Texas

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Template:Otheruses1 Template:US state Texas is a state located in the United States of America. The 28th U.S. state, Texas joined the United States in 1845, after nine years of self governing. Its postal abbreviation is TX.

The state name derives from a word in a Caddoan language of the Hasinai, táyshaTemplate:IPA (or tejas, as the Spaniards spelled it), meaning friends or allies. Spanish explorers mistakenly applied the word to the people and their location.

With an area of 696,241 km2 and a population of 22.5 million, Texas is the second largest U.S. state in both area and population, and the largest state in the contiguous 48 states in area. (Alaska is the largest U.S. state in area and California is the most populous.) Texas has historically had a "larger than life" reputation, especially in cowboy films.

Contents

History

Main article: History of Texas

Template:Texas History Texas can claim that "Six Flags" have flown over its soil: the Fleur-de-lis of France, and the national flags of Spain, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the United States of America and the Confederate States of America.

Native American tribes that once lived inside the boundaries of present-day Texas include Apache, Atakapan, Bidai, Caddo, Comanche, Cherokee, Kiowa, Tonkawa, and Wichita. Currently, there are three federally recognized Native American tribes which reside in Texas: the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas, the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas, and the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo of Texas.

On November 6, 1528 shipwrecked Spanish conquistador Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca became the first known European to set foot on Texas. A member of the Narváez expedition, he was later enslaved by a Native American tribe of the upper Gulf coast, and explored what are now the U.S. states of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona on foot from coastal Louisiana to Sinaloa, Mexico, over a period of roughly six years. He returned to Europe in 1537, where he wrote about his experiences in a work called La relación ("The Tale").

Prior to 1821, Texas was part of the Spanish colony of New Spain. After Mexican independence in 1821, Texas became part of Mexico and in 1824 became the northern section of Coahuila y Tejas. On 3 January 1823, Stephen F. Austin began a colony of 300 American families along the Brazos River in present-day Fort Bend County and Brazoria County, centered primarily in the area of what is now Sugar Land. This group became known as the "Old Three Hundred." The "Conventions" of 1832 and 1833 responded to rising unrest at the policies of the ruling Mexican government. Policies that most irritated the Texians included the Mexican ban on slavery, the forcible disarmament of Texian settlers, and the expulsion of illegal immigrants from the United States of America. The example of the Centralista forces' suppression of dissidents in Zacatecas also inspired fear of the Mexican government.

File:Wpdms republic of texas.png
Republic of Texas. The present-day outlines of the U.S. states are superimposed on the boundaries of 1836–1845

On March 2, 1836, the "Convention of 1836" signed the Texas "Declaration of Independence," declaring Texas an independent nation. On April 21, 1836 the Texans won their independence when they defeated the Mexican forces of Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto. A factor in the defeat of Santa Anna's army at San Jacinto was the time the Texas Army got to gather itself, thanks to a small group of brave men at The Alamo. Santa Anna himself passed into captivity, and on May 14, Republic of Texas officials and General Santa Anna signed the treaty of Velasco. The Republic of Texas included all the area now included in the state of Texas, although its self-proclaimed western and northwestern borders extended as far west as Santa Fe and as far northwest as present-day Wyoming, respectively.

In 1845, Texas was admitted to the United States as a constituent state of the Union. Annexation was mutually beneficial to Texas and the United States. Texas was in a very susceptible position following independence, with a weak government, little industry, and minimal infrastructure. The U.S. could not allow such a tenuous nation to sit right on its border. Texas also lay partially in the way of the U.S. expansion to the Pacific, and its "Manifest Destiny." The major stumbling block of annexation, besides the potential for war with Mexico, was the fact that Texas was a slave state and potentially would tip the balance between free and slave states due to its huge size. Some southerners were pushing for the ability to divide Texas into multiple states, thereby increasing the number of slave states even more. A compromise was reached in that if Texas were divided, any states north of the Missouri Compromise would be free states.

Some confusion has arisen over the annexation of Texas. Texas was admited to the Union via a 'Joint Resolution for Annexing Texas to the United States' on March 1, 1845. Prior to the resolution there were several efforts to arrive at a formal annexation treaty. These efforts failed due to the ongoing struggle between 'slave', and 'free' states. Due to the requirement of the US Constitution (Article II, Section 2) that all treaties be approved by 2/3rds of the Senate, a formal treaty was thus blocked. President John Tyler suggested that annexation be accomplished by the 'Joint Resolution for Annexing Texas to the United States' as it required only a simple majority of members from each chamber of the US Congress for passage.

During the Civil War, Texas seceded from the Union and joined the Confederate States of America. In 1870, the United States Congress readmitted Texas into the Union.

Texans pride themselves in a history of tradition, yet there are still new social and technological developments. Austin is the headquarters of Dell and known as "Silicon Hills", Dallas is a famously cosmopolitan metropolis, Houston is a leader in the oil industry, and cultures of San Antonio and El Paso retain their Mexican heritage. The state tourism slogan is "Texas: It's like a whole other country."

Geography

File:Texas 2002.jpg
Texas map depicting rivers, roads, and major cities

Location

Texas borders New Mexico on the west, Oklahoma on the north (across the Red River), and Louisiana (across the Sabine River) and Arkansas on the east. To the southwest, across the Rio Grande, Texas borders the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas. To the southeast of Texas lies the Gulf of Mexico.

Texas lies in the south-central part of the United States of America. Texas is considered to form part of the US South and part of the U.S. Southwest. Some regions of Texas are associated with the Southwest more than the South, while other regions are associated with the South more than the Southwest. Texas shares some cultural elements with both regions, with more similarities with the South, especially Arkansas and Louisiana, in East Texas, and more similarities with the Southwest, especially Mexico and New Mexico, in West Texas and South Texas. Texas is so large in its east-west expanse that El Paso, in the western corner of the state, is closer to San Diego, California than to Beaumont, near the Louisiana state line; Beaumont, in turn is closer to Jacksonville, Florida than it is to El Paso. The north-south extent is similarly impressive; Dalhart, in the nortwestern corner of the state, is closer to the state capitals of Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming than it is to the Texas state capital (Austin).

Human geography

Arklatex | Big Bend | Central Texas | Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex | Deep East Texas | East Texas | Edwards Plateau | Greater Houston | North Texas | Northeast Texas | Piney Woods | Rio Grande Valley | Texas Hill Country | Texas Panhandle | Llano Estacado | Southeast Texas | South Texas | West Texas

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Natural geography

Texas has five major topographic regions:

  1. The Coastal Plain, from the Gulf of Mexico inland to about San Antonio and just southeast of Austin
  2. The Hill Country and Edwards Plateau, a hilly rocky area in central Texas bordered on the east by the Balcones Fault zone and Blackland Prairie.
  3. The Great Plains region extends into northern Texas, including the Llano Estacado and the Panhandle High Plains
  4. The North Central Plains
  5. The Trans-Pecos Desert, a subdivision of the Chihuahuan Desert, in extreme western Texas, west of the Pecos River

Geology

Texas is the southernmost part of the Great Plains, which ends in the south against the folded Sierra Madre Oriental of Mexico. It is mostly sedimentary rocks, with east Texas underlain by a Cretaceous and younger sequence of sediments, the trace of ancient shorelines east and south until the active continental margin of the Gulf of Mexico is met. This sequence is built atop the subsided crest of the Appalachian MountainsOuachita MountainsMarathon Mountains zone of Pennsylvanian continental collision, which collapsed when rifting in Jurassic time opened the Gulf. West from this orogenic crest, which is buried beneath the DallasWacoAustinSan Antonio trend, the sediments are Permian and Triassic in age. Oil is found in the Cretaceous sediments in the east, the Permian sediments in the west, and along the Gulf coast and out on the Texas continental shelf. A few exposures of Precambrian igneous and metamorphic rocks are found in the central and western parts of the state, and 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. Texas has no active or dormant volcanoes and few earthquakes, being situated far from an active plate tectonic boundary.

Government and politics

State law and government

Austin is the capital of Texas. The State Capitol resembles the federal Capitol Building in Washington, DC, but is faced in pink granite and is topped by a statue of the "Goddess of Liberty" holding aloft a five-point Texas star. Like several other southern state capitols, it faces south instead of north. The capitol building is seven feet taller than the U.S. national capitol, but it is less massive.

Republican Rick Perry has served as Governor of Texas since December 2000 when George W. Bush vacated the office to assume the Presidency. Two Republicans represent Texas in the U.S. Senate: Kay Bailey Hutchison (since 1993) and John Cornyn (since 2002). Texas has 32 representatives in the U.S. House of Representatives: 21 Republicans and 11 Democrats.

The Texas Constitution, adopted in 1876, is the second longest in the nation. As with many state constitutions, it explicitly provides for the separation of powers and incorporates its bill of rights directly into the text of the constitution (as Article I). The bill of rights is considerably lengthier and more detailed than the federal Bill of Rights, and includes some provisions unique to Texas.

The executive branch consists of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Comptroller of Public Accounts, Land Commissioner, Attorney General, Agriculture Commissioner, the three-member Railroad Commission, the State Board of Education, and the Secretary of State. The Comptroller decides if expected state income is sufficient to cover the propsed state budget. Except for the Secretary of State—who is appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate—each of these officials is elected. There are also a large number of state agencies and numerous boards and commissions. Partly because of the large number of elected officials, the Governor's powers are quite limited in comparison to other state governors or the U.S. President. In popular lore and belief the Lieutenant Governor, who heads the Senate and appoints its committees, has more power than the Governor. The Governor commands the state militia and can veto bills passed by the Legislature and call special sessions of the Legislature. He or she also appoints members of various executive boards and fills judicial vacancies between elections.

The Legislature of Texas, like the legislature of every other state except Nebraska, is bicameral (that is, has two chambers). The House of Representatives has 150 members, while the Senate has 31. The speaker of the house, currently Tom Craddick (R-Midland) leads the House, and the Lieutenant Governor (currently Republican David Dewhurst) leads the State Senate. The Legislature meets in regular session only once every two years.

The judicial system of Texas has a reputation as one of the most complex in the United States—if not in the world—with many layers and many overlapping jurisdictions. Texas has two courts of last resort: the Texas Supreme Court—which hears civil cases—and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Except in the case of some municipal benches, partisan elections choose all of the judges at all levels of the judiciary; the Governor fills vacancies by appointment.

County government

Texas has a total of 254 counties, by far the most counties of any state. Each county is run by a "commissioners court" consisting of four elected commissioners (one from each of four precincts drawn based on population) and a "county judge" elected from all the voters of the county. The county judge does not have authority to veto a decision of the commissioners court, s/he votes along with the commissioners. In smaller counties, the county judge actually does perform judicial duties, but in larger counties the judge's role is limited to serving on the commissioners court. Certain officials such as the sheriff and tax collector are elected separately by the voters and state law specifies their salaries, but the commissioners court determines their office budgets. Counties also have much less legal power than municipalities, for instance, counties in Texas do not have zoning power or eminent domain power (except in very rare circumstances).

Municipal government

Texas does not have townships; areas within a county are either "incorporated" (i.e., part of a city, though the city may contract with the county for needed services) or "unincorporated" (i.e., not part of a city, in these areas the county has authority for law enforcement and road maintenance).

Cities are classified as either "general law" or "home rule". A city may elect "home rule" status (i.e., draft an independent city charter) once it exceeds 5,000 population and the voters agree to home rule. Otherwise, it is classified as "general law" and has very limited powers. One example of the difference in the two structures regards annexation. General law cities cannot annex adjacent unincorporated areas without the property owner's consent; home rule cities may annex without consent, but must provide essential services within a specified period of time or the property owner may file suit to be deannexed.

School and special districts

In addition to cities and counties, Texas has numerous "special districts". The most common is the independent school district, which (with one exception) has a board of trustees that is independent of any other governing authority. School district boundaries are not coaligned with city or county boundaries; it is not uncommon for a school district to cover one or more counties or for a large city to be served by several school districts.

Other special districts include water supply, public hospitals, and community colleges.

Politics

Main article: Politics of Texas

Texas politics are currently dominated by the Republican Party, which has strong majorities in the Texas Senate and House of Representatives. Every executive branch official elected statewide is Republican, as is every member of Texas's two courts of last resort; no Democrat has won a statewide election since 1994. The majority of the state's delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives is Republican, as are both U.S. Senators. A notable exception to this trend is the Travis County District Attorney, Ronnie Earle, a Democrat elected by the people of Austin who has served since 1978 with state-wide authority and responsibility for legally prosecuting political mischief. The position of Travis County DA is uniquely so-empowered by the Texas Constitution; most states grant this authority to the more broadly elected position of Attorney General. Note: the congressional districts in Texas were redrawn in 2003 by the Republican-dominated legislature. Districts are supposed to be drawn after the national census every 10 years, but an impasse in the Texas Legislature resulted in the districts being drawn by the courts. The legislature, with controversial help from U.S. Congressman Tom DeLay, redrew the districts after the Republicans gained a larger share of the legislature. A court challenge of the change was upheld by the Republican-dominated Texas Supreme Court.

Like other Southern states, Texas historically was a one-party state of the Democratic Party. The Democrats controlled a majority in the Texas House and in the state's Congressional delegation until the 2002 and 2004 elections, respectively. One of the most famous Texans was a Democrat: Lyndon Baines Johnson served in the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, and as vice-president and president of the United States.

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Economy

File:Cotton harvest.jpg
Cotton harvesting in Texas

Texas remained largely rural until World War II, with cattle ranching, oil, and agriculture as its main industries. Contrary to popular mythology, cattle ranching was never Texas's chief industry. Before the oil boom, back to the period of the first anglo settlers, this was cotton farming (as in most of the South).

In 1926 San Antonio had over 120,000 people, the largest population of any city in Texas. After World War II, Texas became increasingly industralized.

Its economy (circa 2000) relies largely on information technology, oil and natural gas, energy exploration and energy trading, agriculture, and manufacturing. The state has two major economic centers: the Greater Houston area and the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Houston stands at the center of the petrochemical and biomedical research trades while Dallas functions as the center of the agricultural and information technology labor market in Texas. Other major cities include San Antonio, Austin, Brownsville, Lubbock, Amarillo, Abilene, Beaumont, McAllen, Tyler, Odessa and Midland. Other important cities include Killeen, home to Fort Hood the largest military Post in the U.S., El Paso, Eagle Pass, and Laredo; these have particular significance due to their location on the border with Mexico, making them important trade points.

The state passed New York in the 1990s to become the second-largest U.S. state in population (after California). Texas had a gross state product of $764 billion, the third highest in America after California and New York respectively. Texas's growth is often attributed to the availability of jobs, the low cost of housing (housing values in the Dallas and Houston areas, while generally rising, have not risen at the astronomical rates of other areas such as San Francisco), the lack of a personal state income tax, low taxation of business, limited government (the state legislature of Texas meets only once every two years), and favorable climate.

Film and television

Texas is one of the top filmmaking states in the United States, just after California and New York. In the past 10 years alone (1995-2004), more than $2.89 billion has been spent in Texas for film and television production.

The Texas Film Commission was founded for free services to filmmakers, from location research to traveling.

Healthcare and medical research

Houston is the seat of the internationally-renowned Texas Medical Center, which contains the world's largest concentration of research and healthcare institutions.

There are 42 member institutions in the Texas Medical Center—all are not-for-profit, and are dedicated to the highest standards of patient and preventive care, research, education, and local, national, and international community well-being. These institutions include 13 renowned hospitals and two specialty institutions, two medical schools, four nursing schools, and schools of dentistry, public health, pharmacy, and virtually all health-related careers. It is where one of the first, and still the largest, air emergency service was created—a very successful inter-institutional transplant program was developed—and more heart surgeries are performed than anywhere else in the world.

Some of the academic and research health institutions are Baylor College of Medicine, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. The M. D. Anderson Cancer Center is widely considered one of the world’s most productive and highly-regarded academic institutions devoted to cancer patient care, research, education and prevention.

Demographics

Historical populations
Census
year
Population Change Percent
Change

1850 212,592 - -
1860 604,215 391,623 184%
1870 818,579 214,364 35%
1880 1,591,749 773,170 94%
1890 2,235,527 643,778 40%
1900 3,048,710 813,183 36%
1910 3,896,542 847,832 28%
1920 4,663,228 766,686 20%
1930 5,824,715 1,161,487 25%
1940 6,414,824 590,109 10%
1950 7,711,194 1,296,370 20%
1960 9,579,677 1,868,483 24%
1970 11,196,730 1,617,053 17%
1980 14,229,191 3,032,461 27%
1990 16,986,510 2,757,319 19%
2000 20,851,820 3,865,310 23%

The people of Texas, historically often known as Texians, are now generally referred to as Texans.

As of 2004, the state had a population of 22,490,022. The state has 3,450,500 foreign-born residents (15.6% of the state population), of which an estimated 1.2 million are illegal aliens (illegal aliens account for more than one-third of the foreign-born population in Texas and 5.4% of the total state population). The state's population grew 5.5 million between 1990 and 2004, a growth of 32.4%

Ethnic origins

More than one-third of Texas residents are of Hispanic origin and may be of any racial groups. Some are recent arrivals from Mexico, Central America, or South America, while others, known as Tejanos, have ancestors who have lived in Texas since before Texan independence, or at least for several generations. Tejanos are the largest ancestral group in southern Duval County. Perhaps numerically Mexican-Texans dominate south, south-central, and west Texas and are a significant part of the work force of cities of Dallas and Houston.

Other population groups in Texas also exhibit great diversity. Frontier Texas saw settlements of Germans, particularly in Fredericksburg and New Braunfels. In fact, the largest family in Texas today is of German descent. After the European revolutions of 1848, German, Polish, Swedish, Norwegian, Czech and French immigration grew, and continued until World War I. The influence of the diverse immigrants from Europe survives in the names of towns, styles of architecture, genres of music, and varieties of cuisine. Texans of German descent dominate much of central and southeast-central Texas and one county in the area, Lavaca, is predominately Czech.

In recent years, the Asian population in Texas has grown, especially in Houston and in Dallas. People from mainland China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia India, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Pakistan and other countries have settled in Texas.

In August 2005, it was announced by the United States Census that Texas has become the fourth minority-majority state in the nation (after Hawaii, New Mexico, and California).[1] According to the Texas state Data Center, if current trends continue, Hispanics will become a majority in the state by 2030.

Demographics of Texas 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000
Total 22,490,022 22,103,374 21,723,220 21,334,855 20,851,790
White (Non-Hispanic) 10,986,937 11,049,172 11,094,951 11,138,076 11,190,222
49.8% 50.4% 51.1% 51.8% 52.7%
Hispanic (of any race) 7,781,211 7,519,603 7,258,302 6,993,458 6,669,666
34.6% 34.0% 33.4% 32.8% 32.0%
Black (Non-Hispanic) 2,535,285 2,500,125 2,463,047 2,426,088 2,378,444
11.3% 11.3% 11.3% 11.4% 11.4%
Asian (Non-Hispanic) 695,293 666,261 636,223 604,846 567,526
3.1% 3.0% 2.9% 2.8% 2.7%
Native American (Non-Hispanic) 77,662 76,071 74,538 72,762 70,405
0.3% 0.3% 0.3% 0.3% 0.3%
Mixed/Other 210,349 203,238 196,159 188,529 178,812
0.9% 0.9% 0.9% 0.9% 0.9%

All data comes from the United States Census state population estimates.[2]

The largest reported ancestry groups in Texas include: Mexican (24.3%), African American (11.5%), German (9.9%), American (7.2%), and Irish (7.2%).

Much of east, central, and north Texas is inhabited primarily by Texans of White Anglo Saxon Protestant heritage, primarily descended from the British Isles. African Americans, who historically made up one-third of the state population, are concentrated in those parts of East Texas where the ante-bellum cotton plantation culture was most prominent.

Census data reports 7.8% of Texas's population as under 5, 28.2% under 18, and 9.9% over 64 years. Females made up 50.4% of the population.


Cities and metropolitan areas

Largest cities

Texas has two global cities as Houston and Dallas hold the title of "Gamma World City" by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group & Network (GaWC).

Ranked by population of cities (incorporated municipalities), the five largest cities in Texas are Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, and Fort Worth. Photographs of the downtowns of those five cities are displayed to the right, in order of each city's population according to 2004 U.S. Census estimates within city limits. Texas is the only state in the U.S.A. to have three cities with populations exceeding 1 million (California has two; no other state has more than one)--Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas, which are also among the 10 largest cities of the United States. Austin and Fort Worth are in the top 20 largest U.S. cities.[3]

Some cities not listed are still considered important on the basis of other factors and issues, including culture, economics, heritage, and politics.

Texas
rank
U.S.
rank
City Population Region
1 4 Houston 2,012,626 Southeast Texas
2 8 San Antonio 1,236,249 Central Texas
3 9 Dallas 1,210,393 North Texas
4 16 Austin 681,804 Central Texas
5 19 Fort Worth 603,337 North Texas


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Metropolitan areas

Texas has 25 metropolitan areas (MSAs) defined by the United States Census Bureau. The two largest are ranked among the top 10 United States metropolitan areas. In 2003, the U.S. Census introduced "metropolitan divisions" within some metropolitan areas. Texas has two metropolitan divisions within the Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington MSA.

The following table lists population figures for those metropolitan areas, in rank of population. Population figures are as of the 2003 U.S. Census estimates.

Rank Metropolitan Area Metropolitan Division Population
1 DallasFort WorthArlington   5,589,670
    DallasPlanoIrving 3,739,509
    Fort WorthArlington 1,850,161
2 HoustonSugar LandBaytown   5,075,733
3 San Antonio   1,820,719
4 AustinRound Rock   1,377,633
5 El Paso   705,436
6 McAllenEdinburgMission   635,540
7 Corpus Christi   406,830
8 BeaumontPort Arthur   382,629
9 BrownsvilleHarlingen   363,092
10 KilleenTemple   343,329
11 Lubbock   257,188
12 Amarillo   233,231
13 Waco   219,807
14 Laredo   213,615
15 LongviewMarshall   198,155
16 College StationBryan   192,603
17 Tyler   184,015
18 Abilene   158,488
19 Wichita Falls   149,653
20 Texarkana   131,591
21 Odessa   122,692
22 Midland   118,624
23 ShermanDenison   115,153
24 Victoria   112,965
25 San Angelo   105,270

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Education

Colleges and universities

The University of Texas System, established by the Texas Constitution in 1876, consists of nine academic universities and six health institutions. UT System institutions enrolled a total of 182,752 students in fall 2004 making it one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation. In 2004, The University of Texas at Austin, which is the largest institution in the UT System and in the state of Texas, maintained an enrollment of 50,377 students. The University of Texas at Austin was once the largest institution in the United States, but it is now one of the top 3 largest by population and is the world's 15th top ranking university[4]. Seven doctoral programs at UT Austin rank in the top 10 in the nation and 22 degree programs rank in the top 25, according to a comprehensive study of the quality of graduate schools conducted by the United States National Research Council. Four of the seven medical schools of Texas are within the University of Texas System. In 2004, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas was ranked the 16th highest ranking medical school in the United States, with four of Texas' eleven Nobel laureates.[5]

The Texas A&M University System is the second largest state university system of higher learning in Texas. Its flagship institution is Texas A&M University located in College Station and is the state's oldest public institution of higher education. Funded research generally exceeds that of all other Texas universities, and Texas A&M ranks among the top ten national universities in research. It is the second largest university in the state of Texas and also one of the top 10 largest schools in the nation.

The University of Houston System is the largest urban state system of higher education in the Gulf Coast, which has four universities with three located in Houston. Its flagship institution is the University of Houston, the only doctoral degree granting extensive research institution in Houston and is the third largest in the state of Texas with an enrollment of over 36,000. The interdisciplinary research conducted at UH breaks new ground in such vital areas as superconductivity, space commercialization, biomedical engineering, economics, education, petroleum exploration and management. UH is also home to over 40 research centers and institutes. Amongst the most prestigious of the University of Houston's colleges is the University of Houston Law Center (law school). The UH Law Center's Health Law and Policy Institute is ranked number one in the nation while the Intellectual Property Law Program is ranked fifth, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Houston is the location of a well known prestigious private institution of Rice University, which boasts one of the largest financial endowments of any university in the world. The small undergraduate student body is among the nation's most select and one of the highest percentages of National Merit Scholarship winners. Rice University maintains a variety of research facilities and laboratories. Rice is also associated with the Houston Area Research Center, a consortium supported by Rice, the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, and the University of Houston.

Houston is also home to Texas Southern University, the first historically black college and university (HBCU) to house a law school, and was also the first state-supported institution in the city of Houston. Over the years, the University's educational facilities and programs expanded, and many of its graduates began to achieve local, regional, and national recognition for their influence in politics, education, business, technology, medicine, and the arts. Its pioneering spirit continues today.

The Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex has the fourth largest university in the state—the University of North Texas—along with two UT System institutions—The University of Texas at Dallas and The University of Texas at Arlington.

San Antonio is home to many colleges and universities, such as The University of Texas at San Antonio, the second largest institution of the University of Texas System, as well as Trinity University, St. Mary's University, University of the Incarnate Word, and Our Lady of the Lake University.

Other public universities in Texas include Texas Tech University in Lubbock, and Texas State University-San Marcos (formerly Southwest Texas State University).

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Public schools

The public school systems are administered by the Texas Education Agency.

All but one of the school districts in Texas are separate from any form of municipal government, hence they are called "independent school districts," or "ISD" for short. School districts may cross city and county boundaries. School districts have the power to tax their residents and to use eminent domain.

The sole exception to this rule is Stafford Municipal School District, which serves all of the city of Stafford.

Texas has twenty Educational Service Center "regions" that serve the local school districts.

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Transportation

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Professional sports

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Miscellaneous information

  • Four ships of the United States Navy have borne the name USS Texas in honor of the state.
  • Famous for their role in the history of Texas law enforcement, the Texas Rangers continue today to provide special law enforcement services to the state.
  • One state holiday, Juneteenth (from "June" + "Nineteenth," its date), commemorates the day in 1865 that the slaves in Texas learned of the Emancipation Proclamation.
  • At 311 feet, Texas's capitol building in Austin is taller than the capitol building in Washington, D.C.

State designations and symbols

Other state designations

File:CurrentTexasPlate.jpg
Current Texas license plate

The pledge to the Texas Flag is:

Honor the Texas Flag
I pledge allegiance to thee Texas
one, and indivisible

See also

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References

Footnotes

  1. ^  U.S. Census Bureau News, August 11, 2005
  2. ^  U.S. Census Bureau Annual Estimates of the Population by Sex, Race, and Hispanic or Latino Origin for States: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2004.
  3. ^  List of United States cities by population
  4. ^  London Times ranking of the World's Top 50 Universities
  5. ^  The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas list of Texas Nobel Laureates
  6. ^  50states.com list of State Nicknames
  7. ^  State History Guide Texas Symbols, Gemstone Cut: Lone Star Cut

Further reading

  • Gone to Texas : a History of the Lone Star State, Randolph B. Campbell, Oxford University Press, 2003, hardback, 500 pages.
  • Imperial Texas: An Interpretive Essay in Cultural Geography, D. W. Meinig, University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas, 1969, hardback, 145 pages.
  • Great River, The Rio Grande in North American History, Paul Horgan, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, reprint, 1977, in one hardback volume, ISBN 0-03-029305-7

External links

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