History of Texas

Texas, 28th state of the union, became part of the United States on December 29, 1845.   Prior to that, the first European settlers in Texas were Spanish missionaries, founding San Antonio in 1718.  With openly hostile native populations and relative isolation from other Spanish colonies, the thinly populated Texas remained as such until the Revolutionary War and the War of Mexican Independence, when the Mexican government started to allow settlers from the around the U.S. to claim land there.  The non-Mexican population exploded, with those with Mexican heritage becoming sparser.  This caused friction with the government in Mexico City, and, following a number of smaller insurrections, the Texas Revolution began.  Texas became an independent nation in 1835.  Unable to properly defend itself against the better equipped Mexican troops, Texas the independent nation became Texas the state in 1845.

A notable event during the time of Texas’ war for independence from Mexico was the defense of the Franciscan mission known as the Alamo, near San Antonio.  A much larger force of Mexican troops attacked on February 23, 1836, and went on for 13 days before the Mexican forces triumphantly broke through the defenses, massacring most of the remaining Texans, including famed frontiersman and former congressman from Tennessee, Davy Crockett.

Culture of Texas

One cannot talk about Texas without talking about cowboys.  This strong association has made a huge mark on national and international pop culture.  The iconic cowboy image has influenced many, many movies, and country music.  The capital city of Austin is known as the live music capital of the world, due in large part to the unique style of country and western music originating in the area.  Texas is also associated with oil tycoons, as evidenced by the hit TV series Dallas.

Historically, Texas culture comes from a blend of Southern and Western influences, varying in degrees of such from one region in the state to another.  The breakfast burrito can trace its origins as a popular breakfast food to Texas, and draws influence from both the Southern and Western cultures, with its soft flour tortilla filled with bacon and scrambled eggs or other hot, cooked fillings.

One of only five American cities with permanent professional resident companies in all of the major performing arts disciplines, Houston hosts the Houston Grand Opera, the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the Houston Ballet and The Alley Theatre.  Houston boasts a theater district well known for its vibrancy.  The 17-block area in the heart of Houston ranks second in the country in the number of theater seats in a concentrated downtown area, with a whopping 12,948 seats for live performances and 1,480 movie seats.

Texas has many professional sports teams, yet Texans are known to be avid football fans.  It has two National Football League teams, the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Texans, two Major League Baseball teams, the Texas Rangers and the Houston Astros, three National Basketball Association teams, he Houston Rockets, the San Antonio Spurs and the Dallas Mavericks, and one National Hockey League team, the Dallas Stars.

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