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Admission to the Union

The proposed annexation brought a bitter fight in the United States over the question of slavery. Finally, on Dec. 29, 1845, Texas was admitted to the Union. The state kept its public lands and reserved the right to divide into no more than five states.

Disputes with Mexico over boundary lines led to the Mexican War in 1846. The United States victory in the conflict two years later established the Rio Grande as the international border as far as El Paso. In 1850 Congress purchased from Texas for 10 million dollars the claim of that state to some 100,000 square miles (259,000 square kilometers) of land, now part of New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming.

Just before the outbreak of the American Civil War, slaveholding Texas seceded from the Union and joined the Confederacy. Governor Sam Houston tried to keep the state in the Union but was deposed. Texas was readmitted in 1870

In the mid-1860s Texas cowboys began driving cattle northward to markets or ranges. Some of their famous cattle trails were the Chisholm, Western (Dodge City), Goodnight-Loving, and Sedalia trails. More than 11 million cattle were herded up these trails before the introduction of railroads into the area. These cowboys were the inspiration for many dozens of Western novels and films. Yet in spite of all the Western lore celebrating the cowboy in song, story, art, and film, the era of the great cattle drives was short. It was virtually over by 1890, only 20 years after it began.

The Modern State

Much of the history of modern Texas is connected with the development of the oil industry. In 1901 Anthony F. Lucas struck oil in the Spindletop field, near Beaumont. Other great strikes included those of East Texas, the richest of all, in 1930; Scurry County, in 1949; and Spraberry Field, near Midland, in 1950. The state especially benefited from the expansion of the industry, and its associated petrochemicals, after World War II. In 1960 Texas won a 15-year political and legal struggle for title to the offshore oil in its Gulf of Mexico tidelands. A Supreme Court decision gave the state mineral rights in an area extending three leagues--about 10 1/2 miles (17 kilometers)--offshore.

In 1963 the United States ended a border dispute with Mexico by agreeing to exchange land in the Laredo area. The dispute began about 100 years earlier, when the channel of the Rio Grande shifted. HemisFair '68, the first international exposition in a Southwestern state, was held at San Antonio.

Massive oil spills from tankers have periodically devastated the Texas shoreline. In October 1989 and, nine months later, in July 1990, there were major fatal accidents at two Texas petrochemical plants within 10 miles (16 kilometers) of each other, near Houston.

Реферат опубликован: 29/01/2010