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Why the "Birthplace of Texas"? Deer Park is the site where initial treaty documents securing Texas' independence from Mexico were drafted following the Battle of San Jacinto in NBC News.
Fredericksburg Convention and Visitor Bureau. Retrieved 27 July The Chamber of Commerce office confirmed the change. Hall to James F. Perry ", December 9, Accessed May 24, Joint Base San Antonio.
Known as the Cutting Horse Capital of the World, Weatherford is home to dozens of professional trainers [and] hall-of-fame horses.
City nicknames in the United States. Virgin Islands. State of Texas. Austin capital. Seal of Texas. Combined with United States' attempts to purchase Texas, Mexican authorities decided in to prohibit continued immigration from the United States.
The Anahuac Disturbances in were the first open revolt against Mexican rule, and they coincided with a revolt in Mexico against the nation's president.
Texians met at the Convention of to discuss requesting independent statehood, among other issues. Within Mexico, tensions continued between federalists and centralists.
In early , wary Texians formed Committees of Correspondence and Safety. News of the defeats sparked panic among Texas settlers.
The newly elected Texian delegates to the Convention of quickly signed a Declaration of Independence on March 2, forming the Republic of Texas.
After electing interim officers, the Convention disbanded. While Texas had won its independence, political battles raged between two factions of the new Republic.
The nationalist faction, led by Mirabeau B. Lamar , advocated the continued independence of Texas, the expulsion of the Native Americans, and the expansion of the Republic to the Pacific Ocean.
Their opponents, led by Sam Houston, advocated the annexation of Texas to the United States and peaceful co-existence with Native Americans.
The conflict between the factions was typified by an incident known as the Texas Archive War. This status, and Mexican diplomacy in support of its claims to the territory, also complicated Texas's ability to form foreign alliances and trade relationships.
The Comanche Indians furnished the main Native American opposition to the Texas Republic, manifested in multiple raids on settlements.
The town of San Antonio was captured twice and Texans were defeated in battle in the Dawson massacre. Despite these successes, Mexico did not keep an occupying force in Texas, and the republic survived.
As early as , the Republic made several attempts to negotiate annexation with the United States. Texas was finally annexed when the expansionist James K.
Polk won the election of Statehood brought many new settlers. Because of the long Spanish presence in Mexico and various failed colonization efforts by the Spanish and Mexicans in northern Mexico, there were large herds of Longhorn cattle that roamed the state.
Hardy by nature, but also suitable for slaughtering and consumption, they represented an economic opportunity many entrepreneurs seized upon, thus creating the cowboy culture for which Texas is famous.
While in the early days of the republic cattle and bison were slaughtered for their hides, soon a beef industry was established with cattle being shipped all over the U.
After Texas's annexation, Mexico broke diplomatic relations with the United States. A few months later Mexican troops routed an American cavalry patrol in the disputed area in the Thornton Affair starting the Mexican—American War.
After these decisive victories, the United States invaded Mexican territory, ending the fighting in Texas. The Compromise of set Texas's boundaries at their present form.
They also brought or purchased enslaved African Americans, whose numbers tripled in the state from to , from 58, to , Texas was at war again after the election of At this time, blacks comprised 30 percent of the state's population, and they were overwhelmingly enslaved.
Five other Lower South states quickly followed. A State Convention considering secession opened in Austin on January 28, Texas voters approved this Ordinance on February 23, Texas joined the newly created Confederate States of America on March 4, ratifying the permanent C.
Constitution on March Not all Texans favored secession initially, although many of the same would later support the Southern cause. Texas's most notable Unionist was the state Governor, Sam Houston.
Not wanting to aggravate the situation, Houston refused two offers from President Lincoln for Union troops to keep him in office. After refusing to swear an oath of allegiance to the Confederacy, Houston was deposed as governor.
While far from the major battlefields of the American Civil War , Texas contributed large numbers of men and equipment to the rest of the Confederacy.
Texas's border with Mexico was known as the "backdoor of the Confederacy" because trade occurred at the border, bypassing the Union blockade.
Texas descended into anarchy for two months between the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia and the assumption of authority by Union General Gordon Granger.
Violence marked the early months of Reconstruction. Social volatility continued as the state struggled with agricultural depression and labor issues.
Like most of the South, the Texas economy was devastated by the War. However, since the state had not been as dependent on slaves as other parts of the South, it was able to recover more quickly.
The culture in Texas during the later 19th century exhibited many facets of a frontier territory. The state became notorious as a haven for people from other parts of the country who wanted to escape debt, criminal prosecution, or other problems.
Indeed, "Gone to Texas" was a common expression for those fleeing the law in other states. Nevertheless, the state also attracted many businessmen and other settlers with more legitimate interests as well.
The cattle industry continued to thrive, though it gradually became less profitable. Cotton and lumber became major industries creating new economic booms in various regions of the state.
Railroad networks grew rapidly as did the port at Galveston as commerce between Texas and the rest of the U. As with some other states before, the lumber industry quickly decimated the forests of Texas such that, by the early 20th century, the majority of the forest population in Texas was gone later conservation efforts restored some of it, but never to the level it once was.
In , Texas suffered the deadliest natural disaster in U. The resulting " oil boom " transformed Texas. In , the Democratic-dominated state legislature passed a bill requiring payment of a poll tax for voting, which effectively disenfranchised most blacks and many poor whites and Latinos.
In addition, the legislature established white primaries , ensuring minorities were excluded from the formal political process.
The number of voters dropped dramatically, and the Democrats crushed competition from the Republican and Populist parties. The Great Depression and the Dust Bowl dealt a double blow to the state's economy, which had significantly improved since the Civil War.
Migrants abandoned the worst-hit sections of Texas during the Dust Bowl years. Especially from this period on, blacks left Texas in the Great Migration to get work in the Northern United States or California and to escape the oppression of segregation.
World War II had a dramatic impact on Texas, as federal money poured in to build military bases, munitions factories, POW detention camps and Army hospitals; , young men left for service; the cities exploded with new industry; the colleges took on new roles; and hundreds of thousands of poor farmers left the fields for much better-paying war jobs, never to return to agriculture.
Texas modernized and expanded its system of higher education through the s. The state created a comprehensive plan for higher education, funded in large part by oil revenues, and a central state apparatus designed to manage state institutions more efficiently.
These changes helped Texas universities receive federal research funds. On November 22, , President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.
Beginning around the midth century, Texas began to transform from a rural and agricultural state to one urban and industrialized.
During the late 20th century, the Republican Party replaced the Democratic Party as the dominant party in the state, as the latter became more politically liberal and as demographic changes favored the former.
On July 7, , Dallas police officers were ambushed by Micah Xavier Johnson , killing five officers and injuring nine others in retaliation against white police officers.
From the mid s, the state of Texas gained an influx of business relocations and regional headquarters from companies in California. Texas was named the primary destination for companies leaving California for the last 12 years according to a study in In the U.
Texas is the second-largest U. If it were an independent country, Texas would be the 40th largest behind Chile and Zambia. Texas is in the south central part of the United States of America.
Three of its borders are defined by rivers. The Red River forms a natural border with Oklahoma and Arkansas to the north.
The Sabine River forms a natural border with Louisiana to the east. With 10 climatic regions , 14 soil regions and 11 distinct ecological regions , regional classification becomes problematic with differences in soils, topography, geology, rainfall, and plant and animal communities.
The Gulf Coastal Plains region wraps around the Gulf of Mexico on the southeast section of the state. Vegetation in this region consists of thick piney woods.
The Interior Lowlands region consists of gently rolling to hilly forested land and is part of a larger pine-hardwood forest.
The Great Plains region in central Texas spans through the state's panhandle and Llano Estacado to the state's hill country near Austin.
This region is dominated by prairie and steppe. The most varied of the regions, this area includes Sand Hills, the Stockton Plateau, desert valleys, wooded mountain slopes and desert grasslands.
Texas has 3, named streams and 15 major rivers,   with the Rio Grande as the largest. While Texas has few natural lakes, Texans have built more than a hundred artificial reservoirs.
The size and unique history of Texas make its regional affiliation debatable; it can be fairly considered a Southern or a Southwestern state, or both.
The vast geographic, economic, and cultural diversity within the state itself prohibits easy categorization of the whole state into a recognized region of the United States.
Notable extremes range from East Texas which is often considered an extension of the Deep South , to Far West Texas which is generally acknowledged to be part of the interior Southwest.
Texas is the southernmost part of the Great Plains, which ends in the south against the folded Sierra Madre Occidental of Mexico.
The continental crust forms a stable Mesoproterozoic craton which changes across a broad continental margin and transitional crust into true oceanic crust of the Gulf of Mexico.
These Precambrian igneous and metamorphic rocks underlie most of the state, and are exposed in three places: Llano uplift, Van Horn , and the Franklin Mountains , near El Paso.
Sedimentary rocks overlay most of these ancient rocks. The oldest sediments were deposited on the flanks of a rifted continental margin, or passive margin that developed during Cambrian time.
This margin existed until Laurasia and Gondwana collided in the Pennsylvanian subperiod to form Pangea. This is the buried crest of the Appalachian Mountains — Ouachita Mountains zone of Pennsylvanian continental collision.
The late Paleozoic mountains collapsed as rifting in the Jurassic period began to open the Gulf of Mexico. Pangea began to break up in the Triassic , but seafloor spreading to form the Gulf of Mexico occurred only in the mid- and late Jurassic.
The shoreline shifted again to the eastern margin of the state and the Gulf of Mexico's passive margin began to form. At the start of its formation, the incipient Gulf of Mexico basin was restricted and seawater often evaporated completely to form thick evaporite deposits of Jurassic age.
These salt deposits formed salt dome diapirs , and are found in East Texas along the Gulf coast. East Texas outcrops consist of Cretaceous and Paleogene sediments which contain important deposits of Eocene lignite.
The Mississippian and Pennsylvanian sediments in the north; Permian sediments in the west; and Cretaceous sediments in the east, along the Gulf coast and out on the Texas continental shelf contain oil.
Oligocene volcanic rocks are found in far west Texas in the Big Bend area. A blanket of Miocene sediments known as the Ogallala formation in the western high plains region is an important aquifer.
A wide range of animals and insects live in Texas. It is the home to 65 species of mammals, species of reptiles and amphibians, and the greatest diversity of bird life in the United States— native species in all.
Texas plays host to several species of wasps , including an abundance of Polistes exclamans ,  and is an important ground for the study of Polistes annularis.
During the spring Texas wildflowers such as the state flower, the bluebonnet , line highways throughout Texas. The large size of Texas and its location at the intersection of multiple climate zones gives the state highly variable weather.
The Panhandle of the state has colder winters than North Texas, while the Gulf Coast has mild winters.
Texas has wide variations in precipitation patterns. El Paso, on the western end of the state, averages 8. Snow falls multiple times each winter in the Panhandle and mountainous areas of West Texas, once or twice a year in North Texas, and once every few years in Central and East Texas.
Snow falls south of San Antonio or on the coast only in rare circumstances. The table below consists of averages for August generally the warmest month and January generally the coldest in selected cities in various regions of the state.
El Paso and Amarillo are exceptions with July and December respectively being the warmest and coldest months respectively, but with August and January being only narrowly different.
Thunderstorms strike Texas often, especially the eastern and northern portions of the state. Tornado Alley covers the northern section of Texas.
The state experiences the most tornadoes in the United States, an average of a year. These strike most frequently in North Texas and the Panhandle.
Some of the most destructive hurricanes in U. A hurricane in killed about people in Indianola , followed by another hurricane in that destroyed the town.
These events allowed Galveston to take over as the chief port city. The Galveston hurricane subsequently devastated that city, killing about 8, people or possibly as many as 12, This makes it the deadliest natural disaster in U.
The storm stalled over land for a very long time, allowing it to drop unprecedented amounts of rain over the Greater Houston area and surrounding counties.
The result was widespread and catastrophic flooding that inundated hundreds of thousands of homes. Other devastating Texas hurricanes include the Galveston hurricane , Hurricane Audrey in which killed more than people, Hurricane Carla in , Hurricane Beulah in , Hurricane Alicia in , Hurricane Rita in , and Hurricane Ike in Tropical storms have also caused their share of damage: Allison in and again during , and Claudette in among them.
As of [update] Texas emits the most greenhouse gases in the U. S, almost twice the amount of California, the second most polluting state.
The state has three cities with populations exceeding one million: Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas. As of , six Texas cities had populations greater than , people.
The Dallas—Fort Worth and Houston metropolitan areas number about 6. In contrast to the cities, unincorporated rural settlements known as colonias often lack basic infrastructure and are marked by poverty.
Hidalgo County , as of , has the largest number of colonias. Texas has counties , which is more than any other state by 95 Georgia.
County government runs similar to a "weak" mayor-council system; the county judge has no veto authority, but votes along with the other commissioners.
Although Texas permits cities and counties to enter "interlocal agreements" to share services, the state does not allow consolidated city-county governments, nor does it have metropolitan governments.
Counties are not granted home rule status; their powers are strictly defined by state law. The state does not have townships—areas within a county are either incorporated or unincorporated.
Incorporated areas are part of a municipality. The county provides limited services to unincorporated areas and to some smaller incorporated areas.
Municipalities are classified either "general law" cities or "home rule". Texas also permits the creation of "special districts", which provide limited services.
The most common is the school district , but can also include hospital districts, community college districts, and utility districts one utility district near Austin was the plaintiff in a landmark Supreme Court case involving the Voting Rights Act.
Municipal, school district, and special district elections are nonpartisan ,  though the party affiliation of a candidate may be well-known.
County and state elections are partisan. In , the state of Texas had a census population of 25,, In , Texas had 4.
In , there were an estimated 1. Of the undocumented immigrant population, , have resided in Texas from less than 5 up to 14 years.
An estimated , lived in Texas from 15 to 19 and 20 years or more. Texas's Rio Grande Valley has seen significant migration from across the U.
During the crisis , many Central Americans , including unaccompanied minors traveling alone from Guatemala , Honduras , and El Salvador , reached the state, overwhelming Border Patrol resources for a time.
Many sought asylum in the United States. Texas's population density is In contrast, while Texas and France are similarly sized geographically, the European country has a population density of Two-thirds of all Texans live in major metropolitan areas such as Houston.
The Dallas—Fort Worth metropolitan area is the largest in Texas. While Houston is the largest city in Texas and the fourth-largest city in the United States by population, the Dallas—Fort Worth metropolitan area is larger than the city and metropolitan area of Houston.
In non-Hispanic whites made up 11,, In addition, In , non-Hispanic whites represented Hispanics or Latin Americans of any race made up Irish Americans make up 8.
There are roughly , French Americans , , Italian Americans, , Scottish Americans , and , Polish Americans residing in Texas; these four ethnic groups make up 2.
In the United States Census the largest ancestry group reported in Texas was English with 3,, Texans citing they were of English or mostly English ancestry, making them 27 percent of the state at the time.
More than 8. This group forms over 37 percent of Texas's population. People of Mexican descent alone number over 7.
There are more than , Salvadorans and more than , Puerto Ricans in Texas. Other groups with large numbers in Texas include Hondurans , Guatemalans , Nicaraguans and Cubans , among others.
Census, Texas is home to 6,, White Hispanics and 2,, Hispanics of "some other race" usually mestizo. African Americans are the racial minority in Texas.
Their proportion of the population has declined since the early 20th century after many left the state in the Great Migration. Blacks of both Hispanic and non-Hispanic origin made up African Americans of both Hispanic and non-Hispanic origin numbered at roughly 2.
Native Americans are a smaller minority in the state. Native Americans made up 0. Cherokee made up 0.
In contrast, only identified as Chippewa. Asian Americans are a sizable minority group in Texas. Americans of Asian descent formed 4.
Over , Indian Americans make Texas their home. Texas is also home to more than , Vietnamese and , Chinese. In addition to 92, Filipinos and 62, Koreans , there are 18, Japanese Americans living in the state.
Lastly, more than , people are of other Asian ancestry groups, such as Cambodian , Thai , and Hmong. Sugar Land , a city within the Houston metropolitan area, and Plano , within the Dallas—Fort Worth metropolitan area, both have high concentrations of ethnic Chinese and Korean residents.
The Houston and Dallas areas, and to a lesser extent, the Austin metropolitan area, all contain substantial Vietnamese communities. Americans with origins from the Pacific Islands are the smallest minority in Texas.
Killeen has a sufficient population of Samoans and Guamanian, and people of Pacific Islander descent surpass one percent of the city's population.
Multiracial individuals are also a visible minority in Texas. People identifying as multiracial form 2. People of European and American Indian ancestry number over , People of European and Asian ancestry number over 57, People of African and Native American ancestry were even smaller in number at 15, German descendants inhabit much of central and southeast-central Texas.
Over one-third of Texas residents are of Hispanic origin; while many have recently arrived, some Tejanos have ancestors with multi-generational ties to 18th century Texas.
In , 49 percent of all births were Hispanics; 35 percent were non-Hispanic whites; Between and , the total population growth by The most common accent or dialect spoken by natives throughout Texas is sometimes referred to as Texan English , which itself is a sub-variety of a broader category of American English known as Southern American English.
Chicano English —due to a growing Hispanic population—is widespread in South Texas, while African-American English is especially notable in historically minority areas of urban Texas.
At the American Community Survey's estimates, Approximately 50, Texans spoke French or a French-creole language. German and other West Germanic languages were spoken by 47, residents; Russian, Polish, and other Slavic languages by 27,; Korean by 31,; Chinese 22,; Vietnamese 81,; Tagalog 43,; and Arabic by 26, Texans.
At the census of , The Assemblies of God made the largest Evangelical Pentecostal denomination at the study. Black Methodists and other Christians made up less than 1 percent each of the Christian demographic.
Other Christians made up 1 percent of the total Christian population, and the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox formed less than 1 percent of the statewide Christian populace.
Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism were tied as the second largest religion as of In , the Islamic population was about , with more recent figures putting the current number of Muslims between , and , as of Texas's large population, an abundance of natural resources, thriving cities and leading centers of higher education have contributed to a large and diverse economy.
Since oil was discovered, the state's economy has reflected the state of the petroleum industry.
In recent times, urban centers of the state have increased in size, containing two-thirds of the population in The state's economic growth has led to urban sprawl and its associated symptoms.
In , Site Selection Magazine ranked Texas as the most business-friendly state in the nation, in part because of the state's three-billion-dollar Texas Enterprise Fund.
Texas has a "low taxes, low services" reputation. Instead, the state collects revenue from property taxes though these are collected at the county, city, and school district level; Texas has a state constitutional prohibition against a state property tax and sales taxes.
The state sales tax rate is 6. Texas has the most farms and the highest acreage in the United States. The state is ranked No. It is ranked No.
Texas leads the nation in the production of cattle, horses, sheep, goats, wool, mohair and hay. With mineral resources, Texas leads in creating cement, crushed stone, lime, salt, sand and gravel.
Texas throughout the 21st century has been hammered by drought. This has cost the state billions of dollars in livestock and crops.
Ever since the discovery of oil at Spindletop , energy has been a dominant force politically and economically within the state. The Railroad Commission of Texas , contrary to its name, regulates the state's oil and gas industry , gas utilities, pipeline safety, safety in the liquefied petroleum gas industry, and surface coal and uranium mining.
Until the s, the commission controlled the price of petroleum because of its ability to regulate Texas's oil reserves. According to the Energy Information Administration , Texans consume, on average, the fifth most energy of all types in the nation per capita and as a whole, following behind Wyoming, Alaska, Louisiana, North Dakota, and Iowa.
Unlike the rest of the nation, most of Texas is on its own alternating current power grid , the Texas Interconnection.
Texas has a deregulated electric service. The state is a leader in renewable energy commercialization ; it produces the most wind power in the nation.
The state also has the highest solar power potential for development in the nation. With large universities systems coupled with initiatives like the Texas Enterprise Fund and the Texas Emerging Technology Fund , a wide array of different high tech industries have developed in Texas.
Many high-tech companies are located in or have their headquarters in Texas and Austin in particular , including Dell , Inc. Texas's affluence stimulates a strong commercial sector consisting of retail, wholesale, banking and insurance, and construction industries.
Nationally, the Dallas—Fort Worth area, home to the second shopping mall in the United States, has the most shopping malls per capita of any American metropolitan statistical area.
Adding to Texas's traditional culture, established in the 18th and 19th centuries, immigration has made Texas a melting pot of cultures from around the world.
Texas has made a strong mark on national and international pop culture. The entire state is strongly associated with the image of the cowboy shown in westerns and in country western music.
The state's numerous oil tycoons are also a popular pop culture topic as seen in the hit TV series Dallas. The internationally known slogan " Don't Mess with Texas " began as an anti-littering advertisement.
Since the campaign's inception in , the phrase has become "an identity statement, a declaration of Texas swagger". The phrase "everything is bigger in Texas" has been in regular use since at least ;  and was used as early as Houston is one of only five American cities with permanent professional resident companies in all the major performing arts disciplines: the Houston Grand Opera , the Houston Symphony Orchestra , the Houston Ballet , and The Alley Theatre.
The Deep Ellum district within Dallas became popular during the s and s as the prime jazz and blues hotspot in the Southern United States.
The second president of the Republic of Texas , Mirabeau B. Lamar , is the Father of Texas Education. During his term, the state set aside three leagues of land in each county for equipping public schools.
An additional 50 leagues of land set aside for the support of two universities would later become the basis of the state's Permanent University Fund.
Texas has over 1, school districts ; all districts except the Stafford Municipal School District are independent from municipal government and many cross city boundaries.
Due to court-mandated equitable school financing for school districts, the state has a controversial tax redistribution system called the " Robin Hood plan ".
This plan transfers property tax revenue from wealthy school districts to poor ones. Generally prohibited in the West at large, school corporal punishment is not unusual in the more conservative, rural areas of the state, with 28, public school students paddled at least one time,  according to government data for the — school year.
Texas's controversial alternative affirmative action plan, Texas House Bill , guarantees Texas students who graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class automatic admission to state-funded universities.
The bill encourages demographic diversity while avoiding problems stemming from the Hopwood v. Texas case.
Thirty-six 36 separate and distinct public universities exist in Texas, of which 32 belong to one of the six state university systems. The state has been putting effort to expand the number of flagship universities by elevating some of its seven institutions designated as "emerging research universities".
The two expected to emerge first are the University of Houston and Texas Tech University, likely in that order according to discussions on the House floor of the 82nd Texas Legislature.
The state is home to various private institutions of higher learning—ranging from liberal arts colleges to a nationally recognized top-tier research university.
Rice University in Houston is one of the leading teaching and research universities of the United States and is ranked the nation's 17th-best overall university by U.
Trinity University , a private, primarily undergraduate liberal arts university in San Antonio, has ranked first among universities granting primarily bachelor's and select master's degrees in the Western United States for 20 consecutive years by U.
Notwithstanding the concentration of elite medical centers in the state, The Commonwealth Fund ranks the Texas healthcare system the third worst in the nation.
The Trust for America's Health ranked Texas 15th highest in adult obesity , with Texas has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world, and the rate by which Texas women died from pregnancy-related complications doubled from to , to A rate unmatched in any other U.
Texas has many elite research medical centers. The state has nine medical schools ,  three dental schools,  and two optometry schools.
The Texas Medical Center in Houston, holds the world's largest concentration of research and healthcare institutions, with 47 member institutions.
Anderson Cancer Center in Houston is a highly regarded academic institution that centers around cancer patient care, research, education and prevention.
The Southwestern Medical Center ranks "among the top academic medical centers in the world". Texans have historically had difficulties traversing Texas due to the state's large size and rough terrain.
Texas has compensated by building America's largest highway and railway systems. The regulatory authority , the Texas Department of Transportation TxDOT , maintains the state's immense highway system, regulates aviation,  and public transportation systems.
Located centrally in North America, the state is an important transportation hub. The first Texas freeway was the Gulf Freeway opened in in Houston.
Texas has airports, second-most of any state in the nation. It ranks as the largest airline in the United States by number of passengers carried domestically per year and the largest airline in the world by number of passengers carried.
It served as the largest hub for the former Continental Airlines , which was based in Houston; it serves as the largest hub for United Airlines , the world's third-largest airline, by passenger-miles flown.
The smallest airport in the state to be designated an international airport is Del Rio International Airport. Atlantic seaboard with the Gulf section of the Intracoastal Waterway.
Part of the state's tradition of cowboys is derived from the massive cattle drives which its ranchers organized in the nineteenth century to drive livestock to railroads and markets in Kansas, for shipment to the East.
Towns along the way, such as Baxter Springs , the first cow town in Kansas, developed to handle the seasonal workers and tens of thousands of head of cattle being driven.
This caused a decline in the economies of the cow towns. Since , Texas has led the nation in length of railroad miles within the state.
Amtrak provides Texas with limited intercity passenger rail service. Texas may get one of the nation's first high-speed rail line. Plans for a privately funded high-speed rail line between Dallas and Houston have been planned by the Texas Central Railway company.
The current Texas Constitution was adopted in Like many states , it explicitly provides for a separation of powers. The state's Bill of Rights is much larger than its federal counterpart , and has provisions unique to Texas.
Texas has a plural executive branch system limiting the power of the governor, which is a weak executive compared to some other states.
Except for the secretary of state , voters elect executive officers independently; thus candidates are directly answerable to the public, not the governor.
When Republican president George W. Bush served as Texas's governor, the state had a Democratic lieutenant governor, Bob Bullock. The executive branch positions consist of the governor , lieutenant governor , comptroller of public accounts, land commissioner, attorney general, agriculture commissioner, the three-member Texas Railroad Commission , the State Board of Education, and the secretary of state.
The bicameral Texas Legislature consists of the House of Representatives , with members, and a Senate , with 31 members.
The Speaker of the House leads the House, and the lieutenant governor, the Senate. The judiciary of Texas is one of the most complex in the United States, with many layers and overlapping jurisdictions.
Except for some municipal benches, partisan elections select judges at all levels of the judiciary; the governor fills vacancies by appointment.
Georgia case see Capital punishment in Texas. Over the years, the Texas Rangers have investigated crimes ranging from murder to political corruption.
They have acted as riot police and as detectives, protected the Texas governor, tracked down fugitives, and functioned as a paramilitary force both for the republic and for the state.
The Texas Rangers were unofficially created by Stephen F. Austin in and formally constituted in The Rangers were integral to several important events of Texas history and some of the best-known criminal cases in the history of the Old West.
The Texas constitution defines the responsibilities of county governments, which serve as agents of the state. What are called commissioners court and court judges are elected to serve as the administrative arm.
Most cities in the state, those over 5, in population, have home-rule governments. The vast majority of these have charters for council-manager forms of government, by which voters elect council members, who hire a professional city manager as an operating officer.
In the s, white Democrats wrested power back in the state legislature from the biracial coalition at the end of Reconstruction.
In the early 20th century, the legislature passed bills to impose poll taxes , followed by white primaries ; these measures effectively disfranchised most blacks, poor whites and Mexican Americans.
It held power until after passage in the mids of national civil rights legislation enforcing constitutional rights of all citizens.
Although Texas was essentially a one-party state during this time and the Democratic primary was viewed as "the real election", the Democratic Party had conservative and liberal factions, which became more pronounced after the New Deal.
The state's conservative white voters began to support Republican presidential candidates by the midth century. After this period, they supported Republicans for local and state offices as well, and most whites became Republican Party members.
The shift to the Republican Party is much-attributed to the fact the Democratic Party became increasingly liberal during the 20th century, and thus increasingly out-of-touch with the average Texas voter.
Despite these efforts, the legislature passed a map heavily in favor of Republicans, based on data and ignoring the estimated nearly one million new residents in the state since then.
Career attorneys and analysts at the Department of Justice objected to the plan as diluting the votes of African American and Hispanic voters, but political appointees overrode them and approved it.
Perry , but the court ruled in favor of the state and Republicans. The Texas state nickname is one of the most meaningful and historical nicknames out of all 50 states.
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