Texas Almanac, 1952-1953 Page: 33
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
Brief History of Texas
Looking back over the entire course of
Texas history, one sees three major eras of
development-two long ones with a short one
First, there was the colonial period of
Spanish and Mexican dominion, including a
lengthy period of conflicting Spanish-French
claims. It ran from the beginning of Spanish
explorations in Texas in 1519 until 1836 when
Texas won its independence from Mexico.
At the beginning of the nineteenth century
Texas was at the vortex of Spanish, French
and Anglo-American contention in North
America. The French effort passed in 1803
with the Louisiana Purchase, which extended
the boundary line of the United States to the
western watershed of the Mississippi-Missouri
Second, there was the brief period of the
Texas Revolution and the Texas Republic,
beginning late in 1835 and ending with the
annexation of Texas to the United States at
the end of 1845.
Third, there has been the period of United
States sovereignty, 1845 to the present, except
the short interval of the Confederacy, 1861-
As measured in time, most of Texas history
lay in the era of Spanish-French-Mexican
dominion-more than three centuries. As
measured in material and cultural progress,
most of Texas history will be found in the
little more than a century since the Texas
Of peculiar historic significance has been
this transition of Texas from Latin-American
to Anglo-American sovereignty, and political
and cultural influence. No other large area
in the New World underwent such a marked
political and cultural metamorphosis, after
the conquest of the aborigine peoples, except
the area between Texas and the Pacific which
became a part of the United States by the
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. And even this
area's transition was an effect which had its
cause in developments in Texas.
Had not Moses Austin and his son, Stephen,
caught the vision of an Anglo-American col-
only in Texas, and had not Sam Houston
overcome the forces of Santa Anna at San
Jacinto, Texas, and the Rocky Mountain and
Pacific Coast States probably would have re-
mained permanently a part of Latin America
while the people of the United States would
have settled down to subsistence on the re-
sources of the Mississippi Valley and the
Atlantic Seaboard. With the swift charge of
the Texans across San Jacinto Battlefield on
the afternoon of April 21, 1836, the boundary
line o Anglo-America was swept westward
and southward to the Rio Grande, and by
consequent events of the next decade this
boundary was moved on across the Rockies to
the Pacific. Insofar as the boundaries of the
United States were affected, San Jacinto was
as decisive as was Gettysburg.
This metamorphosis of Latin-American into
Anglo-American Texas furnished a thread of
continuity in the plot of early Texas history;
and its influence is found today indelibly
impressed upon Texas culture.
The two great Americas are divided, geo-
graphically at the Isthmus of Panama. Po-
litically and culturally, the dividing line is at
the Rio Grande and the westward-extending
latitude of this river. Texas lies today on the
southern border of Anglo-America. In its be-
ginning it lay on the northern border of
It has not been a simple plot that has un-
folded to produce the Texas of today, but an
intricate one with far-reaching causes and
effects. It has been one of much vicissitude
and tragedy, especially in the early and mid-
dle periods-one that brought a succession
of *six flags while sovereignty over Texas
changed eight times.
The sequence of the six flags of Texas has
been as follows: Spain, 1519-1685; France.
1685-1690; Spain, 1690-1821; Mexico, 1821-1836:
Republic of Texas, 1836-1845; United States.
1845-1861; the Southern Confederacy. 1861-
1865; United States, 1865 to present. The se-
quence above gives, with respect to the early
history of Texas, eras during which the nations
of flags indicated actually flew over Texas
soil. For this reason the French period is
limited to 1685-1690, though the French claim
extended almost from the beginning of Texas
history until France ceded Louisiana to Spain
in 1762. Later Spain receded Louisiana to
France, but the latter did not press a claim
to Texas and the issue between these two
countries was finally settled by the sale of
Louislana by France to the United States in
1803. The Spanish claim to Texas extended
from 1519 to 1821. Thus there was a long
period of overlapping SIanish and French
Eras of Development
However, a logical breaking of the history
of Texas into eras of political and economic
development does not reveal chapters coincid-
ing with the succession of the flags.
In the leading paragraphs, mention is made
of the three principal eras of Texas' develop-
ment: (A) the colonial era of Spanish-
French-Mexican dominion and conflicting
claims, (B) the era of the Revolution, the
Republic of Texas and national independence,
and (C) the era of Anglo-American sover-
eignty of the United States, including the
brief period of the Confederate sovereignty.
These include only that part of the Texas
history affected by the coming of the white
man from Europe. The prehistory of Texas
and the era of the aborigine Indian is, of
course, period No. 1. The whole history may
logically be broken down into the following
divisions and subdivisions:
Era of the aborigine, as revealed in archae-
ological research and the chronicles of the
early explorers-the prehistory of Texas.
1. The early explorations, beginning with
Pineda's visit in 1519 and extending to the
beginning of missionary effort in 1690, and
the rise of conflicting Spanish-French claims.
2. Founding of the missions and establish-
ment, of Spanish dominion, extending from
1690 until the secularization of the missions
3. Decline of Spanish dominion, an era of
filibustering expeditions 1793-1821.
4. Mexican sovereignty and establishment
of Anglo-American colonies, beginning with
that of Stephen F. Austin, 1821-1835.
1. The Texas Revolution, 1835-1836.
2. The Republic of Texas, 1836-1845.
TEXAS AFTER ANNEXATION
1. Statehood prior to the Civil War, 1845-
2. Texas in the Confederacy, 1861-1865.
3. Period of Reconstruction, 1865-1874.-
4. Period of early economic development,
1874 to end of nineteenth century.
5. Beginning of industrialization and urban-
ization of Texas, from beginning of twentieth
century to the present.
*Some authorities say seven flags, including the
Green Flag of the Magee-Gutierrez Expedition.
which had control of Texas for five months in
Here’s what’s next.
This book can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Book.
Texas Almanac, 1952-1953, book, 1951; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117137/m1/35/: accessed July 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.