Texas, second largest state in the United States. Only Alaska has more territory. Located in the south central United States, Texas borders Mexico on the southwest and the Gulf of Mexico on the southeast. To the west is New Mexico, to the north and northeast lie Oklahoma and Arkansas, and Louisiana borders Texas on the east. Austin is the capital of Texas. Houston is the largest city.
Texas is the size of Ohio, Indiana, and all the New England and Middle Atlantic states combined, and its vast area encompasses forests, mountains, deserts and dry plains, and a long, humid, subtropical coastal lowland. Texas’s wealth of mineral resources is considerable. The rapid economic development stimulated by these resources and the state’s vast size has made Texas an American legend. Oil wells, chemicals, ranches, and cattle have played a major part in that legend.
For more than 100 years, Texas was part of the Spanish Empire in America. When Mexico gained its independence from Spain in 1821, Texas was for a while joined to Mexico. The section from San Antonio southward retains the flavor of the Hispano-Mexican period in its architecture, foods, and festivals. The name Texas is derived from tejas or teyas, the rendering by the Spanish in the mid-16th century of the Caddo people’s word for friends or allies. It gradually became used to denote the region north of the Río Grande and east of New Mexico, and was officially applied as Texas when the area was organized as a republic in 1836. Texas was an independent republic until it joined the Union on December 29, 1845, as the 28th state. Its single-star flag dates from its independent period and has given Texas the nickname the Lone Star State. "Texas" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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