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Stretching 1,244 km (773 mi) from east to west and 1,289 km (801 mi) from north to south, Texas, the Lone Star State, occupies almost 7.5 percent of the total U.S. land area. By 1994 Texas had grown to become the second most populous U.S. state, moving ahead of New York and following California. It derives its name from the Spanish and Indian words tejas and techas, meaning "friends" or "allies." Early European explorers in the area were the Spaniards Alon- so Alvarez de Pineda, Alvar Nunez CABEZA DE VACA , and Francisco CORONADO . American Interest in Texas The sale (1803) of Louisiana to the United States increased interest in Texas from the east. Augustus Magee, a U.S. army officer in Louisiana, befriended the Mexican patriot Bernardo Gutierrez, who had

been fighting for his country's independence from Spain. They led an expedition into Texas and captured Nacogdoches, Goliad, and San Antonio before Magee died mysteriously in Goliad. In 1819, Dr. James Long of Natchez, Miss., led another expe- dition to Texas, hoping to make the region an independent state. He captured Nacogdoches, but his forces were soon defeated. A year later, Moses Austin visited San Antonio and sought permission to settle Americans in Texas. Upon returning to Missouri, his dying request was that his son, Stephen AUSTIN, carry out his plans, which the Spanish had approved. A new law required that agents introduce at least 200 famili- es of colonists, so Austin made an agreement with the Mexican go- vernor to settle 300 American families. Colonization was so

successful, however, that by 1836 the po- pulation of Texas was 50,000. Revolution and Republic In 1830 the Mexican congress enacted a law to limit immigra- tion to Texas. Most settlers found unacceptable the requirement that they become Roman Catholics because most of them were Protestants. War broke out between the American settlers and the Mexican government in 1835 The Texans won the first battle at Gonzales on Oct. 2, 1835. The same year the Texans captured San Antonio. A provisional government was set up on Mar. 2, 1836. Sam HOUSTON was named commander in chief of the Texas armies. Stephen Austin having gone to Washington to solicit aid. In February and March 1836 one of the most heroic battles in history occurred at the Alamo. The 187 defenders, commanded by Travis, James

BOWIE, and Davy CROCKETT, then held the Alamo for another five days before it fell. Despite reverses, the Texans declared their independence. On Mar. 2, 1836, David Burnet was named provisional presi- dent. Statehood and the Mexican War The Texas republic, whose independence had been recognized by the United States, Great Britain, France, Holland, and Belgium, was soon struggling with Indian wars, raids by Mexican forces, and fi- nancial problems. In September 1836, Texans voted for annex ation by the United States. On Dec. 29, 1845, the U.S. Congress accepted the Texas state constitution, and Texas became the 28th state, with legal slavery. The MEXICAN WAR between the United States and Mexico followed within a few months of Texas' entry into the union. The U.S. victory in that

war established the Rio Grande as the border between Mexico and the United States. MODERN. The modern economic development of Texas started in January 1901 with the eruption of an oil well drilled at Spindletop, near Beaumont. The economy of Texas has become highly diversified, and its population has more than quintupled during the 20th century. Texas is divided into 14 land resource areas. The soils vary greatly in depth from one region to another and show different physical properties. Texas has two sources of water: aquifers and streams with their reservoirs. Water from the former has traditionally been an essential so- urce of municipal supplies. Texas has relatively few natural lakes but hundreds of arti- ficial ones. Texas is the temporary home every year for many migratory