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State in the southern United States

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State of Texas
The Lone Star State
Anthem: "Texas, Our Texas"
Map of the United States with Texas highlighted
CountryUnited States
Before statehoodRepublic of Texas
Admitted to the UnionDecember 29, 1845 (28th)
Largest cityHouston
Largest metroDallas–Fort Worth metroplex
 • GovernorGreg Abbott (R)
 • Lieutenant GovernorDan Patrick (R)
LegislatureTexas Legislature
 • Upper houseSenate
 • Lower houseHouse of Representatives
JudiciarySupreme Court of Texas (Civil)
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (Criminal)
U.S. senatorsJohn Cornyn (R)
Ted Cruz (R)
U.S. House delegation22 Republicans
13 Democrats
1 Vacancy (list)
 • Total268,596[1] sq mi (695,662 km2)
 • Land261,232[1] sq mi (676,587 km2)
 • Water7,365[1] sq mi (19,075 km2)  2.7%
Area rank2nd
 • Length801[2] mi (1,289 km)
 • Width773[2] mi (1,244 km)
1,700 ft (520 m)
Highest elevation8,751 ft (2,667.4 m)
Lowest elevation0 ft (0 m)
 • Total29,873,880[6]
 • Rank2nd
 • Density114/sq mi (42.9/km2)
 • Density rank26th
 • Median household income
 • Income rank
Texian (archaic)
Tejano (usually only used for Hispanics)
 • Official languageNo official language
(see Languages spoken in Texas)
 • Spoken languagePredominantly English;
Spanish is spoken by a sizable minority[8]
Time zones
Majority of stateUTC−06:00 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−05:00 (CDT)
El Paso, Hudspeth, and northwestern Culberson countiesUTC−07:00 (Mountain)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−06:00 (MDT)
USPS abbreviation
ISO 3166 codeUS-TX
Traditional abbreviationTex.
Latitude25°50′ N to 36°30′ N
Longitude93°31′ W to 106°39′ W
Texas state symbols
Living insignia
BirdNorthern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)
FishGuadalupe bass (Micropterus treculii)
FlowerBluebonnet (Lupinus spp., namely Texas bluebonnet, L. texensis)
InsectMonarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)
MammalTexas longhorn, nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus)
ReptileTexas horned lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum)
TreePecan (Carya illinoinensis)
Inanimate insignia
ShellLightning whelk (Busycon perversum pulleyi)
ShipUSS Texas
SloganThe Friendly State
SoilHouston Black
GameTexas 42 dominoes
OtherMolecule: Buckyball (For more, see article)
State route marker
State quarter
Released in 2004
Lists of United States state symbols

Texas (/ˈtɛksəs/, also locally /ˈtɛksɪz/)[9] is a state in the South Central region of the United States. It is the second largest U.S. state by both area (after Alaska) and population (after California). Texas shares borders with the states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the south and southwest, and has a coastline with the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast.

Houston is the most populous city in Texas and the fourth largest in the U.S., while San Antonio is the second-most populous in the state and seventh largest in the U.S. Dallas–Fort Worth and Greater Houston are the fourth and fifth largest metropolitan statistical areas in the country, respectively. Other major cities include Austin, the second-most populous state capital in the U.S., and El Paso. 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. The "Lone Star" can be found on the Texas state flag and on the Texas state seal.[10] The origin of Texas's name is from the word táyshaʼ, which means "friends" in the Caddo language.[11]

Due to its size and geologic features such as the Balcones Fault, Texas contains diverse landscapes common to both the U.S. Southern and the Southwestern regions.[12] Although Texas is popularly associated with the U.S. southwestern deserts, less than ten percent of Texas's land area is desert.[13] Most of the population centers are in areas of former prairies, grasslands, forests, and the coastline. Traveling from east to west, one can observe terrain that ranges from coastal swamps and piney woods, to rolling plains and rugged hills, and finally the desert and mountains of the Big Bend.

The term "six flags over Texas"[note 1] refers to several nations that have ruled over the territory. Spain 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. In 1845, Texas joined the union as the 28th state.[14] The state's annexation set off a chain of events that led to the Mexican–American War in 1846. A slave state before the American Civil War, Texas declared its secession from the U.S. in early 1861, and officially joined the Confederate States of America on March 2 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 prior to World War II: cattle and bison, cotton, timber, and oil.[15] Before and after the U.S. Civil War the cattle industry, which Texas came to dominate, was a major economic driver for the state, thus creating 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 deposits (Spindletop in particular) that initiated an economic boom which became the driving force behind the economy for much of the 20th century. Texas developed a diversified economy and high tech industry in the mid-20th century. As of 2015, it is second on the list of the most Fortune 500 companies with 54.[16] With a growing base of industry, the state leads in many industries, including tourism, agriculture, petrochemicals, energy, computers and electronics, aerospace, and biomedical sciences. 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, it would have the 10th largest economy in the world.

Texas Intro articles: 59


The name Texas, based on the Caddo word táyshaʼ (/tʼajʃaʔ/) "friend", was applied, in the spelling Tejas or Texas,[17][18][19][1] by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves, specifically the Hasinai Confederacy,[20] the final -s representing the Spanish plural.[21] 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.[22]

During Spanish colonial rule, in the 18th century, the area was known as Nuevas Filipinas ("New Philippines") and Nuevo Reino de Filipinas ("New Kingdom of the Philippines"),[23] or as provincia de los Tejas ("province of the Tejas"),[24] later also provincia de Texas (or de Tejas), ("province of Texas").[25][23] It was incorporated as provincia de Texas into the Mexican Empire in 1821, and declared a republic in 1836. The Royal Spanish Academy recognizes both spellings, Tejas and Texas, as Spanish-language forms of the name of the U.S. state of Texas.[26]

The English pronunciation with /ks/ is unetymological, contrary to the historical value of the letter x (/ʃ/) in Spanish orthography. Alternative etymologies of the name advanced in the late 19th century connected the Spanish teja "rooftile", the plural tejas being used to designate indigenous Pueblo settlements.[27] A 1760s map by Jacques-Nicolas Bellin shows a village named Teijas on Trinity River, close to the site of modern Crockett.[27]

Texas Etymology articles: 15


Pre-European era

Texas lies between two major cultural spheres of Pre-Columbian North America: the Southwestern and the Plains areas. Archaeologists have found that three major indigenous cultures lived in this territory, and reached their developmental peak before the first European contact. These were:[28] the Pueblo from the upper Rio Grande region, centered west of Texas; the Mississippian culture, also known as Mound Builders, which extended along the Mississippi River Valley east of Texas; and the civilizations of Mesoamerica, centered south of Texas. Influence of Teotihuacan in northern Mexico peaked around AD 500 and declined over the 8th to 10th centuries.

When Europeans arrived in the Texas region, there were several races of Native peoples divided into many smaller tribes. They were Caddoan, Atakapan, Athabaskan, Coahuiltecan, 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.[28] Native American tribes who lived inside the boundaries of present-day Texas include the Alabama, Apache, Atakapan, Bidai, Caddo, Aranama, Comanche, Choctaw, Coushatta, Hasinai, Jumano, Karankawa, Kickapoo, Kiowa, Tonkawa, and Wichita.[29][30]

Early Native American tribal territories

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, Houma Choctaw, Lenape and Mingo Seneca, among others, who all came to view the Caddoans as saviors, making those peoples highly influential.[31][32]

Whether a Native American tribe was friendly or warlike was critical to the fates of European explorers and settlers in that land.[33] Friendly tribes taught newcomers how to grow indigenous crops, prepare foods, and hunt wild game. Warlike tribes made life difficult and dangerous for Europeans through their attacks and resistance to the newcomers.[34]

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.[31]

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.[31]


The first historical document related to Texas was a map of the Gulf Coast, created in 1519 by Spanish explorer Alonso Álvarez de Pineda.[35] Nine years later, shipwrecked Spanish explorer Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca and his cohort became the first Europeans in what is now Texas.[36][37] 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."[38] Cabeza de Vaca also made observations about the way of life of the Ignaces Natives of Texas:

They went about with a firebrand, setting fire to the plains and timber so as to drive off the mosquitos, and also to get lizards and similar things which they eat, to come out of the soil. In the same manner they kill deer, encircling them with fires, and they do it also to deprive the animals of pasture, compelling them to go for food where the Indians want.[39]

Francisco Vázquez de Coronado describes his 1541 encounter:

Two kinds of people travel around these plains with the cows; one is called Querechos and the others Teyas; they are very well built, and painted, and are enemies of each other. They have no other settlement or location than comes from traveling around with the cows. They kill all of these they wish and tan the hides, with which they clothe themselves and make their tents, and they eat the flesh, sometimes even raw, and they also even drink the blood when thirsty. The tents they make are like field tents, and they set them up over poles they have made for this purpose, which come together and are tied at the top, and when they go from one place to another they carry them on some dogs they have, of which they have many, and they load them with the tents and poles and other things, for the country is so level, as I said, that they can make use of these, because they carry the poles dragging along on the ground. The sun is what they worship most.[40]

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 rather than along the Mississippi River.[41] The colony lasted only four years before succumbing to harsh conditions and hostile natives.[42]

In 1690 Spanish authorities, concerned that France posed a competitive threat, constructed several missions in East Texas.[43] After Native American resistance, the Spanish missionaries returned to Mexico.[44] When France began settling Louisiana, mostly in the southern part of the state, in 1716 Spanish authorities responded by founding a new series of missions in East Texas.[45] Two years later, they created San Antonio as the first Spanish civilian settlement in the area.[46]

Nicolas de La Fora's 1771 map of the northern frontier of New Spain clearly shows the Provincia de los Tejas.[47]

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.[48] In 1749, the Spanish peace treaty with the Lipan Apache angered many tribes,[49] including the Comanche, Tonkawa, and Hasinai.[50] The Comanche signed a treaty with Spain in 1785 and later helped to defeat the Lipan Apache and Karankawa tribes.[51][52] With more numerous missions being established, priests led a peaceful conversion of most tribes. By the end of the 18th century only a few nomadic tribes had not converted to Christianity.[53]

Stephen F. Austin was the first American empresario given permission to operate a colony within Mexican Texas.
Mexico in 1824. Coahuila y Tejas is the northeasternmost state.

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.[54] 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.[55] Marked by the War of 1812, some men who had escaped from the Spanish held (Old) Philippines had immigrated to and also passed through Texas (New Philippines)[56] and reached Louisiana where Philippine exiles aided the United States in the defense of New Orleans against the reinvading British Empire, with Filipinos in the Saint Malo settlement assisting Jean Lafitte in the Battle of New Orleans.[57]In 1821, the Mexican War of Independence included the Texas territory, which became part of Mexico.[58] 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, but other parts of today's Texas were part of Tamaulipas, Chihuahua, or the Mexican Territory of Santa Fe de Nuevo México.[59]

Hoping more settlers would reduce the near-constant Comanche raids, Mexican Texas liberalized its immigration policies to permit immigrants from outside Mexico and Spain.[60] Under the Mexican immigration system, large swathes of land were allotted to empresarios, who recruited settlers from the United States, Europe, and the Mexican interior. The first grant, to Moses Austin, was passed to his son Stephen F. Austin after his death.

Austin's settlers, the Old Three Hundred, made places along the Brazos River in 1822.[61] Twenty-three other empresarios brought settlers to the state, the majority of whom were from the United States.[62] The population of Texas grew rapidly. In 1825, Texas had about 3,500 people, with most of Mexican descent.[63] By 1834, the population had grown to about 37,800 people, with only 7,800 of Mexican descent.[64] 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".[65]

Many immigrants openly flouted Mexican law, especially the prohibition against slavery. Combined with United States' attempts to purchase Texas, Mexican authorities decided in 1830 to prohibit continued immigration from the United States.[66] Illegal immigration from the United States into Mexico continued to increase the population of Texas anyway.[67] New laws also called for the enforcement of customs duties angering native Mexican citizens (Tejanos) and recent immigrants alike.[68]

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.[69] Texians sided with the federalists against the current government and drove all Mexican soldiers out of East Texas.[70] 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.[71] The following year, Texians reiterated their demands at the Convention of 1833.[72]


Within Mexico, tensions continued between federalists and centralists. In early 1835, wary Texians formed Committees of Correspondence and Safety.[73] The unrest erupted into armed conflict in late 1835 at the Battle of Gonzales.[74] This launched the Texas Revolution, and over the next two months the Texians defeated all Mexican troops in the region.[75] Texians elected delegates to the Consultation, which created a provisional government.[76] The provisional government soon collapsed from infighting, and Texas was without clear governance for the first two months of 1836.[77]

Surrender of Santa Anna. Painting by William Henry Huddle, 1886.

During this time of political turmoil, Mexican President Antonio López de Santa Anna personally led an army to end the revolt.[78] The Mexican expedition was initially successful. General José de Urrea defeated all the Texian resistance along the coast culminating in the Goliad massacre.[79] Santa Anna's forces, after a thirteen-day siege, overwhelmed Texian defenders at the Battle of the Alamo. News of the defeats sparked panic among Texas settlers.[80]

The Republic of Texas with present-day borders superimposed

The newly elected Texian delegates to the Convention of 1836 quickly signed a declaration of independence on March 2, forming the Republic of Texas. After electing interim officers, the Convention disbanded.[81] The new government joined the other settlers in Texas in the Runaway Scrape, fleeing from the approaching Mexican army.[80] After several weeks of retreat, the Texian Army commanded by Sam Houston attacked and defeated Santa Anna's forces at the Battle of San Jacinto.[82] Santa Anna was captured and forced to sign the Treaties of Velasco, ending the war.[83] The Constitution of the Republic of Texas prohibited the government from restricting slavery or freeing slaves, and required free people of African descent to leave the country.[84]

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. 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.[85] 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.[86]

The Comanche Indians furnished the main Native American opposition to the Texas Republic, manifested in multiple raids on settlements.[87] 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.[88] The cotton price crash of the 1840s depressed the country's economy.[86]


Captain Charles A. May's squadron of the 2nd Dragoons slashes through the Mexican Army lines. Resaca de la Palma, Texas, May 1846

As early as 1837, the Republic of Texas made several attempts to negotiate annexation with the United States.[89] Opposition within the republic from the nationalist faction, along with strong abolitionist opposition within the United States, slowed Texas's admission into the Union. Texas was finally annexed when the expansionist James K. Polk won the election of 1844.[90] On December 29, 1845, the U.S.Congress admitted Texas to the U.S. as a constituent state of the Union.[91]

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) 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 leaving the Rio Grande Valley under contested Texan sovereignty.[91] 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 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 first battles of the war were fought in Texas: the Siege of Fort Texas, Battle of Palo Alto and Battle of Resaca de la Palma. After these decisive victories, the United States invaded Mexican territory, ending the fighting in Texas.[92]

After a series of United States victories, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo 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 in 1848, most of which today is called the American Southwest, and Texas's borders were established at the Rio Grande.[92]

The Compromise of 1850 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,[93] a third of Colorado, and small portions of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Wyoming to the federal government, in return for the assumption of $10 million of the old republic's debt.[93] Post-war Texas grew rapidly as migrants poured into the cotton lands of the state.[94]

They also brought or purchased enslaved African Americans, whose numbers tripled in the state from 1850 to 1860, from 58,000 to 182,566.[95]

Civil War and Reconstruction (1860–1900)

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.[96] When Abraham Lincoln was elected, South Carolina seceded from the Union. Five other Deep South 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 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.[1][97]

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. 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.[98]

While far from the major battlefields of the American Civil War, Texas contributed large numbers of men and equipment to the rest of the Confederacy.[99] 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.[100] The Confederacy repulsed all Union attempts to shut down this route,[99] but Texas's role as a supply state was marginalized in mid-1863 after the Union capture of the Mississippi River. The final battle of the Civil War was fought near Brownsville, Texas at Palmito Ranch with a Confederate victory.[101][102]

Texas descended into anarchy for two months between the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia and the assumption of authority by Union General Gordon Granger. Violence marked the early months of Reconstruction.[99] Juneteenth commemorates the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in Galveston by General Gordon Granger, almost two and a half years after the original announcement.[103][104] President Johnson, in 1866, declared the civilian government restored in Texas.[105] 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.[106]

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.[107]

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.[108]

Earlier 20th century

Spindletop, the first major oil gusher

In 1900, Texas suffered the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history during the Galveston hurricane.[109] On January 10, 1901, the first major oil well in Texas, Spindletop, was found south of Beaumont. Other fields were later discovered nearby in East Texas, West Texas, and under the Gulf of Mexico. The resulting "oil boom" transformed Texas.[110] Oil production eventually averaged three million barrels per day at its peak in 1972.[111]

In 1901, the Democratic-dominated state legislature passed a bill requiring payment of a poll tax for voting, which effectively disenfranchised most blacks and many poor whites and Latinos. 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.[112][113] The Socialist Party became the second-largest party in Texas after 1912,[114] 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.[115][116]

The Great Depression and the Dust Bowl 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.[96] In 1940, Texas was 74% Anglo, 14.4% black, and 11.5% Hispanic.[117]

World War II 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.[118][119] Texas manufactured 3.1 percent of total United States military armaments produced during World War II, ranking eleventh among the 48 states.[120]

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.[121]

Mid 20th to earlier 21st century

On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.[122]

Beginning around the mid-20th century, Texas began to transform from a rural and agricultural state to one urban and industrialized.[123] The state's population grew quickly during this period, with large levels of migration from outside the state.[123] As a part of the Sun Belt, Texas experienced strong economic growth, particularly during the 1970s and early 1980s.[123] Texas's economy diversified, lessening its reliance on the petroleum industry.[123] By 1990, Hispanics and Latin Americans overtook blacks to become the largest minority group in the state.[123]

During the late 20th century, the Republican Party replaced the Democratic Party as the dominant party in the state, as the latter became more politically liberal and as demographic changes favored the former.[123] Beginning in the early 21st century, metropolitan areas including Dallas–Fort Worth and Greater Austin became centers for the Texas Democratic Party in statewide and national elections as liberal policies became more accepted in urban areas.[124][125][126][127]

From the mid 2000s–2019, Texas gained an influx of business relocations and regional headquarters from companies in California.[128][129][130][131] 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.[132] Another study in 2019 determined Texas's growth rate at 1,000 people per day.[133]

During the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, the first confirmed case of the virus in Texas was announced on March 4, 2020.[134] As of February 2, 2021, there had been over 2.4 million confirmed cases in Texas, with at least 37,417 deaths.[135]

Between February 13–17, 2021, the state faced a major weather emergency as Winter Storm Uri hit the state, as well as most of the Southeastern and Midwestern United States.[136][137] Historically high power usage across the state caused the states power grid to become overworked and ERCOT (the main operator of the Texas Interconnection grid) declared an emergency and began to implement rolling blackouts across Texas.[138][139][140] Over 3 million Texans were without power and over 4 million were under boil notices.[141]

Texas History articles: 176