Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The written history of Texas begins in 1519, when Alonso Alvarez de Pineda explored the northern Gulf Coast. During the period of 1519 to 1865, all or parts of Texas were claimed by six countries: Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the United States of America, and the Confederate States of America.
|Although Álvarez de Pineda claimed the area that now comprises Texas for Spain in 1519, the first European settlement was not established until 1682, when René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle mistakenly established his French colony, Fort Saint Louis, near Matagorda Bay instead of at the mouth of the Mississippi River. The colony was short-lived, but its presence motivated Spanish authorities to begin settlement activity. Several missions were established in East Texas but were abandoned in 1691. Twenty years later, concerned with the French presence in neighboring Louisiana, Spanish authorities again attempted to colonize Texas. Over the next 110 years, Spain established numerous villages, presidios, and missions in the province. Settlers faced frequent raids from some native tribes, including the Lipan Apache, Comanche, and Karankawa, and the boundaries of the province were often disputed, with France and the United States both claiming ownership of all of Texas.
When the Mexican War of Independence ended in 1821, Texas became part of the new country Mexico. To encourage settlement, Mexican authorities permitted immigration from the United States, and by 1834, it was estimated that over 30,000 Anglos lived in Texas, compared to only 7,800 Mexicans. Partly in response to the Mexican government's transformation to a centralized government from a federalist model, Texian settlers launched the Texas Revolution in October 1835. The Revolution ended in April 1836, when Mexican President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna was captured after the Battle of San Jacinto. For the next nine years, Texas governed itself as an independent country, the Republic of Texas. In 1845, Texas was annexed to the United States, becoming the 28th state. Long determined to protect slavery, Texas declared its secession from the United States in 1861 to join the Confederate States of America. Several battles of the American Civil War were fought in Texas, but most Texas regiments served in other parts of the country. When the war ended in 1865, Texas was subject to Reconstruction until the 1870s.
Through the end of the 19th century, the larger industries in Texas were cotton production and cattle ranching. In 1901, oil was discovered in Texas, and the resulting "Oil Boom" permanently transformed the economy of Texas, leading to the first significant economic expansion after the Civil War. Texas has continued to grow rapidly, becoming the second largest state in population in 1994, and became economically highly diversified, with a growing base in high technology.