Texas Almanac, 1941-1942 Page: 36
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OUTLINE OF TEXAS HISTORY.
The two great Americas are divided,
geographically, at the Isthmus of Pan-
ama. Politically and racially, the dividing
line is at the Rio Grande. Texas lies to-
day on the southern border of Anglo-
America; in its beginning it lay on the
northern border of Latin America.
Looking back over the entire chronicle
of Texas, probably the primary observa-
tion to be made about it is that it had its
beginnings within the sphere of Latin
influence on the Western Hemisphere
and later swung over to the Anglo-
American sphere. 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-
Had not Moses Austin and his son,
Stephen, caught the vision of an Anglo-
American colony in Texas, and had not
Houston overcome the forces of Santa
Anna at San Jacinto, Texas and the
Rocky Mountain and Pacific Coast states
probably would have remained perma-
nently a part of Latin America while the
people of the United States settled down
to subsistence on the resources of the
Mississippi Valley and the Atlantic Sea-
board. With the swift charge of the
Texans across San Jacinto Battlefield on
the afternoon of April 21, 1836, the
boundary line of Anglo-America was
swept westward and southward to the
Rio Grande, and by logically following
events of the next decade this boundary
was moved on across the Rockies to the
waters of the Pacific. Insofar as the
boundaries of the United States are con-
cerned, San Jacinto was as decisive as
This metamorphosis of Latin into An-
glo-American Texas furnishes a thread
of continuity in the plot of early Texas
history; and its influence is found today
indelibly impressed upon Texas culture.
Under Six Flags.
It has not been a simple plot that has
unfolded 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 middle periods-one that
brought a succession of *six flags while
sovereignty over Texas changed eight
The sequence of the six flags of Texas
has been as follows: Spain, 1519-1685;
France, 1685-1690; Spain, 169(1-1821;
Mexico, 1821-1836; Republic ' exas,
1836-1845; United States, 1845 ._.61; the
'Some authorities say seven flags, including the
Green Flag of the Magee-Gutlerrez Expedition,
which had control of Texas for five months in
Southern Confederacy, 1861-1865; United
States, 1865 to present. The sequence
above gives, with respect to the early his-
tory of Texas, eras during which nations
of flags indicated actually had the firm-
est hold on Texas soil. For this reason
the French period is limited to 1685-
1690, though the French claim extended
from 1685 to 1763. The Spanish claim
to Texas extended from 1519 to 1821.
Thus there were seventy-nine years of
overlapping Spanish and French claims.
Eras of Development.
However, a logical breaking of the
history of Texas into eras of political
and economic development does not re-
veal chapters coinciding with the suc-
cession of the flags. The history of Tex-
as falls rather naturally into twelve pe-
1. Era of the aborigine, as revealed in
archaeological research and the chroni-
cles of the early explorers-the prehis-
tory of Texas.
2. The early explorations, beginning
with Pineda's visit in 1519 and extend-
ing to the beginning of missionary effort
3. Founding of the missions and estab-
lishment of Spanish dominion, extending
from 1690 until the secularization of the
missions in 1793.
4. Decline of Spanish dominion, an
era of filibustering expeditions, 1793-
5. Establishment of Anglo-American
colonies, beginning with that of Stephen
F. Austin, 1821-1835.
6. The Texas Revolution, 1835-36.
7. The Republic of Texas, 1836-1845.
8. Statehood prior to the Civil War,
9. Texas in the Confederacy, 1861-1865.
10. Period of Reconstruction, 1865-
11. Period of early economic develop-
ment, 1874 to end of Nineteenth Cen-
12. Beginning of industrialization and
urbanization of Texas, from beginning of
Twentieth Century to the present.
Entering New Era?
Some observers think that Texas today
stands on the threshold of still another
era. As yet events are too close at hand
to permit careful judgment, but prob-
ably the light of future history will re-
veal this prediction as having come true.
Due to the great economic depression
and other causes, Texas today faces the
necessity of readjustments in its regional
economy which will bring it to maturity
as an industrialized and urbanized state.
In a sense it will be a continuation of
Era 12 listed above, but one with a de-
cidedly different economy. Possibly the
year, 1936, centennial year of Texas' in-
dependence, can be accepted as the be-
ginning of the new period.
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Texas Almanac, 1941-1942, book, 1941; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117164/m1/38/: accessed November 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.