Texas (abbr.: TX or Tex.), state of the United States of America, 692,407 km2, with 17 million inhabitants; capital city: Austin.
Texas consists of three plains, which rise in terraces to the west. The approximately 250 km wide coastal plain is parallel to the strongly articulated coast. The rivers have formed deep bays. Off the coast are elongated sandbanks behind which vast lagoons have formed. To the west, the coastal plain is closed off by the Blacklands, a rich agricultural area, beyond which rises the Balcones Escarpment (200 to 900 m) at the beginning of the prairie area of the Great Plains, the central part of which consists of the Llano Estacado or Staked Plains, a dry steppe area, partly with a desert character, that rises to 1500 m. The western part, Trans-Pecos-Texas, is a rough plateau. Here rise the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, with Guadalupe Peak (2667 m, the highest point in the state). The northern border river Red River, in which the large reservoir Lake Texoma (approx. 450 km2) is located near Denison, is a tributary of the Mississippi. Virtually all other rivers flow directly into the Gulf of Mexico; from east to west the most important are: Sabine, Brazos, Colorado and the 3030 km long Rio Grande with its left tributary the Pecos. The climate differences in this vast state are very large. The southeast is subtropical, the northwest has a continental climate. The state suffers greatly from tornadoes and in winter from cold northerly winds, the Northers. Most rain falls in the summer half of the year, but because of the strong evaporation, Texas is very dry.
The average population density is 24 inhabitants. per km2. About 80% of the population lives in urban areas. More than a quarter of the population is of Hispanic (Mexican) background. The largest cities are Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Fort Worth, El Paso and Austin. See top cities in Texas.
Texas is the most important mining state in the United States (petroleum, natural gas, also cement, salt, helium, gypsum), but also one of the most important agricultural states. The main crops are cotton, grains and sorghum; further to pecan and groundnuts and fruit. Livestock includes cattle (largest number in the United States), sheep, and pigs. Since the 1930s, Texas industry has grown exponentially. Most important is the processing of minerals (petroleum refining) and agricultural products (canned meat). Also of importance are the production of chemical products (including synthetic rubber), the food industry, the manufacture of transport equipment (especially aerospace) and machinery, printing and publishing houses. The main industrial centers are Dallas and Houston.
The state is home to many natural landmarks, including Big Bend National Park, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Padre Island National Seashore, Caddo Lake State Park, Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge, and Longhorn Cavern State Park. There are a number of well-preserved or restored 18th-century missions, especially in and around San Antonio.
As early as 1519, the Spaniard Alonso de Pineda explored the coast from Florida to Mexico. The area became a Spanish province, but there was hardly any colonization, as the land was barren and dry and there was a constant threat from Indian tribes. It was not until the 19th century that there were real changes. In 1821, American settler leader Moses Austin received a charter from the Provisional Hispano-Mexican government to bring two hundred families to Texas. In 1825 Mexico, which had meanwhile become independent, opened the area completely to colonization; the Americans were now flocking in. Since 1830, the Mexican government has hindered immigration and sought to abolish slavery. This led to skirmishes with the settlers. After suffering a number of defeats in 1835, The settlers led by Sam Houston managed to inflict a decisive defeat on Mexican dictator Santa Ana at the Battle of San Jacinto (April 21, 1836). The settlers now proclaimed the independent republic of Texas, with Houston on Oct. 1836 became the first president. The United States immediately recognized the new republic. Since Texas was pro-slavery, the North of the United States prevented Texas’s desired affiliation. It was not until March 1, 1845, that then-President of Texas, Anson Jones, and US President Tyler succeeded in pushing through the annexation. Texas was directly incorporated as a state (the 28th) into the Union, ie. it was not first given the usual territorial status. It also ruled that slavery was allowed in Texas.
In the new state, Houston initially regained the lead. Against his wishes, Texas chose the Confederate States and secession in 1861. After the Civil War, Texas remained occupied until 1870 and maintained a rule of “carpet baggers” until 1874. With this term the Texans referred to the people from the north who arrived with all their possessions in a single bag (carpet bag). In the last decades of the 19th century, Texas experienced a major boom through livestock farming, later especially through drilling for petroleum. However, the mass of the population lived in poverty. The Populists therefore acquired a strong following. The fact that poor whites came to power led to certain reforms at the beginning of the 20th century, but also to a further decline of the black population (segregation measures; revival of the Ku Klux Klan ca. 1920). Picturesque, corrupt figures often dominated the political scene. Yet the picture was not all bleak. Reforms came about and Roosevelt’s New Deal aroused much admiration in addition to much resistance. The fact that Texas is not only a state in the deep south of the United States, but also a state in the west with a more liberal tradition, became clear especially after 1954. The integration of blacks in the schools was done with considerably less conflict than in the rest of the south.
National Parks Texas
Big Bend National Park
The Big Bend National Park can be found in the largest bend of the Rio Grande and Big Bend means “big bend” so that is where the park owes its name. The park is really little more than a big desert with canyons and rock formations that appear out of nowhere. Cars and RVs are welcome virtually throughout the park, and overnight stays are available at the campgrounds at The Basin, Castolon, Panther Junction and Rio Grande Village.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
The Guadalupe Mountains completely surround the park and therefore it consists entirely of mountains. The park also contains a gigantic gorge, the McKittrick Canyon, which penetrates deep into the earth’s crust. It borders the Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico and, like there, has a semi-desert climate. The closest campgrounds are in the cities of Carlsbad (New Mexico) and Van Horn (Texas) and hotels are located near the cities of Whites City (New Mexico). Mexico) and Dell City (Texas).