life, as Texas was devoid of the comforts found elsewhere in Mexico and the United States during that time. Early Texas settler David B. Edwards described his fellow Texans as being "banished from the pleasures of life". Many immigrants openly flouted Mexican law, especially the prohibition against
slavery Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave—someone forbidden to quit one's service for an enslaver, and who is treated by the enslaver as property. Slavery typically involves slaves being made to perf ...
. Combined with United States' attempts to purchase Texas, Mexican authorities decided in 1830 to prohibit continued immigration from the United States.
Illegal immigration Illegal immigration is the migration of people into a country in violation of the immigration laws of that country or the continued residence without the legal right to live in that country. Illegal immigration tends to be financially upwar ...
from the United States into Mexico continued to increase the population of Texas anyway. New laws also called for the enforcement of
customs duties A tariff is a tax imposed by the government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of le ...
angering native Mexican citizens (''
Tejano Tejanos (, ; singular: ''Tejano/a''; Spanish language, Spanish for "Texan", originally borrowed from the Caddo language, Caddo ''tayshas'') are the residents of the U.S. state, state of Texas who are culturally descended from the Mexican popul ...
s'') and recent immigrants alike. The Anahuac Disturbances in 1832 were the first open revolt against Mexican rule, and they coincided with a revolt in Mexico against the nation's president.
Texian Texians were Anglo-American residents of Mexican Texas and, later, the Republic of Texas The Republic of Texas ( es, República de Tejas) was a sovereign state in North America that existed from March 2, 1836, to February 19, 1846, that ...
s sided with the
federalists The term ''federalist'' describes several political beliefs around the world. It may also refer to the concept of parties, whose members or supporters called themselves ''Federalists''. History Europe federation In Europe, proponents of Fed ...
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 to discuss requesting independent statehood, among other issues. The following year, Texians reiterated their demands at the
Convention of 1833 The Convention of 1833 (April 1–13, 1833), a political gathering of settlers of Mexican Texas Mexican Texas is the historiographical name used to refer to the era of History of Texas, Texan history between 1821 and 1836, when it was part o ...
.


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 The Battle of Gonzales was the first military engagement of the Texas Revolution. It was fought near Gonzales, Texas Texas (, ; Spanish language, Spanish: ''Texas'', ''Tejas'') is a state in the South Central United States, South Cent ...
. This launched the Texas Revolution, and over the next two months the Texians 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 López de Santa Anna Antonio de Padua María Severino López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón (; 21 February 1794 – 21 June 1876),Callcott, Wilfred H., "Santa Anna, Antonio Lopez De,''Handbook of Texas Online'' Retrieved 18 April 2017. usually known as Santa Ann ...
personally led an army to end the revolt. The Mexican expedition was initially successful. General José de Urrea defeated all the Texian resistance along the coast culminating in the Goliad massacre. Santa Anna's forces, after a thirteen-day siege, overwhelmed Texian defenders at the
Battle of the Alamo The Battle of the Alamo (February 23 – March 6, 1836) was a pivotal event in the Texas Revolution. Following a siege of the Alamo, 13-day siege, Mexico, Mexican troops under president of Mexico, President Antonio López de Santa Anna, Gen ...
. News of the defeats sparked panic among Texas settlers. The newly elected Texian delegates to the
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 (Texas), Consultation, had ...
quickly signed a
declaration of independence A declaration of independence or declaration of statehood or proclamation of independence is an assertion by a polity in a defined territory that it is independence, independent and constitutes a Sovereign state, state. Such places are usually d ...
on March 2, forming the
Republic of Texas The Republic of Texas ( es, República de Tejas) was a sovereign state in North America that existed from March 2, 1836, to February 19, 1846, that bordered Mexico, the Republic of the Rio Grande in 1840 (another breakaway republic from Mex ...
. After electing interim officers, the Convention disbanded.Roberts and Olson (2001), p. 144. The new government joined the other settlers in Texas in the
Runaway Scrape The Runaway Scrape events took place mainly between September 1835 and April 1836 and were the evacuations by Texas residents fleeing the Mexican Army of Operations during the Texas Revolution, from the Battle of the Alamo through the decisive Ba ...
, fleeing from the approaching Mexican army. After several weeks of retreat, the
Texian Army The Texian Army, also known as the Revolutionary Army and Army of the People, was the Ground warfare, land warfare branch of the Texians, Texian Texas Military Forces, armed forces during the Texas Revolution. It spontaneously formed from the Te ...
commanded by
Sam Houston Samuel Houston (, ; March 2, 1793 – July 26, 1863) was an American general and statesman who played an important role in the Texas Revolution. He served as the first and third president of the Republic of Texas and was one of the first two in ...
attacked and defeated Santa Anna's forces at the
Battle of San Jacinto The Battle of San Jacinto ( es, Batalla de San Jacinto), fought on April 21, 1836, in present-day La Porte, Texas, La Porte and Pasadena, Texas, was the final and decisive battle of the Texas Revolution. Led by General Sam Houston, Samuel Hous ...
. Santa Anna was captured and forced to sign the
Treaties of Velasco The Treaties of Velasco were two documents, one private and the other public, signed in Fort Velasco on May 14, 1836 between General Antonio López de Santa Anna and the Republic of Texas The Republic of Texas ( es, República de Tejas) ...
, ending the war. The
Constitution of the Republic of Texas The Constitution of the Republic of Texas was the supreme law of Texas from 1836 to 1845. On March 2, 1836, Texas declared itself an secession, independent republic because of a lack of support in the United States for the Texas Revolution. The de ...
prohibited the government from restricting slavery or freeing slaves, and required free people of African descent to leave the country. While Texas had won its independence, political battles raged between two factions of the new Republic. The nationalist faction, led by Mirabeau B. Lamar, advocated the continued independence of Texas, the expulsion of the Native Americans, and the expansion of the Republic to the
Pacific Ocean The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's five oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean (or, depending on definition, to Antarctica) in the south, and is bounded by the continen ...
. 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 The Texas Archive War was an 1842 dispute over an attempted move of the Republic of Texas The Republic of Texas ( es, República de Tejas) was a sovereign state in North America that existed from March 2, 1836, to February 19, 1846, that bo ...
. With wide popular support, Texas first applied for annexation to the United States in 1836, but its status as a slaveholding country caused its admission to be controversial and it was initially rebuffed. This status, and Mexican diplomacy in support of its claims to the territory, also complicated Texas's ability to form foreign alliances and trade relationships. The
Comanche The Comanche or Nʉmʉnʉʉ ( com, Nʉmʉnʉʉ, "the people") are a Native Americans in the United States, Native American tribe (Native American), tribe from the Great Plains, Southern Plains of the present-day United States. Comanche people t ...
Indians furnished the main Native American opposition to the Texas Republic, manifested in multiple raids on settlements. 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. Despite these successes, Mexico did not keep an occupying force in Texas, and the republic survived. The cotton price crash of the 1840s depressed the country's economy.


Statehood

As early as 1837, the Republic of Texas made several attempts to negotiate
annexation Annexation (Latin ''ad'', to, and ''nexus'', joining), in international law, is the forcible acquisition of one state's territory by another state, usually following military occupation of the territory. It is generally held to be an illegal act ...
with the United States. Opposition within the republic from the nationalist faction, along with strong
abolitionist Abolitionism, or the abolitionist movement, is the movement to end slavery Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave—someone forbidden to quit one's service for an enslaver, and who is trea ...
opposition within the United States, slowed Texas's admission into the Union. Texas was finally
annexed Annexation (Latin ''ad'', to, and ''nexus'', joining), in international law, is the forcible acquisition of one state's territory by another state, usually following military occupation of the territory. It is generally held to be an illegal act ...
when the expansionist
James K. Polk James Knox Polk (November 2, 1795 – June 15, 1849) was the 11th president of the United States, serving from 1845 to 1849. He previously was the 13th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, speaker of the House of Representati ...
won the election of 1844. On December 29, 1845, the
U.S. Congress The United States Congress is the legislature of the federal government of the United States. It is Bicameralism, bicameral, composed of a lower body, the United States House of Representatives, House of Representatives, and an upper body, ...
admitted Texas to the U.S. as a constituent state of the Union. The population of the new state was quite small at first, and there was a strong mix between the English-speaking American settlers who dominated in the state's eastern/northeastern portions and the Spanish-speaking former Mexicans (
Tejanos Tejanos (, ; singular: ''Tejano/a''; Spanish language, Spanish for "Texan", originally borrowed from the Caddo language, Caddo ''tayshas'') are the residents of the U.S. state, state of Texas who are culturally descended from the Mexican popul ...
) who dominated in the state's southern and western portions. Statehood brought many new settlers. Because of the long Spanish presence in Mexico and various failed colonization efforts by the Spanish and Mexicans in northern Mexico, there were large herds of Longhorn cattle that roamed the state. Hardy by nature, but also suitable for slaughtering and consumption, they represented an economic opportunity many entrepreneurs seized upon, thus creating the cowboy culture for which Texas is famous. After Texas's annexation, Mexico broke diplomatic relations with the United States. While the United States claimed Texas's border stretched to the Rio Grande, Mexico claimed it was the
Nueces River The Nueces River is a river in the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily loca ...
leaving the
Rio Grande Valley The Lower Rio Grande Valley ( es, Valle del Río Grande), commonly known as the Rio Grande Valley or locally as the Valley or RGV, is a region spanning the border of Texas and Mexico located in a floodplain of the Rio Grande near its mouth. The ...
under contested Texan sovereignty. 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 (November 24, 1784 – July 9, 1850) was an American military leader who served as the 12th president of the United States from 1849 until his death in 1850. Taylor was a career officer in the United States Army, rising to th ...
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 starting the
Mexican–American War The Mexican–American War, also known in the United States as the Mexican War and in Mexico as the (''United States intervention in Mexico''), was an armed conflict between the United States and Second Federal Republic of Mexico, Mexico f ...
. The first battles of the war were fought in Texas: the Siege of Fort Texas,
Battle of Palo Alto The Battle of Palo Alto ( es, Batalla de Palo Alto) was the first major battle A battle is an occurrence of combat in warfare between opposing military units of any number or size. A war usually consists of multiple battles. In general, a ...
and
Battle of Resaca de la Palma The Battle of Resaca de la Palma was one of the early engagements of the Mexican–American War The Mexican–American War, also known in the United States as the Mexican War and in Mexico as the (''United States intervention in Mexic ...
. 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 The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ( es, Tratado de Guadalupe Hidalgo), officially the Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Limits, and Settlement between the United States of America and the United Mexican States, is the peace treaty that was signed on 2 ...
ended the two-year war. In return, for US$18,250,000, Mexico gave the U.S. undisputed control of Texas, ceded the
Mexican Cession The Mexican Cession ( es, Cesión mexicana) is the region in the modern-day southwestern United States The Southwestern United States, also known as the American Southwest or simply the Southwest, is a geographic and cultural region of the ...
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 The Compromise of 1850 was a package of five separate bills passed by the United States Congress in September 1850 that defused a political confrontation between slave and free states on the status of Mexican Cession, territories acquired in t ...
set Texas's boundaries at their present form. U.S. Senator James Pearce of Maryland drafted the final proposal where Texas ceded its claims to land which later became half of present-day
New Mexico ) , population_demonym = New Mexican ( es, Neomexicano, Neomejicano, Nuevo Mexicano) , seat = Santa Fe, New Mexico, Santa Fe , LargestCity = Albuquerque, New Mexico, Albuquerque , LargestMetro = Albuquerque metropolitan area, Tiguex , Offi ...
, a third of
Colorado Colorado (, other variants) is a state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. It encompasses most of the Southern Rocky Mountains, as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the wes ...
, and small portions of
Kansas Kansas () is a U.S. state, state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern United States. Its Capital city, capital is Topeka, Kansas, Topeka, and its largest city is Wichita, Kansas, Wichita. Kansas is a landlocked state bordered by Nebras ...
,
Oklahoma Oklahoma (; Choctaw language, Choctaw: ; chr, ᎣᎧᎳᎰᎹ, ''Okalahoma'' ) is a U.S. state, state in the South Central United States, South Central region of the United States, bordered by Texas on the south and west, Kansas on the nor ...
, and
Wyoming Wyoming () is a U.S. state, state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. It is bordered by Montana to the north and northwest, South Dakota and Nebraska to the east, Idaho to the west, Utah to the south ...
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. They also brought or purchased enslaved African Americans, whose numbers tripled in the state from 1850 to 1860, from 58,000 to 182,566.


Civil War to late 19th century

Texas was at war again after the election of 1860. At this time, blacks comprised 30 percent of the state's population, and they were overwhelmingly enslaved. When
Abraham Lincoln Abraham Lincoln ( ; February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was an American lawyer, politician, and statesman who served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in 1865. Lincoln led the nation throu ...
was elected, South Carolina seceded from the Union. Five other
Deep South The Deep South or the Lower South is a cultural and geographic subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region or continent and is usually based on location. Cardinal directions, such as south are commonly used to define a subregion. U ...
states quickly followed. 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 An Ordinance of Secession was the name given to multiple resolutions drafted and ratified in 1860 and 1861, at or near the beginning of the American Civil War, Civil War, by which each seceding Southern state or territory formally Secession in the ...
from the United States. Texas voters approved this Ordinance on February 23, 1861. Texas joined the newly created Confederate States of America on March 4, 1861, ratifying the permanent C.S. Constitution on March 23. Not all Texans favored secession initially, although many of the same would later support the Southern cause. Texas's most notable Unionist was the state governor,
Sam Houston Samuel Houston (, ; March 2, 1793 – July 26, 1863) was an American general and statesman who played an important role in the Texas Revolution. He served as the first and third president of the Republic of Texas and was one of the first two in ...
. 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. Around 2,000 Texans served in the
Union Army During the American Civil War, the Union Army, also known as the Federal Army and the Northern Army, referring to the United States Army, was the land force that fought to preserve the Union (American Civil War), Union of the collective U.S. st ...
, with a large contingent of recent German immigrants in
Texas Hill Country The Texas Hill Country is a geographic region of Central Texas, Central and South Texas, forming the southeast part of the Edwards Plateau. Given its location, climate, terrain, and vegetation, the Hill Country can be considered the border bet ...
being a Unionist stronghold. While far from the major battlefields of the
American Civil War The American Civil War (April 12, 1861 – May 26, 1865; also known by Names of the American Civil War, other names) was a civil war in the United States. It was fought between the Union (American Civil War), Union ("the North") and t ...
, Texas contributed large numbers of soldiers and equipment to the rest of the Confederacy. Union troops briefly occupied 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 The Mississippi River is the List of longest rivers of the United States (by main stem), second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest Drainage system (geomorphology), drainage system in North America, second only to the Hudson B ...
. The final battle of the Civil War was fought at Palmito Ranch, near Brownsville, Texas, and saw a Confederate victory. Texas descended into anarchy for two months between the surrender of the
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, Eastern Theater of the American Civil War. It was also the primary command structure of the Depart ...
and the assumption of authority by Union General Gordon Granger. Violence marked the early months of
Reconstruction Reconstruction may refer to: Politics, history, and sociology *Reconstruction (law), the transfer of a company's (or several companies') business to a new company *''Perestroika'' (Russian for "reconstruction"), a late 20th century Soviet Union ...
.
Juneteenth Juneteenth is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the emancipation of Slavery in the United States, enslaved African Americans. Deriving its name from combining "June" and "nineteenth", it is celebrated on the anniversary of ...
commemorates the announcement of the
Emancipation Proclamation The Emancipation Proclamation, officially Proclamation 95, was a presidential proclamation and executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, during the American Civil War, Civil War. The Proclamation c ...
in Galveston by General Gordon Granger, almost 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 resumed allowing elected Texas representatives into the federal government in 1870. Social volatility continued as the state struggled with agricultural depression and labor issues. Like most of the South, the Texas economy was devastated by the War. However, since the state had not been as dependent on slaves as other parts of the South, it was able to recover more quickly. The culture in Texas during the later 19th century exhibited many facets of a frontier territory. The state became notorious as a haven for people from other parts of the country who wanted to escape debt, war tensions, or other problems. Indeed, "Gone to Texas" was a common expression for those fleeing the law in other states. Nevertheless, the state also attracted many businessmen and other settlers with more legitimate interests as well. The cattle industry continued to thrive, though it gradually became less profitable. Cotton and lumber became major industries creating new economic booms in various regions of the state. Railroad networks grew rapidly as did the port at Galveston as commerce between Texas and the rest of the U.S. (and the rest of the world) expanded. As with some other states before, the lumber industry quickly expanded in Texas and was its largest industry before the beginning of the 20th century.


Early to mid-20th century

In 1900, Texas suffered the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history during the Galveston hurricane. On January 10, 1901, the first major
oil well An oil well is a drillhole boring (earth), boring in Earth that is designed to bring petroleum oil hydrocarbons to the surface. Usually some natural gas is released as associated petroleum gas along with the oil. A well that is designed to produ ...
in Texas,
Spindletop Spindletop is an oil field located in the southern portion of Beaumont, Texas, 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 w ...
, was found south of Beaumont. Other fields were later discovered nearby in
East Texas East Texas is a broadly defined cultural, geographic, and ecological region in the eastern part of the U.S. state of Texas that comprises most of 41 counties. It is primarily divided into Northeast Texas, Northeast and Southeast Texas. Most of ...
,
West Texas West Texas is a loosely defined region in the U.S. state of Texas, generally encompassing the desert climate, arid and semiarid climate, semiarid lands west of a line drawn between the cities of Wichita Falls, Texas, Wichita Falls, Abilene, Texa ...
, and under the
Gulf of Mexico The Gulf of Mexico ( es, Golfo de México) is an ocean basin and a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean, largely surrounded by the North American continent. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United ...
. The resulting "
oil boom An oil boom is a period of large inflow of income as a result of high global oil prices or large oil production Petroleum is a fossil fuel that can be drawn from beneath the earth's surface. Reservoirs of petroleum was formed through the mixt ...
" transformed Texas. Oil production eventually averaged three million barrels per day at its peak in 1972. In 1901, the Democratic-dominated state legislature passed a bill requiring payment of a
poll tax A poll tax, also known as head tax or capitation, is a tax levied as a fixed sum on every liable individual (typically every adult), without reference to income or resources. Head taxes were important sources of revenue for many governments fr ...
for voting, which effectively
disenfranchised Disfranchisement, also called disenfranchisement, or voter disqualification is the restriction of suffrage (the right to vote) of a person or group of people, or a practice that has the effect of preventing a person exercising the right to vote. D ...
most blacks and many poor whites and
Latinos Hispanic and Latino Americans ( es, Estadounidenses hispanos y latinos; pt, Estadunidenses hispânicos e latinos) are Americans of Spaniards, Spanish and/or Latin Americans, Latin American ancestry. More broadly, these demographics include a ...
. In addition, the legislature established white primaries, ensuring minorities were excluded from the formal political process. The number of voters dropped dramatically, and the Democrats crushed competition from the Republican and Populist parties. The Socialist Party became the second-largest party in Texas after 1912, coinciding with a large socialist upsurge in the United States during fierce battles in the labor movement and the popularity of national heroes like Eugene V. Debs. The socialists' popularity soon waned after their vilification by the United States government for their opposition to U.S. involvement in
World War I World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll, one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, ...
. The
Great Depression The Great Depression (19291939) was an economic shock that impacted most countries across the world. It was a period of economic depression that became evident after a major fall in stock prices in the United States. The Financial contagion, ...
and the
Dust Bowl The Dust Bowl was a period of severe dust storms that greatly damaged the ecology and agriculture of the American and Canadian prairies during the 1930s. The phenomenon was caused by a combination of both natural factors (severe drought) an ...
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 to get work in the Northern United States or California and to escape the oppression of segregation. In 1940, Texas was 74%
Anglo Anglo is a prefix indicating a relation to, or descent from, the Angles The Angles ( ang, Ængle, ; la, Angli) were one of the main Germanic peoples who settled in Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlant ...
, 14.4% black, and 11.5% Hispanic.
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
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 the fields for much better-paying war jobs, never to return to agriculture. Texas manufactured 3.1 percent of total United States military armaments produced during World War II, ranking eleventh among the 48 states. 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.


Mid-20th to early 21st century

Beginning around the mid-20th century, Texas began to transform from a rural and agricultural state to one urban and industrialized. The state's population grew quickly during this period, with large levels of migration from outside the state. As a part of the Sun Belt, Texas experienced strong economic growth, particularly during the 1970s and early 1980s. Texas's economy diversified, lessening its reliance on the
petroleum industry The petroleum industry, also known as the oil industry or the oil patch, includes the global processes of hydrocarbon exploration, exploration, extraction of petroleum, extraction, oil refinery, refining, Petroleum transport, transportation (of ...
. By 1990, Hispanics and Latino Americans overtook blacks to become the largest traditional minority group in the state. Texas has the largest Black and African American population with over 3.9 million. During the late 20th century, the Republican Party replaced the Democratic Party as the dominant party in the state. Beginning in the early 21st century, metropolitan areas including Dallas–Fort Worth and
Greater Austin The Austin–Round Rock–San Marcos Metropolitan Statistical Area, metropolitan statistical area (or Greater Austin) is a five-county United States metropolitan area, metropolitan area in the U.S. state of Texas, as defined by the Office of ...
became centers for the
Texas Democratic Party The Texas Democratic Party is the affiliate of the Democratic Party (United States), Democratic Party in the U.S. state of Texas and one of the two-party system, two major political parties in the state. The party's headquarters are in Austin, Tex ...
in statewide and national elections as liberal policies became more accepted in urban areas. From the mid-2000s to 2019, Texas gained an influx of business relocations and regional headquarters from companies in
California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States, located along the West Coast of the United States, Pacific Coast. With nearly 39.2million residents across a total area of approximately , it is the List of states and territori ...
. Texas became a major destination for migration during the early 21st century and was named the most popular state to move for three consecutive years. Another study in 2019 determined Texas's growth rate at 1,000 people per day. During the
COVID-19 pandemic in the United States The COVID-19 pandemic in the United States is a part of the worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). In the United States, it has resulted in confirmed ...
, the first confirmed case of the virus in Texas was announced on March 4, 2020. On April 27, 2020, Governor
Greg Abbott Gregory Wayne Abbott (born November 13, 1957) is an American politician, attorney, and former jurist serving as the 48th governor of Texas since 2015. A member of the Republican Party (United States), Republican Party, he served as the 50th Tex ...
announced phase one of re-opening the economy. Amid a rise in COVID-19 cases in autumn 2020, Abbott and other U.S. governors refused to enact further lockdowns. In November 2020, Texas was selected as one of four states to test Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine distribution. As of February 2, 2021, there had been over 2.4 million confirmed cases in Texas, with at least 37,417 deaths. During February 13–17, 2021, the state faced a major weather emergency as
Winter Storm Uri Winter is the coldest season of the year in Polar regions of Earth, polar and temperate climates. It occurs after autumn and before spring (season), spring. The tilt of Axial tilt#Earth, Earth's axis causes seasons; winter occurs when a Hemi ...
hit the state, as well as most of the Southeastern and Midwestern United States. Historically high power usage across the state caused the state's power grid to become overworked and ERCOT (the main operator of the
Texas Interconnection The Texas Interconnection is an alternating current, alternating current (AC) power grid – a wide area synchronous grid – that covers most of the state of Texas. The grid is managed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Elect ...
grid) declared an emergency and began to implement rolling blackouts across Texas, causing a power crisis. Over 3 million Texans were without power and over 4 million were under boil notices.


Geography

Texas is the second-largest U.S. state, after
Alaska Alaska ( ; russian: Аляска, Alyaska; ale, Alax̂sxax̂; ; ems, Alas'kaaq; Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, Yup'ik: ''Alaskaq''; tli, Anáaski) is a U.S. state, state located in the Western United States on the northwest extremity o ...
, and the largest state within the
contiguous United States The contiguous United States (officially the conterminous United States) consists of the 48 adjoining U.S. states and the Washington, D.C., Federal District of the United States of America. The term excludes the only two Geographic contiguity, n ...
, with an area of . Though 10% larger than France, almost twice as large as
Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is situated between ...
or
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally , ''Nihonkoku'') is an island country in East Asia. It is situated in the northwest Pacific Ocean, and is bordered on the west by the Sea of Japan, while extending from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north ...
, and more than twice the size of the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the European mainland, continental mainland. It comprises England, Scotlan ...
, it ranks only 27th worldwide amongst country subdivisions by size. If it were an independent country, Texas would be the 39th-largest. Texas is in the south central part of the United States of America. Three of its borders are defined by rivers. The
Rio Grande The Rio Grande ( and ), known in Mexico as the Río Bravo del Norte or simply the Río Bravo, is one of the principal rivers (along with the Colorado River) in the southwestern United States and in northern Mexico. The length of the Rio G ...
forms a natural border with the Mexican states of Chihuahua,
Coahuila Coahuila (), formally Coahuila de Zaragoza (), officially the Free and Sovereign State of Coahuila de Zaragoza ( es, Estado Libre y Soberano de Coahuila de Zaragoza), is one of the 32 states of Mexico Mexico (Spanish language, Spanish: M ...
,
Nuevo León Nuevo León () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...
, and
Tamaulipas Tamaulipas (), officially the Free and Sovereign State of Tamaulipas ( es, Estado Libre y Soberano de Tamaulipas), is a state in the northeast region of Mexico; one of the 31 states which, along with Mexico City, comprise the 32 Political divis ...
to the south. The Red River forms a natural border with Oklahoma and Arkansas to the north. The Sabine River forms a natural border with Louisiana to the east. The
Texas Panhandle The Texas Panhandle is a region of the U.S. state of Texas consisting of the northernmost 26 List of Texas counties, counties in the state. The Salient (geography), panhandle is a square-shaped area bordered by New Mexico to the west and Oklaho ...
has an eastern border with Oklahoma at 100° W, a northern border with Oklahoma at 36°30' N and a western border with New Mexico at 103° W.
El Paso El Paso (; "the pass") is a city in and the county seat, seat of El Paso County, Texas, El Paso County in the western corner of the U.S. state of Texas. The 2020 population of the city from the United States Census Bureau, U.S. Census Bureau w ...
lies on the state's western tip at 32° N and the Rio Grande. With 10 climatic regions, 14 soil regions and 11 distinct ecological regions, regional classification becomes problematic with differences in soils, topography, geology, rainfall, and plant and animal communities. One classification system divides Texas, in order from southeast to west, into the following: Gulf Coastal Plains, Interior Lowlands,
Great Plains The Great Plains (french: Grandes Plaines), sometimes simply "the Plains", is a broad expanse of plain, flatland in North America. It is located west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains, much of it covered in prairie, step ...
, 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 piney woods. The Interior Lowlands region consists of gently rolling to hilly forested land and is part of a larger pine-hardwood forest. The Cross Timbers region and
Caprock Escarpment The Caprock Escarpment is a term used in West Texas West Texas is a loosely defined region in the U.S. state of Texas, generally encompassing the desert climate, arid and semiarid climate, semiarid lands west of a line drawn between the cit ...
are part of the Interior Lowlands. The Great Plains region in Central Texas spans through the state's panhandle and
Llano Estacado The Llano Estacado (), sometimes translated into English as the Staked Plains, is a region in the Southwestern United States that encompasses parts of eastern New Mexico and northwestern Texas. One of the largest mesas or tablelands on the North A ...
to the state's hill country near Lago Vista and
Austin Austin is the capital city of the U.S. state of Texas, as well as the seat and largest city of Travis County, with portions extending into Hays and Williamson counties. Incorporated on December 27, 1839, it is the 11th-most-populous ci ...
. This region is dominated by
prairie Prairies are ecosystem An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact. These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient cycles and energy flo ...
and
steppe In physical geography, a steppe () is an ecoregion characterized by grassland plains without trees apart from those near rivers and lakes. Steppe biomes may include: * the montane grasslands and shrublands biome * the temperate grasslands, ...
. "Far West Texas" or the "
Trans-Pecos The Trans-Pecos, as originally defined in 1887 by the Texas geologist Robert T. Hill, is 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. The Trans-Peco ...
" 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, with the
Rio Grande The Rio Grande ( and ), known in Mexico as the Río Bravo del Norte or simply the Río Bravo, is one of the principal rivers (along with the Colorado River) in the southwestern United States and in northern Mexico. The length of the Rio G ...
as the largest. Other major rivers include the Pecos, the Brazos,
Colorado Colorado (, other variants) is a state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. It encompasses most of the Southern Rocky Mountains, as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the wes ...
, and Red River. While Texas has few natural lakes, Texans have built more than a hundred artificial reservoirs. The size and unique history of Texas 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. Notable extremes range from
East Texas East Texas is a broadly defined cultural, geographic, and ecological region in the eastern part of the U.S. state of Texas that comprises most of 41 counties. It is primarily divided into Northeast Texas, Northeast and Southeast Texas. Most of ...
which is often considered an extension of the
Deep South The Deep South or the Lower South is a cultural and geographic subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region or continent and is usually based on location. Cardinal directions, such as south are commonly used to define a subregion. U ...
, to
Far West Texas The Trans-Pecos, as originally defined in 1887 by the Texas geologist Robert T. Hill, is 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. The Trans-Peco ...
which is generally acknowledged to be part of the interior Southwest.


Geology

Texas is the southernmost part of the Great Plains, which ends in the south against the folded
Sierra Madre Occidental The Sierra Madre Occidental is a major mountain range system of the North American Cordillera, that runs northwest–southeast through northwestern and western Mexico, and along the Gulf of California. The Sierra Madre is part of the American Co ...
of Mexico. The
continental crust Continental crust is the layer of igneous rock, igneous, sedimentary rock, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks that forms the geological continents and the areas of shallow seabed close to their shores, known as Continental shelf, continental s ...
forms a stable
Mesoproterozoic The Mesoproterozoic Era is a geology, geologic era (geology), era that occurred from . The Mesoproterozoic was the first era of Earth's history for which a fairly definitive geological record survives. Continents existed during the preceding era ...
craton A craton (, , or ; from grc-gre, κράτος "strength") is an old and stable part of the continental lithosphere, which consists of Earth, Earth's two topmost layers, the Earth's crust, crust and the uppermost Earth's mantle, mantle. Having o ...
which changes across a broad continental margin and transitional crust into true
oceanic crust Oceanic crust is the uppermost layer of the oceanic portion of the Plate tectonics, tectonic plates. It is composed of the upper oceanic crust, with pillow lavas and a dike (geology), dike complex, and the lower oceanic crust, composed of troct ...
of the Gulf of Mexico. The oldest rocks in Texas date from the Mesoproterozoic and are about 1,600 million years old. These
Precambrian The Precambrian (or Pre-Cambrian, sometimes abbreviated pꞒ, or Cryptozoic) is the earliest part of Earth's history, set before the current Phanerozoic Eon. The Precambrian is so named because it preceded the Cambrian, the first period of t ...
igneous Igneous rock (derived from the Latin word ''ignis'' meaning fire), or magmatic rock, is one of the three main The three types of rocks, rock types, the others being Sedimentary rock, sedimentary and metamorphic rock, metamorphic. Igneous rock ...
and
metamorphic rock Metamorphic rocks arise from the transformation of existing rock to new types of rock in a process called metamorphism. The original rock ( protolith) is subjected to temperatures greater than and, often, elevated pressure of or more, cau ...
s underlie most of the state, and are exposed in three places: Llano uplift, Van Horn, and the Franklin Mountains, near El Paso.
Sedimentary rocks Sedimentary rocks are types of rock (geology), rock that are formed by the accumulation or deposition of mineral or organic matter, organic particles at Earth#Surface, Earth's surface, followed by cementation (geology), cementation. Sedimentati ...
overlay most of these ancient rocks. The oldest sediments were deposited on the flanks of a rifted continental margin, or
passive margin A passive margin is the transition between oceanic and continental lithosphere that is not an active plate margin. A passive margin forms by sedimentation Sedimentation is the deposition of sediments. It takes place when particle (ecol ...
that developed during
Cambrian The Cambrian Period ( ; sometimes symbolized C with bar, Ꞓ) was the first geological period of the Paleozoic Era, and of the Phanerozoic Eon. The Cambrian lasted 53.4 million years from the end of the preceding Ediacaran Period 538.8 million ...
time. This margin existed until
Laurasia Laurasia () was the more northern of two large landmasses that formed part of the Pangaea supercontinent from around (Mya (unit), Mya), the other being Gondwana. It separated from Gondwana (beginning in the late Triassic period) during the bre ...
and
Gondwana Gondwana () was a large landmass, often referred to as a supercontinent, that formed during the late Neoproterozoic (about 550 million years ago) and began to break up during the Jurassic, Jurassic period (about 180 million years ago). The fi ...
collided in the Pennsylvanian subperiod to form
Pangea Pangaea or Pangea () was a supercontinent In geology, a supercontinent is the assembly of most or all of Earth's continent, continental blocks or cratons to form a single large landmass. However, some geologists use a different definition ...
. This is the buried crest of the
Appalachian Mountains The Appalachian Mountains (french: Appalaches), often called the Appalachians, are a mountain range, system of mountains in eastern to northeastern North America. The Appalachians first formed roughly 480 million years ago during the Ordovician ...
Ouachita Mountains The Ouachita Mountains (), simply referred to as the Ouachitas, are a mountain range in western Arkansas and southeastern Oklahoma. They are formed by a thick succession of highly deformed Paleozoic strata constituting the Ouachita Fold and Thru ...
zone of Pennsylvanian
continental collision In geology, continental collision is a phenomenon of plate tectonics that occurs at Convergent boundary, convergent boundaries. Continental collision is a variation on the fundamental process of subduction, whereby the subduction zone is destro ...
. This
orogenic Orogeny is a mountain building process. An orogeny is an event that takes place at a convergent boundary, convergent plate margin when plate motion compresses the margin. An ''orogenic belt'' or ''orogen'' develops as the compressed plate crumpl ...
crest is today buried beneath the Dallas–
Waco Waco ( ) is the county seat of McLennan County, Texas, United States. It is situated along the Brazos River and Interstate 35, I-35, halfway between Dallas and Austin, Texas, Austin. The city had a 2020 population of 138,486, making it the List ...
–Austin–San Antonio trend. The late
Paleozoic The Paleozoic (or Palaeozoic) Era is the earliest of three era (geology), geologic eras of the Phanerozoic Eon. The name ''Paleozoic'' ( ;) was coined by the British geologist Adam Sedgwick in 1838 by combining the Ancient Greek, Greek words ' ...
mountains collapsed as
rifting In geology, a rift is a linear zone where the lithosphere is being pulled apart and is an example of extensional tectonics. Typical rift features are a central linear Fault (geology), downfaulted depression, called a graben, or more commonly ...
in the
Jurassic The Jurassic ( ) is a Geological period, geologic period and System (stratigraphy), stratigraphic system that spanned from the end of the Triassic Period million years ago (Mya) to the beginning of the Cretaceous Period, approximately Mya. The J ...
period began to open the Gulf of Mexico. Pangea began to break up in the
Triassic The Triassic ( ) is a geologic period and system (stratigraphy), system which spans 50.6 million years from the end of the Permian Period 251.902 million years ago (Year#Abbreviations yr and ya, Mya), to the beginning of the Jurassic Period 201.36 ...
, but
seafloor spreading Seafloor spreading or Seafloor spread 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. History of study Earlier theories by Alfred Wegene ...
to form the Gulf of Mexico occurred only in the mid- and
late Jurassic The Late Jurassic is the third Epoch (geology), epoch of the Jurassic Period (geology), Period, and it spans the geologic time scale, geologic time from 163.5 ± 1.0 to 145.0 ± 0.8 million years ago (Ma), which is preserved in Upper Jurassic stra ...
. The shoreline shifted again to the eastern margin of the state and the Gulf of Mexico's passive margin began to form. Today of sediments are buried beneath the Texas continental shelf and a large proportion of remaining US
oil reserves An oil is any polarity (chemistry), nonpolar chemical substance that is composed primarily of Hydrocarbon, hydrocarbons and is hydrophobe, hydrophobic (does not mix with water) & lipophilicity, lipophilic (mixes with other oils). Oils are usu ...
are here. At the start of its formation, the incipient Gulf of Mexico basin was restricted and seawater often evaporated completely to form thick
evaporite An evaporite () is a water-solubility, soluble sedimentation, sedimentary mineral deposition (geology), deposit that results from concentration and crystallization by evaporation from an aqueous solution. There are two types of evaporite deposit ...
deposits of Jurassic age. These salt deposits formed
salt dome A salt dome is a type of Dome (geology), structural dome formed when salt (or other evaporite minerals) intrudes into overlying rocks in a process known as Diapir, diapirism. Salt domes can have unique surface and subsurface structures, and they ...
diapir A diapir (; , ) is a type of igneous intrusion In geology, an igneous intrusion (or intrusive body or simply intrusion) is a body of Intrusive rock, intrusive igneous rock that forms by crystallization of magma slowly cooling below the su ...
s, and are found in East Texas along the Gulf coast. East Texas outcrops consist of
Cretaceous The Cretaceous ( ) is a geological period that lasted from about 145 to 66 mya (unit), million years ago (Mya). It is the third and final period of the Mesozoic Era (geology), Era, as well as the longest. At around 79 million years, it is the long ...
and
Paleogene The Paleogene ( ; British English, also spelled Palaeogene or Palæogene; informally Lower Tertiary or Early Tertiary) is a geologic period, geologic period and system that spans 43 million years from the end of the Cretaceous Period million yea ...
sediments which contain important deposits of
Eocene The Eocene ( ) Epoch is a geological epoch that lasted from about 56 to 33.9 million years ago (mya). It is the second epoch of the Paleogene Period in the modern Cenozoic Era. The name ''Eocene'' comes from the Ancient Greek Anci ...
lignite Lignite, often referred to as brown coal, is a soft, brown, combustion, combustible, sedimentary rock formed from naturally compressed peat. It has a carbon content around 25–35%, and is considered the coal rank, lowest rank of coal due to its ...
. 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 A continental shelf is a portion of a continent that is submerged under an area of relatively shallow water, known as a shelf sea. Much of these shelves were exposed by drops in sea level during glacial periods. The shelf surrounding an island ...
contain oil.
Oligocene The Oligocene ( ) is a geologic epoch (geology), epoch of the Paleogene Geologic time scale, Period and extends from about 33.9 million to 23 million years before the present ( to ). As with other older geologic periods, the rock beds that define ...
volcanic A volcano is a rupture in the Crust (geology), crust of a Planet#Planetary-mass objects, planetary-mass object, such as Earth, that allows hot lava, volcanic ash, and volcanic gas, gases to escape from a magma chamber below the surface. On Ear ...
rocks are found in far west Texas in the Big Bend area. A blanket of
Miocene The Miocene ( ) is the first geological epoch of the Neogene Period and extends from about (Ma). The Miocene was named by Scottish geologist Charles Lyell; the name comes from the Greek words (', "less") and (', "new") and means "less recent ...
sediments known as the Ogallala formation in the western high plains region is an important
aquifer An aquifer is an underground layer of water-bearing, permeability (Earth sciences), permeable rock, rock fractures, or unconsolidated materials (gravel, sand, or silt). Groundwater from aquifers can be extracted using a water well. Aquifers vary ...
. Located far from an active
plate tectonic Plate tectonics (from the la, label=Late Latin, tectonicus, from the grc, τεκτονικός, lit=pertaining to building) is the generally accepted scientific theory that considers the Earth's lithosphere to comprise a number of large te ...
boundary, Texas has no
volcanoes A volcano is a rupture in the Crust (geology), crust of a Planet#Planetary-mass objects, planetary-mass object, such as Earth, that allows hot lava, volcanic ash, and volcanic gas, gases to escape from a magma chamber below the surface. On Ear ...
and few earthquakes.


Wildlife

A wide range of animals and insects live in Texas. It is the home to 65 species of mammals, 213 species of reptiles and amphibians, including the
American green tree frog The American green tree frog (''Dryophytes cinereus'' or ''Hyla cinerea'') is a common Species, arboreal species of New World tree frog belonging to the family Hylidae. This nocturnal insectivore is moderately sized and has a bright green to redd ...
, and the greatest diversity of bird life in the United States—590 native species in all. At least 12 species have been introduced and now reproduce freely in Texas. Texas plays host to several species of
wasp A wasp is any insect of the narrow-waisted suborder Apocrita of the order Hymenoptera which is neither a bee nor an ant; this excludes the broad-waisted sawflies (Symphyta), which look somewhat like wasps, but are in a separate suborder. ...
s, including an abundance of ''
Polistes exclamans ''Polistes exclamans'', the Guinea paper wasp, is a Eusociality, social wasp and is part of the family Vespidae of the order Hymenoptera. It is found throughout the United States, Mexico, the Bahamas, Jamaica and parts of Canada. Due to solitary ...
'', and is an important ground for the study of '' Polistes annularis''. During the spring Texas wildflowers such as the state flower, the bluebonnet, line highways throughout Texas. During the Johnson Administration the first lady,
Lady Bird Johnson Claudia Alta "Lady Bird" Johnson (''Maiden and married names, née'' Taylor; December 22, 1912 – July 11, 2007) was First Lady of the United States from 1963 to 1969 as the wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson. She previously served as Second la ...
, worked to draw attention to Texas wildflowers.


Climate

The large size of Texas and its location at the intersection of multiple
climate zones Climate classifications are systems that categorize the world's climates. A climate classification may correlate closely with a biome classification, as climate is a major influence on life in a region. One of the most used is the Köppen climate ...
gives the state highly variable weather. The Panhandle 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 of annual rainfall, while parts of southeast Texas average as much as per year. Dallas in the North Central region averages a more moderate 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 falls south of San Antonio or on the coast only in rare circumstances. Of note is the 2004 Christmas Eve snowstorm, when of snow fell as far south as Kingsville, where the average high temperature in December is 65 °F. Maximum temperatures in the summer months average from the 80s ° F (26 °C) in the mountains of West Texas and on
Galveston Island Galveston Island ( ) is a barrier island Barrier islands are coastal landforms and a type of Dune, dune system that are exceptionally flat or lumpy areas of sand that form by wave and tidal action parallel to the mainland coast. They usually ...
to around in the
Rio Grande Valley The Lower Rio Grande Valley ( es, Valle del Río Grande), commonly known as the Rio Grande Valley or locally as the Valley or RGV, is a region spanning the border of Texas and Mexico located in a floodplain of the Rio Grande near its mouth. The ...
, but most areas of Texas see consistent summer high temperatures in the range. Night-time summer temperatures range from the upper 50s °F (14 °C) in the West Texas mountains to in Galveston. The table below consists of averages for August (generally the warmest month) and January (generally the coldest) in selected cities in various regions of the state.


Storms

Thunderstorm A thunderstorm, also known as an electrical storm or a lightning storm, is a storm characterized by the presence of lightning and its acoustics, acoustic effect on the Earth's atmosphere, known as thunder. Relatively weak thunderstorms ...
s strike Texas often, especially the eastern and northern portions of the state.
Tornado Alley Tornado Alley is a loosely defined area of the central United States where tornadoes are most frequent. The term was first used in 1952 as the title of a research project to study severe weather in areas of Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, So ...
covers the northern section of Texas. The state experiences the most
tornado A tornado is a violently 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. It is often referred to as a twister, whirlwind or cyclone, althou ...
es in the United States, an average of 139 a year. These strike most frequently in North Texas and the Panhandle.NOOA.gov
National Climatic Data Center. Retrieved on October 24, 2006.
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 about 400 people in Indianola, followed by another hurricane in 1886 that destroyed the town. These events allowed
Galveston Galveston ( ) is a Gulf Coast of the United States, coastal resort town, resort city and port off the Southeast Texas coast on Galveston Island and Pelican Island (Texas), Pelican Island in the U.S. state of Texas. The community of , with a pop ...
to take over as the chief port city. The
1900 Galveston hurricane The 1900 Galveston hurricane, also known as the Great Galveston hurricane and the Galveston Flood, and known regionally as the Great Storm of 1900 or the 1900 Storm, is the List of disasters in the United States by death toll, deadliest natura ...
subsequently devastated that city, killing about 8,000 people or possibly as many as 12,000. This makes it the deadliest
natural disaster A natural disaster is "the negative impact following an actual occurrence of natural hazard in the event that it significantly harms a community". A natural disaster can cause loss of life or damage property, and typically leaves some econo ...
in U.S. history. In 2017,
Hurricane Harvey Hurricane Harvey was a devastating Saffir–Simpson scale, Category 4 hurricane that made landfall on Texas and Louisiana in August 2017, causing catastrophic flooding and more than 100 deaths. It is tied with 2005 Atlantic hurrican ...
made landfall in Rockport as a Category 4 Hurricane, causing significant damage there. The storm stalled over land for a very long time, allowing it to drop unprecedented amounts of rain over the
Greater Houston Greater Houston, designated by the Office of Management and Budget, United States Office of Management and Budget as Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land, is the List of metropolitan statistical areas, fifth-most populous metropolitan statistical ...
area and surrounding counties. The result was widespread and catastrophic flooding that inundated hundreds of thousands of homes. Harvey ultimately became the costliest hurricane worldwide, causing an estimated $198.6 billion in damage, surpassing the cost of
Hurricane Katrina Hurricane Katrina was a destructive List of Category 5 Atlantic hurricanes, Category 5 Atlantic hurricane that caused over 1,800 fatalities and $125 billion in damage in late August 2005, especially in the city of New Orleans and the surrou ...
. Other devastating Texas hurricanes include the
1915 Galveston hurricane The 1915 Galveston hurricane was a tropical cyclone that caused extensive damage in the Galveston, Texas, Galveston area in August 1915. Widespread damage was also documented throughout its path across the Caribbean Sea and the interior Un ...
,
Hurricane Audrey Hurricane Audrey was one of the deadliest tropical cyclone A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm, storm system characterized by a Low-pressure area, low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, Beaufort sc ...
in 1957 which killed more than 600 people,
Hurricane Carla Hurricane Carla ranks as the most intense U.S. tropical cyclone Landfall (meteorology), landfall on the Hurricane Severity Index. It was the ninth most intense hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. The third named storm of the 1961 Atlantic hur ...
in 1961,
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-n ...
in 1967,
Hurricane Alicia Hurricane Alicia was a small but powerful tropical cyclone A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm, storm system characterized by a Low-pressure area, low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, Beaufort sca ...
in 1983,
Hurricane Rita Hurricane Rita was the most intense tropical cyclone A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm, storm system characterized by a Low-pressure area, low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, Beaufort scale, s ...
in 2005, and
Hurricane Ike Hurricane Ike () was a powerful tropical cyclone that swept through portions of the Greater Antilles and Northern America in September 2008, wreaking havoc on infrastructure and agriculture, particularly in Cuba and Texas. Ike took a sim ...
in 2008.
Tropical storms A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm, storm system characterized by a Low-pressure area, low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, Beaufort scale, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms tha ...
have also caused their share of damage:
Allison Allison may refer to: People * Allison (given name) * Allison (surname) (includes a list of people with this name) * Eugene Allison Smith (1922-1980), American politician and farmer Companies * Allison Engine Company, American aircraft engine m ...
in 1989 and again during 2001, Claudette in 1979, and Tropical Storm Imelda in 2019. There is no substantial physical barrier between Texas and the
polar region The polar regions, also called the frigid geographical zone, zones or polar zones, of Earth are the regions of the planet that surround its geographical poles (the North Pole, North and South Poles), lying within the polar circles. These high l ...
. Although it is unusual, it is possible for arctic or polar
air mass In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the atmospheric sciences (which include atmospheric chemistry and physics) with a major focus on weather forecasting. The study of meteorology dates back millennia, though significant progress in ...
es to penetrate Texas, as occurred during the
February 13–17, 2021 North American winter storm A major winter storm, winter and ice storm had widespread impacts across the United States, Northern Mexico, and parts of Canada from February 13 to 17, 2021. The storm, unofficially referred to as ''Winter Storm Uri'' by the Weather Channel, ...
. Usually, prevailing winds in North America will push polar air masses to the southeast before they reach Texas. Because such intrusions are rare, and, perhaps, unexpected, they may result in crises such as the
2021 Texas power crisis In February 2021, the state of Texas suffered a major Energy crisis, power crisis, which came about during three severe winter storms sweeping across the United States on February 2021 North American ice storm, February 10–11, February 13 ...
.


Greenhouse gases

, Texas emitted the most
greenhouse gas A greenhouse gas (GHG or GhG) is a gas that Absorption (electromagnetic radiation), absorbs and Emission (electromagnetic radiation), emits radiant energy within the thermal infrared range, causing the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhouse ...
es in the U.S., almost twice the amount of California, the second-most polluting state. the state emits about of carbon dioxide annually. As an independent state, 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 and the state's refining and manufacturing industries. In 2010, there were 2,553 "emission events" which poured of contaminants into the Texas sky.


Administrative divisions

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 2020, six Texas cities had populations greater than 600,000 people. Austin, Fort Worth, and El Paso are among the 20 largest U.S. cities. Texas has four
metropolitan areas A metropolitan area or metro is a region that consists of a densely populated urban area, urban agglomeration and its surrounding territories sharing Industry (economics), industries, commercial areas, Transport infrastructure, transport net ...
with populations greater than a million: , , , and . The Dallas–Fort Worth and Houston metropolitan areas number about 7.5 million and 7 million residents as of 2019, respectively. Three
interstate highways The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, commonly known as the Interstate Highway System, is a network of controlled-access highways that forms part of the National Highway System (United States), National ...
I-35 Interstate 35 (I-35) is a major Interstate Highway in the central United States. As with most primary Interstates that end in a five, it is a major cross-country, north–south route. It stretches from Laredo, Texas, near the Mexico–United ...
to the west (Dallas–Fort Worth to San Antonio, with Austin in between), I-45 to the east (Dallas to Houston), and
I-10 Interstate 10 (I-10) is the southernmost cross-country highway in the American Interstate Highway System. I-10 is the fourth-longest Interstate in the United States at , following Interstate 90, I-90, Interstate 80, I-80, and Interstate 40, I-4 ...
to the south (San Antonio to Houston) define the Texas Urban Triangle region. The region of 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. Houston and Dallas have been recognized as world cities. These cities are spread out amongst the state. In contrast to the cities, unincorporated rural settlements known as colonias often lack basic infrastructure and are marked by poverty. The office of the Texas Attorney General stated, in 2011, that Texas had about 2,294 colonias, and estimates about 500,000 lived in the colonias. Hidalgo County, as of 2011, has the largest number of colonias.Grinberg, Emmanuella.
Impoverished border town grows from shacks into community
.
CNN CNN (Cable News Network) is a multinational cable news channel headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. Founded in 1980 by American media proprietor Ted Turner and Reese Schonfeld as a 24-hour cable news channel, and presently owned by ...
. July 8, 2011. Retrieved on July 9, 2011.
Texas has the largest number of people living in colonias of all states. Texas has 254 counties, which is more than any other state by 95 (Georgia). Each county runs on
Commissioners' Court Commissioners' court, or in Arkansas a quorum court, is the governing body of Local government in the United States, county government in three US states: Arkansas, Texas and Missouri. It is similar in function to a board of county commissioners. A ...
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 In United States local government, a consolidated city-county is formed when one or more cities A city is a human settlement In geography, statistics and archaeology, a settlement, locality or populated place is a community in which ...
governments, nor does it have metropolitan governments. Counties are not granted
home rule Home rule is government of a colony, dependent country, or region by its own citizens. It is thus the power of a part (administrative division) of a State (polity), state or an external dependent country to exercise such of the state's powers o ...
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 and to some smaller incorporated 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. Texas also permits the creation of "special districts", which provide limited services. The most common is the
school district A school district is a special-purpose district that operates local public primary and secondary schools in various nations. North America United States In the U.S, most K–12 public schools function as units of local school districts, w ...
, but can also include hospital districts, community college districts, and utility districts (one utility district near Austin was the plaintiff in a landmark Supreme Court case involving the Voting Rights Act). Municipal, school district, and special district elections are
nonpartisan Nonpartisanism is a lack of affiliation with, and a lack of bias towards, a political party. While an Oxford English Dictionary definition of ''partisan'' includes adherents of a party, cause, person, etc., in most cases, nonpartisan refers sp ...
, though the party affiliation of a candidate may be well-known. County and state elections are partisan.


Demographics

The
United States Census Bureau The United States Census Bureau (USCB), officially the Bureau of the Census, is a principal agency of the Federal Statistical System of the United States, U.S. Federal Statistical System, responsible for producing data about the Americans, Ame ...
determined the resident population of Texas was 29,145,505 at the 2020 U.S census, a 15.9% increase since the
2010 United States census The United States census of 2010 was the twenty-third United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in N ...
. At the 2020 census, the apportioned population of Texas stood at 29,183,290. The 2015 Texas Population Estimate program estimated the population was 27,469,114 on July 1, 2015. In 2010, Texas had a census population of 25,145,561. Texas is the second-most populous state in the United States after California and the only other U.S. state to surpass a total estimated population of 30 million people as of July 2, 2022. In 2015, Texas had 4.7 million foreign-born residents, about 17% of the population and 21.6% of the state workforce. The major countries of origin for Texan immigrants were Mexico (55.1% of immigrants), India (5%), El Salvador (4.3%), Vietnam (3.7%), and China (2.3%). Of immigrant residents, some 35.8 percent were
naturalized Naturalization (or naturalisation) is the legal act or process by which a non-citizen of a country may acquire citizenship or nationality of that country. It may be done automatically by a statute, i.e., without any effort on the part of the in ...
U.S. citizens. As of 2018, the population increased to 4.9 million foreign-born residents or 17.2% of the state population, up from 2,899,642 in 2000. In 2014, there were an estimated 1.7 million undocumented immigrants in Texas, making up 35% of the total Texas immigrant population and 6.1% of the total state population. In addition to the state's foreign-born population, an additional 4.1 million Texans (15% of the state's population) were born in the United States and had at least one immigrant parent. According to the
American Community Survey The American Community Survey (ACS) is a demographics survey program conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. It regularly gathers information previously contained only in the long form of the United States Census, decennial census, such as ancestry, ...
's 2019 estimates, 1,739,000 residents were undocumented immigrants, a decrease of 103,000 since 2014 and increase of 142,000 since 2016. Of the undocumented immigrant population, 951,000 have resided in Texas from less than 5 up to 14 years. An estimated 788,000 lived in Texas from 15 to 19 and 20 years or more. Texas's
Rio Grande Valley The Lower Rio Grande Valley ( es, Valle del Río Grande), commonly known as the Rio Grande Valley or locally as the Valley or RGV, is a region spanning the border of Texas and Mexico located in a floodplain of the Rio Grande near its mouth. The ...
has seen significant migration from across the U.S.–Mexico border. During the 2014 crisis, many
Central America Central America ( es, América Central or ) is a subregion of the Americas. Its boundaries are defined as bordering the United States to the north, Colombia to the south, the Caribbean Sea to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Cen ...
ns, including unaccompanied minors traveling alone from
Guatemala Guatemala ( ; ), officially the Republic of Guatemala ( es, República de Guatemala, links=no), is a country in Central America. It is bordered to the north and west by Mexico Mexico (Spanish language, Spanish: México), officially th ...
,
Honduras Honduras, officially the Republic of Honduras, is a country in Central America. The republic of Honduras is bordered to the west by Guatemala, to the southwest by El Salvador, to the southeast by Nicaragua, to the south by the Pacific Ocean ...
, and
El Salvador El Salvador (; , meaning "The Saviour"), officially the Republic of El Salvador ( es, República de El Salvador), is a country in Central America. It is bordered on the northeast by Honduras Honduras, officially the Republic of Honduras ...
, reached the state, overwhelming Border Patrol resources for a time. Many sought asylum in the United States. Texas's population density as of 2010 is 96.3 people per square mile (34.9/km2) which is slightly higher than the average
population density Population density (in agriculture: Stock (disambiguation), standing stock or plant density) is a measurement of population per unit land area. It is mostly applied to humans, but sometimes to other living organisms too. It is a key geographical ...
of the U.S. as a whole, at 87.4 people per square mile (31.1/km2). In contrast, while Texas and France are similarly sized geographically, the European country has a population density of 301.8 people per square mile (116.5/km2). Of its dense population, two-thirds of all Texans live in major metropolitan areas 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 by population, the Dallas–Fort Worth metropolitan area is larger than the city and metropolitan area of Houston.


Race and ethnicity

In 2019,
non-Hispanic whites Non-Hispanic whites or Non-Latino whites are Americans who are classified as "white", and are not of Hispanic (also known as "Latino") heritage. The United States Census Bureau The United States Census Bureau (USCB), officially the Bureau ...
represented 41.2% of Texas's population, reflecting a national demographic shift. Blacks or African Americans made up 12.9%, American Indians and Alaska Natives 1.0%,
Asian Americans Asian Americans are Americans of Asian ancestry (including naturalized Americans who are immigrants from specific regions in Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most notable geographical regions, which is either considered a cont ...
5.2%,
Native Hawaiians Native Hawaiians (also known as Indigenous Hawaiians, Kānaka Maoli, Aboriginal Hawaiians, First Hawaiians, or simply Hawaiians) ( haw, kānaka, , , and ), are the indigenous ethnic group of Polynesian people of the Hawaiian Islands T ...
and other
Pacific Islanders Pacific Islanders, Pasifika, Pasefika, or rarely Pacificers are the peoples of the Pacific Islands Collectively called the Pacific Islands, the island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a drama ...
0.1%, some other race 0.2%, and two or more races 1.8%. Hispanics or Latino Americans of any race made up 39.7% of the estimated population. At the 2020 census, the racial and ethnic composition of the state was 42.5%
white White is the lightest color Color (American English) or colour (British English) is the visual perception, visual perceptual Physical property, property deriving from the spectrum of light interacting with the photoreceptor cells of th ...
(39.7% non-Hispanic white), 11.8% Black or African American, 5.4% Asian, 0.3% American Indian and Alaska Native, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, 13.6% some other race, 17.6% two or more races, and 39.3% Hispanic and Latino American of any race. In 2010, 49% of all births were Hispanics; 35% were non-Hispanic whites; 11.5% were non-Hispanic blacks, and 4.3% were Asians/Pacific Islanders. Based on U.S. Census Bureau data released in February 2011, for the first time in recent history, Texas's white population is below 50% (45%) and Hispanics grew to 38%. Between 2000 and 2010, the total population grew by 20.6%, but Hispanics and Latino Americans grew by 65%, whereas non-Hispanic whites grew by only 4.2%. Texas has the fifth highest rate of teenage births in the nation and a plurality of these are to Hispanics or Latinos. Following continued population growth among people of color since the 2020 census alongside the 2022 Buffalo, NY mass shooting, concerns about racial and ethnic tensions were highlighted in some Texas newspapers regarding the extremist Great Replacement theory.


Languages

The most common accent or
dialect The term dialect (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) arou ...
spoken by natives throughout Texas is sometimes referred to as Texan English, which itself is a sub-variety of a broader category of
American English American English, sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the English language native to the United States. English is the Languages of the United States, most widely spoken lan ...
known as
Southern American English Southern American English or Southern U.S. English is a regional dialect or collection of dialects of American English spoken throughout the Southern United States, though concentrated increasingly in more rural areas, and spoken primarily by Wh ...
.
Creole language A creole language, or simply creole, is a stable natural language that develops from the simplifying and mixing of different languages into a new one within a fairly brief period of time: often, a pidgin evolved into a full-fledged language. Wh ...
is spoken in some parts of East Texas. In some areas of the state—particularly in the large cities—
Western American English Western American English (also known as Western U.S. English) is a variety of American English that largely unites the entire Western United States as a single dialect region, including the states of California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, New Mexic ...
and
General American English General American English or General American (abbreviated GA or GenAm) is the umbrella accent of American English American English, sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties ...
, is increasingly common. Chicano English—due to a growing Hispanic population—is widespread in South Texas, while
African-American English African-American English (or AAE; also known as Black American English, or Black English in American linguistics) is the set of English sociolects spoken by most Black people in the United States and many in Canada; most commonly, it refers t ...
is especially notable in historically minority areas of urban Texas. At the 2020 American Community Survey's estimates, 64.9% of the population spoke only English, and 35.1% spoke a language other than English. Roughly 30% of the total population spoke Spanish. By 2021, approximately 50,546 Texans spoke French or a French-creole language. German and other West Germanic languages were spoken by 49,565 residents; Russian, Polish, and other Slavic languages by 37,444; Korean by 31,673; Chinese 86,370; Vietnamese 92,410; Tagalog 40,124; and Arabic by 47,170 Texans. At the census of 2010, 65.8% (14,740,304) of Texas residents age5 and older spoke only English at home, while 29.2% (6,543,702) spoke
Spanish Spanish might refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards are a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language, spoken in Spain and many Latin American countries **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Cana ...
, 0.8 percent (168,886) Vietnamese, and Chinese (which includes
Cantonese Cantonese ( zh, t=廣東話, s=广东话, first=t, cy=Gwóngdūng wá) is a language within the Chinese (Sinitic) branch of the Sino-Tibetan languages originating from the city of Guangzhou (historically known as Canton) and its surrounding a ...
and Mandarin) was spoken by 0.6% (122,921) of the population over five. Other languages spoken include German (including Texas German) by 0.3% (73,137), Tagalog with 0.3% (64,272) speakers, and French (including
Cajun French Louisiana French ( frc, français de la Louisiane; lou, françé la lwizyàn) is an umbrella term for the dialects and varieties of French, varieties of the French language spoken traditionally by French Louisianians in colonial Lower Louisiana. ...
) was spoken by 0.3% (55,773) of Texans. Reportedly,
Cherokee The Cherokee (; chr, ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯᎢ, translit=Aniyvwiyaʔi or Anigiduwagi, or chr, ᏣᎳᎩ, links=no, translit=Tsalagi) are one of the indigenous peoples of the Southeastern Woodlands of the United States. Prior to the 18th century, th ...
is the most widely spoken
Native American language Native may refer to: People * Jus soli ''Jus soli'' ( , , ; meaning "right of soil"), commonly referred to as birthright citizenship, is the right of anyone born in the territory of a state to nationality or citizenship. ''Jus soli'' was ...
in Texas. In total, 34.2% (7,660,406) of Texas's population aged five and older spoke a language at home other than English as of 2006.


Religion

The majority of Texas's population have been and remain predominantly
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of ...
, influenced by Spanish Catholic and American Protestant colonialism and missionary work (75.5%). Texas's large Christian population is also influenced due to its location within the Bible Belt. The following largest groups were the
irreligious Irreligion or nonreligion is the absence or rejection of religion, or indifference to it. Irreligion takes many forms, ranging from the casual and unaware to full-fledged philosophies such as atheism and agnosticism, secular humanism and anti ...
(20%),
Judaism Judaism ( he, ''Yahăḏūṯ'') is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheism, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people. It has its roots ...
(1%),
Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the direct word of God in Islam, God (or ''Allah'') as it was revealed to Muh ...
(1%),
Buddhism Buddhism ( , ), also known as Buddha Dharma and Dharmavinaya (), is an Indian religions, Indian religion or Indian philosophy#Buddhist philosophy, philosophical tradition based on Pre-sectarian Buddhism, teachings attributed to the Buddha. ...
(1%) and
Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religions, Indian religion or ''dharma'', a religious and universal order or way of life by which followers abide. As a religion, it is the Major religious groups, world's third-largest, with over 1.2–1.35 billion ...
, and other religions at less than 1 percent each. The largest Christian denomination as of 2014 has been the
Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized Catholics Catholic Church by country, worldwide . It is am ...
, per the
Pew Research Center The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisanism in the United States, nonpartisan American think tank (referring to itself as a "fact tank") based in Washington, D.C. It provides information on social issues, public opinion, and demographic trends ...
at 23% of the population, though
Protestants Protestantism is a Christian denomination, branch of Christianity that follows the theological tenets of the Reformation, Protestant Reformation, a movement that began seeking to reform the Catholic Church from within in the 16th century agai ...
altogether made up 50% of the Christian population in 2014; in another study by the
Public Religion Research Institute The Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) is an American nonprofit, nonpartisan research and education organization that conducts public opinion polls on a variety of topics, specializing in the quantitative and qualitative study of political ...
in 2020, the Catholic Church's membership increased to encompassing 28% of the population identifying with a religious or spiritual belief. The largest Catholic jurisdictions in Texas are the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston—the first and oldest
Latin Church , native_name_lang = la , image = San Giovanni in Laterano - Rome.jpg , imagewidth = 250px , alt = Façade of the Archbasilica of St. John in Lateran , caption = Archbasilica of Saint Joh ...
diocese in Texas—the dioceses of
Dallas Dallas () is the List of municipalities in Texas, third largest city in Texas and the largest city in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, the List of metropolitan statistical areas, fourth-largest metropolitan area in the United States at 7.5 ...
,
Fort Worth Fort Worth is the fifth-largest city in the U.S. state of Texas and the 13th-largest city in the United States. It is the county seat of Tarrant County, covering nearly into four other counties: Denton, Johnson, Parker, and Wise. Acco ...
, and the Archdiocese of San Antonio. Among Protestant Christians, which as a whole declined to 47% of the population in a separate study by the Public Religion Research Institute, predominantly-white Evangelical Protestantism declined to 14% of the Protestant Christian population. Mainline Protestants in contrast made up 15% of Protestant Texas. Hispanic or Latino American-dominated Protestant churches and historically Black or African American Protestantism grew to a collective 13% of the Protestant population. In contrast, Evangelical Protestants altogether were 31% of the population at the Pew Research Center's 2014 study, and
Baptists Baptists form a major branch of Protestantism distinguished by baptizing professing Christianity, Christian believers only (believer's baptism), and doing so by complete Immersion baptism, immersion. Baptist churches also generally subscribe ...
were the largest Evangelical tradition (14%); per the 2014 study, they made up the second largest Mainline Protestant group behind Methodists (4%).
Nondenominational A non-denominational person or organization is one that does not follow (or is not restricted to) any particular or specific religious denomination. Overview The term has been used in the context of various faiths including Jainism, Baháʼí Fait ...
and interdenominational Christians were the second largest Evangelical group (7%) followed by
Pentecostals Pentecostalism or classical Pentecostalism is a Protestantism, Protestant Charismatic Christianity, Charismatic Christian movementSouthern Baptist Convention The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is a Christian denomination based in the United States. It is the world's largest Baptists, Baptist denomination, and the Protestantism in the United States, largest Protestantism, Protestant and Christia ...
(9%) and independent Baptists (3%). The
Assemblies of God The Assemblies of God (AG), officially the World Assemblies of God Fellowship, is a group of over 144 autonomous self-governing national groupings of churches that together form the world's largest Pentecostal Pentecostalism or classical ...
made the largest Evangelical Pentecostal denomination in 2014. Among Mainline Protestants, the
United Methodist Church The United Methodist Church (UMC) is a worldwide mainline Protestant Christian denomination, denomination based in the United States, and a major part of Methodism. In the 19th century, its main predecessor, the Methodist Episcopal Church, was a ...
was the largest denomination (4%) and the
American Baptist Churches USA The American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA) is a mainline protestant, mainline/Evangelicalism, evangelical Baptist Christian denomination within the United States. The denomination maintains headquarters in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, Valley For ...
comprised the second largest Mainline Protestant group (2%). According to the Pew Research Center in 2014, the largest historically African American Christian denominations were the National Baptist Convention (USA) and the
Church of God in Christ The Church of God in Christ (COGIC) is a Christian perfection#Holiness Pentecostalism, Holiness–Pentecostal Christian denomination, and the largest Pentecostal denomination in the United States. Although an international and multi-ethnic rel ...
. Black Methodists and other Christians made up less than 1 percent each of the Christian demographic. Other Christians made up 1 percent of the total Christian population, and the Eastern and
Oriental Orthodox The Oriental Orthodox Churches are Eastern Christianity, Eastern Christian churches adhering to Miaphysitism, Miaphysite Christology, with approximately 60 million members worldwide. The Oriental Orthodox Churches are part of the Nicene C ...
formed less than 1 percent of the statewide Christian populace. The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, informally known as the LDS Church or Mormon Church, is a Nontrinitarianism, nontrinitarian Christianity, Christian church that considers itself to be the Restorationism, restoration of the ...
is the largest
nontrinitarian Nontrinitarianism is a form of Christianity that rejects the mainstream Christian theology, Christian doctrine of the Trinity—the belief that God in Christianity, God is three distinct Hypostasis (philosophy and religion), hypostases or perso ...
Christian group in Texas alongside the
Jehovah's Witnesses Jehovah's Witnesses is a Millenarianism, millenarian Restorationism, restorationist Christian denomination with Nontrinitarianism, nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The group reports a worldwide membership of appr ...
. Non-Christian faiths accounted for 4% of the religious population in 2014, and 5% in 2020 per the Pew Research Center and Public Religion Research Institute. Adherents of many other religions reside predominantly in the urban centers of Texas. Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism were tied as the second largest religion as of 2014 and 2020. In 1990, the Islamic population was about 140,000 with more recent figures putting the current number of Muslims between 350,000 and 400,000 as of 2012. The Jewish population was around 128,000 in 2008. In 2020, the Jewish population grew to over 176,000. Around 146,000 adherents of religions such as
Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religions, Indian religion or ''dharma'', a religious and universal order or way of life by which followers abide. As a religion, it is the Major religious groups, world's third-largest, with over 1.2–1.35 billion ...
and
Sikhism Sikhism (), also known as Sikhi ( pa, ਸਿੱਖੀ ', , from pa, ਸਿੱਖ, lit=disciple', 'seeker', or 'learner, translit=Sikh, label=none),''Sikhism'' (commonly known as ''Sikhī'') originated from the word ''Sikh'', which comes fro ...
lived in Texas as of 2004. Texas is the fifth-largest
Muslim Muslims ( ar, المسلمون, , ) are people who adhere to Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the ...
-populated state in the country. Of the unaffiliated, an estimated 2% were
atheists Atheism, in the broadest sense, is an absence of belief in the existence of Deity, deities. Less broadly, atheism is a rejection of the belief that any deities exist. In an even narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that ther ...
and 3%
agnostic Agnosticism is the view or belief that the existence of God, of the divinity, divine or the supernatural is unknown or Uncertainty, unknowable. (page 56 in 1967 edition) Another definition provided is the view that "human reason is incapable o ...
.


Economy

As of 2021-Q3, Texas had a gross state product (GSP) of $2.0 trillion, the second highest in the U.S. Its GSP is greater than the GDPs of
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, ...
,
Canada Canada is a country in North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering over , making it the world ...
,
Russia Russia (, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and North Asia, Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the ...
,
South Korea South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK), is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korea, Korean Peninsula and sharing a Korean Demilitarized Zone, land border with North Korea. Its western border is formed ...
and
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = ''Plus ultra'' (Latin)(English: "Further Beyond") , national_anthem = (English: "Royal March") , i ...
, which are the world's 9th-, 10th-, 11th-, 12th- and 13th-largest economies, respectively. The state ranks 22nd among U.S. states with a median household income of $64,034, while the poverty rate is 14.2%, making Texas the state with 14th highest poverty rate in the United States (compared to 13.15% nationally). Texas's economy is the second-largest of any country subdivision globally, behind
California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States, located along the West Coast of the United States, Pacific Coast. With nearly 39.2million residents across a total area of approximately , it is the List of states and territori ...
. Texas's large population, an abundance of natural resources, thriving cities and leading centers of higher education have contributed to a large and diverse economy. Since oil was discovered, the state's economy has reflected the state of the petroleum 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 (also known as suburban sprawl or urban encroachment) is defined as "the spreading of urban developments (such as houses and shopping centers) on undeveloped land near a city." Urban sprawl has been described as the unrestricted growt ...
and its associated symptoms. As of May 2020, during the
COVID-19 pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, is an ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The novel virus was first identif ...
, the state's unemployment rate was 13 percent. 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 has the highest number of
Fortune 500 The ''Fortune'' 500 is an annual list compiled and published by ''Fortune (magazine), Fortune'' magazine that ranks 500 of the largest United States Joint-stock company#Closely held corporations and publicly traded corporations, corporations by ...
company headquarters in the United States as of 2022. In 2010, there were 346,000 millionaires in Texas, constituting the second-largest population of millionaires in the nation. In 2018, the number of millionaire households increased to 566,578.


Taxation

Texas has a reputation for low taxes. According to the
Tax Foundation The Tax Foundation is an American think tank A think tank, or policy institute, is a research institute that performs research and advocacy concerning topics such as social policy, political strategy, economics, military, technology, an ...
, 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 percent of resident incomes. Texas is one of seven states that lack a
state income tax In addition to Federal government of the United States, federal Income tax in the United States, income tax collected by the United States, most individual U.S. states collect a state income tax. Some local governments also impose an income tax, ...
. Instead, the state collects revenue from
property tax A property tax or millage rate is an ad valorem tax on the value of a property.In the OECD classification scheme, tax on property includes "taxes on immovable property or Wealth tax, net wealth, taxes on the change of ownership of property thr ...
es (though these are collected at the county, city, and school district level; Texas has a state constitutional prohibition against a state property tax) and
sales tax A sales tax is a tax paid to a governing body for the sales of certain goods and services. Usually laws allow the seller to collect funds for the tax from the consumer at the point of purchase. When a tax on goods or services is paid to a govern ...
es. The state sales tax rate is 6.25 percent, but local taxing jurisdictions (cities, counties, special purpose districts, and transit authorities) may also impose sales and use tax up to 2percent for a total maximum combined rate of 8.25 percent. Texas is a "tax donor state"; in 2005, for every dollar Texans paid to the federal government in federal income taxes, the state got back about $0.94 in benefits. To attract business, Texas has incentive programs worth $19 billion per year (2012); more than any other U.S. state.


Agriculture and mining

Texas has the most farms and the highest acreage in the United States. The state is ranked for revenue generated from total livestock and livestock products. It is ranked for total agricultural revenue, behind California. At $7.4 billion or 56.7 percent of Texas's annual agricultural cash receipts, beef cattle production represents the largest single segment of Texas agriculture. This is followed by cotton at $1.9 billion (14.6 percent), greenhouse/nursery at $1.5 billion (11.4 percent), broiler chickens at $1.3 billion (10 percent), and dairy products at $947 million (7.3 percent). Texas leads the nation in the production of cattle, horses, sheep, goats, wool, mohair and hay. The state also leads the nation in production of cotton which is the number one crop grown in the state in terms of value. 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. Texas throughout the 21st century has been hammered by drought. This has cost the state billions of dollars in livestock and crops.


Energy

Ever since the discovery of oil at
Spindletop Spindletop is an oil field located in the southern portion of Beaumont, Texas, 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 w ...
, energy has been a dominant force politically and economically within the state. If Texas were its own country it would be the sixth largest oil producer in the world according to a 2014 study. The
Railroad Commission of Texas The Railroad Commission of Texas Texas (, ; Spanish language, Spanish: ''Texas'', ''Tejas'') is a state in the South Central United States, South Central region of the United States. At 268,596 square miles (695,662 km2), and with mo ...
, contrary to its name, regulates the state's
oil and gas industry The petroleum industry, also known as the oil industry or the oil patch, includes the global processes of exploration Exploration refers to the historical practice of discovering remote lands. It is studied by geographers and historians. Tw ...
, gas utilities, pipeline safety, safety in the
liquefied petroleum gas Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG or LP gas) is a fuel gas which contains a flammable mixture of hydrocarbon gases, specifically propane, propylene, butylene, isobutane and n-butane. LPG is used as a fuel gas in HVAC, heating appliances, cookin ...
industry, and surface coal and
uranium Uranium is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol U and atomic number 92. It is a silvery-grey metal in the actinide series of the periodic table. 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 The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC, ) is a cartel of countries. Founded on 14 September 1960 in Baghdad by the first five members (Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela), it has, since 1965, been headquart ...
(OPEC) used the Texas agency as one of their models for petroleum price control. Texas has known petroleum deposits of about , which makes up about one-fourth of the known U.S. reserves. The state's
refineries A refinery is a production facility composed of a group of chemical engineering unit processes and unit operations refining certain materials or converting raw material into products of value. Types of refineries Different types of refineries ar ...
can process of oil a day. The Port Arthur Refinery in Southeast Texas is the largest refinery in the U.S. Texas also leads in natural gas production, producing one-fourth of the nation's supply. Several petroleum companies are based in Texas such as: Occidental Petroleum,
ConocoPhillips ConocoPhillips Company is an American multinational corporation engaged in hydrocarbon exploration and production. It is based in the Energy Corridor district of Houston, Texas. The company has operations in 15 countries and has production in ...
,
ExxonMobil ExxonMobil Corporation (commonly shortened to Exxon) is an American multinational oil and gas corporation headquartered in Irving, Texas. It is the largest direct descendant of John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil, and was formed on November ...
,
Halliburton Halliburton Company is an American multinational corporation responsible for most of the world's hydraulic fracturing operations. In 2009, it was the world's second largest list of oilfield service companies, oil field service company. It has o ...
,
Marathon Oil Marathon Oil Corporation is an American company engaged in hydrocarbon exploration Hydrocarbon exploration (or oil and gas exploration) is the search by petroleum geologists and geophysicists for deposits of hydrocarbons, particularly petrole ...
, Tesoro,
Valero Energy Valero Energy Corporation is a Fortune 500 The ''Fortune'' 500 is an annual list compiled and published by ''Fortune (magazine), Fortune'' magazine that ranks 500 of the largest United States Joint-stock company#Closely held corporations a ...
, and Western Refining. According to the
Energy Information Administration The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is a principal agency of the Federal Statistical System of the United States, U.S. Federal Statistical System responsible for collecting, analyzing, and disseminating energy information to promote ...
, Texans consume, on average, the fifth most energy (of all types) in the nation per capita and as a whole, following behind Wyoming, Alaska, Louisiana, North Dakota, and Iowa. Unlike the rest of the nation, most of Texas is on its own
alternating current Alternating current (AC) is an electric current which periodically reverses direction and changes its magnitude continuously with time in contrast to direct current (DC) which flows only in one direction. Alternating current is the form in which ...
power grid An electrical grid is an interconnected network for electricity delivery from producers to consumers. Electrical grids vary in size and can cover whole countries or continents. It consists of:Kaplan, S. M. (2009). Smart Grid. Electrical Power ...
, the
Texas Interconnection The Texas Interconnection is an alternating current, alternating current (AC) power grid – a wide area synchronous grid – that covers most of the state of Texas. The grid is managed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Elect ...
. Texas has a
deregulated Deregulation is the process of removing or reducing state regulations, typically in the economic sphere. It is the repeal of governmental Economic regulation, regulation of the economy. It became common in advanced industrial economies in the 19 ...
electric service. Texas leads the nation in total net electricity production, generating 437,236 MWh in 2014, 89% more MWh than Florida, which ranked second. As an independent nation, Texas would rank as the world's eleventh- largest producer of electricity, after South Korea, and ahead of the United Kingdom. The state is a leader in
renewable energy commercialization Renewable energy commercialization involves the Diffusion of innovations, deployment of three generations of renewable energy technologies dating back more than 100 years. First-generation technologies, which are already mature and economica ...
; it produces the most
wind power Wind power or wind energy is mostly the use of wind turbines to electricity generation, generate electricity. Wind power is a popular, sustainable energy, sustainable, renewable energy source that has a much smaller Environmental impact of wi ...
in the nation. In 2014, 10.6% of the electricity consumed in Texas came from
wind turbine A wind turbine is a device that wind power, converts the kinetic energy of wind into electrical energy. Hundreds of thousands of list of most powerful wind turbines, large turbines, in installations known as wind farms, now generate over 650 gi ...
s. The
Roscoe Wind Farm The Roscoe Wind Farm near Roscoe, Texas is one of the world's largest-capacity wind farms. With 627 wind turbines and a total installed capacity of 781.5 MW, owned and operated by RWE. At the time of its completion in 2009, it was the largest win ...
in
Roscoe, Texas Roscoe is a city in Nolan County in the U.S. state of Texas Texas (, ; Spanish language, Spanish: ''Texas'', ''Tejas'') is a state in the South Central United States, South Central region of the United States. At 268,596 square miles (695 ...
, is one of the world's largest
wind farm A wind farm or wind park, also called a wind power station or wind power plant, is a group of wind turbines in the same location used Wind power, to produce electricity. Wind farms vary in size from a small number of turbines to several hundre ...
s with a 781.5
megawatt The watt (symbol: W) is the unit of power or radiant flux in the International System of Units (SI), equal to 1 joule per second or 1 kg⋅m2⋅s−3. It is used to quantify the rate of energy transfer. The watt is named after Jame ...
(MW) capacity. The Energy Information Administration states the state's large agriculture and forestry industries could give Texas an enormous amount
biomass Biomass is plant-based material used as a fuel A fuel is any material that can be made to react with other substances so that it releases energy as thermal energy or to be used for work (physics), work. The concept was originally applied ...
for use in biofuels. The state also has the highest
solar power Solar power is the conversion of energy from sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaics (PV) or indirectly using concentrated solar power. Photovoltaic cells convert light into an electric current using the photovoltaic ef ...
potential for development in the U.S.


Technology

With large universities systems coupled with initiatives like the Texas Enterprise Fund and the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, a wide array of different
high tech High technology (high tech), also known as advanced technology (advanced tech) or exotechnology, is technology that is at the state of the art, cutting edge: the highest form of technology available. It can be defined as either the most complex ...
industries have developed in Texas. The Austin area is nicknamed the "
Silicon Hills Silicon Hills is a nickname for the cluster of Technology company, high-tech companies in the Austin, Texas, Austin metropolitan area in the U.S. state of Texas. Silicon Hills has been a nickname for Austin since the mid-1990s. The name is analog ...
" and the north Dallas area the " Silicon Prairie". Many high-tech companies are located in or have their headquarters in Texas (and Austin in particular), including
Dell Dell is an American based technology company. It develops, sells, repairs, and supports computers and related products and services. Dell is owned by its parent company, Dell Technologies. Dell sells personal computers (PCs), Server (computin ...
, Inc.,
Borland Borland Software Corporation was a computer technology Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithm In mathematics and ...
,
Forcepoint Forcepoint, an American multinational corporation A multinational company (MNC), also referred to as a multinational enterprise (MNE), a transnational enterprise (TNE), a transnational corporation (TNC), an international corporation or a statel ...
, Indeed.com,
Texas Instruments Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) is an American technology company headquartered in Dallas, Texas, that designs and manufactures semiconductors and various integrated circuits, which it sells to electronics designers and manufacturers globall ...
,
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. Perot Systems provided information technology services in the industries of health c ...
,
Rackspace Rackspace Technology, Inc. is an American cloud computing Cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage (cloud storage) and computing power, without direct active management by the us ...
and
AT&T AT&T Inc. is an American multinational corporation, multinational telecommunications holding company headquartered at Whitacre Tower in Downtown Dallas, Texas. It is the world's List of largest companies by revenue, largest telecommunications ...
. The
National Aeronautics and Space Administration The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA ) is an independent agencies of the United States government, independent agency of the US federal government responsible for the civil List of government space agencies, space program ...
's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (NASA JSC) in Southeast Houston, sits as the crown jewel of Texas's aeronautics industry. Both
SpaceX Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) is an American Aerospace manufacturer, spacecraft manufacturer, space launch, launcher, and a Telecommunication, satellite communications corporation headquartered in Hawthorne, California. It wa ...
and
Blue Origin Blue Origin, LLC is an American private spaceflight, privately funded aerospace manufacturer and sub-orbital spaceflight services company headquartered in Kent, Washington. Founded in 2000 by Jeff Bezos, the founder and executive chairman of Am ...
have their test facilities in Texas.
Fort Worth Fort Worth is the fifth-largest city in the U.S. state of Texas and the 13th-largest city in the United States. It is the county seat of Tarrant County, covering nearly into four other counties: Denton, Johnson, Parker, and Wise. Acco ...
hosts both
Lockheed Martin The Lockheed Martin Corporation is an American aerospace, arms, defense, information security, and technology corporation with worldwide interests. It was formed by the merger Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are business transactions i ...
's Aeronautics division and Bell Helicopter Textron. Lockheed builds the
F-16 Fighting Falcon The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon is a single-engine Multirole combat aircraft, multirole fighter aircraft originally developed by General Dynamics for the United States Air Force (USAF). Designed as an air superiority day fighter, it ...
, the largest Western fighter program, and its successor, the
F-35 Lightning II The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is an American family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather Stealth aircraft, stealth multirole combat aircraft that is intended to perform both Air superiority fighter, air superiority and attack ...
in Fort Worth.


Commerce

Texas's
affluence Wealth is the abundance of valuable financial asset A financial asset is a non-physical asset whose value is derived from a contractual claim, such as deposit (finance), bank deposits, bond (finance), bonds, and participations in companies' sh ...
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 Inc. is an American multinational corporation, multinational telecommunications holding company headquartered at Whitacre Tower in Downtown Dallas, Texas. It is the world's List of largest companies by revenue, largest telecommunications ...
,
Kimberly-Clark Kimberly-Clark Corporation is an American multinational corporation, multinational personal care corporation that produces mostly pulp and paper industry, paper-based consumer products. The company manufactures sanitary paper products and surgi ...
, Blockbuster, J. C. Penney,
Whole Foods Market Whole Foods Market IP, Inc., a subsidiary of Amazon (company), Amazon, is an upscale American multinational supermarket chain store, chain headquartered in Austin, Texas, which sells products free from hydrogenated fats and artificial colors, fla ...
, and
Tenet Healthcare Tenet Healthcare Corporation is a for-profit multinational healthcare services company based in Dallas Dallas () is the List of municipalities in Texas, third largest city in Texas and the largest city in the Dallas–Fort Worth metrople ...
. Nationally, the Dallas–Fort Worth area, home to the second shopping mall in the United States, has the most shopping malls per capita of any American metropolitan statistical area. Mexico, the state's largest trading partner, imports a third of the state's exports because of the
North American Free Trade Agreement The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA ; es, Tratado de Libre Comercio de América del Norte, TLCAN; french: Accord de libre-échange nord-américain, ALÉNA) was an agreement signed by Canada, Mexico, and the United States that crea ...
(NAFTA). NAFTA has encouraged the formation of maquiladoras on the Texas–Mexico border.


Culture

Historically, Texas culture comes from a blend of Southern (Dixie), Western (frontier), and Southwestern (Mexican/Anglo fusion) influences, varying in degrees of such from one intrastate region to another. Texas is placed in the
Southern United States The Southern United States (sometimes Dixie, also referred to as the Southern States, the American South, the Southland, or simply the South) is a geographic and cultural List of regions of the United States#Official regions of the United Stat ...
by the
United States Census Bureau The United States Census Bureau (USCB), officially the Bureau of the Census, is a principal agency of the Federal Statistical System of the United States, U.S. Federal Statistical System, responsible for producing data about the Americans, Ame ...
. A popular food item, the
breakfast burrito The breakfast burrito, sometimes referred to as a breakfast wrap outside of the American Southwest, is a variety of American breakfast composed of breakfast items wrapped inside a flour tortilla burrito. This style was invented and populari ...
, 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 The melting pot is a Monoculturalism, monocultural metaphor for a wiktionary:heterogeneous, heterogeneous society becoming more wiktionary:homogeneous, homogeneous, the different elements "melting together" with a common culture; an alternativ ...
of cultures from around the world. Texas has made a strong mark on national and international pop culture. The entire state is strongly associated with the image of the
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'' ...
shown in westerns and in country western music. The state's numerous oil tycoons are also a popular pop culture topic as seen in the hit TV series ''Dallas''. The internationally known slogan " Don't Mess with Texas" began as an anti-littering
advertisement Advertising is the practice and techniques employed to bring attention to a product or service. Advertising aims to put a product or service in the spotlight in hopes of drawing it attention from consumers. It is typically used to promote a ...
. Since the campaign's inception in 1986, the phrase has become "an identity statement, a declaration of Texas swagger".


Texas self-perception

"Texas-sized" is an expression that can be used in two ways: to describe something that is about the size of the
U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, ...
of Texas, or to describe something (usually but not always originating from Texas) that is large compared to other objects of its type. Texas was the largest U.S. state until
Alaska Alaska ( ; russian: Аляска, Alyaska; ale, Alax̂sxax̂; ; ems, Alas'kaaq; Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, Yup'ik: ''Alaskaq''; tli, Anáaski) is a U.S. state, state located in the Western United States on the northwest extremity o ...
became a state in 1959. The phrase "everything is bigger in Texas" has been in regular use since at least 1950.


Arts

Houston is one of only five American cities with permanent professional resident companies in all the major performing arts disciplines: the Houston Grand Opera, the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the
Houston Ballet Houston Ballet, operated by Houston Ballet Foundation, is a professional ballet company A ballet company is a type of dance troupe which performs classical ballet, neoclassical ballet, and/or contemporary ballet in the European tradition, plus ...
, and The Alley Theatre. Known for the vibrancy of its visual and
performing arts The performing arts are The arts, arts such as music, dance, and drama which are performed for an audience. They are different from the visual arts, which are the use of paint, canvas or various materials to create physical or static art object ...
, the Houston Theater District—a 17-block area in the heart of
Downtown Houston Downtown is the largest central business district in the city of Houston and the largest in the state of Texas, located near the geographic center of the metropolitan area at the confluence of Interstate 10 in Texas, Interstate 10, Interstate 45, ...
—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 The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (widely referred to as The Modern) is an art museum An art museum or art gallery is a building or space for the display of art, usually from the museum's own Collection (artwork), collection. It might be ...
, also called "The Modern", is Texas's oldest art museum. Fort Worth also has the
Kimbell Art Museum The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, hosts an 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, wh ...
, the
Amon Carter Museum Amon may refer to: Mythology * Amun Amun (; also Amon, Ammon, Amen; egy, wikt:jmn, jmn, reconstructed as (Old Egyptian and early Middle Egyptian) → (later Middle Egyptian) → (Late Egyptian), cop, Ⲁⲙⲟⲩⲛ, Amoun) romaniz ...
, the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, the Will Rogers Memorial Center, and the Bass Performance Hall downtown. The Arts District of
Downtown Dallas Downtown Dallas is the central business district (CBD) of Dallas, Dallas, Texas, United States, located in the geographic center of the city. It is the second-largest business district in the state of Texas. The area termed "Downtown" has tradit ...
has arts venues such as the
Dallas Museum of Art The Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) is an art museum located in the Arts District of downtown ''Downtown'' is a term primarily used in North America by English language, English speakers to refer to a city's sometimes commercial, cultural and of ...
, the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House, the Trammell & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art, and the
Nasher Sculpture Center Opened in 2003, the Nasher Sculpture Center is a museum in Dallas Dallas () is the List of municipalities in Texas, third largest city in Texas and the largest city in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, the List of metropolitan statisti ...
. The
Deep Ellum Deep Ellum is an American neighborhood composed largely of arts and entertainment venues near Downtown Dallas, downtown in Old East Dallas, Dallas, East Dallas, Texas. The name is based on a corruption of the area's principal thoroughfare, Elm ...
district within Dallas became popular during the 1920s and 1930s as the prime
jazz Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African Americans, African-American communities of New Orleans, Louisiana in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with its roots in blues and ragtime. Since the 1920s Jazz Age, it has been recog ...
and
blues Blues is a music genre and musical form which originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1860s. Blues incorporated spiritual (music), spirituals, work songs, field hollers, Ring shout, shouts, chants, and rhymed simple narra ...
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 Lemon Henry "Blind Lemon" Jefferson (September 24, 1893 – December 19, 1929)Some sources indicate Jefferson was born on October 26, 1894. was an American blues Blues is a music genre and musical form which originated in the Deep South of ...
,
Robert Johnson Robert Leroy Johnson (May 8, 1911August 16, 1938) was an American blues Blues is a music genre and musical form which originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1860s. Blues incorporated spiritual (music), spirituals, w ...
, Huddie "
Lead Belly Huddie William Ledbetter (; January 20, 1888 – December 6, 1949), better known by the stage name Lead Belly, was an American folk music, folk and blues singer notable for his strong vocals, Virtuoso, virtuosity on the twelve-string guita ...
" Ledbetter, and
Bessie Smith Bessie Smith (April 15, 1894 – September 26, 1937) was an American blues Blues is a music genre and musical form which originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1860s. Blues incorporated spiritual (music), spirituals ...
played in early Deep Ellum clubs. Austin, '' The Live Music Capital of the World'', 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 A nightclub (music club, discothèque, disco club, or simply club) is an entertainment venue during nighttime comprising a dance, dance floor, Laser lighting display, lightshow, and a stage for live music or a disc jockey (DJ) who plays rec ...
s on 6th Street; events like the film, music, and
multimedia Multimedia is a form of communication that uses a combination of different content forms such as Text (literary theory), text, Sound, audio, Image, images, Animation, animations, or video into a single i ...
festival
South by Southwest South by Southwest, abbreviated as SXSW and colloquially referred to as South By, is an annual conglomeration of parallel film, interactive media, and music festivals and Convention (meeting), conferences organized jointly that take place in m ...
; the longest-running concert music program on American television, ''
Austin City Limits ''Austin City Limits'' is an American live music A concert is a live music performance in front of an audience. The performance may be by a single musician, sometimes then called a recital, or by a musical ensemble, such as an orchestra, ch ...
''; and the Austin City Limits Music Festival held in Zilker Park. Since 1980, San Antonio has evolved into "The
Tejano Music Tejano music ( es, música tejana), also known as Tex-Mex music, is a popular music style fusing Mexican and US influences. Typically, Tejano combines Mexican Spanish vocal styles with dance rhythms from Czech and German genres – particular ...
Capital Of The World". The Tejano Music Awards 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, is the ''Father of Texas Education''. During his term, the state set aside three leagues 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 The Permanent University Fund (PUF) is a sovereign wealth fund created by the Texas, State of Texas to fund public higher education within the state. A portion of the returns from the PUF are annually directed towards the Available University Fu ...
. Lamar's actions set the foundation for a Texas-wide public school system. Between 2006 and 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
Texas Education Agency The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is the branch of the government of Texas responsible for public education in Texas in the United States.
(TEA) administers the state's public school systems. Texas has over 1,000
school district A school district is a special-purpose district that operates local public primary and secondary schools in various nations. North America United States In the U.S, most K–12 public schools function as units of local school districts, w ...
s; all districts except the
Stafford Municipal School District Stafford Municipal School District (SMSD) is a school district based in Stafford, Texas, Stafford, Texas, United States in Greater Houston. The district covers all of the city of Stafford and is controlled by the city, making it the only school ...
are independent from municipal government and many cross city boundaries. School districts have the power to
tax A tax is a compulsory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed on a taxpayer (an individual or legal person, legal entity) by a governmental organization in order to fund government spending and various public expenditures (regiona ...
their residents and to assert
eminent domain Eminent domain (United States, Philippines), land acquisition (India, Malaysia, Singapore), compulsory purchase/acquisition (Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, United Kingdom), resumption (Hong Kong, Uganda), resumption/compulsory acquisition (Austr ...
over privately owned property. Due to court-mandated equitable school financing for school districts, the state has a tax redistribution system called the "
Robin Hood plan The Robin Hood plan was a media nickname given to Statutory law, 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, in response to the Texas Supreme Co ...
". This plan transfers property tax revenue from wealthy school districts to poor ones. The TEA has no authority over private or
home school Homeschooling or home schooling, also known as home education or elective home education (EHE), is the education of school-aged children at home or a variety of places other than a school. Usually conducted by a parent, tutor, or an onlin ...
activities. Students in Texas take the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) in primary and secondary school. STAAR assess students' attainment of
reading Reading is the process of taking in the sense or meaning of Letter (alphabet), letters, symbols, etc., especially by Visual perception, sight or Somatosensory system, touch. For educators and researchers, reading is a multifaceted process invo ...
, writing,
mathematics Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and the spaces in which they are contained, and quantities and their changes. These topics are represented in modern mathematics ...
, science, and social studies skills required under Texas education standards and the
No Child Left Behind Act The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) was a U.S. Act of Congress that reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act; it included Title I provisions applying to disadvantaged students. It supported standards-based education ...
. The test replaced the
Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills The Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) was the fourth Texas state standardized test previously used in primary education, grade 3-8 and secondary education, grade 9-11 to assess students' attainment of reading (activity), reading, wr ...
(TAKS) test in the 2011–2012 school year. Generally prohibited in the
West West or Occident is one of the four cardinal directions or points of the compass. It is the opposite direction from east and is the direction in which the Sunset, Sun sets on the Earth. Etymology The word "west" is a Germanic languages, German ...
at large,
school corporal punishment School corporal punishment is the deliberate infliction of physical pain as a response to undesired behavior by students. The term corporal punishment derives from the Latin word for the "body", . In schools it may involve striking the student on ...
is not unusual in the more conservative, rural areas of the state, with 28,569 public school students paddled at least one time, according to government data for the 2011–2012 school year. The rate of school corporal punishment in Texas is surpassed only by
Mississippi Mississippi () is a U.S. state, state in the Southeastern United States, Southeastern region of the United States, bordered to the north by Tennessee; to the east by Alabama; to the south by the Gulf of Mexico; to the southwest by Louisiana; a ...
,
Alabama (We dare defend our rights) , anthem = " Alabama" , image_map = Alabama in United States.svg , seat = Montgomery , LargestCity = Huntsville , LargestCounty = Baldwin County , LargestMetro = Greater Birmingham , area_total_km2 = 135,7 ...
, and
Arkansas Arkansas ( ) is a landlocked U.S. state, state in the South Central United States. It is bordered by Missouri to the north, Tennessee and Mississippi to the east, Louisiana to the south, and Texas and Oklahoma to the west. Its name is from ...
.


Higher education

The state's two most widely recognized flagship universities are
The University of Texas at Austin The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin, UT, or Texas) is a public university, public research university in Austin, Texas. It was founded in 1883 and is the oldest institution in the University of Texas System. With 40,916 undergraduat ...
and
Texas A&M University Texas A&M University (Texas A&M, A&M, or TAMU) is a public university, public, Land-grant university, land-grant, research university in College Station, Texas. It was founded in 1876 and became the flagship institution of the Texas A&M Unive ...
, ranked as the 21st and 41st best universities in the nation according to 2020's latest Center for World University Rankings report, respectively. Some observers also include the
University of Houston The University of Houston (UH) is a Public university, public research university in Houston, Texas. Founded in 1927, UH is a member of the University of Houston System and the List of universities in Texas by enrollment, university in Texas ...
and
Texas Tech University Texas Tech University (Texas Tech, Tech, or TTU) is a public university, public research university in Lubbock, Texas. Established on , and called Texas Technological College until 1969, it is the main institution of the five-institution Texas ...
as tier one flagships alongside UT Austin and A&M.Texas Tech University has quietly emerged as top-tier institution
". San Angelo Standard-Times. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
The
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) is an agency of the U.S. state of Texas's government that oversees all public post-secondary education in the state. It is headquartered at 1801 North Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas, Aus ...
(THECB) ranks the state's public universities into three distinct tiers:Tier One/Prop. 4
". The University of Texas System. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
* National Research Universities (Tier 1) **
The University of Texas at Austin The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin, UT, or Texas) is a public university, public research university in Austin, Texas. It was founded in 1883 and is the oldest institution in the University of Texas System. With 40,916 undergraduat ...
**
Texas A&M University Texas A&M University (Texas A&M, A&M, or TAMU) is a public university, public, Land-grant university, land-grant, research university in College Station, Texas. It was founded in 1876 and became the flagship institution of the Texas A&M Unive ...
**
Texas Tech University Texas Tech University (Texas Tech, Tech, or TTU) is a public university, public research university in Lubbock, Texas. Established on , and called Texas Technological College until 1969, it is the main institution of the five-institution Texas ...
**
University of Houston The University of Houston (UH) is a Public university, public research university in Houston, Texas. Founded in 1927, UH is a member of the University of Houston System and the List of universities in Texas by enrollment, university in Texas ...
** The University of Texas at Arlington ** The University of Texas at Dallas ** The University of North Texas ** The University of Texas at El Paso * Emerging Research Universities (Tier 2) **
The University of Texas at San Antonio The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is a Public university, public research university in San Antonio, Texas. With over 34,000 students across its four campuses spanning 758 acres, UTSA is the Education in San Antonio, largest universi ...
**
Texas State University Texas State University is a public university, public research university in San Marcos, Texas. Since its establishment in 1899, the university has grown to the second largest university in the Greater Austin, Greater Austin metropolitan area ...
* Comprehensive Universities (Tier 3) ** All other public universities (25 in total) Texas's alternative affirmative action plan, Texas House Bill 588, guarantees Texas students who graduated in the percent of their high school class automatic admission to state-funded universities. This does not apply to
The University of Texas at Austin The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin, UT, or Texas) is a public university, public research university in Austin, Texas. It was founded in 1883 and is the oldest institution in the University of Texas System. With 40,916 undergraduat ...
, which automatically admits Texas students who graduated in the percent of their high school class. The bill encourages demographic diversity while attempting to avoid problems stemming from the '' Hopwood v. Texas'' (1996) case. Thirty-six (36) separate and distinct public universities exist in Texas, of which 32 belong to one of the six state university systems. Discovery of minerals on
Permanent University Fund The Permanent University Fund (PUF) is a sovereign wealth fund created by the Texas, State of Texas to fund public higher education within the state. A portion of the returns from the PUF are annually directed towards the Available University Fu ...
land, particularly oil, has helped fund the rapid growth of the state's two largest university systems: the
University of Texas System The University of Texas System (UT System) is an American government entity of the state of Texas that includes 13 higher educational institutions throughout the state including eight universities and five independent health institutions. The UT& ...
and the Texas A&M System. The four other university systems: the University of Houston System, the University of North Texas System, the Texas State System, and the Texas Tech System are not funded by the Permanent University Fund. The Carnegie Foundation classifies four of Texas's universities as Tier One research institutions:
The University of Texas at Austin The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin, UT, or Texas) is a public university, public research university in Austin, Texas. It was founded in 1883 and is the oldest institution in the University of Texas System. With 40,916 undergraduat ...
, the
Texas A&M University Texas A&M University (Texas A&M, A&M, or TAMU) is a public university, public, Land-grant university, land-grant, research university in College Station, Texas. It was founded in 1876 and became the flagship institution of the Texas A&M Unive ...
, the
University of Houston The University of Houston (UH) is a Public university, public research university in Houston, Texas. Founded in 1927, UH is a member of the University of Houston System and the List of universities in Texas by enrollment, university in Texas ...
and
Texas Tech University Texas Tech University (Texas Tech, Tech, or TTU) is a public university, public research university in Lubbock, Texas. Established on , and called Texas Technological College until 1969, it is the main institution of the five-institution Texas ...
. The University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University are the flagship universities of the
University of Texas System The University of Texas System (UT System) is an American government entity of the state of Texas that includes 13 higher educational institutions throughout the state including eight universities and five independent health institutions. The UT& ...
and
Texas A&M University System The Texas A&M University System is a state university system in Texas and is one of the state's six independent university systems. The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the United States, with a bu ...
, respectively. Both were established by the Texas Constitution and hold stakes in the Permanent University Fund. The state has sought to expand the number of flagship universities by elevating some of its seven institutions designated as "emerging research universities". The two expected to emerge first are the University of Houston and Texas Tech University, likely in that order according to discussions on the House floor of the 82nd Texas Legislature. The state is home to various private institutions of higher learning—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''. Trinity University, a private, primarily undergraduate liberal arts university in San Antonio, has ranked first among universities granting primarily bachelor's and select master's degrees in the Western United States for 20 consecutive years by ''U.S. News''. Private universities include
Abilene Christian University Abilene Christian University (ACU) is a Private university, private Churches of Christ, Christian university in Abilene, Texas. It was founded in 1906 as ''Childers Classical Institute''. ACU is one of the largest private universities in the Sout ...
, , , , and . Universities in Texas host three presidential libraries: George Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M University, the
Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, also known as the LBJ Presidential Library, is the Presidential library system, presidential library and museum of Lyndon B. Johnson, Lyndon Baines Johnson, the 36th president of the United States ( ...
at The University of Texas at Austin, and the George W. Bush Presidential Library at
Southern Methodist University Southern Methodist University (SMU) is a Private university, private research university in University Park, Texas, with a satellite campus in Taos County, New Mexico. SMU was founded on April 17, 1911, by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South—n ...
.


Healthcare

Notwithstanding the concentration of elite medical centers in the state, 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 the state had 25.1 percent of the population without health insurance, the largest proportion in the nation. The Trust for America's Health ranked Texas 15th highest in adult
obesity Obesity is a medical condition, sometimes considered a disease, in which excess Adipose tissue, body fat has accumulated to such an extent that it may negatively affect health. People are classified as obese when their body mass index (BMI) ...
, with 27.2 percent of the state's population measured as obese. The 2008
Men's Health ''Men's Health'' (''MH''), published by Hearst Communications, Hearst, is the world's largest men's magazine brand, with 35 editions in 59 countries. It is also the best-selling men's magazine on U.S. newsstands. Started as a men's health maga ...
obesity survey ranked four Texas cities among the top 25 fattest cities in America; Houston ranked 6th, Dallas 7th, El Paso 8th, and Arlington 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 according to a 2007 study. Texas has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world, and the rate by which Texas women died from pregnancy-related complications doubled from 2010 to 2014, to 23.8 per 100,000 — a rate unmatched in any other U.S. state or economically developed country. In May 2021, the state legislature passed the Texas Heartbeat Act, which banned
abortion Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy by removal or expulsion of an embryo or fetus. An abortion that occurs without intervention is known as a miscarriage or "spontaneous abortion"; these occur in approximately 30% to 40% of pregnan ...
from as early as six weeks of pregnancy, except to save the life of the mother. The Act allows private citizens to sue abortion providers and anyone else who assists in an abortion, except for the woman on whom the abortion is performed. The Act applies to pregnancies caused by incest or rape, although a clause prohibits the perpetrators from enforcing it with civil lawsuits. On August 25, 2022, another law took effect that made committing abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony punishable by life in prison.


Medical research

Texas has many elite research medical centers. The state has 15 medical schools, four dental schools, and two
optometry Optometry is a specialized health care profession that involves examining the eyes and related structures for defects or abnormalities. Optometrists are health care professionals who typically provide comprehensive primary eye care. In the Un ...
schools. 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 in San Antonio—the first privately owned BSL-4 lab in the United States. The
Texas Medical Center The Texas Medical Center (TMC) is a medical district and neighborhood in south-central Houston, Texas, United States, immediately south of the Houston Museum District, Museum District and west of Texas State Highway 288. Over 60 medical instituti ...
in Houston, holds the world's largest concentration of research and healthcare institutions, with over 50 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 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 The American Heart Association (AHA) is a nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO) or non-profit organisation, also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organ ...
and the
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UT Southwestern or UTSW) is a Public university, public Academic health science centre, academic health science center in Dallas, Texas. With approximately 18,800 employees, more than 2,900 ful ...
call Dallas home. The institution's medical school employs the most medical school
Nobel laureates The Nobel Prizes ( sv, Nobelpriset, no, Nobelprisen) are awarded annually by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Swedish Academy, the Karolinska Institutet, and the Norwegian Nobel Committee to individuals and organizations who make out ...
in the world.


Transportation

Texans have historically had difficulties traversing Texas due to the state's large size and rough terrain. Texas has compensated by building America's largest highway and railway systems. The
regulatory authority A regulatory agency (regulatory body, regulator) or independent agency (independent regulatory agency) is a government authority that is responsible for exercising autonomous dominion The term ''Dominion'' is used to refer to one of several ...
, the
Texas Department of Transportation The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT ) is a government agency in the United States, American state of Texas. Though the public face of the agency is generally associated with the construction and maintenance of the state's immense state ...
(TxDOT), maintains the state's immense highway system, regulates aviation, and
public transportation Public transport (also known as public transportation, public transit, mass transit, or simply transit) is a system of transport for passengers by group travel systems available for use by the general public unlike private transport, typical ...
systems. The state is an important
transportation hub A transport hub is a place where passenger A passenger (also abbreviated as pax) is a person who travels in a vehicle, but does not bear any responsibility for the tasks required for that vehicle to arrive at its destination or othe ...
. From the Dallas/Fort Worth area, trucks can reach 93 percent of the nation's population within 48 hours, and 37 percent within 24 hours. Texas has 33 foreign trade zones (FTZ), the most in the nation. In 2004, a combined total of $298 billion of goods passed through Texas FTZs.


Highways

The first Texas freeway was the Gulf Freeway opened in 1948 in Houston. As of 2005, of public highway crisscrossed Texas (up from in 1984). To fund recent growth in the state highways, Texas has 17 toll roads (see
list A ''list'' is any set of items in a row. List or lists may also refer to: People * List (surname) Organizations * List College, an undergraduate division of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America * SC Germania List, German rugby uni ...
) with several additional
tollway A toll road, also known as a turnpike or tollway, is a public or private road (almost always a controlled-access highway in the present day) for which a fee (or ''Toll (fee), toll'') is assessed for passage. It is a form of road pricing typically ...
s proposed. In
Central Texas Central Texas is a region in the U.S. state of Texas surrounding Austin, Texas, Austin and roughly bordered by San Saba, Texas, San Saba to Bryan, Texas, Bryan and San Marcos, Texas, San Marcos to Hillsboro, Texas, Hillsboro. Central Texas ov ...
, the southern section of the State Highway 130 toll road has a speed limit of , the highest in the nation. All federal and state highways in Texas are paved.


Airports

Texas has 730 airports, second-most of any state in the nation. Largest in Texas by size and passengers served,
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport , also known as DFW Airport, is the primary international airport serving the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex and the North Texas Region in the U.S. state of Texas. It is the largest hub for American Air ...
(DFW) is the second-largest by area in the United States, and fourth in the world with . In traffic, DFW airport is the busiest in the state, the fourth busiest in the United States, and sixth worldwide.
American Airlines Group American Airlines Group Inc. is an American publicly traded airline holding company headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, Fort Worth, Texas. It was formed on December 9, 2013, by the merger of AMR Corporation, the parent company of American Airlin ...
's American / American Eagle, the world's largest airline in total passengers-miles transported and passenger fleet size, uses DFW as its largest and main hub. 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.
Southwest Airlines Southwest Airlines Co., typically referred to as Southwest, is one of the major airlines of the United States and the world's largest low-cost carrier. It is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and has scheduled service to 121 destinations in the U ...
, headquartered in Dallas, has its operations at
Dallas Love Field Dallas Love Field is a city-owned public airport northwest of downtown Dallas, Texas., effective April 10, 2008 It was Dallas' main airport until 1974 when Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) opened. Love Field covers an area of a ...
. Texas's second-largest air facility is Houston's
George Bush Intercontinental Airport George Bush Intercontinental Airport is an international airport in Houston, Texas Houston (; ) is the List of cities in Texas by population, most populous city in Texas, the Southern United States#Major cities, most populous city in ...
(IAH). It served as the largest hub for the former
Continental Airlines Continental Airlines, simply known as Continental, was a major United States airline founded in 1934 and eventually headquartered in Houston, Texas. It had ownership interests and brand partnerships with several carriers. Continental started ...
, which was based in Houston; it serves as the largest hub for
United Airlines United Airlines, Inc. (commonly referred to as United), is a major American airline headquartered at the Willis Tower in Chicago, Illinois Illinois ( ) is a state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern United States. Its larg ...
, the world's third-largest airline, by passenger-miles flown. IAH offers service to the most Mexican destinations of any U.S. airport. The next five largest airports in the state all serve more than three million passengers annually; they include Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, William P. Hobby Airport,
San Antonio International Airport San Antonio International Airport is an international airport in San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas. It is in Neighborhoods and districts of San Antonio#Uptown Central, Uptown Central San Antonio, about north of Downtown San Antonio, Downtown. It ...
,
Dallas Love Field Dallas Love Field is a city-owned public airport northwest of downtown Dallas, Texas., effective April 10, 2008 It was Dallas' main airport until 1974 when Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) opened. Love Field covers an area of a ...
and
El Paso International Airport El Paso International Airport (EPIA, , es, Aeropuerto Internacional de El Paso) is four miles (6 km) northeast of downtown El Paso, in El Paso County, Texas, United States. It is the largest civil airport in West Texas. It handled 3,516,91 ...
. The smallest airport in the state to be designated an international airport is Del Rio International Airport.


Ports

Around 1,150
seaports A port is a maritime law, maritime facility comprising one or more Wharf, wharves or loading areas, where ships load and discharge Affreightment, cargo and passengers. Although usually situated on a sea coast or estuary, ports can a ...
dot Texas's coast with over of
channels Channel, channels, channeling, etc., may refer to: Geography * Channel (geography) In physical geography, a channel is a type of landform consisting of the outline of a path of relatively shallow and narrow body of water or of other fluids (e. ...
. Ports employ nearly one-million people and handle an average of 317 million
metric tons The tonne ( or ; symbol: t) is a unit of mass equal to 1000 kilogram The kilogram (also kilogramme) is the unit of mass in the International System of Units (SI), having the unit symbol kg. It is a widely used measure in science, ...
. Texas ports connect with the rest of the U.S. Atlantic seaboard with the
Gulf A gulf is a large inlet from the ocean into the landmass, typically with a narrower opening than a bay (geography), bay, but that is not observable in all geographic areas so named. The term gulf was traditionally used for large highly-indented ...
section of the
Intracoastal Waterway The Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) is a Navigability, inland waterway along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts of the United States, running from Massachusetts southward along the Atlantic Seaboard and around the southern tip of Florida, the ...
. The
Port of Houston The Port of Houston is one of the world's largest ports and serves the metropolitan area of Houston, Houston, Texas. The port is a 50-mile-long complex of diversified public and private facilities located a few hours' sailing time from the Gulf of ...
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 spans wide by deep by long."Welcome to the Houston-Galveston Navigation Channel Project Online Resource Center" (description),
United States Army Corps of Engineers , colors = , anniversaries = 16 June (Organization Day) , battles = , battles_label = Wars , website = , commander1 = ...
, December 2005
United States Army Corps of Engineers


Railroads

Part of the state's
tradition A tradition is a belief or behavior (folk custom) passed down within a group or society A society is a group of individuals involved in persistent social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territo ...
of cowboys is derived from the massive cattle drives which its ranchers organized in the nineteenth century to drive livestock to railroads and markets in Kansas, for shipment to the east. Towns along the way, such as Baxter Springs, the first cow town in Kansas, developed to handle the seasonal workers and tens of thousands of head of cattle being driven. The first railroad to operate in Texas was the
Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado Railway The Buffalo Bayou, Brazos, and Colorado Railway (B.B.B.C. or B.B.B. & C.), also called the Harrisburg Road or Harrisburg Railroad, was the first operating railroad in Texas. It completed its first segment of track between Harrisburg, Texas (now a ...
, opening in August 1853. The first railroad to enter Texas from the north, completed in 1872, was the . With increasing railroad access, the ranchers did not have to take their livestock up to the Midwest and shipped beef out from Texas. This caused a decline in the economies of the cow towns. Since 1911, Texas has led the nation in length of railroad miles within the state. Texas railway length peaked in 1932 at , but declined to by 2000. While the
Railroad Commission of Texas The Railroad Commission of Texas Texas (, ; Spanish language, Spanish: ''Texas'', ''Tejas'') is a state in the South Central United States, South Central region of the United States. At 268,596 square miles (695,662 km2), and with mo ...
originally regulated state railroads, in 2005 the state reassigned these duties to TxDOT. In the Dallas–Fort Worth area, three public transit agencies provide rail service:
Dallas Area Rapid Transit Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) is a transit agency serving the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex of Texas. It operates buses, light rail, commuter rail, and high-occupancy vehicle lanes in Dallas and twelve of its suburbs. In , the system had a r ...
(DART), Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA), and
Trinity Metro Trinity Metro is a transit agency located in and serving the city of Fort Worth, Texas and its suburbs in surrounding Tarrant County, Texas, Tarrant County, part of the Dallas–Fort Worth metropolitan area. Since 1983, it was previously known off ...
. DART began operating the first light rail system in the Southwest United States in 1996. The Trinity Railway Express (TRE)
commuter rail Commuter rail, or suburban rail, is a passenger rail transport service that primarily operates within a metropolitan area, connecting Commuting, commuters to a Downtown, central city from adjacent suburbs or commuter towns. Generally commuter r ...
service, which connects Fort Worth and Dallas, is provided by
Trinity Metro Trinity Metro is a transit agency located in and serving the city of Fort Worth, Texas and its suburbs in surrounding Tarrant County, Texas, Tarrant County, part of the Dallas–Fort Worth metropolitan area. Since 1983, it was previously known off ...
and DART. Trinity Metro also operates the TEXRail commuter rail line, connecting downtown Fort Worth and Northeast Tarrant County to DFW Airport. The A-train commuter rail line, operated by DCTA, acts as an extension of the DART Green line into Denton County. In the Austin area,
Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority, officially stylized as CapMetro, is a public transportation Public transport (also known as public transportation, public transit, mass transit, or simply transit) is a system of transpor ...
operates a commuter rail service known as Capital MetroRail to the northwestern suburbs. The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas (METRO) operates light rail lines in the Houston area.
Amtrak The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Trade name, doing business as Amtrak () , is the national Passenger train, passenger railroad company of the United States. It operates inter-city rail service in 46 of the 48 contiguous United Stat ...
provides Texas with limited intercity passenger rail service. Three scheduled routes serve the state: the daily '' Texas Eagle'' ; the tri-weekly ''Sunset Limited'' , with stops in Texas; and the daily ''Heartland Flyer'' . Texas may get one of the nation's first high-speed rail line. Plans for a privately funded high-speed rail line between Dallas and Houston have been planned by the Texas Central Railway company.


Government and politics

The current Texas Constitution was adopted in 1876. Like many State constitution (United States), states, it explicitly provides for a separation of powers. The state's Bill of Rights is much larger than its United States Bill of Rights, federal counterpart, and has provisions unique to Texas.


State government

Texas has a plural executive branch system limiting the power of the governor, which is a weak executive compared to some other states. Except for the Secretary of State of Texas, secretary of state, voters elect executive officers independently; thus candidates are directly answerable to the public, not the governor. This election system has led to some executive branches split between parties and reduced the ability of the governor to carry out a program. When Republican Party (United States), Republican president George W. Bush served as Texas's governor, the state had a Democratic Party (United States), Democratic lieutenant governor, Bob Bullock. The executive branch positions consist of the List of Governors of Texas, governor, Lieutenant Governor of Texas, lieutenant governor, 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 Bicameralism, bicameral Texas Legislature consists of the Texas House of Representatives, House of Representatives, with 150 members, and a Texas Senate, Senate, with 31 members. The Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, Speaker of the House leads the House, and the lieutenant governor, the Senate. The Legislature meets in regular session biennially for just over a hundred days, but the governor can call for special sessions as often as desired (notably, the Legislature cannot call itself into session). The state's fiscal year begins September1. The judiciary of Texas is among the most complex in the United States, with many layers and overlapping jurisdictions. Texas has two courts of last resort: the Texas Supreme Court, for civil cases, and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Except for some municipal benches, partisan elections select judges at all levels of the judiciary; the governor fills vacancies by appointment. Texas is notable for its use of capital punishment, having led the country in executions since capital punishment was reinstated in the ''Gregg v. Georgia'' case (see Capital punishment in Texas). The Texas Ranger Division of the Texas Department of Public Safety is a police, law enforcement agency with statewide jurisdiction. Over the years, the Texas Rangers have investigated crimes ranging from murder to political corruption. They have acted as riot police and as detectives, protected the Texas governor, tracked down fugitives, and functioned as a paramilitary force both for the republic and for the state. The Texas Rangers were unofficially created by Stephen F. Austin in 1823 and formally constituted in 1835. The Rangers were integral to several important events of Texas history and some of the best-known criminal cases in the history of the American Old West, Old West. The Texas constitution defines the responsibilities of county governments, which serve as agents of the state. What are called commissioners court and court judges are elected to serve as the administrative arm. Most cities in the state, those over 5,000 in population, have home-rule governments. The vast majority of these have charters for council-manager forms of government, by which voters elect council members, who hire a professional city manager as an operating officer.


Politics

In the 1870s, white Democrats wrested power back in the state legislature from the biracial coalition at the end of Reconstruction. In the early 20th century, the legislature passed bills to impose poll tax (United States), poll taxes, followed by white primaries; these measures effectively Disfranchisement after Reconstruction era, disfranchised most blacks, poor whites and Mexican Americans. In the 1890s, 100,000 blacks voted in the state; by 1906, only 5,000 could vote. As a result, the Democratic Party dominated Politics of Texas, Texas politics from the turn of the century, imposing racial segregation and white supremacy. It held power until after passage in the mid-1960s of national civil rights legislation enforcing constitutional rights of all citizens. Although Texas was essentially a one-party state during this time and the Democratic primary was viewed as "the real election", the Democratic Party had conservative and liberal factions, which became more pronounced after the New Deal. Additionally, several factions of the party briefly split during the 1930s and 1940s. The state's conservative white voters began to support Republican presidential candidates by the mid-20th century. After this period, they supported Republicans for local and state offices as well, and most whites became Republican Party members. The party also attracted some minorities, but many have continued to vote for Democratic candidates. The shift to the Republican Party is much-attributed to the fact the Democratic Party became increasingly Liberalism in the United States, liberal during the 20th century, and thus increasingly out-of-touch with the average Texas voter. As Texas was always a Conservatism in the United States, conservative state, voters switched to the GOP, which now more closely reflected their beliefs. Commentators have also attributed the shift to Republican political consultant Karl Rove, who managed numerous political campaigns in Texas in the 1980s and 1990s. Other stated reasons included court-ordered redistricting and the demographic shift in relation to the Sun Belt that favored the Republican Party and conservatism. The 2003 Texas redistricting of Congressional districts led by Republican Tom DeLay, was called by ''The New York Times'' "an extreme case of partisan gerrymandering". A group of Democratic legislators, the "Texas Eleven", fled the state in a quorum-busting effort to prevent the legislature from acting, but was unsuccessful. The state had already redistricted following the 2000 census. Despite these efforts, the legislature passed a map heavily in favor of Republicans, based on 2000 data and ignoring the estimated nearly one million new residents in the state since then. Career attorneys and analysts at the Department of Justice objected to the plan as diluting the votes of African American and Hispanic voters, but political appointees overrode them and approved it. Legal challenges to the redistricting reached the national Supreme Court of the United States, Supreme Court in the case ''League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry'' (2006), but the court ruled in favor of the state (and Republicans). In the Texas elections, 2014, 2014 Texas elections, the Tea Party movement made large gains, with numerous Tea Party favorites being elected into office, including Dan Patrick (politician), Dan Patrick as lieutenant governor, Ken Paxton as attorney general, in addition to numerous other candidates including conservative Republican
Greg Abbott Gregory Wayne Abbott (born November 13, 1957) is an American politician, attorney, and former jurist serving as the 48th governor of Texas since 2015. A member of the Republican Party (United States), Republican Party, he served as the 50th Tex ...
as governor. Texas voters lean toward fiscal conservatism, while enjoying the benefits of huge federal investment in the state in military and other facilities achieved by the power of the Solid South in the 20th century. They also tend to have social conservatism, socially conservative values. Since 1980, most Texas voters have supported Republican presidential candidates. In 2000 and 2004, Republican George W. Bush won Texas with respectively 59.3 and 60.1 percent of the vote, partly due to his "favorite son" status as a former governor of the state. John McCain won the state in 2008 United States presidential election, 2008, but with a smaller margin of victory compared to Bush at 55 percent of the vote. Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio consistently lean Democratic in both local and statewide elections. The state's changing demographics may result in a change in its overall political alignment, as a majority population of Black and Hispanic/Latino voters support the Democratic Party. Residents of counties along the
Rio Grande The Rio Grande ( and ), known in Mexico as the Río Bravo del Norte or simply the Río Bravo, is one of the principal rivers (along with the Colorado River) in the southwestern United States and in northern Mexico. The length of the Rio G ...
closer to the Mexico–United States border, where there are many Latino residents, generally vote for Democratic Party candidates, while most other rural and suburban areas of Texas have shifted to voting for Republican Party candidates. As of the 2020 United States elections, general elections of 2020, a large majority of the members of Texas's U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. House delegation are Republican Party (United States), Republican, along with both United States Senate, U.S. Senators. In the 117th United States Congress, of the 36 Texas Congressional Districts, Congressional districts in Texas, 23 are held by Republicans and 13 by Democrats. Texas's Senators are John Cornyn and Ted Cruz. Since 1994, Texans have not elected a Democrat to a statewide office. The state's Democratic voters are made up primarily by liberal and minority groups in Austin, Beaumont, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, and San Antonio as well as minority voters in East and South Texas.


Criminal law

Texas has a reputation of very harsh criminal punishment for criminal offenses. It is one of the 32 states that practice capital punishment in Texas, capital punishment, and since the US Supreme Court allowed capital punishment to resume in 1976, 40% of all U.S. executions have taken place in Texas. As of 2018, Texas had the 8th highest List of U.S. states and territories by incarceration and correctional supervision rate, incarceration rate in the U.S. Texas also has strong right of self-defense and self defense laws, allowing citizens to use lethal force to defend themselves, their families, or their property.


Sports

While American football has long been considered "king" in the state, Texans enjoy a wide variety of sports. Texans can cheer for a plethora of professional sports teams. Within the Major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada, "Big Four" professional leagues, Texas has two National Football League, NFL teams (the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Texans), two Major League Baseball teams (the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers (baseball), Texas Rangers), three National Basketball Association, NBA teams (the San Antonio Spurs, the Houston Rockets, and the Dallas Mavericks), and one National Hockey League, NHL team (the Dallas Stars). The Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex is one of only U.S. cities with teams from four major league sports, twelve American metropolitan areas that host sports teams from all the "Big Four" professional leagues. Outside the "Big Four", Texas also has a Women's National Basketball Association, WNBA team, (the Dallas Wings) and three Major League Soccer teams (Austin FC, Houston Dynamo FC, Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas). College athletics, Collegiate athletics have deep significance in Texas culture, especially American football, football. The state has twelve Division I-FBS schools, the most in the nation. Four of the state's universities, the Baylor Bears, Texas Longhorns, TCU Horned Frogs, and Texas Tech Red Raiders, compete in the Big 12 Conference. The Texas A&M Aggies left the Big 12 and joined the Southeastern Conference in 2012, which led the Big 12 to invite TCU to join; TCU was previously in the Mountain West Conference. The Houston Cougars and the SMU Mustangs compete in the American Athletic Conference. The Texas State Bobcats and the Texas–Arlington Mavericks, UT Arlington Mavericks compete in the Sun Belt Conference. Four of the state's schools claim at least one national championship in football: the Texas Longhorns, the Texas A&M Aggies, the TCU Horned Frogs, and the SMU Mustangs. According to a survey of Division I-A coaches the College rivalry, rivalry between the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas at Austin, the Red River Shootout, ranks the third-best in the nation. The TCU Horned Frogs and SMU Mustangs also share a rivalry and compete annually in the Battle for the Iron Skillet. 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 at Austin. The athletics portion of the Lone Star Showdown rivalry has been put on hold after the Texas A&M Aggies joined the Southeastern Conference. The University Interscholastic League (UIL) organizes most primary and secondary school competitions. Events organized by UIL include contests in athletics (the most popular being high school football) as well as artistic and academic subjects. Texans also enjoy the rodeo. The world's first rodeo was hosted in Pecos, Texas. The annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is the largest rodeo in the world. It begins with trail rides from several points throughout the state that convene at Reliant Park. The Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show 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 each year at Fair Park. Texas Motor Speedway hosts annual NASCAR Cup Series and IndyCar Series auto races since 1997. Since 2012, Austin's Circuit of the Americas plays host to a round of the Formula 1 World Championship— the first at a permanent road circuit in the United States since the 1980 United States Grand Prix, 1980 Grand Prix at Watkins Glen International—, as well as Grand Prix motorcycle racing, FIA World Endurance Championship and United SportsCar Championship races.


See also

* Index of Texas-related articles * Outline of Texas


Notes


References


Bibliography

* * originally published 2004 by New York: Free Press * * * * * * * * * * *


External links

*
The Texas State History Museum

The Handbook of Texas Online

''Texas Register''

South and West Texas: A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary
*
View historical photographs from Texas at the University of Houston Digital Library.

Lawrence T. Jones III Texas Photographs, DeGolyer Library

Texas: Photographs, Manuscripts, and Imprints, DeGolyer Library

George W. Cook Dallas/Texas Image Collection, DeGolyer Library

John Miller Morris Real Photographic Postcards and Photographs of Texas, DeGolyer Library

Rowe-Barr Collection of Texas Currency, DeGolyer Library

Oklahoma Digital Maps: Digital Collections of Oklahoma and Indian Territory


State government


The Official Website of the Government of TexasThe State of Texas

Texas State Databases

Texas Politics


U.S. Government


Energy Profile for Texas—Economic, environmental, and energy data

USGS real-time, geographic, and other scientific resources of Texas

Texas State Facts from USDA

South and West Texas, a National Park Service ''Discover Our Shared Heritage'' Travel Itinerary
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