Texas: A Brief History.

Essay by wross21College, UndergraduateA+, October 2005

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Texas is the only state that was a Republic before joining the Union. It is the second largest state in land mass and the third largest in population. It occupies approximately seven percent of the total land and water areas of the United States. Texas is the second largest state in the United States with 261,914 square miles, as well as the second most populated state in the United States with over twenty million residents.

Texas has been settled since 10,000 B.C., but it wasn't until 1519 that Europeans discovered the vast area of land. Spain was the first government to govern the territory. The state owes its name to the Caddo tribe - and the Spaniards. During the Spanish exploration of Texas in the 1540s, the Spaniards met the Hasnai Caddo tribe in present-day East Texas. These Native Americans used the word "tayshas" for "friends" or "allies." In Spanish, the translation came out as "tejas."

Eventually, Tejas became Texas. Since the first Spanish explorer completed a map of the Texas coast, in 1519, the state has had eight changes of government and six flags to fly over it. The Spanish ruled over Texas from 1519 to 1685. In 1685 La Salle claimed Texas in the name of France. The Spanish once again gained control in 1690, because of Indians and disease destroying the French force. In 1821, the year Mexico gained independence from Spain, Stephen F. Austin received permission from the Mexican government to settle a colony of 300 families, now known as the "Old Three Hundred," in southeast Texas. Following the battle at Gonzales and the battle of the Alamo, The Texas Declaration of Independence was enacted on March 2, 1836. The Battle of San Jacinto was fought on April 21, 1836 and resulted in Texas' independence from...