Located in the west south-central United States

Located in the west south-central United States, Texas is the largest of the 48 conterminous states. Texas’s US rank slipped to second when Alaska entered the Union in 1959.
Th e total area of Texas is 266,807 sq mi (691,030 sq km), of
which land comprises 262,017 sq mi (678,624 sq km) and inland
water 4,790 sq mi (12,406 sq km). Th e state’s land area represents
8.8% of the US mainland and 7.4% of the nation as a whole. Th e
state’s maximum e–w extension is 801 mi (1,289 km); its extreme
n–s distance is 773 mi (1,244 km).
Texas is bordered on the n by Oklahoma and Arkansas (with
part of the line formed by the Red River); on the e by Arkansas
and Louisiana (with part of the Louisiana line defi ned by the Sabine River); on the se by the Gulf of Mexico; on the sw by the Mexican states of Tamaulipas, Nuevo León, Coahuila, and Chihuahua
(with the line formed by the Rio Grande); and on the w by New
Mexico. Th e state’s geographic center is in McCulloch County, 15
mi (24 km) ne of Brady.
Large islands in the Gulf of Mexico belonging to Texas are
Galveston, Matagorda, and Padre. Th e boundary length of the
state totals 3,029 mi (4,875 km), including a general Gulf of Mexico coastline of 367 mi (591 km); the tidal shoreline is 3,359 mi
(5,406 km).
Texas’s major physiographic divisions are the Gulf Coastal Plain in
the east and southeast; the North Central Plains, covering most of
central Texas; the Great Plains, extending from west-central Texas
up into the panhandle; and the mountainous trans-Pecos area in
the extreme west.
Within the Gulf Coastal Plain are the Piney Woods, an extension of western Louisiana that introduces into East Texas for about
125 mi (200 km), and the Post Oak Belt, a fl at region of mixed
soil that gives way to the rolling prairie of the Blackland Belt, the
state’s most densely populated region. Th e Balcones Escarpment
(so-called by the Spanish because its sharp profi le suggests a balcony), a geological fault line running from the Rio Grande near
Del Rio across central Texas, separates the Gulf Coastal Plain and
Rio Grande Plain from the North Central Plains and south-central Hill Country, and in so doing, divides East Texas from West
Texas, watered Texas from dry Texas, and (culturally speaking)
the Old South from the burgeoning West. Sea level at the Gulf of
Mexico is the lowest elevation of the state.
Th e North Central Plains extend from the Blackland Belt to the
Cap Rock Escarpment, a natural boundary carved by erosion to
heights of nearly 1,000 ft (300 m) in some places. Much of this
plains region is rolling prairie, but the dude ranches of the Hill
Country and the mineral-rich Burnet-Llano Basin are also found
here. West of the Cap Rock Escarpment are the Great Plains,
stretching north–south from the Panhandle Plains to the Edwards
Plateau, just north of the Balcones Escarpment. Along the western
edge of the panhandle and extending into New Mexico is the Llano Estacado (Staked Plains), an extension of the High Plains lying
east of the base of the Rocky Mountains.
Th e trans-Pecos region, between the Pecos River and the Rio
Grande, contains the highest point in the state: Guadalupe Peak,
with an altitude of 8,749 ft (2,668 m), part of the Guadalupe Range
extending southward from New Mexico into western Texas for
about 20 mi (32 km). Also in the trans-Pecos region is the Diablo
Plateau, which has no runoff to the sea and holds its scant water
in lakes that oft en evaporate entirely. Farther south are the Davis
Mountains, with a number of peaks rising above 7,000 ft (2,100
m), and Big Bend country (surrounded on three sides by the Rio
Grande), whose canyons sometimes reach depths of nearly 2,000
ft (600 m). Th e Chisos Mountains, also exceeding 7,000 ft (2,100
State of Texas
ORIGIN OF STATE NAME: Derived from the Caddo word tavshas, meaning “allies” or “friends.” NICKNAME: Th e Lone Star State. CAPITAL: Austin. ENTERED UNION: 29 December 1845 (28th). SONG: “Texas,
Our Texas;” “Th e Eyes of Texas.” MOTTO: Friendship. FLAG: At the hoist is a vertical bar of blue with a single white fi ve-pointed star; two horizontal bars of white and red cover the remainder of the fl ag. OFFICIAL
SEAL: A fi ve-pointed star is encircled by olive and live oak branches, surrounded with the words “Th e State
of Texas.” BIRD: Mockingbird. FISH: Guadelupe bass. FLOWER: Bluebonnet; prickly pear cactus (plant).
TREE: Pecan. GEM: Topaz. LEGAL HOLIDAYS: New Year’s Day, 1 January; Confederate Heroes Day, 19 January; Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., 3rd Monday in January; Presidents’ Day, 3rd Monday in February;
Texas Independence Day, 2 March: Cesar Cavez Day, 31 March (optional); Good Friday, Friday before Easter, March or April (optional); San Jacinto Day, 21 April; Memorial Day, last Monday in May; Emancipation
Day, 19 June; Independence Day, 4 July; Lyndon B. Johnson’s Birthday, 27 August; Labor Day, 1st Monday in
September; Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, September or October (optional); Veterans’ Day, 11 November;
Th anksgiving Day, 4th Th ursday in November and the day following; Christmas, 24, 25, and 26 December.
TIME: 6 AM CST = noon GMT.
804 Texas
m) at some points stand just north and west of the Rio Grande.
Th e mean elevation of the state is approximately 1,700 ft (519 m).
For its vast expanse, Texas boasts few natural lakes. Caddo
Lake, which lies in Texas and Louisiana, is the state’s largest natural lake, though its present length of 20 mi (32 km) includes waters added by dam construction in Louisiana. Two artifi cial reservoirs—Amistad (shared with Mexico), near Del Rio, and Toledo
Bend (shared with Louisiana) on the Sabine River—have respective storage capacities exceeding 3 million and 4 million acre-ft ,
and the Sam Rayburn Reservoir (covering 179 sq mi/464 sq km)
has a capacity of 2.9 million acre-ft . All together, the state contains
close to 200 major reservoirs, eight of which can store more than
1 million acre-ft of water. From the air, Texas looks as well watered as Minnesota, but the lakes are artifi cial, and much of the
soil is dry.
One reason Texas has so many reservoirs is that it is blessed
with a number of major river systems, although none is navigable for more than 50 mi (80 km) inland. Starting from the west,
the Rio Grande, a majestic stream in some places but a trickling
trough in others, imparts life to the Texas desert and serves as the
international boundary with Mexico. Its total length of 1,896 mi
(3,051 km), including segments in Colorado and New Mexico,
makes the Rio Grande the nation’s second-longest river, exceeded only by the Missouri-Mississippi river system. Th e Colorado
River is the longest river wholly within the state, extending about
600 mi (970 km) on its journey across central and southeastern
Texas to the Gulf of Mexico. Other important rivers include the
Nueces, in whose brushy valley the range cattle industry began;
the San Antonio, which stems from springs within the present city
limits and fl ows, like most Texas rivers, to the Gulf of Mexico; the
Brazos, which rises in New Mexico and stretches diagonally for
about 840 mi (1,350 km) across Texas; the Trinity, which serves
Fort Worth and Dallas; the San Jacinto, a short river but one of the
most heavily traffi cked in North America, overlapping the Houston Ship Channel, which connects the Port of Houston with the
Gulf; the Neches, which makes an ocean port out of Beaumont;
the Sabine, which has the largest water discharge (6,800,000 acreft ) at its mouth of any Texas river; the Red, forming part of the
northern boundary; and the Canadian, which crosses the Texas
panhandle from New Mexico to Oklahoma, bringing moisture to
the cattle raisers and wheat growers of that region. In all, Texas
has about 3,700 identifi able streams, many of which dry up in the
summer and fl ood during periods of rainfall.
Because of its extensive outcroppings of limestone, extending
westward from the Balcones Escarpment, Texas contains a maze
of caverns. Among the better-known caves are Longhorn Cavern
in Burnet County; Wonder Cave, near San Marcos; the Caverns of
Sonora, at Sonora; and Jack Pit Cave, in Menard County, which,
with 19,000 ft (5,800 m) of passages, is the most extensive cave yet
mapped in the state.
About 1 billion years ago, shallow seas covered much of Texas.
Aft er the seas receded, the land dropped gradually over millions
of years, leaving a thick sediment that was then compressed into
a long mountain range called the Ouachita Fold Belt. Th e sea was
eventually restricted to a zone in West Texas called the Permian
Basin, a giant evaporation pan holding gypsum and salt deposits
hundreds of feet deep. As the mountain chain across central Texas
eroded and the land continued to subside, the Rocky Mountains
were uplift ed, leaving deep cuts in Big Bend country and creating
the Llano Estacado. Th e Gulf of Mexico subsided rapidly, depositing sediment accumulations several thousand feet deep, while salt
domes formed over vast petroleum and sulfur deposits. All this
geologic activity also deposited quicksilver in the Terlingua section of the Big Bend, built up the Horseshoe Atoll (a buried reef in
west-central Texas that is the largest limestone reservoir in the nation), created uranium deposits in southern Texas, and preserved
the oil-bearing Jurassic rocks of the northeast.
Texas’s great size and topographic variety make climatic description diffi cult. Brownsville, at the mouth of the Rio Grande, has
had no measurable snowfall during all the years that records have
been kept, but Vega, in the panhandle, averages 23 in (58 cm) of
snowfall per year. Near the Louisiana border, rainfall exceeds 56
in (142 cm) annually, while in parts of extreme West Texas, rainfall averages less than 8 in (20 cm). Average annual precipitation
in Dallas is about 33.3 in (84 cm); in El Paso, 8.6 in (21 cm); and
in Houston, 47.8 in (121.4 cm).
Generally, a maritime climate prevails along the Gulf coast,
with continental conditions inland; the Balcones Escarpment is
the main dividing line between the two zones, but they are not
completely isolated from each other’s infl uence. Texas has two basic seasons—a hot summer that may last from April through October, and a winter that starts in November and usually lasts until
March. When summer ends, the state is too dry for autumn foliage, except in East Texas. Temperatures in El Paso, in the southwest, range from an average January minimum of 31°f (0°c) to
an average July maximum of 95°f (35°c); at Amarillo, in the panhandle, from 22°f (-5°c) in January to 91°f (32°c) in July; and at
Galveston, on the Gulf, from 48°f (9°c) in January to 88°f (31°c)
in August. Perhaps the most startling contrast is in relative humidity, averaging 59% in the morning in El Paso, 73% in Amarillo,
and 83% in Galveston. In the Texas panhandle, the average date
of the fi rst freeze is 1 November; in the lower Rio Grande Valley,
16 December. Th e last freeze arrives in the panhandle on 15 April,
and in the lower Rio Grande Valley on 30 January. Th e valley thus
falls only six weeks short of having a 12-month growing season
while the panhandle approximates the growing season of the upper Midwest.
Record temperatures range from -23°f (-31°c) at Seminole, on
8 February 1933, to 120°f (49°c) at Seymour in north-central Texas on 12 August 1936. Th e greatest annual rainfall was 109 in (277
cm), measured in 1873 at Clarksville, just below the Red River in
northeast Texas; the least annual rainfall, 1.786 in (4.47 cm), was
recorded at Wink, near the New Mexico line, in 1956. Th rall, in
central Texas, received 38.2 in (97 cm) of rain in 24 hours on 9–10
September 1921. Alvin, in Brazoria County on the Gulf Coast, had
43 in (109 cm) of rain on 25–26 July 1979, a national record for the
most rainfall during a 24-hour period. Romero, on the New Mexico border, received a record 65 in (165 cm) of snow in the winter
of 1923–24, and Hale Center, near Lubbock, measured 33 in (84
cm) during one storm in February 1956. Th e highest sustained
wind velocity in Texas history, 145 mph (233 km/hr), occurred
when Hurricane Carla hit Matagorda and Port Lavaca along the
Gulf coast on 11 September 1961.
Texas 805 50 kilometers
0 25
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MONTHouston Abilene
Corpus Christi
El Paso
San Antonio
Big Bend
Nat’l Park
N. R. A.
Nat’l Rec. Area
Laguna Atascosa
National Wildlife Refuge
Padre Island
National Seashore
State Capital
U.S. Interstate Route
Area of Interest
Point of Interest
City (100,000-500,000 people)
City (more than 500,000 people)
Fort Worth Mesquite Dallas
Nat’l For.
Nat’l For.
National Park
Angelina N. F.
Big Bend Ranch State
Nat. Area
Davis Mts.
State Park
Sandhills S.P.
of Sonora
S. P.
State Park
Rio Grande
BentsenS. P.
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Corpus Christi
S. P.
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Caprock Canyons
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St. Rec. Area
806 Texas
Hurricanes strike the Gulf coast about once every decade, usually in September or October. A hurricane on 19–20 August 1886
leveled the port of Indianola; the town (near present-day Port
Lavaca) was never rebuilt. Galveston was the site of the most destructive storm in US history: on 8–9 September 1900, a hurricane
blew across the island of 38,000 residents, leaving at least 6,000
dead (the exact total has never been ascertained) and leveling
most of the city. A storm of equal intensity hit Galveston in midAugust 1915, but this time, the city was prepared; its new seawall
held the toll to 275 deaths and $50 million worth of property damage. Because of well-planned damage-prevention and evacuation
procedures, Hurricane Carla—at least as powerful as any previous
hurricane—claimed no more than 34 lives.
Texas was not left unscathed by the hurricane season of 2005,
which devastated much of the Gulf Coast region, particularly in
Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida. Hurricane Katrina, which
made landfall at Buras, Louisiana on 29 August 2005, caused damage to Texas-operated oil production sites in the Gulf of Mexico.
Th is led to the reduction of oil production by 95% during the immediate aft ermath of the storm. Th ousands of residents from New
Orleans were evacuated to locations in Texas as 80% of their city
was fl ooded by the storm and resulting levee damage. A month
later, Hurricane Rita made landfall near the Texas–Louisiana border on 24 September 2005 as a Category 3 storm. Two oil refi neries in Port Arthur were damaged and extensive fl ooding occurred
in the region. As of early 2006, the estimated cost of damage for
Hurricane Rita was about $10 billion in total losses.
Texas also lies in the path of “Tornado Alley,” stretching across
the Great Plains to Canada. Th e worst tornado in recent decades
struck downtown Waco on 11 May 1953, killing 114 persons, injuring another 597, and destroying or damaging some 1,050 homes
and 685 buildings. At least 115 tornadoes—the greatest concentration on record—occurred with Hurricane Beulah during 19–23
September 1967; the 67 tornadoes on 20 September set a record
for the largest number of tornadoes on one day in the state.
Floods and droughts have also taken their toll in Texas. Th e
worst fl ood occurred on 26–28 June 1954, when Hurricane Alice moved inland up the Rio Grande for several hundred miles,
dropping 27 in (69 cm) of rain on Pandale above Del Rio. Th e Rio
Grande rose 50 to 60 ft (15–18 m) within 48 hours, as a wall of
water 86 ft (26 m) high in the Pecos River canyon fed it from the
north. A Pecos River bridge built with a 50-ft (15-m) clearance
was washed out, as was the international bridge linking Laredo
with Mexico. Periodic droughts affl icted Texas in the 1930s and
More than 500 species of grasses covered Texas when the Spanish
and Anglo-Americans arrived. Although plowing and lack of soil
conservation destroyed a considerable portion of this rich heritage, grassy pastureland still covers about two-thirds of the state.
Bermuda grass is a favorite ground cover, especially an improved
type called Coastal Bermuda, introduced aft er World War II. Th e
prickly pear cactus is a mixed blessing: like the cedar and mesquite, it saps moisture and inhibits grass growth, but it does retain moisture in periods of drought and will survive the worst dry
spells, so (with the spines burned off ) it can be of great value to
ranchers as cattle feed in diffi cult times. Th e bean of the mesquite
also provides food for horses and cattle when they have little else
to eat, and its wood is a favorite in barbecues and fi replaces.
Texas has more than 20 native trees, of which the catclaw, fl owering mimosa, huisache, black persimmon, huajillo, and weeping
juniper (unique to the Big Bend) are common only in Texas. Cottonwood grows along streams in almost every part of the state,
while cypress inhabits the swamps. Th e fl owering dogwood in
East Texas draws tourists to that region every spring, and the largest bois d’arc trees in the United States are grown in the Red River Valley. Probably the most popular shade tree is the American
(white) elm, which, like the gum tree, has considerable commercial importance. Th e magnolia is treasured for its grace and beauty; no home of substance in southeastern Texas would have a lawn
without one. Of the principal hardwoods, the white oak is the
most commercially valuable, the post oak the most common, and
the live oak the most desirable for shade; the pecan is the state tree.
Pines grow in two areas about 600 mi (970 km) apart—deep East
Texas and the trans-Pecos region. In southeast Texas stands the
Big Th icket, a unique area originally covering more than 3 million
acres (1.2 million hectares) but now reduced to about one-tenth
of that by lumbering. Gonzales County, in south-central Texas, is
the home of palmettos, orchids, and other semitropical plants not
found anywhere else in the state. Texas wild rice and several cactus
species are classifi ed as endangered throughout the state.
Possibly the rarest mammal in Texas is the red wolf, which inhabits the marshland between Houston and Beaumont, one of the
most thickly settled areas of the state; owing to human encroachment and possible hybridization with coyotes, the red wolf is
steadily disappearing despite eff orts by naturalists throughout the
United States to save it. On the other hand, Texans claim to have
the largest number of white-tailed deer of any state in the Union,
an estimated 3 million. Although the Hill Country is the whitetailed deer’s natural habitat, the species has been transplanted successfully throughout the state.
Perhaps the most unusual mammal in Texas is the nine-banded
armadillo. Originally confi ned to the Rio Grande border, the armadillo has gradually spread northward and eastward, crossing
the Red River into Oklahoma and the Mississippi River into the
Deep South. It accomplished these feats of transport by sucking in
air until it becomes buoyant and then swimming across the water.
Th e armadillo is likewise notable for always having its young in litters of identical quadruplets. Th e chief mammalian predators are
the coyote, bobcat, and mountain lion.
Texas attracts more than 825 diff erent kinds of birds, with bird
life most abundant in the lower Rio Grande Valley and coastal
plains. Argument continues as to whether Texas is the last home of
the ivory-billed woodpecker, which lives in inaccessible swamps,
preferably in cutover timber. Somewhat less rare is the pileated
woodpecker, which also inhabits the forested lowlands. Other
characteristic birds include the yellow-trimmed hooded warbler,
which frequents the canebrakes and produces one of the most
melodious songs of any Texas bird; the scissor-tailed fl ycatcher, known popularly as the scissor-tail; Attwater’s greater prairie
chicken, now declining because of inadequate protection from
hunters and urbanization; the mockingbird, the state bird; and the
roadrunner, also known as paisano and chaparral. Rare birds include the Mexican jacana, with a fl esh comb and bright yellowgreen wings; the white-throated swift , one of the world’s fastest
Texas 807
fl yers; the Texas canyon wren, with a musical range of more than
an octave; and the Colima warbler, which breeds only in the Chisos Mountains. In the Arkansas National Wildlife Refuge, along
the central Gulf coast, lives the whooping crane, which has long
been on the endangered list. Controversy surrounds the golden
eagle, protected by federal law but despised by ranchers for allegedly preying on lambs and other young livestock.
Texas has its fair share of reptiles, including more than 100 species of snake, 16 of them poisonous, notably the deadly Texas coral
snake. Th ere are 10 kinds of rattlesnake, and some parts of West
Texas hold annual rattlesnake roundups. Disappearing with the
onset of urbanization are the horned toad, a small iguana-like
lizard; the vinegarroon, a stinging scorpion; and the tarantula,
a large, black, hairy spider that is scary to behold but basically
Caddo Lake, a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance,
is considered to be the site of the most diverse, native freshwater
fi sh communities in the state. Th ese include the American paddlefi sh and the American eel. Th e area contains what is considered
to be one of the best examples of a mature bald cypress swampland in the southern states. Inventories of the species found in
the wetland include 189 species of trees and shrubs, 75 grasses,
42 woody vines, and 802 herbaceous plants. Animal life includes
216 species of bird, 47 mammal species, and 90 types of reptiles
and amphibians.
In addition to providing protection for the animals on federal
lists of threatened and endangered species, the state has its own
wildlife protection programs. Among the animals classifi ed as
non-game (not hunted) and therefore given special consideration
are the lesser yellow bat, spotted dolphin, reddish egret, whitetailed hawk, wood stork, Big Bend gecko, rock rattlesnake, Louisiana pine snake, white-lipped frog, giant toad, toothless blindcat,
and blue sucker. In April 2006, Th e US Fish and Wildlife Service
listed 28 Texas plant species as threatened or endangered, including ashy dogweed, black lace cactus, large-fruited sand-verbena,
South Texas ambrosia, Terlingua creek cats-eye, Texas snowbells,
Texas trailing phlox, and Texas wild-rice. In the same report, 62
animal species were listed as threatened or endangered in Texas
(up from 43 in 1997), including the Mexican long-nosed bat, Louisiana black bear, bald eagle, ocelot, Mexican spotted owl, Texas
blind salamander, Houston toad, black-capped vireo, two species
of whale, and fi ve species of turtle.
Conservation in Texas offi cially began with the creation of a State
Department of Forestry in 1915; 11 years later, this body was reorganized as the Texas Forest Service, the name it retains today. Th e
state’s Soil Conservation Service was created in 1935.
Th e scarcity of water is the one environmental crisis every Texan
must live with. Much of the state has absorbent soils, a high evaporation rate, vast areas without trees to hold moisture, and a rolling
terrain susceptible to rapid runoff . Th e Texas Water Commission
and Water Development Board direct the state’s water supply and
conservation programs. Various county and regional water authorities have been constituted, as have several water commissions
for river systems. Probably the most complete system is that of the
three Colorado River authorities—lower, central, and upper. Th e
oldest of these is the Lower Colorado River Authority, created in
1934 by the Texas legislature to “control, store, preserve, and distribute” the waters of the Colorado River and its feeder streams.
Th e authority exercises control over a 10-county area stretching
from above Austin to the Gulf coast, overseeing fl ood control,
municipal and industrial water supplies, irrigation, hydroelectric
power generation, soil conservation, and recreation.
Th ere are about 7.6 million acres (3 million hectares) of wetlands in the state, accounting for about 4.4% of the total land
area. Caddo Lake, in Harrison and Marion Counties, was designated as a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance in 1993.
Management for the site is under the Texas Parks and Wildlife
Th e most powerful conservation agency in Texas is the Railroad Commission. Originally established to regulate railroads,
the commission extended its power to regulate oil and natural gas
by virtue of its jurisdiction over the transportation of those products by rail and pipeline. In 1917, the state legislature empowered
the commission to prevent the waste of oil and gas. Th e key step
in conservation arrived with the discovery of oil in East Texas in
1930. With a national depression in full swing and the price of oil
dropping to $1 a barrel, the commission agreed to halt ruinous
overproduction, issuing the fi rst proration order in April 1931. In
a fi eld composed of hundreds of small owners, however, control
was diffi cult to establish; oil was bootlegged, the commission’s authority broke down, Governor Ross S. Sterling declared martial
law, and the state’s conservation edicts were not heeded until the
federal government stepped in to enforce them. As of 2003, the
Railroad Commission is comprised of four divisions that oversee
the state’s oil and gas industry, gas utilities, pipeline and rail safety,
safety in the liquefi ed petroleum gas industry, and coal and uranium mining.
As in other states, hazardous wastes have become an environmental concern in Texas. In 1984, for example, a suit was brought
against eight oil and chemical companies, including both Exxon
and Shell Oil, alleging that they had dumped hazardous wastes
at four sites in Harris County. Th e agency that oversees compliance with hazardous-waste statutes is the Hazardous and Solid
Waste Division of the Texas Water Commission. In 2003, some
261.9 million lb of toxic chemicals were released in the state. Th at
year, Texas ranked third of all the states in the nation for the highest levels of toxic chemicals released (following Alaska and Nevada). In 2003, Texas had 298 hazardous waste sites listed in the
US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) database, 43 of which
were on the National Priorities List as of 2006, including Crystal City Airport and two Army ammunitions plants (in Texarkana
and Karnack). In 2005, the EPA spent over $11.5 million through
the Superfund program for the cleanup of hazardous waste sites in
the state. Th e same year, federal EPA grants awarded to the state
included $49.2 million to provide loans for wastewater system improvements to municipalities and interstate agencies.
Th e state has lost about one-half of its original wetlands, which
reportedly covered about 5% of the state’s total land area in 2003.
Th e three agencies that defi ne wetlands disagree on the total wetlands are in the state, with estimates ranging from about 6 million acres (2.4 million hectares) to 8 million acres (3.2 million
808 Texas
In 1998 Texas overtook New York as the nation’s second most populous state. Between 1990 and 2000 Texas’s population grew from
16,986,510 to 20,851,820, a gain of 22.8%, and the second-largest
increase for the decade among the 50 states. Th e state had placed
fourth in the 1970 census, with a population of 11,196,730, but
had surpassed Pennsylvania in 1974. Th e estimated population as
of 2005 was 22,859,968, an increase of 9.6% since 2000. Th e population is projected to reach 26.5 million by 2015 and 30.8 million
by 2025. Th e population density in 2004 was 86 persons per sq
At the fi rst decennial census of 1850, less than fi ve years after Texas had become a state, the population totaled 212,592.
It reached 1,600,000 by the early 1880s (when the state ranked
eleventh), passed 4,000,000 during World War I, and jumped to
7,700,000 in 1950. Th e slowest period of growth occurred during the Depression decade (1930–40) when the population rose
only 10%, and the state was surpassed by California. Th e growth
rate ranged between 17% and 27% for each decade from the 1940s
through the 1970s; it was 19.4% between 1980 and 1990.
In 1870, only one out of 68 Texans was 65 years of age or older;
by 1990, the proportion was one out of 10. In 2004, the median age
for Texans was 32.9. In the same year, 27.9% of the populace were
under age 18 while 9.9% was age 65 or older.
Th e largest metropolitan area in 2004 was Dallas–Fort Worth–
Arlington with an estimated 5,700,256 people. Close behind was
the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown area, with 5,180,443 residents.
Houston, the largest city proper in Texas and fourth-largest city in
the United States, had an estimated 2004 population of 2,012,626.
San Antonio proper, the eighth-largest city in the United States,
had an estimated population of 1,236,249. Next was Dallas (ninth
in the nation), with 1,210,393; followed by Austin, 681,804; Fort
Worth, 603,337; El Paso, 592,099; Arlington, 359,467; and Corpus
Christi, 281,196. With the exception of El Paso, in the far western corner of the trans-Peco region, most of the larger cities are
situated along the Gulf coast or on or near an axis that extends
north–south from Wichita Falls to Corpus Christi, in the heart of
the Blackland Belt.
As white settlers pushed toward Texas during the 19th century,
many Indian groups moved west and south into the region. Th e
most notable tribes were the Comanche, Wichita, Kiowa, Apache,
Choctaw, and Cherokee. Also entering in signifi cant numbers
were the Kickapoo and Potawatomi from Illinois, the Delaware
and Shawnee from Missouri, the Quapaw from Arkansas, and the
Creek from Alabama and Georgia. One of the few Texas tribes
that has survived to the present time as an identifi able group is
the Alabama-Coushatta, who inhabit a 4,351-acre (1,761-hectare)
reservation in Polk County, 90 mi (145 km) northeast of Houston. Th e Tigua, living in Texas since the 1680s, were recognized
by a federal law in 1968 that transferred all responsibility for them
to the state of Texas. Th e two Indian reservations number about
500 persons each. Overall, at the 2000 census, there were 118,362
American Indians living in Texas. In 2004, 0.7% of the state’s population was American Indian.
Blacks have been integral to the history of Texas ever since a
black Moor named Estevanico was shipwrecked near present-day
Galveston in 1528. By 1860, Texas had 182,921 blacks, or 30% of
the total population, of whom only 355 were free. Once emancipated, blacks made eff ective use of the franchise, electing two of
their number to the state Senate and nine to the House in 1868.
Aft er the return of the Democratic Party to political dominance,
however, the power of blacks steadily diminished. Since then, their
numbers have grown, but their proportion of the total population
has dwindled, although Houston and Dallas were, respectively,
about 25% and 26% black at the 2000 census. In 2000, 2,404,566
blacks lived in the state, which ranked second behind New York in
the size of its black population. In 2004, 11.7% of the state’s population was black.
Hispanics and Latinos, the largest minority in Texas, numbered
6,669,666 in 2000, representing 32% of the population, an increase
over 1990, when Texans of Hispanic origin represented 25.5% of
the total. In 2004, 34.6% of the population was Hispanic or Latino.
Mostly of Mexican ancestry, they are nevertheless a heterogeneous
group, divided by history, geography, and economic circumstances. Hispanics have been elected to the state legislature and to the
US Congress. In 1980, the Houston independent school district,
the state’s largest, reported more Hispanic students than Anglos
for the fi rst time in its history.
Altogether, Texas has nearly 30 identifi able ethnic groups. Certain areas of central Texas are heavily Germanic and Czech. Th e
fi rst permanent Polish colony in the United States was established
at Panna Maria, near San Antonio, in 1854. Texas has one of the
largest colonies of Wends in the world, principally at Serbin in
central Texas. Signifi cant numbers of Danes, Swedes, and Norwegians have also settled in Texas.
As of 2000, foreign-born Texans numbered 2,899,642 (13.9% of
the total population). In the same year, Asians numbered 562,319
(the third-largest Asian population among the 50 states). Th e 2000
census counted 105,829 Chinese (nearly double the 1990 total of
55,023), 58,340 Filipinos, 129,365 Asian Indians (more than triple
the 1990 fi gure of 40,506), 45,571 Koreans, 17,120 Japanese, and
10,114 Laotians. Of the 134,961 Vietnamese (up from 60,649 in
1990), many were refugees who resettled in Texas beginning in
1975. Pacifi c Islanders numbered 14,434 in 2000. In 2004, 3.2% of
the population was Asian, and 0.1% Pacifi c Islander. In 2004, 1%
of the population reported origin of two or more races.
Th e term “Anglos” denotes all whites except Spanish-surnamed
or Spanish-speaking individuals.
Th e Indians of Texas are mostly descendants of the AlabamaCoushatta who came to Texas in the 19th century. Th e few Indian
place-names include Texas itself, Pecos, Waco, and Toyah.
Most of the regional features in Texas English derive from the
infl ux of South Midland and Southern speakers, with a noticeable Spanish fl avor from older as well as more recent loans. Settlers from the Gulf Coast states brought such terms as snap beans
(green beans), the widespread pail (here probably of Southern
rather the Northern origin), and carry (escort), with a 47% frequency in north Texas and 22% in the south. Louisiana praline
Texas 809
Texas—Counties, County Seats, and County Areas and Populations
Anderson Palestine 1,077 56,408
Andrews Andrews 1,501 12,748
Angelina Lufkin 807 81,557
Aransas Rockport 280 24,640
Archer Archer City 907 9,095
Armstrong Claude 910 2,173
Atascosa Jourdanton 1,218 43,226
Austin Bellville 656 26,123
Bailey Muleshoe 827 6,726
Bandera Bandera 793 19,988
Bastrop Bastrop 895 69,932
Baylor Seymour 862 3,843
Bee Beeville 880 32,873
Bell Belton 1,055 256,057
Bexar San Antonio 1,248 1,518,370
Blanco Johnson City 714 9,110
Borden Gail 900 648
Bosque Meridian 989 18,053
Bowie Boston 891 90,643
Brazoria Angleton 1,407 278,484
Brazos Bryan 588 156,305
Brewster Alpine 6,169 9,079
Briscoe Silverton 887 1,644
Brooks Falfurrias 942 7,687
Brown Brownwood 936 38,664
Burleson Caldwell 668 17,238
Burnet Burnet 994 41,676
Caldwell Lockhart 546 36,523
Calhoun Port Lavaca 540 20,606
Callahan Baird 899 13,516
Cameron Brownsville 905 378,311
Camp Pittsburg 203 12,238
Carson Panhandle 924 6,586
Cass Linden 937 30,155
Castro Dimmitt 899 7,640
Chambers Anahuac 616 28,411
Cherokee Rusk 1,052 48,464
Childress Childress 707 7,676
Clay Henrietta 1,085 11,287
Cochran Morton 775 3,289
Coke Robert Lee 908 3,612
Coleman Coleman 1,277 8,665
Collin McKenney 851 659,457
Collingsworth Wellington 909 2,968
Colorado Columbus 964 20,736
Comal New Braunfels 555 96,018
Comanche Comanche 930 13,709
Concho Paint Rock 992 3,735
Cooke Gainesville 893 38,847
Coryell Gatesville 1,057 75,802
Cottle Paducah 895 1,746
Crane Crane 782 3,837
Crockett Ozona 2,806 3,934
Crosby Crosbyton 898 6,686
Culberson Van Horn 3,815 2,627
Dallam Dalhart 1,505 6,174
Dallas Dallas 880 2,305,454
Dawson Lamesa 903 14,256
Deaf Smith Hereford 1,497 18,538
Delta Cooper 278 5,480
Denton Denton 911 554,642
DeWitt Cuero 910 20,507
Dickens Dickens 907 2,646
Dimmit Carrizo Springs 1,307 10,395
Donley Clarendon 929 3,889
Duval San Diego 1,795 12,578
Eastland Eastland 924 18,393
Ector Odessa 903 125,339
Edwards Rocksprings 2,120 1,987
Ellis Waxahachie 939 133,474
El Paso El Paso 1,014 721,598
Erath Stephenville 1,080 34,076
Falls Marlin 770 17,646
Fannin Bonham 895 33,142
Fayette La Grange 950 22,537
Fisher Roby 897 4,089
Floyd Floydada 992 7,174
Foard Crowell 703 1,518
Fort Bend Richmond 876 463,650
Franklin Mt. Vernon 294 10,200
Freestone Fairfi eld 888 18,800
Frio Pearsall 1,133 16,387
Gaines Seminole 1,504 14,712
Galveston Galveston 399 277,563
Garza Post 895 5,002
Gillespie Fredericksburg 1,061 23,088
Glasscock Garden City 900 1,327
Goliad Goliad 859 7,102
Gonzales Gonzales 1,068 19,587
Gray Pampa 921 21,479
Grayson Sherman 934 116,834
Gregg Longview 273 115,649
Grimes Anderson 799 25,192
Guadalupe Seguin 713 103,032
Hale Plainview 1,005 36,233
Hall Memphis 876 3,700
Hamilton Hamilton 836 8,105
Hansford Spearman 921 5,230
Hardeman Quanah 688 4,291
Hardin Kountze 898 50,976
Harris Houston 1,734 3,693,050
Harrison Marshall 908 63,459
Hartley Channing 1,462 5,450
Haskell Haskell 901 5,541
Hays San Marcos 678 124,432
Hemphill Canadian 903 3,422
Henderson Athens 888 80,017
Hidalgo Edinburg 1,569 678,275
Hill Hillsboro 968 35,424
Hockley Levelland 908 22,787
Hood Granbury 425 47,930
Hopkins Sulphur Springs 789 33,381
Houston Crockett 1,234 23,218
Howard Big Spring 901 32,522
Hudspeth Sierra Blanca 4,566 3,295
Hunt Greenville 840 82,543
Hutchinson Stinnett 871 22,484
Irion Mertzon 1,052 1,756
Jack Jacksboro 920 9,064
Jackson Edna 844 14,339
Jasper Jasper 921 35,587
Jeff Davis Ft. Davis 2,258 2,306
Jefferson Beaumont 937 247,571
Jim Hogg Hebbronville 1,136 5,029
Jim Wells Alice 867 40,951
Johnson Cleburne 731 146,376
Jones Anson 931 19,736
Karnes Karnes City 753 15,351
Kaufman Kaufman 788 89,129
Kendall Boerne 663 28,607
Kenedy Sarita 1,389 417
Kent Jayton 878 782
Kerr Kerrville 1,107 46,496
Kimble Junction 1,250 4,591
King Guthrie 914 307
Kinney Brackettville 1,359 3,327
810 Texas
(pecan patty) is now widespread, but banquette (sidewalk) appears only in the extreme southeast corner.
Southern and South Midland terms were largely introduced by
settlers from Arkansas, Missouri, and Tennessee; their use ranges
from northeast to west, but with declining frequency in the transPecos area. Examples are clabber cheese (cottage cheese), mosquito
hawk (dragonfl y), croker sack (burlap bag), mouth harp (harmonica), branch (stream), and dog irons (andirons). A dialect survey
showed pallet (bed on the fl oor) with a 90% overall frequency;
light bread (white bread) and pullybone (wishbone), each 78%; and
Texas—Counties, County Seats, and County Areas and Populations (cont.)
Kleberg Kingsville 853 30,757
Knox Benjamin 845 3,781
Lamar Paris 919 49,644
Lamb Littlefi eld 1,013 14,467
Lampasas Lampasas 714 19,669
La Salle Cotulla 1,517 6,016
Lavaca Hallettsville 971 18,925
Lee Giddings 631 16,526
Leon Centerville 1,078 16,344
Liberty Liberty 1,174 75,141
Limestone Groesbeck 931 22,763
Lipscomb Lipscomb 933 3,101
Live Oak George West 1,057 11,717
Llano Llano 939 18,236
Loving Mentone 671 62
Lubbock Lubbock 900 252,284
Lynn Tahoka 888 6,237
McCulloch Brady 1,071 7,956
McLennan Waco 1,031 224,668
McMullen Tilden 1,163 883
Madison Madisonville 473 13,167
Marion Jefferson 385 10,952
Martin Stanton 914 4,391
Mason Mason 934 3,880
Matagorda Bay City 1,127 37,849
Maverick Eagle Pass 1,287 51,181
Medina Hondo 1,331 43,027
Menard Menard 902 2,201
Midland Midland 902 121,371
Milam Cameron 1,019 25,354
Mills Goldthwaite 748 5,237
Mitchell ColoradoCity 912 9,413
Montague Montague 928 19,677
Montgomery Conroe 1,047 378,033
Moore Dumas 905 20,348
Morris Daingerfi eld 256 12,936
Motley Matador 959 1,299
Nacogdoches Nacogdoches 939 60,468
Navarro Corsicana 1,068 48,687
Newton Newton 935 14,309
Nolan Sweetwater 915 14,878
Nueces Corpus Christi 847 319,704
Ochiltree Perryton 919 9,385
Oldham Vega 1,485 2,118
Orange Orange 362 84,983
Palo Pinto Palo Pinto 949 27,478
Panola Carthage 812 22,997
Parker Weatherford 902 102,801
Parmer Farwell 885 9,754
Pecos Ft. Stockton 4,776 15,859
Polk Livingston 1,061 46,640
Potter Amarillo 902 119,852
Presidio Marfa 3,857 7,722
Rains Emory 243 11,305
Randall Canyon 917 110,053
Reagan Big Lake 1,173 2,995
Real Leakey 697 3,031
Red River Clarksville 1,054 13,575
Reeves Pecos 2,626 11,638
Refugio Refugio 771 7,639
Roberts Miami 915 820
Robertson Franklin 864 16,192
Rockwall Rockwall 128 62,944
Runnels Ballinger 1,056 10,974
Rusk Henderson 932 47,971
Sabine Hemphill 486 10,416
San Augustine San Augustine 524 8,907
San Jacinto Coldspring 572 24,801
San Patricio Sinton 693 69,209
San Saba San Saba 1,136 6,076
Schleicher Eldorado 1,309 2,742
Scurry Snyder 900 16,217
Shackelford Albany 915 3,167
Shelby Center 791 26,346
Sherman Stratford 923 3,002
Smith Tyler 932 190,594
Somervell Glen Rose 188 7,578
Starr Rio Grande City 1,226 60,941
Stephens Breckenridge 894 9,561
Sterling Sterling City 923 1,303
Stonewall Aspermont 925 1,372
Sutton Sonora 1,455 4,212
Swisher Tulia 902 7,828
Tarrant Ft. Worth 868 1,620,479
Taylor Abilene 917 125,039
Terrell Sanderson 2,357 996
Terry Brownfi eld 886 12,419
Throckmorton Throckmorton 912 1,618
Titus Mt. Pleasant 412 29,445
Tom Green San Angelo 1,515 103,611
Travis Austin 989 888,185
Trinity Groveton 692 14,363
Tyler Woodville 922 20,617
Upshur Gilmer 587 37,881
Upton Rankin 1,243 3,056
Uvalde Uvalde 1,564 26,955
Val Verde Del Rio 3,150 47,596
Van Zandt Canton 855 52,491
Victoria Victoria 887 85,648
Walker Huntsville 786 62,735
Waller Hempstead 514 34,821
Ward Monahans 836 10,237
Washington Brenham 610 31,521
Webb Laredo 3,363 224,695
Wharton Wharton 1,086 41,554
Wheeler Wheeler 905 4,799
Wichita Wichita Falls 606 125,894
Wilbarger Vernon 947 13,896
Willacy Raymondville 589 20,382
Williamson Georgetown 1,137 333,457
Wilson Floresville 807 37,529
Winkler Kermit 840 6,690
Wise Decatur 902 56,696
Wood Quitman 689 40,855
Yoakum Plains 800 7,408
Young Graham 919 18,000
Zapata Zapata 999 13,373
Zavala Crystal City 1,298 11,796
TOTALS 262,015 22,859,968
Texas 811
you-all, more than 80%. General Midland terms also widespread
in the state are sook! (call to calves), blinds (roller shades), piece (a
certain distance), and quarter till fi ve (4:45).
Some terms exhibit uneven distribution. Examples include mott
(clump of trees) in the south and southwest, sugan (a wool-fi lled
comforter for a cowboy’s bedroll) in the west, Midland draw (dry
streambed) in the west and southwest, South Midland peckerwood
(woodpecker) in most of the state except west of the Pecos, poke
(paper bag) in the central and northern areas, and surly (euphemism for bull) in the west. A curious result of dialect mixture is
the appearance of a number of hybrids combining two diff erent
dialects, such as freeseed peach from freestone and clearseed, fi re
mantel and mantel board from fi reboard and mantel, fl apcakes
from fl apjacks and pancakes, and horse doctor from horsefl y and
snake doctor. Th e large sandwich is known as a torpedo in San Antonio and a poorboy in Houston.
In 2000, 13,230,765 Texans—68.8% of the population fi ve years
old or older—spoke only English at home, down from 74.6% in
Th e following table gives selected statistics from the 2000 Census for language spoken at home by persons fi ve years old and over.
Th e category “African languages” includes Amharic, Ibo, Twi, Yoruba, Bantu, Swahili, and Somali. Th e category “Other Asian languages” includes Dravidian languages, Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil,
and Turkish. Th e category “Other Indic languages” includes Bengali, Marathi, Punjabi, and Romany. Th e category “Other Slavic
languages” includes Czech, Slovak, and Ukrainian.
language number percent
Population 5 years and over 19,241,518 100.0
Speak only English 13,230,765 68.8
Speak a language other than English 6,010,753 31.2
Speak a language other than English 6,010,753 31.2
Spanish or Spanish Creole 5,195,182 27.0
Vietnamese 122,517 0.6
Chinese 91,500 0.5
German 82,117 0.4
French (incl. Patois, Cajun) 62,274 0.3
Tagalog 39,988 0.2
Korean 38,451 0.2
African languages 36,087 0.2
Urdu 32,978 0.2
Arabic 32,909 0.2
Other Asian languages 32,780 0.2
Other Indic languages 24,454 0.1
Hindi 20,919 0.1
Gujarathi 19,140 0.1
Persian 17,558 0.1
Other Slavic languages 15,448 0.1
Japanese 14,701 0.1
Russian 11,574 0.1
Italian 11,158 0.1
Laotian 10,378 0.1
Texas pronunciation is largely South Midland, with such characteristic forms as /caow/, and /naow/ for cow and now and /dyoo/
for due, although /doo/ is now more common in urban areas. In
the German settlement around New Braunfels are heard a few
loanwords such as smearcase (cottage cheese), krebbel (doughnut), clook (setting hen), and oma and opa for grandmother and
Spanish has been the major foreign-language infl uence. In areas like Laredo and Brownsville, along the Rio Grande, as many as
90% of the people may be bilingual; in northeast Texas, however,
Spanish is as foreign as French. In the days of the early Spanish
ranchers, standard English adopted hacienda, ranch, burro, canyon, and lariat; in the southwestern cattle country are heard la reata (lasso), remuda (group of horses), and resaca (pond), along with
the acequia (irrigation ditch), pilon (something extra, as a trip),
and olla (water jar). Th e presence of the large Spanish-speaking
population was a major factor in the passage of the state’s bilingual
education law, as a result of which numerous school programs in
both English and Spanish are now off ered; in a ruling issued in
January 1981, US District Judge William Wayne Justice ruled that
by 1987, the state must expand such programs to cover all Spanish-speaking students. Legislation enacted in 1995 established a
requirement for schools with a certain number of students with
limited English profi ciency to be required to have bilingual and/
or English as a second language programs. About one-sixth of all
Texas counties—and a great many cities—are named for Mexicans
or Spaniards or aft er place-names in Spain or Mexico.
Because of its Spanish heritage, Texas originally was entirely Roman Catholic except for unconverted Indians. Consequently, the
early history of Texas is almost identical with that of the Roman
Catholic Church in the area. Under the Mexican Republic, the
Catholic Church continued as the sole recognized religious body.
In order to receive the generous land grants given by the Mexicans, Anglo-American immigrants had to sign a paper saying that
they followed the Catholic religion. With an average grant of 4,605
acres (1,864 hectares) as bait, many early Protestants and atheists
must have felt little hesitancy about becoming instant Catholics.
Th e Mexican government was careless about enforcing adherence to the Catholic faith in Texas, however, and many Baptists,
Methodists, and Presbyterians drift ed in from the east. Th e Methodist practice of having itinerant ministers range over frontier areas was particularly well suited to the Texas scene and, in 1837,
the church hierarchy sent three preachers to the new republic. Th e
fi rst presbytery had been formed by that date and Baptists had
organized in Houston by 1840. Swedish and German immigrants
brought their Lutheranism with them; the fi rst German Lutheran
synod was organized in Houston in 1851.
Geographically, Texas tends to be heavily Protestant in the
north and east and Catholic in the south and southwest. In 2004,
there were about 6,050,986 Roman Catholics in the state. Leading Protestant denominations and their known adherents in 2000
(unless otherwise indicated) were the Southern Baptist Convention, 3,519,459; the United Methodist Church, 796,306 (in 2004);
Churches of Christ, 377,264; the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 243,957 (in 2006); Assemblies of God, 228,098;
the Presbyterian Church USA, 180,315; the Episcopal Church,
177,910; Independent Charismatic Churches, 159,449; the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 155,019; Independent NonCharismatic Churches, 145,249; and the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, 140,106. Th ere were an estimated 128,000 Jews,
114,999 Muslims, and about 10,777 adherents to the Baha’i faith.
Th ere were about 9.2 million people (44.5% of the population)
who were not counted as members of any religious organization.
Th e Roman Catholic Church has an archdiocese in San Antonio. Th e Latter-day Saints dedicated a new temple at San Antonio
in 2005; there are three other temples in the state.
812 Texas
Texas ranks fi rst among the 50 states in total railroad mileage,
highway mileage, and number of airports, and second only to
California in motor vehicle registrations and in number of general
aviation aircraft .
Transportation has been a severe problem for Texas because
of the state’s extraordinary size and sometimes diffi cult terrain;
one of the more unusual experiments in US transport history was
the use of camels in southwestern Texas during the mid-1800s.
Th e Republic of Texas authorized railroad construction as early
as 1836, but the fi nancial panic of 1837 helped kill that attempt.
Not until 1853 did the state’s fi rst railroad—from Harrisburg (now
incorporated into Houston) to Staff ord’s Point, 20 mi (32 km) to
the west—come into service. At the outbreak of the Civil War, 10
railroads were operating, all but two connected with seaports. Although the state legislature in 1852 had off ered railroad companies eight sections (5,120 acres/2,072 hectares) of land per mile
of road construction and doubled that off er two years later, Texas
lacked suffi cient capital to satisfy its railroad-building needs until the war was over. Th e state generally held to the 10,240-acre
(4,144-hectare) fi gure until all grants ceased in 1882. In all, Texas granted more than 50,000 sq mi (130,000 sq km) to railroad
In 1870, Texas had fewer than 600 mi (970 km) of track. Ten
years later, it had 3,026 mi (4,870 km). By 1920, there was 16,049
mi (25,828 km) of track in the state. In 1932, railroad trackage
peaked with 17,078 mi (27,484 km) of track. By 2003 however,
railroad track mileage had dwindled to 14,049 rail mi (22,618
km), with 11,432 mi (18,405 km) of the total being Class I railroad
right-of-way. Still, total rail mileage in Texas still ranks higher than
in any other state. Th e state in 2003, was served by 44 railroads,
of which there were three Class I carriers: the Burlington Northern Santa Fe; the Kansas City Southern; and the Union Pacifi c. As
of 2006, Amtrak provided passenger train service in Texas via its
Sunset Limited (New Orleans–Los Angeles) train from Beaumont
through Houston and San Antonio to El Paso, the Texas Eagle
(Chicago–San Antonio) train, and its Heartland Flyer (Oklahoma
City to Fort Worth) train.
In mid-1983, Dallas-area voters approved the creation of the
Dallas Area Rapid Transit system (DART) to serve the city and 13
suburbs. Surface rail routes, running 160 mi (257 km), were to be
constructed and bus service doubled at an expense of some $8.9
billion over a 26-year period. As of March 2006, DART operated
45 miles (72.5 km) of surface light rail line. In addition, DART
and the Ft. Worth Transportation Authority jointly operated the
Trinity Railway Express (TRE), a 35 mile (56 km) light rail line
that connects the cities of Dallas and Ft Worth with the Dallas-Ft
Worth Regional Airport. Ft. Worth also has the state’s only true
subway, a one-mi (1.6-km) line from a parking lot to a downtown
shipping and offi ce center.
Texas has by far the most road mileage of any state. In 2004,
Texas had 303,176 mi (488,113 km) of public roadway Th e leading
interstate highways are I-10 and I-20, respectively linking Houston and the Dallas–Ft.Worth Areas with El Paso in the west, and
I-35 and I-45, connecting Dallas–Ft. Worth with, respectively, San
Antonio (via Austin) and Galveston (via Houston). Th ere were
14,543,528 licensed drivers in 2004. Registered motor vehicles in
2004 included some 8.621 million automobiles, about 7.851 million trucks of all types, around 284,000 motorcycles, and some
18,000 buses.
River transport did not become commercially successful until
the end of the 19th century, when the Houston Ship Channel was
dredged along the San Jacinto River and Buff alo Bayou for more
than 50 mi (80 km), and another channel was dredged down the
Neches River to make a seaport out of Beaumont. With 13 major
seaports and many shallow-water ports, Texas has been a major
factor in waterborne commerce since the early 1950s. As of 2004,
the state of Texas had four ports that ranked among the top 10
busiest ports in the United States. Th e Port of Houston was the
nation’s second most active harbor, with 202.047 million tons of
cargo handled in 2004. In that same year, the ports of Beaumont,
Corpus Christie and Texas City were ranked as the fourth, sixth,
and ninth busiest ports, respectively, handling a respective 91.697
million tons, 78.924 million tons and 68.282 million tons of cargo. Th e Gulf Intracoastal Waterway begins in Brownsville, at the
mouth of the Rio Grande, and extends across Texas for 423 mi
(681 km) on its way to Florida and its connections with a similar
waterway on the Atlantic. In 2004, Texas had 834 mi (1,342 km)
of navigable inland waterways. In 2003, waterborne shipments totaled 473.941 million tons.
Aft er American entry into World War I, Texas began to build
airfi elds for training grounds. When the war ended, many US fl iers returned to Texas and became civilian commercial pilots, carrying air mail (from 1926), dusting crops, and mapping potential
oil fi elds. In 2005, Texas had a total of 1,913 public and privateuse aviation-related facilities. Th is included 1,435 airports, 470
heliports, and 8 STOLports (Short Take-Off and Landing). Dallas–Ft. Worth International Airport was the state’s leading air terminal, with 28,063,035 passengers enplaned in 2004, followed by
George Bush Intercontinental/Houston Airport with 17,322,065
enplanements that same year, making them the fourth- and tenthbusiest airports in the United States, respectively. Other major
airports in the state in 2004 were: Houston–William P Hobby
Airport (3,960,890 enplanements); Austin–Bergstrom International (3,446,564 enplanements); and San Antonio International (3,376,750 enplanements), making them the 46th-, 47th-, and
48th-busiest airports in the United States, respectively.
Although a site near Lewisville, in Denton County, contains artifacts that might be more than 37,000 years old, the generally
accepted date for the earliest human presence in the region now
known as Texas is the Llano civilization, dating from 12,000 years
ago. Prehistoric Indians in Texas failed to develop as complex
technologies as their neighbors to the west and east. When the
fi rst Europeans arrived in the 16th century, the Indians had developed little in the way of pottery or basketry, and had shown
little interest in agriculture except in the extreme east and northeast, and possibly west of the Pecos. Th ey were still largely huntergatherers on whom the more technologically complex cultures of
Mexico and the southeastern United States had little eff ect.
Along the Gulf coast and overlapping into northeastern Mexico were the Coahuiltecan and Karankawa peoples. Th ey lived
in a hostile environment, consuming berries in season, animal
dung, spiders, and an occasional deer, bison, or jabalina. In central Texas lived the Tonkawa, who hunted buff alo, slept in tepees,
Texas 813
used dogs for hauling, and had a communal structure akin to that
of the Plains Indians. Unlike the Karankawa, who were tall, the
Tonkawa were of average height, tattooed, and dressed in breechclouts—long for men, short for women. Th ey proved extremely
susceptible to European diseases and evidently died out, whereas
the Karankawa migrated to northern Mexico.
About two dozen tribes of Caddo in eastern and northeastern
Texas were at the time of European penetration the most technologically complex Indians living within the state’s present borders.
Having developed agriculture, the Caddo were relatively sedentary and village oriented. Th ose belonging to the Hasinai Confederation called each other tayshas, a term that translates as “allies” or “friends.” When the Hasinai told Spanish explorers that
they were tayshas, the Spaniards wrote the word as Tejas, which in
time became Texas. Th e Caddo lived in the gentle portion of Texas, where woods, wild fruits, and berries abound, and where game
was plentiful until the advent of European civilization. Life was so
good, in fact, that several members of an expedition under Robert
Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, reaching Matagorda Bay on 15 February
1685, chose to desert to the Caddo rather than remain with their
fellow Frenchmen. Henri de Tonti, who entered the region somewhat later, reported that one Caddo tribe had a woman as chief.
Th e Caddo were also unusual in their belief that three women had
created the world.
In trans-Pecos Texas, to the west, lived a fourth Indian group,
the Jumano, probably descendants of the Pueblo cultures. Some of
the Jumano were nomadic hunters in the Davis and Chisos mountains. Others became farmers along the Rio Grande and the lower
Rio Conchos, making and using some pottery and raising good
crops of corn, beans, squash, and possibly cotton. Probably the
successive droughts so common to the region began to thin out
their ranks, and the coming of the Spanish removed them from
the historical picture altogether.
Th e fi rst European to enter Texas was Spanish explorer Alonso
Alvarez de Pineda, who sailed into the mouth of the Rio Grande in
1519. Basically, the Spanish left the Texas Indians alone for more
than 150 years. Sometimes an accident placed Spaniards in Texas,
or sometimes they entered by design, but generally, the Spanish
looked on Texas as too remote from Florida and the Mexico highlands—where most of their colonizing occurred—for successful settlement. A remarkable episode of this period involves the
survivors of the Pánfi lo de Narváez expedition, which had been
commissioned to occupy the Gulf of Mexico coast from Mexico
to Florida. Four shipwrecked men, led by Álvar Nunez Cabeza
de Vaca, were washed ashore on a Texas sandbar on 6 November 1528: three were Spaniards, and one was the Moor Estevanico.
For eight years, they wandered virtually naked among the Texas
Indians, sometimes as slaves and sometimes as free men, alternately blistered by the summer sun and freezing under winter ice
storms. Using a deer bone as a needle, Cabeza removed an arrowhead from deep in an Indian’s chest—a bit of surgical magic that
earned him treatment as a demigod, for a time. Finally, the four
Europeans reached the west coast of Mexico, from where Cabeza
de Vaca returned home a hero. Th e other two Spaniards remained
in Mexico, but Estevanico joined the Fray Marcos de Niza expedition as a guide, dying at the hands of Pueblo Indians in New
Mexico in 1539. Th e trail he helped blaze through the High Plains
of West Texas served as the route for the expedition a year later by
Francisco Vásquez de Coronado. Th e fi rst Texas towns and missions were begun by Spaniards in West Texas, outside present-day
El Paso. Ysleta del Sur was founded in 1682, almost a decade before the earliest East Texas missions. But Ysleta was 500 mi (800
km) from anything else resembling a settlement in Texas, and the
Spanish considered it a part of New Mexico.
What changed the Spaniards’ attitude toward the colonization
of Texas was the establishment of Ft. St. Louis by La Salle on the
Gulf coast in 1685. Four years later, Capt. Alonso de León, governor of Coahuila, sent out an expedition to expel the French. Father
Damien Massanet, a Coahuilan priest, accompanied the León expedition and was charged with establishing a mission near wherever the captain built a fort. During the next several decades these
two men and their successors established a string of mission-forts
across Texas. Aft er fear of the French presence eased, Spain tended to neglect these establishments. But when the French entered
Louisiana in force during the early 18th century, Spanish fears of
French expansion were re-ignited. In 1718, the Spanish began to
build a mission, San Antonio de Valero, and a fort, San Antonio de
Bexar, at the site of the present city of San Antonio. As a halfway
post between Mexico and the Louisiana border, San Antonio grew
to be Texas’s most important city during the Spanish period.
Until the 19th century, the United States showed little interest
in Texas. But the purchase of Louisiana Territory from the French
by the US government in 1803 made Texas a next-door neighbor,
and “fi libusters” (military adventurers) began to fi lter across the
border into Spanish territory. Th e best known is Philip Nolan, an
Irish-born intriguer who started spending time in Texas as early as
1790. Ostensibly, he was trading horses with the Indians, but the
Spanish associated him with Aaron Burr’s schemes to excise the
Spanish southwest from its owners. In the summer of 1800, the
Spanish governor of Texas, Juan Bautista Elguezábal, ordered that
Nolan should be arrested if he returned. In December of that year,
Nolan returned with a small force of 20 men and built a fort near
Nacogdoches; he was killed fi ghting the Spanish on 4 March 1801.
Nolan is remembered for having draft ed the fi rst Anglo-American
map of Texas.
In 1810–11, the Mexicans launched their revolution against
Spain, and though only an outpost, Texas as a Spanish-Mexican
colony was naturally involved. In 1813, Texas formally declared its
independence of Spain and its intention of becoming a Mexican
state, with its capital at San Antonio. Various Anglo-Americans
entered the new state to serve on behalf of Mexico. Pirates also
aided the Mexican cause: on Galveston Island, Luis Aury preyed
on Spanish shipping, and aft er 1816, his place was taken by Jean
Laffi te, who privateered against both Spanish and US shipping until the US Navy drove him out.
Th e Spanish fi nally gave up on Mexico in 1821, leaving Texas as
a Mexican province with a non-Indian population of about 7,000.
Th e only towns of signifi cant size were Goliad, San Antonio (commonly called Bexar), and Nacogdoches. A year earlier, Moses Austin of Missouri had received permission from Spanish authorities
to introduce Anglo-American colonists into Texas, presumably as
a barrier against aggression by the United States. When Spanish
rule ended, his son, Stephen F. Austin, succeeded his late father
as head of the colonization movement, securing permission from
the new Mexican government to settle 300 families in the area between the lower Colorado and Brazos rivers. Aft er Austin had set-
814 Texas
tled his “Old Th ree Hundred” in 1821, he received permission to
settle more, and within a decade, his colonists numbered more
than 5,000. Th e Mexicans invested Austin with the responsibilities and privileges of an empresario: authority to run commerce,
maintain militia, administer justice, and hand out land titles. Other empresarios made similar arrangements. Green DeWitt, also
of Missouri, settled several hundred families farther west and
founded the town of Gonzales in 1825. Hayden Edwards received
a grant to settle 800 families near Nacogdoches. Mexicans were
also permitted to organize colonies. Texas thus began a pattern of
growth from the outside that has continued to the present day.
Between 1821 and 1835, the population of non-Indian Texas expanded to between 35,000 and 50,000. Most new settlers were Anglo-Americans who oft en brought their prejudices against Mexico with them, whether they were from the North or the South.
Th ey disliked Mexican culture, Mexican folkways, Mexican justice—and the Protestants among them resented the omnipresence
of the Roman Catholic Church. All of these Anglo-American settlers had ties to the United States, and many undoubtedly longed
for the time when they would live under the American fl ag again.
Th e ineptitude of the Mexican government made the situation
even worse. In 1826, Hayden Edwards organized the Republic of
Fredonia and tried to drive the Mexicans from East Texas, but in
the end, he had to fl ee the province himself. Troubled by the rising
spirit of rebellion, the Mexican Congress enacted the Law of 1830,
which forbade most immigration and imposed duties on all imports. Anglo-Americans in Texas responded with the same anger
that New Englanders had once shown when Britain imposed tax
restrictions on the original American colonies.
At fi rst, the Anglo-Texans insisted they were opposing Mexican political excesses, not the Mexican nation. Th eir hope lay with
Gen. Antonio López de Santa Anna, who was leading a liberal revolution against President Anastasio Bustamante. Skirmishes between the Anglo-Texans and Mexican offi cials remained sporadic
and localized until 1833 when Santa Anna became president of
Mexico and almost immediately dropped his liberal stance. Texans sent Austin to Mexico City to petition Santa Anna to rescind
the Law of 1830, to allow the use of English in public business,
and to make Texas (then an appendage of Coahuila) a separate
state. Aft er several months in Mexico City, Austin was arrested on
his way back to Texas and was imprisoned for a year. When Santa
Anna tried to enforce customs collections, colonists at Anahuae,
led by William Barret Travis, drove the Mexican offi cials out of
town. Santa Anna’s answer was to place Texas under military jurisdiction. When the Mexican military commander, Col. Domingo
de Ugartechea, sent his soldiers to Gonzales to take a cannon there
from the colonists, the Anglo-Texan civilians drove them off on 2
October 1835, in a battle that is generally considered to mark the
start of the Texas Revolution.
On 3 November, a provisional government was formed. It called
not for independence but for a return to the liberal Mexican constitution of 1824. Th ree commissioners, one of them Austin, were
sent to Washington, DC, to request aid from the United States.
Sam Houston, who only six years earlier had resigned the governorship of Tennessee (when his wife left him) and had come
to Texas aft er stays in Oklahoma and Arkansas, was named commander in chief of the upstart Texas army. Hostilities remained
at a standstill until February 1836, when Santa Anna led an army
across the Rio Grande. Th e Mexicans concentrated outside San
Antonio at a mission-fort called the Alamo, where 187 or so Texans, commanded by Col. William Barret Travis, had holed up in
defense. Th e Mexicans besieged the Alamo until 6 March, when
Santa Anna’s forces, now numbering more than 4,000, stormed
the fortress. When the battle ended, all the Alamo’s defenders, including several native Mexicans, were dead. Among those killed
were Travis and two Americans who became legends—James
Bowie and Davy Crockett.
Four days before the battle of the Alamo, other Texans gathered at Washington-on-the-Brazos and issued a declaration of
independence. As so oft en happens, a fi ght that had started on
principle—in this case, a constitutional issue—grew into a fi ght
for independence. Th e men who died at the Alamo believed they
were fi ghting for restoration of the constitution of 1824. But three
weeks aft er the Alamo fell, on 27 March 1836, the Mexicans killed
342 Texans who had surrendered at Goliad, thinking they would
be treated as prisoners of war. Coming on the heels of the Alamo tragedy, the “Goliad massacre” persuaded Texans that only total victory or total defeat would solve their problems with Santa
Anna. Th e Texas army under Sam Houston retreated before Santa
Anna’s oncoming forces, which held a numerical advantage over
Houston’s of about 1,600 to 800. On 21 April 1836, however, the
Texans surprised the Mexicans during their siesta period at San
Jacinto (east of present-day Houston). Mexican losses were 630
killed, 280 wounded, and 730 taken prisoner, while the Texans
had only 9 killed and 30 wounded. Th is decisive battle-fought to
the cry of “Remember the Alamo, remember Goliad!” freed Texas
from Mexico once and for all.
For 10 years, Texas existed as an independent republic, recognized by the United States, Belgium, France, the United Kingdom,
the Netherlands, and several German states. Sam Houston, the
victorious commander at San Jacinto, became the republic’s fi rst
nationally elected president. Although Texans are proud of their
once-independent status, the fact is that the republic limped along
like any new nation, strife-torn and short of cash. It was unable
to reach agreement with Mexico on a treaty to clarify the border.
Moreover, its original $1-million public debt increased eightfold
in a decade, and its paper money depreciated alarmingly. Consequently, when Texas joined the Union on 29 December 1845, the
date of the US congressional resolution recognizing the new state
(the Lone Star fl ag, the republic’s offi cial banner, was not actually
lowered and a governor inaugurated until 19 February 1846), its
citizens looked on the action as a rescue. Th e annexation in great
measure provoked the Mexican War, which in turn led to the conclusion of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo on 2 February 1848.
Under the treaty, Mexico dropped its claim to the territory between the Rio Grande and the Nueces River. Later, in accordance
with the Compromise of 1850, Texas relinquished, for $10 million,
its claim on lands stretching into New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Oklahoma, and Kansas.
With the coming of the Civil War, Texas followed its proslavery southern neighbors out of the Union into the Confederacy;
Governor Houston, who opposed secession, was ousted from offi ce. Th e state saw little fi ghting, and Texas thus suff ered from the
war far less than most of the South. Th e last battle of the war was
fought on Texas soil at Palmito Ranch, near Brownsville, on 13
Texas 815
May 1865—more than a month aft er Gen. Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House in Virginia.
During Reconstruction, Texas was governed briefl y by a military occupation force and then by a Republican regime; the socalled carpetbag constitution of 1869, passed during this period,
gave the franchise to blacks, a right that the Ku Klux Klan actively
sought to deny them. Texas was allowed to rejoin the Union on
30 March 1870. Th ree years later, Republican Governor Edmund
J. Davis was defeated at the polls by Richard Coke, and a Democratic legislature wrote a new constitution, which was approved by
the voters in 1876.
While most southern states were economically prostrate, the
Texas economy fl ourished because of the rapid development of
the cattle industry. Millions of Texas cattle walked the trails to
northern markets, where they were sold for hard cash, providing a
bonanza for the state. Th e widespread use of barbed wire to fence
cattle ranches in the 1880s ended the open range and encouraged
scientifi c cattle breeding. By 1900, Texas began to transform its
predominantly agricultural economy into an industrial one. Th is
process was accelerated by the discovery of the Spindletop oil
fi eld—the state’s fi rst gusher—near Beaumont in 1901, and by the
subsequent development of the petroleum and petrochemical industries. World War I saw the emergence of Texas as a military
training center. Th e rapid growth of the aircraft industry and other
high-technology fi elds contributed to the continuing industrialization of Texas during and aft er World War II.
Texas politics remained solidly Democratic during most of the
modern era, and the signifi cant political confl ict in the state was
between the liberal and conservative wings of the Democratic
Party. Populist-style reforms were enacted slowly during the governorships of James E. Ferguson—impeached and removed from
offi ce during his second term in 1917—and of his wife, Miriam
A. “Ma” Ferguson (1925–27, 1933–35), and more rapidly during
the two administrations of James V. Allred (1935–39). During the
1960s and 1970s, the Republican Party gathered strength in the
state, electing John G. Tower as US senator in 1961 and William
P. Clements Jr., as governor in 1978—the fi rst Republicans to hold
those offi ces since Reconstruction. In general, the state’s recent
political leaders, Democrats was well as Republicans, have represented property interests and taken a conservative line.
On the national level, Texans have been infl uential since the
1930s, notably through such congressional leaders as US House
Speaker Sam Rayburn and Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B.
Johnson. Johnson, elected vice president under John F. Kennedy,
was riding in the motorcade with the president when Kennedy
was assassinated in Dallas on 22 November 1963. Th e city attained
further national notoriety when Kennedy’s alleged killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, was shot to death by Jack Ruby, a Dallas nightclub
operator, two days later. Johnson served out the remainder of Kennedy’s term, was elected to the presidency by a landslide in 1964,
and presided over one of the stormiest periods in US history before retiring to his LBJ ranch in 1969. Memorials to him include
the Lyndon B. Johnson Library at Austin and Johnson Space Center, headquarters for the US manned spacefl ight program, near
Th e most prominent Texans on the national scene since Johnson
have been Republican George H.W. Bush and his son, George W.
Bush. Aft er failing in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 1980, George Bush Sr. became Ronald Reagan’s running
mate; Reagan and Bush won in 1980 and were reelected in 1984.
Bush ran for and won the presidency in 1988, but was defeated in
his 1992 bid for re-election by Bill Clinton. Bush’s son, George W.
Bush, was elected governor of Texas in 1994, succeeding Democrat Ann Richards, the second woman governor in Texas history. In 2000, George W. Bush was elected president in a contested
election against then-Vice President Al Gore. He was reelected in
2004, defeating Democrat John Kerry.
Texas benefi ted from a booming oil industry in the 1970s. Th e
economy grew at an average of 6% a year, more than twice the
national average. Th e boom collapsed in the early 1980s as overproduction caused world oil prices to plummet. Th e state’s annual
rate of population growth, 60% of which came from migration,
dropped from 4% in 1982 to 1.3% in 1985. By 1986, the state had
become a net exporter of population. Scrambling to make up the
$100 million in revenues that the government estimated it lost
for every $1 dollar decline in the price of a barrel of oil, the government in 1985 imposed or raised fees on everything from vanity license plates to day-care centers. Th e state also took steps to
encourage economic diversifi cation by wooing service, electronics, and high-technology companies to Texas. In the late 1980s, a
number of Texas’s fi nancial institutions collapsed, brought down
by the slump in the oil industry and by unsound real estate loans.
Aft er 1986, oil prices increased, and the state reaped the benefi ts
of diversifi cation eff orts spurred by the oil price collapse earlier in
the decade. Although the petroleum industry was still the state’s
leading economic sector in the mid-1990s, high-technology and
service sector jobs had played a major role in rebuilding the Texas economy and reversing the population decline of the previous
decade. High-tech companies were concentrated in the “Silicon
Hills” area surrounding Austin.
In the early 2000s, Texas had the second-largest population of
any state, behind California. Th e high rate of migration into Texas,
which accompanied the oil boom, had a profound eff ect on the
state’s population distribution and political profi le. Newcomers to
the state have tended to share the fi scally conservative values of
native Texans but take more liberal positions on issues such as
abortion, civil rights, and homosexuality. According to the 2000
census, 32% of the Texas population was of Hispanic or Latino
origin. By 2004, 34.6% of the population was Hispanic.
On 19 April 1993, the 51-day confrontation between the FBI
and the Branch Davidian cult near Waco ended tragically when
the group’s compound burned to the ground, killing at least 72
In early 2003, 51 Democratic state representatives fl ed Texas
for Oklahoma to prevent the Republican-dominated state House
of Representatives from passing a controversial redistricting plan
that would favor Republicans. Th e tactic worked when the House
failed to reach quorum and the redistricting bill died. Eleven state
Democratic senators later also fl ed the state (for New Mexico) in
July 2003 to break quorum and thus block a redistricting bill. Republican Governor Rick Perry called special legislative sessions to
take up the redistricting measures. In August, the absent senators
fi led suit in Laredo in Barrientos v. State of Texas alleging Republican offi cials violated the Voting Rights Act by failing to obtain
necessary Department of Justice preclearance before changing redistricting practices and procedures and by abandoning the “two-
816 Texas
thirds rule” in the Senate: the “two-thirds rule” is regarded as a
Senate tradition, which ensure that at least two-thirds of the membership have an interest in debating a measure before it comes to
the fl oor. In September, a three-judge panel in Laredo dismissed
all plaintiff s’ claims in Barrientos v. State of Texas. In October, the
Texas legislature passed the mid-decade redistricting plan in favor
of the Republicans. Senate Democrats, in Session v. Perry, challenged the legality of the plan and fi led a motion with the US Supreme Court to stay elections. Th e Supreme Court in April 2004
reaffi rmed the lower court ruling in Barrientos v. State of Texas.
On 24 September 2005, Hurricane Rita made landfall as a
strong Category 3 storm just east of Sabine Pass, Texas. Some areas received up to 20 inches of rain. Th is hurricane followed on
the heels of Hurricane Katrina, which on 29 August devastated
New Orleans, Louisiana, when levees there broke. Damages from
Hurricane Rita were estimated at $8 billion. Th e death toll rose to
over 100, but most of the victims died before the hurricane struck,
either while preparing for the storm or fl eeing from it.
Texas has been governed directly under eight constitutions: the
Mexican national constitution of 1824, the Coahuila-Texas state
constitution of 1827, the independent Republic of Texas constitution of 1836, and the fi ve US state constitutions of 1845, 1861,
1866, 1869, and 1876. Th is last document, with 432 amendments
(through 2005), is the foundation of the state government today. An attempt to replace it with eight propositions that in eff ect
would have given Texas a new constitution was defeated at the
polls in November 1975.
Th e state legislature consists of a Senate of 31 members elected
to four-year terms, and a House of Representatives of 150 members elected to two-year terms. Th e legislature meets on the second Tuesday in January of odd-numbered years for sessions of as
many as 140 calendar days; the governor may also call special sessions, each limited to 30 calendar days. Senators and representatives receive the same pay, pursuant to a constitutional amendment of 1975: $7,200 per year (as of 2004, unchanged from 1999)
and $124 per diem living expenses (as of 2004) while the legislature is in session. All legislators must be US citizens, qualifi ed voters, and residents of their districts for at least one year. Further,
senators are required to be at least 26 years old and to have lived
in the state for a minimum of fi ve years. Representatives must be
at least 21 and must have lived in the state for at least two years
before election.
Th e state’s chief executives are the governor and lieutenant governor, separately elected to four-year terms. Other elected executives, also serving four-year terms, include the attorney general,
comptroller, commissioner of agriculture, and commissioner of
the general land offi ce. Th e remaining cabinet members are appointed by the governor, who also appoints members of the many
executive boards and commissions. Th e governor, whose salary
was $115,345 as of December 2004 (unchanged from 1999), must
be a US citizen, at least 30 years old, and must have resided in the
state for at least fi ve years prior to election. A uniquely important
executive agency is the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC). Established in 1891 and consisting of three members elected for sixyear terms, the commission regulates the state’s railroads, oil and
gas production, coal and uranium mining, and trucking industry.
Th e RRC thus wields extraordinary economic power, and the alleged infl uence by the regulated industries over the commission
has been a major source of political controversy in the state.
To become law, a bill must be approved by a majority of members present and voting in each house, with a quorum of twothirds of the membership present, and either signed by the governor or left unsigned for 10 days while the legislature is in session
or 20 days aft er it has adjourned. A gubernatorial veto may be
overridden by a two-thirds vote of the elected members. Overrides have been rare: the vote in April 1979 by state legislators to
override the new Republican governor’s veto of a minor wildlife
regulation measure aff ecting only one county was the fi rst successful attempt in 38 years. A constitutional amendment requires a
two-thirds vote of the membership of each house and ratifi cation
by the voters at the next election.
In order to vote in Texas one must be a US citizen, at least 18
years old, and a resident in the county of registration. Restrictions
apply to convicted felons and those declared mentally incompetent by the court.
Until recent years, the Democratic Party had dominated politics in
Texas. William P. Clements Jr., elected governor in 1978, was the
fi rst Republican since Reconstruction to hold that offi ce. No Republican carried Texas in a presidential election until 1928, when
Herbert Hoover defeated Democrat Al Smith, a Roman Catholic
at a severe disadvantage in a Protestant fundamentalist state. Another Roman Catholic, Democratic presidential candidate John
Kennedy, carried the state in 1960 largely because he had a Texan,
Lyndon Johnson, on his ticket.
Prior to the Civil War, many candidates for statewide offi ce ran
as independents. Aft er a period of Republican rule during Reconstruction, Democrats won control of the statehouse and state legislature in 1873. Th e major challenge to Democratic rule during
the late 19th century came not from Republicans but from the
People’s Party, whose candidates placed second in the gubernatorial races of 1894, 1896, and 1898, aided by the collapse of the cotton market; imposition of a poll tax in 1902 helped disfranchise
the poor white farmers and laborers who were the base of Populist support. Th e Populists and the Farmers’ Alliance probably
exercised their greatest infl uence through a Democratic reformer, Governor James S. Hogg (1891–95), who fought the railroad
magnates, secured lower freight rates for farmers and shippers,
and curbed the power of large landholding companies. Another
Democratic governor, James E. “Farmer Jim” Ferguson, was elected on an agrarian reform platform in 1914 and reelected in 1916,
but was impeached and convicted the following year for irregular
fi nancial dealings. Barred from holding state offi ce, he promoted the candidacy of his wife, Miriam “Ma” Ferguson, whose fi rst
term as governor (1925–27) marked her as a formidable opponent of the Ku Klux Klan. During her second term (1933–35), the
state’s fi rst New Deal reforms were enacted, and prohibition was
repealed. Th e Fergusons came to represent the more liberal wing
of the Democratic Party in a state where liberals have long been
in the minority. Aft er the progressive administration of Governor
James V. Allred, during which the state’s fi rst old-age assistance
program was enacted, conservative Democrats, sometimes called
“Texas Tories,” controlled the state until the late 1970s.
Texas 817
In the November 1994 elections, George W. Bush (son of former President George H. W. Bush), upset Ann Richards to become
governor. Bush was reelected in 1998, shortly before announcing
his run for the US presidency. In 2000 following his election as
president, Bush turned the governor’s offi ce over to Republican
Rick Perry. Perry was elected in his own right in 2002. Texas is
represented in the US Senate by Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison, who was fi rst elected in 1993 to fi ll the Senate seat vacated
by Democrat Lloyd Bentsen, who resigned to become secretary of
the treasury in the Clinton administration. In 1994, Hutchinson
won reelection to a full term, and she was reelected once again in
2000. Republican John Cornyn was elected to the Senate in 2002.
Following the 2002 elections, Texas Democrats held 11 seats in
the US House of Representatives and the Republicans 21. As of
mid-2005, the Republicans continued to control the state House
by a margin of 87 to 63, and they had a majority of 19–12 over the
Democrats in the state Senate.
Republican and native son George H.W. Bush captured 56% of
the vote in the 1988 presidential election and 41% in the 1992 election. In 2000, his son, George W. Bush, took 59% of the presidential popular vote to Democrat Al Gore’s 38%, and Bush went on to
become president. In 2004, as an incumbent Bush won 61.2% of
the vote to Democratic challenger John Kerry’s 38.3%. As of 2004
there were 13,098,000 registered voters in the state; there is no voter registration by party in Texas. Th e state had 34 electoral votes in
the 2004 presidential election, an increase of 2 votes over 2000.
Aside from the Populists, third parties have played a minor
role in Texas politics. Th e Native American (Know-Nothing) Party helped elect Sam Houston governor in 1859. In 1968, George
Wallace of the American Independent Party won 19% of the Texas
popular vote and in 1992 native son Ross Perot picked up 22% of
the vote.
Following passage of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965, registration of black voters increased to about 11.5% of the total population of voters. Between 1895 and 1967, no black person served
as a state legislator. By 1993, however, there were 472 blacks holding elective offi ce. At about the same time. Hispanic elected offi –
cials numbered 2,215. Democrat Henry Cisneros, former mayor
of San Antonio, served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Clinton Administration.
Th e Texas constitution grants considerable autonomy to local governments. As of 2005, Texas had 254 counties, a number that has
remained constant since 1931. Also in 2005, there were 1,196 municipal governments, 1,040 public school districts (down from
8,600 in 1910), and 2,245 special districts.
Each county is governed by a commissioners’ court, consisting
of commissioners elected by precinct and a county judge or administrator elected at large. Other elected offi cials generally include a county clerk, attorney, treasurer, assessor-collector, and
sheriff .
At the municipal level, cities with populations greater than
5,000 can adopt home rule.
In 2005, local government accounted for about 1,016,476 fulltime (or equivalent) employment positions.
To address the continuing threat of terrorism and to work with
the federal Department of Homeland Security, homeland security in Texas operates under executive order and state statute; a
Texas Presidential Vote by Political Parties, 1948–2004
1948 23 *Truman (D) 750,700 282,240 106,909 3,764 2,758
1952 24 *Eisenhower (R) 969,227 1,102,818 1,563 — 1,983
1956 24 *Eisenhower (R) 859,958 1,080,619 14,591 — —
1960 24 *Kennedy (D) 1,167,935 1,121,693 18,170 — 3,868
1964 25 *Johnson (D) 1,663,185 958,566 5,060 — —
AMERICAN IND. 1968 25 Humphrey (D) 1,266,804 1,227,844 584,269 — —
1972 26 *Nixon (R) 1,154,289 2,298,896 6,039 8,664 —
1976 26 *Carter (D) 2,082,319 1,953,300 11,442 1,723 —
1980 26 *Reagan (R) 1,881,147 2,510,705 37,643 — —
1984 29 *Reagan (R) 1,949,276 3,433,428 — — —
1988 29 *Bush (R) 2,352,748 3,036,829 30,355 7,208 —
1992 32 Bush (R) 2,281,815 2,496,071 19,699 505 1,354,781
1996 32 Dole (R) 2,549,683 2,736,167 20,256 — 378,537
GREEN IND. (Buchanan)
2000 32 *Bush, G. W. (R) 2,433,746 3,799,639 23,160 137,994 12,394
(Nader) (Peroutka)
2004 34 *Bush, G. W. (R) 2,832,704 4,526,917 38,787 9,159 1,636
*Won US presidential election.
818 Texas
homeland security director oversees the state’s homeland security
Th e Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is responsible for environmental protection. Th e Department of Housing
and Community Aff airs helps to provide shelter for all citizens.
Th e Ethics Commission promotes individual participation and
confi dence in governmental processes by enforcing and administering applicable laws and by providing public offi cial conduct
Educational services in the public schools are administered by
the Texas Education Agency, which is run by a commissioner of
education appointed by an elected State Board of Education. Th e
Higher Education Coordinating Board, consisting of appointed
members, oversees public higher education. Transportation facilities are regulated by the Department of Transportation and the
Texas Railroad Commission.
Health and welfare services are off ered by the Department of
Family and Protective Services, the Department of Aging and Disability Services, the Council for Developmental Disabilities, Texas Health and Human Services, the Health and Human Services
Commission, and the Department of State Health Services. Public protection is the responsibility of the National Guard, Texas
Department of Criminal Justice, and Texas Youth Commission,
which maintains institutions for juvenile off enders. Labor services
are provided by the Texas Workforce Investment Council and the
Department of Licensing and Regulation. Other departments deal
with public safety, banking, and agriculture.
Th e Texas judiciary is comprised of a supreme court, a state court
of criminal appeals, 14 courts of appeals, and more than 380 district courts.
Th e highest court is the Supreme Court, consisting of a chief
justice and eight justices, who are popularly elected to staggered
six-year terms. Th e Court of Criminal Appeals, which has fi nal jurisdiction in most criminal cases, consists of a presiding judge and
eight judges, who are also elected to staggered six-year terms.
Justices of the courts of appeals, numbering 80 in 1999, are
elected to six-year terms and sit in 14 judicial districts; each court
has a chief justice and at least two associate justices. Th ere were
27 district court judges in 1999, each elected to a four-year term.
County, justice of the peace, and municipal courts handle local
As of 31 December 2004, a total of 168,105 prisoners (the highest in the United States) were held in Texas’s state and federal prisons, an increase from 166,911 of 0.7% from the previous year. As
of year-end 2004, a total of 13,958 inmates were female, up from
13,487 or 3.5% from the year before. Among sentenced prisoners (one year or more), Texas had an incarceration rate of 694 per
100,000 population in 2004 (the second-highest in the United
States, below Louisiana).
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Texas in
2004, had a violent crime rate (murder/nonnegligent manslaughter; forcible rape; robbery; aggravated assault) of 540.5 reported
incidents per 100,000 population, or a total of 121,554 reported
incidents. Crimes against property (burglary; larceny/theft ; and
motor vehicle theft ) in that same year totaled 1,010,702 reported
incidents or 4,494 reported incidents per 100,000 people. Texas
has a death penalty, of which lethal injection is the sole method of
execution. From 1976 through 5 May 2006, the state has carried
out 363 executions (highest in the United States); 19 inmates were
executed in 2005 and 8 in 2006 (as of 5 May). As of 1 January 2006,
Texas had 409 inmates on death row.
In 2003, Texas spent $2,164,257,669 on homeland security, an
average of $101 per state resident.
In few states do US military forces and defense-related industries
play such a large role as in Texas, which as of 2004 had 109,760
active-duty military personnel and 39,385 civilian personnel employed at major US military bases, second to California in defense
personnel. Also in 2004, Texas received prime defense contract
awards worth more than $21 billion, third-largest awards in the
United States aft er California and Virginia, fi rst and second, respectively. Texas was also third in that nation in defense payroll
outlays of $11.08 billion, aft er Virginia, fi rst with $15.9 billion, and
California, second with $15.0 billion.
Ft. Sam Houston, at San Antonio, is headquarters of the US 5th
Army Recruiting Brigade and home to the 4th Infantry Division,
the most lethal, modern, and deployable heavy division in the
world. It is also the headquarters of the US Army Health Services
Command and the site of the Academy of Health Sciences, the
largest US military medical school, enrolling more than 25,000
offi cers and enlisted personnel. Ft. Bliss, at El Paso, is the home of
the US Army Air Defense Artillery Center. Ft. Hood, near Killeen,
is headquarters of the 3rd Army Corps and other military units. It
is the state’s single largest defense installation and Ft. Hood is the
only post in the United States capable of stationing and training
two Armored Divisions.
Four principal Air Force bases are located near San Antonio:
Brooks, Kelly, Lackland, and Randolph. Other major air bases are
Dyess (Abilene); Goodfellow (San Angelo); Laughlin (Del Rio);
and Sheppard (Wichita Falls). All US-manned space fl ights are
controlled from the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, operated
by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Naval air
training stations are located at Corpus Christi, Dallas, and Kingsville. Th e Inactive Ships Maintenance Facility, at Orange, was
home port for some of the US Navy’s “mothball fl eet” from 1945
to 1975 when it was closed.
Texas was a major military training center during World War II,
when about one out of every 10 soldiers was trained there. Some
750,000 Texans served in the US armed forces during that war; the
state’s war dead numbered 23,022. Military veterans living in the
state in 2003 totaled 1,681,748, including 194,173 who served in
World War II; 154,449 during the Korean confl ict; 517,031 during
the Vietnam era; and 322,909 during the Gulf War. Expenditures
on Texas veterans totaled nearly $5.0 billion in 2004.
Th e Texas Army National Guard has dual status as a federal and
state military force. Th e Texas State Guard is an all-volunteer force
available either to back up National Guard units or to respond to
local emergencies.
Th e famous Texas Rangers, a state police force fi rst employed
in 1823 (though not formally organized until 1835) to protect the
early settlers, served as scouts for the US Army during the Mexican War. Many individual rangers fought with the Confederacy in
the Civil War; during Reconstruction, however, the rangers were
Texas 819
used to enforce unpopular carpetbagger laws. Later, the rangers
put down banditry on the Rio Grande. Th e force was reorganized
in 1935 as a unit of the Department of Public Safety and is now
called on in major criminal cases, helps control mob violence in
emergencies, and sometimes assists local police offi cers. Th e Texas Rangers have been romanticized in fi ction and fi lms, but one
of their less glamorous tasks has been to intervene in labor disputes on the side of management. In 2004, the Texas Department
of Public Safety employed 3,407 full-time sworn offi cers.
Estimates of the number of Indians living in Texas when the fi rst
Europeans arrived range from 30,000 to 130,000. Eventually, they
all were killed, fl ed southward or westward, or were removed to
reservations. Th e fi rst great wave of white settlers, beginning in
1821, came from nearby southern states, particularly Tennessee,
Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi; some of these newcomers
brought their black slaves to work in the cotton fi elds. During the
1840s, a second wave of immigrants arrived directly from Germany, France, and eastern Europe.
Interstate migration during the second half of the 19th century
was accelerated by the Homestead Act of 1862 and the westward
march of the railroads. Particularly notable since 1900 has been
the intrastate movement from rural areas to the cities; this trend
was especially pronounced from the end of World War II, when
about half the state’s population was rural, to the late 1970s, when
nearly four out of every fi ve Texans made their homes in metropolitan areas.
Texas’s net gain from migration between 1940 and 1980 was
1,821,000, 81% of that during the 1970–80 period. A signifi cant
proportion of postwar immigrants were seasonal laborers from
Mexico, remaining in the United States either legally or illegally.
By 1990, Texas had a foreign-born population of 1,524,436, representing 9% of the total. During 1980–83, Texas had the highest net
migration gain—922,000—in the nation. From 1985 to 1990, the
net gain from migration was 36,700. Between 1990 and 1998, the
state had net gains of 541,000 in domestic migration and 656,000
in international migration. In 1996, the state’s foreign-born population was 2,081,000, or 11% of the total population. In 1998,
44,428 foreign immigrants arrived in Texas, the fourth-highest total among the states. Of that total, the greatest number of immigrants (22,956) came from Mexico. Between 1990 and 1998, Texas’s overall population increased 16.3%. In the period 2000–05,
net international migration was 663,161 and net internal migration was 218,722, for a net gain of 881,883 people.
Th e Texas Commission on Interstate Cooperation represents Texas before the Council of State Governments. Texas is a member
of the Interstate Mining Compact Commission and Interstate Oil
and Gas Compact Commission. Th e state also belongs to the Gulf
States Marine Fisheries Commission, South Central Interstate
Forest Fire Protection Compact, Southern States Energy Board,
and Southern Regional Education Board, and to accords apportioning the waters of the Canadian, Pecos, Red River, Pecos, and
Sabine rivers and the Rio Grande. During fi scal year 2005, Texas
received $22.347 billion in federal grants (third largest aft er California and New York). In fi scal year 2006, Texas received an estimated $23.000 billion in federal grants, and an estimated $23.782
billion in fi scal year 2007.
Traditionally, the Texas economy has been dependent on the production of cotton, cattle, timber, and petroleum. In recent years,
cotton has declined in importance, cattle ranchers have suff ered
fi nancial diffi culties because of increased production costs, and
lumber production has remained relatively stable. In the 1970s,
as a result of rising world petroleum prices, oil and natural gas
emerged as by far the state’s most important resource. Th e decades
since World War II have also witnessed a boom in the electronics, computer, transport equipment, aerospace, and communications industries, which has placed Texas second only to California
in manufacturing among all the states of the Sunbelt region. Between 1972 and 1982, the Texas economy grew 6% a year, twice
the national average, led by a booming oil industry. Other factors
that contributed to the Lone Star State’s robust economy in the
early 1980s were a plentiful labor market, high worker productivity, diversifi cation of new industries, and less restrictive regulation
of business activities than in most other states. Th e result was a
steady increase in industrial production, construction values, retail sales, and personal income, coupled with a relatively low rate
of unemployment. In 1982, however, Texas began to be aff ected
by the worldwide recession. Lower energy demand, worldwide
overproduction of oil, and the resulting fall in prices, caused a
steep decline in the state’s petroleum industry. Unemployment in
Texas jumped from 6.9% in 1982 to 8% in 1983, a period during
which the national rate fell 0.1%. Much of this unemployment was
among persons who came to Texas seeking jobs, particularly from
northern industrial states. Th e rise and fall of the oil industry’s
fortunes aff ected other industries as well. Th ousands of banks that
had speculated in real estate in the early eighties, saw many of
their investments become worthless, and numerous banks were
declared insolvent.
In the wake of the oil-centered recession, Texas began attempts
to diversify. Th e state government has successfully wooed hightech industries to locate in Texas. Th e percentage of economic activity contributed by the oil and gas extraction industry dropped
from about 20% to 6% between 1980 and 2000. Electronics, telecommunications, food processing, services and retail trade, on
the other hand, saw substantial growth in the 1990s. While output from oil and gas extraction increased 7.4% between 1997 and
2001, output from general services rose 35.4%, while output from
fi nancial services rose 32.5%; with retail and wholesale trade rising 30.7%, transportation and public utilities by 26.4%, and from
government by 24%. In the recession and slowdown of 2001 and
2002, employment growth in Texas followed the national trends,
remaining negative through the end of 2002. Shortfalls in state
revenues fl owing, particularly from the collapse of capital gains
income, faced the state government with a serious budget defi cit.
However, higher oil prices following a Venezuelan oil strike, the
US-led invasion of Iraq and rising tensions with Iran have benefi ted the Texas economy.
In 2004, Texas’s gross state product (GSP) was $884.136 billion, of which manufacturing (durable and nondurable goods) accounted for the largest share at $106.749 billion or 12% of GSP, followed by the real estate sector at $90.670 billion (10.2% of GSP),
820 Texas
and mining at $56.971 billion (6.4% of GSP). In that same year,
there were an estimated 1,787,607 small businesses in Texas. Of
the 404,683 businesses that had employees, an estimated total of
399,323 or 98.7% were small companies. An estimated 54,098 new
businesses were established in the state in 2004, up 2.7% from the
year before. Business terminations that same year came to 55,792,
up 0.6% from 2003. Th ere were 3,094 business bankruptcies in
2004, down 1.9% from the previous year. In 2005, the state’s personal bankruptcy (Chapter 7 and Chapter 13) fi ling rate was 407
fi lings per 100,000 people, ranking Texas as the 37th highest in
the nation.
In 2005 Texas had a gross state product (GSP) of $982 billion
which accounted for 7.9% of the nation’s gross domestic product
and placed the state at number 2 in highest GSP among the 50
states and the District of Columbia.
According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, in 2004 Texas
had a per capita personal income (PCPI) of $30,732. Th is ranked
29th in the United States and was 93% of the national average of
$33,050. Th e 1994–2004 average annual growth rate of PCPI was
4.3%. Texas had a total personal income (TPI) of $690,587,968,000,
which ranked third in the United States and refl ected an increase
of 6.1% from 2003. Th e 1994–2004 average annual growth rate of
TPI was 6.3%. Earnings of persons employed in Texas increased
from $536,483,781,000 in 2003 to $571,564,011,000 in 2004, an
increase of 6.5%. Th e 2003–04 national change was 6.3%.
Th e US Census Bureau reports that the three-year average
median household income for 2002 to 2004 in 2004 dollars was
$41,275 compared to a national average of $44,473. During the
same period an estimated 16.4% of the population was below the
poverty line as compared to 12.4% nationwide.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in April 2006
the seasonally adjusted civilian labor force in Texas 11,390,900,
with approximately 578,700 workers unemployed, yielding an unemployment rate of 5.1%, compared to the national average of
4.7% for the same period. Preliminary data for the same period
placed nonfarm employment at 9,928,100. Since the beginning of
the BLS data series in 1976, the highest unemployment rate recorded in Texas was 9.3% in October 1986. Th e historical low was
4.3% in January 2001. Preliminary nonfarm employment data by
occupation for April 2006 showed that approximately 5.9% of the
labor force was employed in construction; 9.1% in manufacturing;
20.4% in trade, transportation, and public utilities; 6.3% in fi nancial activities; 12.1% in professional and business services; 12.2%
in education and health services; 9.2% in leisure and hospitality
services; and 17.1% in government.
Organized labor has never been able to establish a strong base
in Texas, and a state right-to-work law continues to make unionization diffi cult. Th e earliest national union, the Knights of Labor, declined in Texas aft er failing to win a strike against the railroads in 1886 when the Texas Rangers served as strike breakers.
Th at same year, the American Federation of Labor (AFL) began
to organize workers along craft lines. One of the more protracted
and violent disputes in Texas labor history occurred in 1935 when
longshoremen struck Gulf coast ports for 62 days. Th e Congress of
Industrial Organizations (CIO) succeeded in organizing oil-fi eld
and maritime workers during the 1930s.
Th e BLS reported that in 2005, a total of 506,000 of the state’s
9,485,000 employed wage and salary workers were formal members of a union. Th is represented 5.3% of those so employed, up
from 5% in 2004, but still below the national average of 12%. Overall in 2005, a total of 590,000 workers (6.2%) in Texas were covered by a union or employee association contract, which includes
those workers who reported no union affi liation.
As of 1 March 2006, Texas had a state-mandated minimum
wage rate of $5.15 per hour. In 2004, women in the state accounted for 44.6% of the employed civilian labor force.
Texas ranked second among the 50 states in agricultural production in 2005, with farm marketings totaling nearly $16.9 billion
(7.2% of US total); crops accounted for 33% of the total. Texas
leads the nation in output of cotton, grain sorghum, hay, watermelons, cabbages, and spinach.
Since 1880, Texas has been the leading producer of cotton (producing both Upland and American-Pima), which accounted for
33% of total US production and 9.4% of the state’s farm marketings in 2004. Aft er 1900, Texas farmers developed bumper crops
of wheat, corn, and other grains by irrigating dry land and transformed the “great Sahara” of West Texas into one of the nation’s
foremost grain-growing regions. Texans also grow practically every vegetable suited to a temperate or semitropical climate. Since
World War II, farms have become fewer and larger, more specialized in raising certain crops and meat animals, more expensive to
operate, and far more productive.
About 130 million acres (52.6 million hectares) are devoted to
farms and ranches, representing more than three-fourths of the
state’s total area. Th e number of farms declined from 420,000 in
1940 to fewer than 185,000 in 1978, but rose to 229,000 in 2004.
Th e average farm was valued at $855 per acre in 2004.
Productive farmland is located throughout the state. Grains are
grown mainly in the temperate north and west, and vegetables and
citrus fruits in the subtropical south. Cotton has been grown in
all sections, but in recent years, it has been extensively cultivated in the High Plains of the west and the upper Rio Grande Valley. Grain sorghum, wheat, corn, hay, and other forage crops are
raised in the north-central and western plains regions. Rice is cultivated along the Gulf coast, and soybeans are raised mainly in the
High Plains and Red River Valley.
Major crops in 2004 included: upland cotton, 5.35 million acres
produced 7.5 million bales (valued at $1.53 billion); wheat, 3.5
million acres produced 108.5 million bushels (valued at $363.5
million); hay, 5.35 million acres produced 12.3 million (valued at
$833.6 million); sorghum, grain, 2.1 million acres produced 127.1
million bushels (valued at $288.3 million); corn, 1.7 million acres
produced 233.5 million bushels (valued at $595.5 million); rice,
218,000 acres produced 14,690 hundred weight (valued at $120.5
million); vegetables, fresh, 93,500 acres produced 1,010,460 tons
(valued at $366.2 million); soybeans, 290,000 acres produced 86
million bushels (valued at $50.5 million).
Th e major vegetables and fruits, in terms of value, are onions,
cabbages, watermelons, carrots, potatoes, cantaloupes, green peppers, honeydew melons, spinach, cucumbers, and lettuce. Cot-
Texas 821
tonseed, barley, oats, peanuts, pecans, sugar beets, sugarcane, and
sunfl owers are also produced in commercial quantities.
Th e total value of farmland and buildings alone was estimated
at $111.1 billion in 2004, higher than any other state.
About 11.8% of cropland was irrigated in 2002, primarily in
the High Plains; other areas dependent on irrigation included the
lower Rio Grande Valley and the trans-Pecos region. Approximately 80% of the irrigated land is supplied with water pumped
from wells. Because more than half of the state’s irrigation pumps
are fueled by natural gas, the cost of irrigation increased signifi –
cantly as gas prices rose during the 1970s.
About two-thirds of cattle fattened for market are kept in feedlots located in the Texas panhandle and northwestern plains. In
2005, Texas ranked fi rst in number of cattle and calves with an estimated 13.8 million, valued at $10.8 billion. During 2004, Texas
farms had around 980,000 hogs and pigs, valued at $86.2 million.
In 2003, Texas’s production of sheep and lambs was second aft er
California at 61.9 million lb (28.1 million kg), valued at $50.7 million; shorn wool production was an estimated 5.6 million lb (2.5
million kg) in 2004.
About 90% of the dairy industry is located in eastern Texas. In
2003, milk production was around 5.6 billion lb (2.5 billion kg)
from 319,000 milk cows. Poultry production included 2.95 billion
lb (1.4 billion kg) of broilers, valued at around $1.03 billion, and
4.8 billion eggs were produced, valued at $310 million.
Breeding of Palominos, Arabians, Appaloosas, Th oroughbreds,
and quarter horses is a major industry in Texas. Th e animals are
most abundant in the most heavily populated areas, and it is not
unusual for residential subdivisions of metropolitan areas to include facilities for keeping and riding horses.
In 2004, the commercial catch was about 85.6 million lb (38.9 million kg), valued at $166.2 million. Brownsville-Port Isabel ranked
14th in the nation in ports bringing in the most valuable catches,
with receipts of $40.3 million. Other high value ports included
Port Arthur (16th), Galveston (20th), and Palacios (25th).
Th e most important catch was shrimp. In 2004, Texas had the
second largest shrimp catch in the nation with 70.1 million lb
(31.9 million kg). Other commercial shellfi sh include blue crabs
and oysters. Species of saltwater fi sh with the greatest commercial value are yellowfi n tuna, red snapper, swordfi sh, and fl ounder. Texas had 93 fi sh processing and wholesale plants employing
2,262 people in 2003.
Early in 1980, the US government banned shrimp fi shing for 45
days, eff ective in the summer of 1981, in order to conserve shrimp
supplies. Texas has since continued to close the Gulf to shrimping
from about 1 June to 15 July.
In 2005, Texas had 62 catfi sh farms covering 1,030 acres (417
hectares) with sales of $3.5 million, and a 2006 inventory of 10.1
million fi ngerlings and 2.1 million stocker-sized fi sh. Th e state
manages fi sh stocks and habitats to maintain 40.4 million freshwater and 14.5 million marine angler days per year. Th ere are three
national fi sh hatcheries in the state (Uvalde, Inks Dam, and San
Marcos). In 2004, Texas issued 1,632,016 sport fi shing licenses,
more than any other state. Among the most sought-aft er native
freshwater fi sh are large-mouth and white bass, crappie, sunfi sh,
and catfi sh.
Texas forestland in 2003 covered 17,149,000 acres (6,940,000 hectares), representing 2.3% of the US total and over 10% of the state’s
land area. Commercial timberland comprised 11,774,000 acres
(4,765,000 hectares), of which about 90% was privately owned.
Timberlands managed by the federal government covered 794,000
acres (321,000 hectares). Most forested land, including practically
all commercial timberland, is located in the Piney Woods region
of east Texas.
In 2004, Texas timberlands yielded 1.79 billion board ft of lumber (88% soft wood), tenth in the United States. Primary forest
products manufactured include plywood, waferboard, and pulpwood. Texas wood-treating plants process utility poles, crossties,
lumber, and fence posts.
Th e Texas Forest Service, a member of the Texas A&M University System, provides direct, professional forestry assistance to
private landowners, manages several state and federal reforestation and forest stewardship incentives programs, coordinates pest
control activities, and assists in protecting against wildfi res statewide. In addition, the state agency has an urban and community
forestry program, forest products laboratory, two tree nurseries,
and a genetics laboratory.
As of 2005 there were four national forests in Texas—Angelina, Davy Crockett, Sabine, and Sam Houston—with a total area of
641,574 acres (259,645 hectares). Texas also has fi ve state forests:
the E. O. Siecke, W. Goodrich Jones, I. D. Fairchild, John Henry
Kirby, and Paul N. Masterson Memorial State Forests.
According to preliminary data from the US Geological Survey
(USGS), the estimated value of nonfuel mineral production by
Texas in 2003 was valued at around $2 billion, a decrease from
2002 of about 3%. Th e USGS data ranked Texas as fourth among
the 50 states by the total value of its nonfuel mineral production,
accounting for over 5% of total US output.
In descending order of value, according to preliminary data
for 2003, cement (portland and masonry), crushed stone, construction sand and gravel, lime and salt were the state’s top nonfuel minerals. Collectively, these fi ve commodities accounted for
around 93% of all nonfuel mineral output, by value, with cement
alone accounting for almost 39% of all nonfuel mineral production by the state. Nationally, in descending order of value, Texas in
2003 was the nation’s leading producer of crushed stone, second in
the production of portland cement, construction sand and gravel,
salt, common clays, gypsum, talc, and zeolites. Th e state was also
second (out of two states) in the production of crude helium, ball
clay (out of four), and second in the production of brucite (out of
Th e preliminary data for 2003 showed production of portland
cement at 10.6 million metric tons, with an estimated value of
$753 million, while crushed stone output, that same year, totaled
104 million metric tons, and was valued at $504 million. Construction sand and gravel production in 2003 totaled 78 million
metric tons and was valued at $394 million, while lime output totaled 1.58 million metric tons, with a value of $104 million. Salt
822 Texas
output in 2003 was put at 8.47 million metric tons, and was valued
at $99.3 million.
In 2003, Texas also produced fuller’s earth, kaolin, and dimension stone.
Texas is an energy-rich state. Its vast deposits of petroleum and
natural gas liquids account for nearly 30% of US proved liquid
hydrocarbon reserves. Texas is also the largest producer and exporter of oil and natural gas to other states, and it leads the United
States in electric power production.
As of 2003, Texas had 210 electrical power service providers, of
which 72 were publicly owned and 68 were cooperatives. Of the
remainder, 53 were investor owned, and 17 were owners of independent generators that sold directly to customers. As of that
same year there were 10,114,100 retail customers. Of that total,
7,046,095 received their power from investor-owned service providers. Cooperatives accounted for 1,568,284 customers, while
publicly owned providers had 1,499,968 customers. Th ere were 23
independent generator or “facility” customers.
Total net summer generating capability by the state’s electrical
generating plants in 2003 stood at 99.593 million kW, with total
production that same year at 379.199 billion kWh. Of the total
amount generated, 22.9% came from electric utilities, with the remaining 77.1% coming from independent producers and combined heat and power service providers. Th e largest portion of all
electric power generated, 184.911 billion kWh (48.8%), came from
natural gas fi red plants, with coal-fi red plants in second place at
146.989 billion kWh (38.8%) and nuclear fueled plants in third
at 33.437 billion kWh (8.8%). Other renewable power sources,
plants using other types of gases, petroleum fi red plants, hydroelectric facilities and “other” types of generating plants accounted
for the remaining output.
As of 2006, the state had four nuclear reactors in operation: two
at the Comanche Peak plant in Somervell County; and two at the
South Texas plant (the largest commercial reactors in the United
States) near Bay City.
Th e state’s fi rst oil well was drilled in 1866 at Melrose in East
Texas, and the fi rst major oil discovery was made in 1894 at Corsicana, northwest of Melrose, in Navarro County. Th e famous Spindletop gusher, near Beaumont, was tapped on 10 January 1901.
Another great oil deposit was discovered in the panhandle in
1921, and the largest of all, the East Texas fi eld, in Rusk County,
was opened in 1930. Subsequent major oil discoveries were made
in West Texas, starting in Scurry County in 1948. Th irty years later, the state’s crude-oil production exceeded 1 billion barrels. In
1983, production was 908.2 million barrels, averaging 2.5 million
barrels per day. Production in 1999 was 449.2 million barrels (including over 1 million barrels from off shore wells), averaging 1.23
million barrels per day.
As of 2004, Texas had proven crude oil reserves of 4,613 million
barrels, or 22% of all proven US reserves, while output that same
year averaged 1,073,000 barrels per day. Including federal off –
shore domains, the state that year ranked second (fi rst excluding
federal off shore) in both proven reserves and production among
the 31 producing states. In 2004 Texas had 151,653 producing oil
wells and accounted for 20% of all US production. As of 2005, the
state’s 26 refi neries had a combined crude oil distillation capacity
of 4,627,611 barrels per day.
In 2004, Texas had 72,237 producing natural gas and gas condensate wells. In that same year, marketed gas production (all gas
produced excluding gas used for repressuring, vented and fl ared,
and nonhydrocarbon gases removed) totaled 5,067.315 billion cu
ft (143.91 billion cu m). As of 31 December 2004, proven reserves
of dry or consumer-grade natural gas totaled 49,955 billion cu ft
(1,418.7 billion cu m).
Texas in 2004, had 13 producing coal mines, all of which were
surface operations. Coal production that year totaled 45,863,000
short tons, down from 47,517,000 short tons in 2003. Recoverable
coal reserves in 2004 totaled 546 million short tons. One short ton
equals 2,000 lb (0.907 metric tons).
Before 1900, Texas had an agricultural economy based, in the
common phrase, on “cotton, cows, and corn.” When the fi rst US
Census of Manufactures was taken in Texas in 1849, there were
only 309 industrial establishments, with 1,066 wage earners; payrolls totaled $322,368, and the value added by manufacture was a
mere $773,896. Th e number of establishments increased tenfold
by 1899, when the state had 38,604 wage earners and a total value added of $38,506,130. During World War II, the value added passed the $1-billion mark, and by 1982, the total was $53.4
According to the US Census Bureau’s Annual Survey of Manufactures (ASM) for 2004, the state’s manufacturing sector covered
some 21 product subsectors. Th e shipment value of all products
manufactured in the state that same year was $385.534 billion. Of
that total, petroleum and coal products manufacturing accounted
for the largest share at $91.303 billion. It was followed by chemical manufacturing at $90.169 billion; computer and electronic
product manufacturing at $41.537 billion; food manufacturing at
$31.430 billion; and transportation equipment manufacturing at
$24.747 billion.
In 2004, a total of 773,506 people in Texas were employed in
the state’s manufacturing sector, according to the ASM. Of that total, 525,332 were actual production workers. In terms of total employment, the fabricated metal product manufacturing industry
accounted for the largest portion of all manufacturing employees
with 98,407 (74,214 actual production workers). It was followed
by food manufacturing, with 82,594 (62,350 actual production
workers); computer and electronic product manufacturing, with
72,604 (33,125 actual production workers); machinery manufacturing, with 70,968 (42,913 actual production workers); and
transportation equipment manufacturing, with 70,871 (40,627 actual production workers).
ASM data for 2004 showed that Texas’s manufacturing sector
paid $33.559 billion in wages. Of that amount, the computer and
electronic product manufacturing sector accounted for the largest
share at $4.435 billion. It was followed by chemical manufacturing
at $4.062 billion; transport equipment manufacturing at $3.888
billion; fabricated metal product manufacturing at $3.639 billion;
and machinery manufacturing at $3.143 billion.
Texas 823
According to the 2002 Census of Wholesale Trade, Texas’s wholesale trade sector had sales that year totaling $397.4 billion from
31,832 establishments. Wholesalers of durable goods accounted for 20,192 establishments, followed by nondurable goods
wholesalers at 9,493 and electronic markets, agents, and brokers accounting for 2,147 establishments. Sales by durable goods
wholesalers in 2002 totaled $183.4 billion, while wholesalers of
nondurable goods saw sales of $177.9 billion. Electronic markets,
agents, and brokers in the wholesale trade industry had sales of
$36.06 billion.
Texas ranked second among the 50 states in wholesale trade in
2002. Th e leading wholesaling centers are the Houston, Dallas-Ft.
Worth, San Antonio, El Paso, Lubbock, Midland, Amarillo, Austin, and Corpus Christi metropolitan areas.
In the 2002 Census of Retail Trade, Texas was listed as having
75,703 retail establishments with sales of $228.6 billion. Th e leading types of retail businesses by number of establishments were:
gasoline stations (10,610); clothing and clothing accessories stores
(10,275); motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts dealers (9,319);
food and beverage stores (8,903); and miscellaneous store retailers
(8,216). In terms of sales, motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts
stores accounted for the largest share of retail sales at $67.4 billion,
followed by general merchandise stores at $35.6 billion; food and
beverage stores at $32.3 billion; gasoline stations at $20.3 billion;
and building material/garden equipment and supplies dealers at
$16.2 billion. A total of 1,026,326 people were employed by the retail sector in Texas that year. Th e state also ranked second behind
California in retail sales in 2002.
Foreign exports through Texas during 2005 totaled $128.7 billion. Th e leading items shipped through Texas ports to foreign
countries were grains, chemicals, fertilizers, and petroleum refi nery products; principal imports included crude petroleum,
minerals and metals (especially aluminum ores), liquefi ed gases,
motor vehicles, bananas, sugar, and molasses. Texas ranked fi rst
among the 50 states in 2005 as an exporter of goods produced in
the state.
Th e Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division protects
consumers and the legitimate business community by fi ling civil lawsuits under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) and
other related statutes. Th e division is best known for its work in
traditional areas of consumer protection litigation such as false
and deceptive advertising, defective merchandise, and home or
appliance repair scams, for example.
Th e attorney general’s litigation activities are supplemented
by a highly eff ective mediation program that is available to Texas consumers who have complaints amenable to informal resolution. Th e Consumer Protection Division also disseminates a wide
range of public information materials to educate consumers about
their rights, alert them to trends in deceptive or unfair business
practices, and prevent losses due to fraud before they occur. Over
the years, the division has succeeded in winning funds for consumer education as part of the settlement of consumer protection
When dealing with consumer protection issues, the state’s Attorney General’s Offi ce can initiate civil proceedings but can only
initiate criminal proceedings under specifi c statutes for specifi c
crimes. Th e offi ce can represent the state before state and federal
regulatory agencies, administer consumer protection and education programs, and handle formal consumer complaints. However
its exercise of subpoena powers is limited. In antitrust actions, the
Attorney General’s Offi ce can act on behalf of those consumers
who are incapable of acting on their own and initiate damage actions on behalf of the state in state courts and represent counties,
cities and other governmental entities in recovering civil damages
under state or federal law, but the Offi ce has no power to initiate
criminal proceedings in an antitrust case.
Th e state’s Offi ce of the Attorney General has regional offi ces in
Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, Lubbock, McAllen, San Antonio. Th ere is a county government consumer aff airs offi ce under
the District Attorney’s Offi ce in Houston, and the city of Dallas
also has its own consumer aff airs offi ce located within the city’s
Department of Environmental and Health services.
Texas has the second highest number of banks in the nation, behind Illinois. As of June 2005, Texas had 677 insured banks, savings and loans, and saving banks, in addition to 231 state-chartered and 407 federally chartered credit unions (CUs). Excluding
the CUs, the Dallas-Fort Worth market area accounted for the
largest portion of the state’s fi nancial institutions and deposits in
2004, with 176 institutions and $113.409 billion in deposits. As of
June 2005, CUs accounted for 18% of all assets held by all fi nancial institutions in the state, or some $49.146 billion. Banks, savings and loans, and savings banks collectively accounted for the
remaining 72% or $224.280 billion in assets held.
Banking was illegal in the Texas Republic and under the fi rst
state constitution, refl ecting the widespread fear of fi nancial speculation like that which had caused the panic of 1837. Because both
the independent republic and the new state government found it
diffi cult to raise funds or obtain credit without a banking system,
they were forced to borrow money from merchants, thus permitting banking functions and privileges despite the constitutional
ban. A formal banking system was legalized during the latter part
of the 19th century.
Th e median percentage of past-due/nonaccrual loans to total
loans stood at 1.51% as of fourth quarter 2005, down from 1.77%
in 2004 and 2.04% in 2003. Th e median net interest margin (the
diff erence between the lower rates off ered savers and the higher
rates charged to loans) for the state’s insured institutions stood at
4.50% in fourth quarter 2005, up from 4.22% in 2004 and 4.21%
in 2003.
Regulation of Texas’s state-chartered banks and other statechartered fi nancial institutions is the responsibility of the Finance
Commission of Texas’s Department of Banking, Savings and Loan
Department, and the Offi ce of Consumer Credit.
Th e industry’s most recent state-by-state comparison (year-end
2003) showed Texas ranked second (behind Arizona) in number
of domestic life and health insurance companies with 165, and
fi rst in the number of domestic property and casualty companies
824 Texas
with 238. In 2004, direct premiums for property and casualty insurance totaled over $32.2 billion. Th at year, there were 459,522
fl ood insurance policies in force in the state, with a total value
of $84 billion. Th ere were 113,443 beach and windstorm plans in
force with a value of about $30 billion. About $22.7 billion of coverage was held through FAIR plans, which are designed to off er
coverage for some natural circumstances, such as wind and hail,
in high risk areas.
In 2004, there were 10.8 million individual life insurance policies in force in Texas with a total value of $839.3 billion; total value
for all categories of life insurance (individual, group, and credit)
was over $1.4 trillion. Th e average coverage amount is $77,600 per
policy holder. Death benefi ts paid that year totaled $3.69 billion.
In 2004, 48% of state residents held employment-based health
insurance policies, 4% held individual policies, and 21% were covered under Medicare and Medicaid; 25% of residents were uninsured. Texas has the highest percentage of uninsured residents of
all the fi ft y states; the national average is 16%. In 2003, employee
contributions for employment-based health coverage averaged at
16% for single coverage and 27% for family coverage. Th e state offers a six-month health benefi ts expansion program for small-fi rm
employees in connection with the Consolidated Omnibus Budget
Reconciliation Act (COBRA, 1986), a health insurance program
for those who lose employment-based coverage due to termination or reduction of work hours.
Motorists are required to maintain auto insurance coverage that
includes a minimum of bodily injury liability of up to $20,000
per individual and $40,000 for all persons injured in an accident,
as well as property damage liability of $15,000. In 2003, the average expenditure per vehicle for insurance coverage was about
Th e insurance industry is regulated by the Texas Department of
Insurance. TDI is headed by the commissioner of insurance, who
is appointed by the governor and confi rmed by the state Senate for
two-year terms beginning 1 February of odd-numbered years.
Th ere are no securities exchanges in Texas. In 2005, there were
5,060 personal fi nancial advisers employed in the state and 14,170
securities, commodities, and fi nancial services sales agents. In
2004, there were over 729 publicly traded companies within the
state, with over 213 NASDAQ companies, 211 NYSE listings, and
56 AMEX listings. In 2006, the state had 56 Fortune 500 companies, including 8 in the Fortune 100; Exxon Mobil (based in
Irving), ranked fi rst in the state and the nation with revenues of
over $339.9 billion, followed by ConocoPhillips (Houston, sixth
in the nation), Valero Energy (San Antonio, 15th in the nation),
Marathon Oil (Houston, 23rd in the nation), and Dell Computers
(Round Rock, 25th in the nation). Dell is listed on NASDAQ; the
other top four companies are listed on the NYSE. A total of 102
companies are listed on the Fortune 1,000.
Th e State Securities Board, established in 1957, oversees the issuance and sale of stocks and bonds in Texas.
Th e Texas budget operates on a “pay as you go” basis in that expenditures cannot exceed revenues during the budget cycle. Th e
state’s budget period runs on a biennial basis from 1 September of
each odd-numbered year to 31 August of the following odd-numbered year.
Th e state legislature meets from approximately January to May
every odd-numbered year and writes a budget for the next two
years. Th e appropriations committee in the House, and the fi –
nance committee in the Senate are responsible for budget development. Th e primary legislative entity responsible for oversight of
the budget when the legislature is not in session is the 10-member
legislative budget board. Chaired by the lieutenant governor, the
board prepares the initial budget that will be considered by the
Texas—State Government Finances
(Dollar amounts in thousands. Per capita amounts in dollars.)
Total Revenue 90,570,423 4,030.37
General revenue 71,567,893 3,184.76
Intergovernmental revenue 25,639,654 1,140.96
Taxes 30,751,860 1,368.45
General sales 15,460,221 687.98
Selective sales 9,160,557 407.64
License taxes 4,083,148 181.70
Individual income tax – –
Corporate income tax – –
Other taxes 2,047,934 91.13
Current charges 7,027,396 312.72
Miscellaneous general revenue 8,148,983 362.63
Utility revenue – –
Liquor store revenue – –
Insurance trust revenue 19,002,530 845.61
Total expenditure 77,338,118 3,441.53
Intergovernmental expenditure 17,032,016 757.92
Direct expenditure 60,306,102 2,683.61
Current operation 40,686,513 1,810.54
Capital outlay 7,429,464 330.61
Insurance benefi ts and repayments 9,667,420 430.20
Assistance and subsidies 1,481,676 65.93
Interest on debt 1,041,029 46.33
Exhibit: Salaries and wages 11,861,335 527.83
Total expenditure 77,338,118 3,441.53
General expenditure 67,660,579 3,010.88
Intergovernmental expenditure 17,032,016 757.92
Direct expenditure 50,628,563 2,252.96
General expenditures, by function:
Education 27,312,446 1,215.40
Public welfare 18,613,103 828.28
Hospitals 2,929,885 130.38
Health 1,302,365 57.96
Highways 5,828,707 259.38
Police protection 465,109 20.70
Correction 2,972,593 132.28
Natural resources 893,598 39.76
Parks and recreation 120,673 5.37
Government administration 1,572,677 69.98
Interest on general debt 1,041,029 46.33
Other and unallocable 4,608,394 205.07
Utility expenditure 10,119 .45
Liquor store expenditure – –
Insurance trust expenditure 9,667,420 430.20
Debt at end of fi scal year 22,925,515 1,020.18
Cash and security holdings 197,828,786 8,803.35
Abbreviations and symbols: – zero or rounds to zero; (NA) not available;
(X) not applicable.
source: U.S. Census Bureau, Governments Division, 2004 Survey of
State Government Finances, January 2006.
Texas 825
Th e governor’s offi ce of budget and planning also prepares a
budget for the Legislature’s consideration. Th e governor has lineitem veto authority over the budget and must sign the appropriations bill before it becomes law. Th e comptroller of public accounts must also sign the bill certifying that suffi cient revenue will
be available to fund the budget.
Aft er running large budget surpluses in the early 1980s, the
state experienced several years of budget shortfalls in the wake
of falling oil prices. As the state’s economy has diversifi ed, the
budget has shown greater ability to withstand minor economic
fl uctuations.
Fiscal year (FY) 2006 general funds were estimated at $35.7 billion for resources and $32.2 billion for expenditures. In fi scal year
2004, federal government grants to Texas were $27.7 billion.
In the fi scal year 2007 federal budget, Texas was slated to receive
$22 million (a $4 million increase over fi scal year 2006) for the
Army Corps of Engineers’ urban fl ood damage reduction project in Sims Bayou; $20 million for the upgrade and expansion of
the Ysleta Border Station in El Paso; $13 million to expand the
national cemetery in Dallas/Fort Worth; and $7.5 million for additional design and construction funds for a new border station at
the proposed international bridge in McAllen.
In 2005, Texas collected $32,785 million in tax revenues or $1,434
per capita, which placed it 49th among the 50 states in per capita
tax burden. Th e national average was $2,192 per capita. Sales taxes
accounted for 49.9% of the total; selective sales taxes, 29.0%; and
other taxes, 21.2%.
As of 1 January 2006, Texas had no state income tax, a distinction it shared with Wyoming, Washington, Nevada, Florida, Alaska, and South Dakota.
In 2004, local property taxes amounted to $28,176,329,000 or
$1,254 per capita. Th e per capita amount ranks the state 13th
highest nationally. Texas has no state level property taxes.
Texas taxes retail sales at a rate of 6.25%. In addition to the state
tax, local taxes on retail sales can reach as much as 2%, making
for a potential total tax on retail sales of 8.25%. Food purchased
for consumption off -premises is tax exempt. Th e tax on cigarettes
is 41 cents per pack, which ranks 40th among the 50 states and
the District of Columbia. Texas taxes gasoline at 20 cents per gallon. Th is is in addition to the 18.4 cents per gallon federal tax on
According to the Tax Foundation, for every federal tax dollar
sent to Washington in 2004, Texas citizens received $0.94 in federal spending.
Texas state government has historically been pro business: regulation is less restrictive than in many states, and there is no corporate income tax. Th e state government actively encourages outside
capital investment in Texas industries, and the state’s industrial
productivity has produced a generally high return on investment.
Texas Economic Development (TXED) (formerly the Texas
Industrial Commission) helps businesses locate or expand their
operations in the state. Its stated mission is to market Texas and
assist communities to maximize their economic development opportunities. Th e main divisions within TXED are Business Development and Tourism. A private organization, the Texas Industrial
Development Council, in Bryan, also assists new and developing
Texas announced in 2004 it would put more focus on courting
businesses within the technology sector through the establishment
of the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (TETF), an outgrowth
of the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) program. Targeted industries
range from nanotechnology to environmental sciences.
Th e infant mortality rate in October 2005 was estimated at 6.2 per
1,000 live births. Th e birth rate in 2003 was 17.2 per 1,000 population, the second-highest rate in the country for that year (following Utah). Th e abortion rate stood at 18.8 per 1,000 women
in 2000. In 2003, about 80.9% of pregnant woman received prenatal care beginning in the fi rst trimester. In 2004, approximately
73% of children received routine immunizations before the age
of three.
Th e crude death rate in 2003 was 7 deaths per 1,000 population.
As of 2002, the death rates for major causes of death (per 100,000
resident population) were: heart disease, 199.5; cancer,156.9; cerebrovascular diseases, 48.4; chronic lower respiratory diseases,
35.4; and diabetes, 26. Th e mortality rate from HIV infection was
4.9 per 100,000 population. In 2004, the reported AIDS case rate
was at about 14.7 per 100,000 population. In 2002, about 58.8% of
the population was considered overweight or obese. As of 2004,
about 20.4% of state residents were smokers.
In 2003, Texas had 414 community hospitals with about 57,300
beds, the highest numbers in the nation. Th ere were about 2.5 million patient admissions that year and 32.3 million outpatient visits. Th e average daily inpatient census was about 36,400 patients.
Th e average cost per day for hospital care was $1,482. Also in
2003, there were about 1,143 certifi ed nursing facilities in the state
with 121,548 beds and an overall occupancy rate of about 72%.
In 2004, it was estimated that about 61.3% of all state residents
had received some type of dental care within the year. Texas had
219 physicians per 100,000 resident population in 2004 and 656
nurses per 100,000 in 2005. In 2004, there were a total of 10,559
dentists in the state.
Th ere are 8 medical schools, 2 dental colleges, and 64 schools of
nursing in the state. Th e University of Texas has medical colleges
at Dallas, Houston, Galveston, San Antonio, and Tyler. Th e University of Texas Cancer Center at Houston is one of the nation’s
major facilities for cancer research. Houston is also noted as a center for cardiovascular surgery. On 3 May 1968, Houston surgeon
Denton Cooley performed the fi rst human heart transplant in the
United States.
In 2005, University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in
Houston ranked as the second best hospital in the nation for cancer care by U.S. News & World Report. In the same report, the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in Houston was
ranked eight in the nation for best care in heart disease and heart
surgery. Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston ranked fourth for
best reputation in pediatric care.
About 17% of state residents were enrolled in Medicaid programs in 2003; 11% were enrolled in Medicare programs in 2004.
Approximately 25% of the state population was uninsured in 2004;
826 Texas
this was the highest percentage of uninsured residents in the nation. In 2003, state health care expenditures totaled $25.3 million.
In 2004, about 422,000 people received unemployment benefi ts,
with the average weekly unemployment benefi t at $259. In fi scal year 2005, the estimated average monthly participation in the
food stamp program included about 2,451,197 persons (943,506
households); the average monthly benefi t was about $90.41 per
person. Th at year, the total of benefi ts paid through the state for
the food stamp program was over $2.6 billion. the highest total in
the nation.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the system
of federal welfare assistance that offi cially replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) in 1997, was reauthorized through the Defi cit Reduction Act of 2005. TANF is funded through federal block grants that are divided among the states
based on an equation involving the number of recipients in each
state. Texas’s TANF cash assistance program, run by the Department of Human Services, is called Texas Works; the work program, run by the Texas Workforce Commission, is called Choices.
In 2004, the state program had 250,000 recipients; state and federal expenditures on this TANF program totaled $405 million in
fi scal year 2003.
In December 2004, Social Security benefi ts were paid to
2,864,870 Texans. Th is number included 1,714,830 retired workers,
334,150 widows and widowers, 347,010 disabled workers, 203,650
spouses, and 265,130 children. Social Security benefi ciaries represented 12.7% of the total state population and 89.7% of the state’s
population age 65 and older. Retired workers received an average
monthly payment of $930; widows and widowers, $870; disabled
workers, $884; and spouses, $452. Payments for children of retired
workers averaged $424 per month; children of deceased workers,
$604; and children of disabled workers, $253. Federal Supplemental Security Income payments in December 2004 went to 472,347
Texas residents, averaging $362 a month. An additional $51,000
of state-administered supplemental payments were distributed to
10,371 residents.
Th e variety of Texas architectural styles refl ects the diversity of
the state’s topography and climate. In the early settlement period,
Spanish-style adobe houses were built in southern Texas. During
the 1840s, Anglo-American settlers in the east erected primitive
log cabins. Th ese were later replaced by “dog-run” houses, consisting of two rooms linked by an open passageway covered by a
gabled roof, so-called because pet dogs slept in the open, roofed
shelter, as did occasional overnight guests. During the late 19th
century, southern-style mansions were built in East Texas, and the
familiar ranch house, constructed of stone and usually stuccoed
or whitewashed, with a shingle roof and a long porch, proliferated throughout the state; the modern ranch house in southwestern
Texas shows a distinct Mexican-Spanish infl uence. Climate aff ects
such modern amenities as air conditioning: a new house in the
humid eastern region is likely to have a refrigeration-style cooler,
while in the dry west and south, an evaporating “swamp cooler” is
the more common means of making hot weather bearable.
In 2004, Texas had an estimated 8,846,728 housing units, of
which 7,790,853 were occupied; 65.1% were owner-occupied.
Th at year, Texas had the second-highest number of housing units
in the nation (following California). About 64.5% of all units were
single-family, detached homes. About 63% of all units were built
between 1950 and 1989. Electricity and utility gas were the most
common energy sources for heating. It was estimated that 492,782
units lacked telephone service, 36,697 lacked complete plumbing
facilities, and 47,643 lacked complete kitchen facilities. Th e average household had 2.81 members.
In 2004, 188,800 new privately owned housing units were authorized for construction. Th e median home value was $99,858.
Th e median monthly cost for mortgage owners was $1,166. Renters paid a median of $648 per month. In September 2005, the state
received grants of over $2.4 million from the US Department of
Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for rural housing and
economic development programs. For 2006, HUD allocated to the
state over $73.2 million in community development block grants
(CDBG). Dallas was also awarded about $18.4 million in CDBG
monies, Houston was awarded over $30.7 million, and San Antonio was awarded over $14.8 million. Also in 2006, HUD off ered
an additional $74.5 million to the state in emergency funds to rebuild housing that was destroyed by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and
Wilma in late 2005.
Although public instruction began in Texas as early as 1746, education was slow to develop during the period of Spanish and Mexican rule. Th e legislative foundation for a public school system was
laid by the government of the Republic of Texas during the late
1830s, but funding was slow in coming. Aft er annexation, in 1846,
Galveston began to support free public schools, and San Antonio
had at least four free schools by the time a statewide system of
public education was established in 1854. Free segregated schooling was provided for black children beginning in the 1870s, but
their schools were ill-maintained and underfi nanced. School desegregation was accomplished during the 1960s, nonviolently for
the most part.
In 2004, 78.3% of the population 25 years old and over had completed four years of high school, signifi cantly lower than the national average of 84%. Some 24.5% had four or more years of college.
Th e total enrollment for fall 2002 in Texas public schools stood at
4,260,000. Of these, 3,080,000 attended schools from kindergarten through grade eight, and 1,180,000 attended high school. Approximately 38.7% of the students were white, 14.3% were black,
43.8% were Hispanic, 2.9% were Asian/Pacifi c Islander, and 0.3%
were American Indian/Alaskan Native. Total enrollment was estimated at 4,277,000 in fall 2003 and expected to be 4,923,000 by
fall 2014, an increase of 15.6% during the period 2002–14. Expenditures for public education in 2003/04 were estimated at $38
billion. In fall 2003 there were 220,206 students enrolled in 1,282
private schools. Since 1969, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has tested public school students nationwide. Th e resulting report, Th e Nation’s Report Card, stated that in
2005, eighth graders in Texas scored 281 out of 500 in mathematics compared with the national average of 278.
Texas 827
As of fall 2002, there were 1,152,369 students enrolled in college
or graduate school; minority students comprised 41.3% of total
postsecondary enrollment. In 2005 Texas had 208 degree-granting institutions. Institutions of higher education include 42 public four-year colleges and universities, 69 public two-year college
campuses, and 51 nonprofi t, private four-year schools. Th e leading public universities are Texas A&M (College Station), which
opened in 1876, and the University of Texas (Austin), founded in
1883. Each institution is now the center of its own university system, including campuses in several other cities. Oil was discovered on lands owned by the University of Texas in 1923, and beginning in 1924, the university and Texas A&M shared more than
$1 billion in oil-related rentals and royalties. Other state-supported institutions include the University of Houston and Texas Tech
University (Lubbock).
Th e fi rst private college in Texas was Rutersville, established by
a Methodist minister in Fayette County in 1840. Th e oldest private
institution still active in the state is Baylor University (1845), at
Waco. Other major private universities include Hardin-Simmons
(Abilene), Rice (Houston), Southern Methodist or SMU (Dallas),
and Texas Christian, or TCU (Ft. Worth). Well-known black-oriented institutions of higher learning include Texas Southern University in Houston and Prairie View A&M University.
Tuition charges to Texas colleges are among the lowest in the
nation. Th e Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation administers a guaranteed-loan program and tuition equalization grants
for students in need.
In 2005, the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) and other Texas arts organizations received 91 grants totaling $2,751,200 from
the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA); in 2006 TCA celebrated its 40th anniversary. Humanities Texas, formerly the Texas
Council for the Humanities was established in 1965. In 2005, the
National Endowment for the Humanities contributed $3,677,357
for 47 state programs. Th e state and private sources also provide
funding to the Commission and other arts organizations. Both
the Texas Museums Association and Texas Responds—a grant
program for Texas library services and programs—provided aid
for hurricane victims aff ected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita in
Although Texas has never been regarded as a leading cultural
center, the arts have a long history in the state. Th e cities of Houston and Matagorda each had a theater before they established
churches, and the state’s fi rst theater was active in Houston as early as 1838. Stark Young founded the Curtain Club acting group
at the University of Texas in Austin in 1909 and the little-theater
movement began in that city in 1921. As of 2005, the arts fl ourished at Houston’s Th eater District, Jones Hall for the Performing
Arts, and Alley Th eater, as well as at the Dallas Th eater Center, and
Th eater Th ree. Th e Dallas theater company, run by the groundbreaking artist, Margo Jones had a national reputation. Aft er her
death in 1955 other companies were founded such as the Texas
Repertory Th eater Company in Houston. During the late 1970s,
Texas also emerged as a center for motion picture production. Th e
city of Austin has since become the host for the Austin Film Festival and the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film festival and SXSW
Music and Media Conference and Festival.
Texas has fi ve major symphony orchestras—the Dallas Symphony (performing in the Myerson Symphony Center since 1989),
Houston Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Austin Symphony,
and Fort Worth Symphony—and 25 orchestras in other cities. Th e
Houston Grand Opera performs at Jones Hall, and in 1999 received a National Endowment for the Arts Access grant to provide
free outdoor performances and artist residencies.
Several cities have resident dance companies, including Abilene,
Amarillo, Denton, Galveston, Garland, Longview, Lubbock, Midland-Odessa, and Pampa. Th e ballet groups in Fort Worth, Austin, and Corpus Christi are notable. As of 2005, the Houston Ballet, founded in 1955, was the fi ft h-largest ballet company in the
United States.
Popular music in Texas stems from early Spanish and Mexican
folk songs, Negro spirituals, cowboy ballads, and German-language songfests. Texans pioneered a kind of country and western
music that is more outspoken and direct than Nashville’s commercial product, and a colony of country-rock songwriters and
musicians were active in the Austin area during the 1970s. Texans of Mexican ancestry have also fashioned a Latin-fl avored music (“Tejano”) that is as distinctly “Tex-Mex” as the state’s famous
chili. Th e Texas Talent Musicians Association (TTMA) holds the
annual Tejano Music Awards in San Antonio.
Th ere are a number of groups for writers and storytellers, including the Writers’ League of Texas and the Tejas Storytelling Association. In 2005 the Texas Storytelling Association celebrated the
20th anniversary of the Texas Storytelling Festival and in 2006 the
Writers’ League of Texas celebrated its 25th anniversary. In 2000,
the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature (chartered
in 1997) opened in Abilene. Besides sponsoring its own museum
of illustrated works, the Center provides educational programs
and exhibits for teachers and other display venues.
In 2001, Texas had 540 public library systems, with a total of 825
libraries, of which there were 285 branches. In that same year, the
Texas public library system had 35,725,000 volumes of books and
serial publications, and a total circulation of 81,505,000. Th e system also had 1,350,000 audio and 1,139,000 video items, 100,000
electronic format items (CD-ROMs, magnetic tapes, and disks),
and 15 bookmobiles. Funding for public libraries in Texas comes
from local cities, counties, school districts, and state and federal
sources, with additional funding from donations, gift s, and corporate and foundation grants. In fi scal year 2001,operating income for the state’s public library system totaled $319,354,000
and included $3,129,000 in federal grants, and $1,672,000 in state
Th e largest municipal libraries in Texas include the Houston
Public Library with 4,573,356 volumes, and the Dallas Public Library with 2,568,852 volumes. Th e University of Texas at Austin,
noted for outstanding collections in the humanities and in Latin
American studies, had over seven million volumes in 1998. Th e
Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library is also located in Austin,
as is the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building.
Other notable academic libraries include those of Texas A&M
University, with over two million volumes, and the University of
Houston, Rice University, Southern Methodist University, and
828 Texas
Texas Tech University, all with collections of over one million
Among the state’s 389 museums are Austin’s Texas Memorial
Museum; the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts and the Dallas Museum of Art; and the Amon Carter Museum of Western Art, the Ft.
Worth Art Museums, and Kimbell Art Museum, all in Ft. Worth.
Houston has the Museum of Fine Arts, Contemporary Arts Museum, and at least 30 galleries. Both Dallas-Ft. Worth and Houston
have become major centers of art sales.
National historic sites in Texas are Ft. Davis (Jeff Davis County), President Johnson’s boyhood home and Texas White House
(Blanco and Gillespie counties), and the San Jose Mission (San
Antonio). Other historic places include the Alamo, Dwight D.
Eisenhower’s birthplace at Denison, the Sam Rayburn home in
Bonham, and the John F. Kennedy memorials in Dallas. A noteworthy prehistoric Indian site is the Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument, located in Potter County and accessible by
guided tour.
In 2004, 91.8% of the occupied housing units in Texas had
telephones. In addition, by June of that same year there were
12,091,134 mobile wireless telephone subscribers. In 2003, 59.0%
of Texas households had a computer and 51.8% had Internet access. By June 2005, there were 2,989,919 high-speed lines in Texas,
2,737,826 residential and 252,093 for business.
Dallas was one of Western Union’s fi rst US communications satellite stations, and it leads the state as a center for data communications. Th e state has not always been in the communications
vanguard, however. Texas passed up a chance to make a handsome
profi t from the invention of the telegraph when, in 1838, inventor
Samuel F. B. Morse off ered his newfangled device to the republic
as a gift . When the Texas government neglected to respond, Morse
withdrew the off er.
Texas had 298 major radio stations (73 AM, 225 FM) in 2005
and 87 major television stations. Th e state’s fi rst radio station,
WRR, was established by the city of Dallas in 1920. Th e fi rst television station, WBAP, began broadcasting in Ft. Worth in 1948. In
1999, the Dallas-Fort Worth area has 2,018,120 television households, only 51% receiving cable; the Houston area has 1,712,060
television households, 58% with cable; and the San Antonio area
has 684,730 television homes, 66% with cable.
Approximately 439,135 Internet domain names were registered
with the state in the year 2000; the third most of any state.
Th e fi rst newspaper in Texas was a revolutionary Spanish-language sheet published in May 1813 at Nacogdoches. Six years later, the Texas Republican was published by Dr. James Long in the
same city. In 1835, the Telegraph and Texas Register became the offi cial newspaper of the Texas Republic and it continued to publish
until 1877. Th e fi rst modern newspaper was the Galveston News
(1842), a forerunner of the Dallas Morning News (1885).
In 2005, Texas had 49 morning dailies, 36 evening dailies, and
78 Sunday papers. Texas had the second-largest number of daily
newspapers in the country in 2005 (second to California). In 2004,
the Houston Chronicle and the Dallas Morning News were ranked
as the ninth- and tenth-largest daily newspapers nationwide.
Th e newspapers with the largest daily circulations (2005 est.)
were as follows:
area name daily sunday
Austin American-Statesman (m,S) 177,926 226,766
Dallas Morning News (m,S) 519,014 755,912
Fort Worth Star-Telegram (m,S) 258,489 326,803
Houston Chronicle (m,S) 554,783 737,580
San Antonio Express-News (m,S) 270,067 356,680
In 2005, there were 491 weekly newspapers with a total circulation of 2,545,596. Of these, the paid weekly Park City News of
Highland Park ranked seventh in the United States with a circulation of 51,000. Two free weeklies, the McAllen Valley Town Crier and the San Antonio North Side Recorder-Times, ranked ninth
(104,037 ) and fourteenth (83,700), respectively, by circulation in
the United States. Th e Texas Almanac, a comprehensive guide to
the state, has been issued at regular intervals since 1857 by the
A.H. Belo Corp., publishers of the Dallas Morning News. Leading
magazines include the Texas Monthly and Texas Observer, both
published in Austin.
In 2006, there were over 14,665 nonprofi t organizations registered within the state, of which about 10,292 were registered as
charitable, educational, or religious organizations. Irving is the
home of one of the nation’s largest organizations, the Boy Scouts
of America.
Important medical groups are the American Heart Association,
the National Association for Retarded Citizens, the American
Academy of Nurse Practitioners, the American Pediatric Society,
the American Organ Transplant Association, the American Board
of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the American Board of Otolaryngology. Th e National Temperance and Prohibition Council
is in Richardson.
Other professional associations include the American Engineering Association, the Working Ranch Cowboys Association,
and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. Th e Association
of Space Explorers., based in Houston, is an international professional organization for astronauts who have made at least one orbit around the Earth.
Among the many organizations devoted to horse breeding are
the American Quarter Horse Association, Amarillo, the National
Cutting Horse Association, and American Paint Association. Ft.
Worth is the home of the Texas Longhorn Breeders Association
of America.
Th e scholarly organization American Mensa is based in Arlington. National and state arts and cultural organizations include
the American Association of Community Th eatre, the American
Cowboy Culture Association, the American Indian Arts Council,
the Texas Folklore Society, the Texas International Th eatrical Arts
Society, the Texas Historical Foundation, and the Writers’ League
of Texas. National sports organizations based in Texas include
the United States Professional Tennis Association and the United
States Youth Soccer Association.
In 2004, the state hosted over 180 million visitors with direct travel
spending at $44.4 billion, an all-time high. Th e industry supported 500,000 jobs with $13 million in payroll. Marketing for tourism
Texas 829
and travel to Texas is the responsibility of Texas Economic Development Market Texas Tourism. Dallas-Ft. Worth, San Antonio,
and Austin are the cities most frequently visited.
Each of the state’s seven major tourist regions off ers outstanding attractions. East Texas has one of the state’s oldest cities, Nacogdoches, with the nation’s oldest public thoroughfare and a reconstruction of the Old Stone Fort, a Spanish trading post dating
from 1779. Jeff erson, an important 19th-century inland port, has
many old homes, including Excelsior House. Tyler, which bills itself as the “rose capital of the world,” features a 28-acre (11-hectare) municipal rose garden and puts on a Rose Festival each October. Th e Gulf Coast region of southeastern Texas off ers the
Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, the Astrodome sports stadium,
and adjacent Astroworld amusement park, and a profusion of museums, galleries, and shops, all in metropolitan Houston; Spindletop Park, in Beaumont, commemorates the state’s fi rst great oil
gusher; Galveston’s sandy beaches, deep-sea fi shing, and Sea-Arama Marineworld; and the Padre Island National Seashore.
To the north, the Dallas-Ft. Worth metropolitan area (including
Arlington) has numerous cultural and entertainment attractions,
including the Six Flags Over Texas amusement park and the state
fair held in Dallas each October. Old Abilene Town amusement
park, with its strong western fl avor, is also popular with visitors.
Th e Hill Country of south-central Texas encompasses many tourist sites, including the state capitol in Austin, Waco’s Texas Ranger Museum (Ft. Fisher), the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Site, and frontier relics in Bastrop and Bandera. Th e Lyndon
Baines Johnson Presidential Library is in Austin and the George
H.W. Bush Presidential Library is in College Station.
South Texas has the state’s most famous historic site—the Alamo, in San Antonio. Th e Rio Grande Valley Museum, at Harlingen, is popular with visitors, as is the King Ranch headquarters
in Kleberg County. Th e Great Plains region of the Texas panhandle off ers Palo Duro Canyon—Texas’s largest state park covering
16,402 acres (6,638 hectares) in Armstrong and Randall counties;
the Prairie Dog Town at Lubbock; Old West exhibits at Matador;
and the cultural and entertainment resources of Amarillo. In the
extreme northwestern corner of the panhandle is the XIT Museum, recalling the famous XIT Ranch, at one time the world’s largest
fenced ranch, which formerly covered more than 3 million acres
(1.2 million hectares). Outstanding tourist sites in the far west are
the Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains national parks, the Jersey Lilly Saloon and Judge Roy Bean visitor center in Langtry, and
metropolitan El Paso. Texas also has the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail with 624 mi (1,040 km) of coastline viewing.
Texas’s park system includes Palo Duro Canyon, Big Creek (Ft.
Bend County), Brazos Island (Cameron County), Caddo Lake
(Harrison County), Dinosaur Valley (Somervell County), Eisenhower (Grayson County), Galveston Island, and Longhorn Cavern
(Burnet County). State historical parks include San Jacinto Battleground (east Harris County), Texas State Railroad (Anderson and
Cherokee counties), and Washington-on-the-Brazos (Washington County). Hunting and fi shing are extremely popular in Texas.
White-tailed deer are hunted as a way of cutting the wildlife population; thousands of jabalina and wild turkeys are shot annually.
Texas has 11 major professional sports teams: the Texas Rangers
and Houston Astros of Major League Baseball; the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans of the National Football League; the
Dallas Stars of the National Hockey League; the Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs, and Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association; the Houston Comets and San Antonio Silver
Stars of the Women’s National Basketball Association, and the FC
Dallas, formerly the Dallas Burn, of Major League Soccer. Th e
Cowboys are, by far, the most consistently successful of Texas’s
teams. Th ey have won the Super Bowl fi ve times—in 1972, 1978,
1993, 1994, and 1996. Th ey have appeared in it and lost an additional three times. Th e Houston Rockets won consecutive NBA
Championships in 1994 and 1995. Houston lost the Oilers of the
NFL, who moved to Tennessee aft er the 1996 season. However, an
expansion team, the Texans, replaced them and began NFL play
in 2002. Texas is also home to many minor league baseball and
hockey teams.
Pari-mutuel betting on horse races was legalized in Texas in the
early 1990s, and thoroughbred tracks are open near Houston and
Dallas. Quarter-horse racing is also popular and rodeo is a leading spectator sport. Participant sports popular with Texans include hunting, fi shing, horseback riding, boating, swimming, tennis, and golf. State professional and amateur golf tournaments are
held annually, as are numerous rodeos. Th e Texas Sports Hall of
Fame was organized in 1951; new members are selected each year
by a special committee of the Texas Sports Writers Association.
Th ere are a plethora of colleges and universities in Texas, with
many elite teams in football, basketball, and baseball. Th e University of Texas Longhorns are traditionally strong in football, having
captured four national championships (1963, 1969, 1970, 2005)
and made over 40 bowl game appearances. Th ey also have a very
solid baseball program. Texas A&M University in College Station
also has an elite football program. Th eir team earned a national
championship in 1939 and won 18 conference titles in the nowdefunct Southwestern Conference. In 1998 the Aggies won the Big
Twelve Conference title. Texas Tech’s women’s basketball team has
been consistently ranked as a top team in the national polls. Baylor and Rice Universities, of the Big Twelve Conference and Western Athletic Conference, respectively, both fi eld outstanding baseball teams. Th e teams are traditionally ranked high in the national
polls. Th e Rice Owls won the 2003 College World Series.
Two NASCAR Nextel Cup races, the Samsung/Radio Shack 500
and the Dickies 500, and two NASCAR Busch Grand National series races, the O’Reilly 300 and the O’Reilly Challenge, are held
each year at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
Two native sons of Texas have served as president of the United
States. Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890–1969), the 34th president,
was born in Denison, but his family moved to Kansas when he
was two years old. Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908–73), the 36th
president, was the only lifelong resident of the state to serve in
that offi ce. Born near Stonewall, he occupied center stage in state
and national politics for a third of a century as US representative,
Democratic majority leader of the US Senate, and vice president
under John F. Kennedy, before succeeding to the presidency af-
830 Texas
ter Kennedy’s assassination. Reelected by a landslide, Johnson accomplished much of his Great Society program of social reform
but saw his power and popularity wane because of the war in Viet
Nam. His wife, Claudia Alta Taylor “Lady Bird” Johnson (b.1912),
was infl uential in environmental causes as First Lady.
Texas’s other native vice president was John Nance Garner
(1868–1967), former speaker of the US House of Representatives.
George Bush (b.Massachusetts, 1924), who founded his own oil
development company and has served in numerous federal posts,
was elected vice president in 1980 on the Republican ticket and
reelected in 1984, then elected to the presidency in 1988. Tom C.
Clark (1899–1977) served as an associate justice on the US Supreme Court from 1949 to 1967; he stepped down when his son
Ramsey (b.1927) was appointed US attorney general, a post the
elder Clark had also held.
Another prominent federal offi ceholder from Texas was Jesse H. Jones (1874–1956), who served as chairman of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation and secretary of commerce under
Franklin D. Roosevelt. Oveta Culp Hobby (1905–95), publisher of
the Houston Post, became the fi rst director of the Women’s Army
Corps (WAC) during World War II and the fi rst secretary of the
Department of Health, Education, and Welfare under President
Eisenhower. John Connally (1917–1993), a protégé of Lyndon
Johnson’s, served as secretary of the US Navy under Kennedy and,
as governor of Texas, was wounded in the same attack that killed
the president; subsequently, he switched political allegiance, was
secretary of the treasury under Richard Nixon, and had been active in Republican Party politics. Other federal offi cials from Texas
include “Colonel” Edward M. House (1858–1938), principal advisor to President Wilson, and Leon Jaworski (1905–82), the Watergate special prosecutor whose investigations led to President Nixon’s resignation. Lloyd Bentsen, a senator and a secretary of the
treasury, was born 11 February 1921 in Mission, Texas.
Th e state’s most famous legislative leader was Sam Rayburn
(1882–1961), who served the longest tenure in the nation’s history as speaker of the US House of Representatives—17 years in
three periods between 1940 and 1961. James Wright (b.1922) was
Democratic majority leader of the House in the 1970s and early
1980s, and Barbara C. Jordan (1936–96) won national attention
as a forceful member of the House Judiciary Committee during its
impeachment deliberations in 1974.
Famous fi gures in early Texas history include Moses Austin (b.Connecticut, 1761–1821) and his son, Stephen F. Austin
(b.Virginia, 1793–1836), oft en called the “father of Texas.” Samuel “Sam” Houston (b.Virginia, 1793–1863), adopted as a youth
by the Cherokee, won enduring fame as commander in chief of
the Texas revolutionary army, as president of the Texas Republic, and as the new state’s fi rst US senator; earlier in his career,
he had been governor of Tennessee. Mirabeau Bonaparte Lamar
(b.Georgia, 1798–1859), the second president of the republic,
founded the present state capital (now called Austin) in 1839. Anson Jones (b.Massachusetts, 1798–1858) was the last president of
the republic.
Noteworthy state leaders include John H. Reagan (b.Tennessee,
1818–1905), postmaster general for the Confederacy; he dominated Texas politics from the Civil War to the 1890s, helping to write
the state constitutions of 1866 and 1875, and eventually becoming chairman of the newly created Texas Railroad Commission.
Th e most able Texas governor was probably James Stephen Hogg
(1851–1906), the fi rst native-born Texan to hold that offi ce. Another administration with a progressive record was that of Governor James V. Allred (1899–1959), who served during the 1930s.
In 1924 Miriam A. “Ma” Ferguson (1875–1961) became the fi rst
woman to be elected governor of a state, and she was elected again
in 1932. With her husband, Governor James E. Ferguson (1871–
1944), she was active in Texas politics for nearly 30 years. Texas
military heroes include Audie Murphy (1924–71), the most decorated soldier of World War II (and later a fi lm actor), and Admiral
of the Fleet Chester W. Nimitz (1885–1966).
Figures of history and legend include James Bowie (b.Kentucky,
1796?–1836), who had a reputation as a brawling fi ghter and
wheeler-dealer until he died at the Alamo: he is popularly credited with the invention of the bowie knife. David “Davy” Crockett (b.Tennessee, 1786–1836) served three terms as a US representative from Tennessee before departing for Texas; he, too, lost
his life at the Alamo. Among the more notorious Texans was Roy
Bean (b.Kentucky, 1825–1903), a judge who proclaimed himself
“the law west of the Pecos.” Gambler, gunman, and desperado
John Wesley Hardin (1853–95) boasted that he “never killed a
man who didn’t deserve it.” Bonnie Parker (1910–34) and Clyde
Barrow (1909–34), second-rate bank robbers and murderers who
were shot to death by Texas lawmen, achieved posthumous notoriety through the movie Bonnie and Clyde (1967).
Many Texas businessmen have profoundly infl uenced the state’s
politics and lifestyle. Clint Murchison (1895–1969) and Sid Richardson (1891–1959) made great fortunes as independent oil operators and spread their wealth into other enterprises: Murchison
became owner-operator of the successful Dallas Cowboys professional football franchise, and Richardson, through the Sid Richardson Foundation, aided educational institutions throughout the
Southwest. Oilman H(aroldson) L(afayette) Hunt (b.Illinois, 1889–
1974), reputedly the wealthiest man in the United States, was an
avid supporter of right-wing causes. Howard Hughes (1905–79),
an industrialist, aviation pioneer, fi lm producer, and casino owner,
became a fabulously wealthy eccentric recluse in his later years.
Stanley Marcus (1905–2002), head of the famous specialty store
Neiman-Marcus, became an arbiter of taste for the world’s wealthy
and fashionable men and women. Rancher Richard King (b.New
York, 1825–85) put together the famed King Ranch, the largest
in the United States at his death. Charles Goodnight (b.Illinois,
1836–1929) was an outstanding cattleman. H. Ross Perot, billionaire computer soft ware developer and independent presidential
candidate in 1992 and 1996, was born 27 June 1930 in Dallas.
Infl uential Texas historians include folklorist John A. Lomax
(b.Mississippi, 1867–1948); Walter Prescott Webb (1888–1963),
whose books Th e Great Plains and Th e Great Frontier helped shape
American thought; and J. Frank Dobie (1888–1964), well-known
University of Texas educator and compiler of Texas folklore. Dan
Rather (b.1931) has earned a nationwide reputation as a television
reporter and anchorman. Frank Buck (1884–1950), a successful
fi lm producer, narrated and appeared in documentaries showing
his exploits among animals.
William Sydney Porter (b.North Carolina, 1862–1910) apparently embezzled funds from an Austin bank, escaped to Honduras,
but returned to serve a three-year jail term—during which time he
began writing short stories, later published under the pen name
Texas 831
O. Henry. Katherine Anne Porter (1890–1980) also won fame as a
short-story writer. Fred Gipson (1908–73) wrote Hound Dog Man
and Old Yeller, praised by critics as a remarkable evocation of a
frontier boy’s viewpoint. Two novels by Larry McMurtry (b.1936),
Horsemen, Pass By (fi lm title, Hud) and Th e Last Picture Show, became signifi cant motion pictures. Robert Rauschenberg (b.1925)
is a leading contemporary painter. Elisabet Ney (b.Germany,
1833–1907), a sculptor, came to Texas with a European reputation
and became the state’s fi rst determined feminist; she wore pants in
public, and seldom passed up an opportunity to transgress Texans’
Victorian mores. E. Donnall Th omas, 1990 co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in medicine, was born 15 March 1920 in Mart, Texas.
Prominent Texans in the entertainment fi eld include Mary Martin (1913–1990), who reigned over the New York musical comedy world for two decades; her son, Larry Hagman (b.1931), star
of the Dallas television series; actress Debbie Reynolds (b.1931);
movie director King Vidor (1894–1982); and Joshua Logan (1903–
1988), director of Broadway plays and Hollywood movies. Texans
who achieved national reputations with local repertory companies were Margo Jones (1912–55) and Nina Vance (1914–80), who
founded and directed theater groups in Dallas and Houston, respectively; and Preston Jones (1936–79), author of A Texas Trilogy
and other plays.
Among Texas-born musicians, Tina Turner (b.1941) is a leading
rock singer, as was Janis Joplin (1943–70). Willie Nelson (b.1933)
wedded progressive rock with country music to start a new school
of progressive “outlaw” music. Bob Wills (b.Oklahoma, 1905–75)
was the acknowledged king of western swing. Musicians Trini
Lopez (b.1937), Freddy Fender (Baldemar Huerta, b.1937), and
Johnny Rodriguez (b.1951) have earned popular followings based
on their Mexican-American music. Charlie Pride (b.Mississippi,
1938) became the fi rst black country-western star. Other country-western stars born in Texas are Waylon Jennings (1937–2002)
and Kenny Rogers (b.1938). In the jazz fi eld, pianist Teddy Wilson
(1912–86) was a member of the famed Benny Goodman trio in
the 1930s. Trombonist Jack Teagarden (1905–64) and trumpeter
Harry James (1916–83) have also been infl uential.
Th e imposing list of Texas athletes is headed by Mildred “Babe”
Didrikson Zaharias (1913–56), who gained fame as an All-American basketball player in 1930, won two gold medals in track and
fi eld in the 1932 Olympics, and was the leading woman golfer during the 1940s and early 1950s. Another Texan, John Arthur “Jack”
Johnson (1878–1946), was boxing’s fi rst black heavyweight champion. Texans who won fame in football include quarterbacks Sammy Baugh (b.1914), Don Meredith (b.1938), and Roger Staubach
(b.Ohio, 1942); running back Earl Campbell (b.1955); and coaches
Dana X. Bible (1892–1980). Darrell Royal (b.Oklahoma, 1924), and
Th omas Wade “Tom” Landry (1924–2000). Tim Brown (b.Dallas,
Texas 1966), a wide receiver in the NFL, won the Heisman Trophy
in 1987 as a member of the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. Among
other Texas sports greats are baseball Hall of Famers Tris Speaker
(1888–1958) and Rogers Hornsby (1896–1963); golfers Ben Hogan (1912–97), Byron Nelson (b.1912), and Lee Trevino (b.1939);
auto racing driver A(nthony) J(oseph) Foyt (b.1935); and jockey
William Lee “Willie” Shoemaker (1931–2003). Nolan Ryan, pitching giant, was born 31 January 31 1947 in Refugio, Texas.
Cartwright, Gary. Turn Out the Lights: Chronicles of Texas in the
80s and 90s. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2000.
Chipman, Donald E. Spanish Texas, 1519-1821. Austin: University
of Texas Press, 1992.
Council of State Governments. Th e Book of the States, 2006 Edition. Lexington, Ky.: Council of State Governments, 2006.
Haley, James L. Passionate Nation: Th e Epic History of Texas. New
York: Free Press, 2006.
James, Gary. Th e Texas Guide. Golden, Colo.: Fulcrum Pub.,
Jones, C. Allan. Texas Roots: Agriculture and Rural Life before the
Civil War. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2005.
Lack, Paul D. Th e Texas Revolutionary Experience: A Political and
Social History, 1835-1836. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1992.
Powell, Mary Jo. Texas. New York: Interlink Books, 2004.
Preston, Th omas. Great Plains: North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. Vol. 4 in Th e Double Eagle
Guide to 1,000 Great Western Recreation Destinations. Billings,
Mont.: Discovery Publications, 2003.
Rees, Amanda (ed.). Th e Great Plains Region. Vol. 1 in Th e Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Regional Cultures. Westport,
Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2004.
Rese´ndez, Andre´s. Changing National Identities at the Frontier:
Texas and New Mexico, 1800–1850. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
Teitelbaum, Michael. Texas, 1527–1836. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 2005.
US Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, US Census Bureau. Texas, 2000. Summary Social, Economic, and Housing Characteristics: 2000 Census of Population
and Housing. Washington, D.C.: US Government Printing Offi ce, 2003.

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We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.

How our Assignment  Help Service Works

1.      Place an order

You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.

2.      Pay for the order

Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.

3.      Track the progress

You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.

4.      Download the paper

The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.

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