Texas Almanac, 1941-1942 Page: 96
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industries has recently attracted an in-
creasing number of people from North-
ern and Middle Western states.
Relations With Mexico.
The opening of a highway system into
Mexico has stimulated commerce be-
tween the United States and that coun-
try, which in turn will greatly increase
traffic in and across Texas. Although no
great migration of Mexicans into Texas
can be expected in the future to increase
the population of this state, as in the
past, yet the opening of tourist and com-
mercial relations with Mexico has been
similar to placing doors in a blind wall.
The development will be similar to that
which came with the establishment of
deepwater ports on the Gulf Coast.
Past Obstacles Overcome.
In fact, there is basis for argument
that the increase in Texas population
will accelerate during the next two or
three decades rather than slackening,
despite the fact that it is usual for
the increase in population of any state
or nation to be retarded in later stages
Looking back over the history of Texas
it is seen that, although the state has
had great resources to offer the new-
comer, it has had very many obstacles,
most of which have been cleared away.
In the first place, Texas was disad-
vantageously located for rapid popula-
tion increase in its early development.
The barrier of the great lower Mississippi
channel and its wildnerness valley made
the route to Texas circuitous. Further-
more, Texas was directly west of the
Old South where there was not the west-
ward urge that existed in the Northeast-
ern States, the population of which
surged into the Middle West and North-
west, causing these regions to develop
more rapidly than Texas. The fact that
Texas was a slave state prior to the Civil
War and primarily a cotton state until
recently added to this tendency.
Past Political Uncertainty.
Again, Texas' political affairs were a
handicap. The early chapters of Texas
history consisted of colonization under
the Republic of Mexico, revolution, un-
certain independent status, annexation to
the United States, difficulties with Mex-
ico leading to the Mexican War, secession
with the Confederacy, re-entrance to the
Union and Reconstruction. Thus for half
a century after the beginning of Anglo-
American settlement, from 1820 to 1870,
Texas was looking to an uncertain fu-
The same factors which impeded popu-
lation impeded the other great need of
Texas, namely, facilities for transporta-
tion. In fact, not until the adoption of
the present State Constitution in 1876,
which may be looked on as the end of
Reconstruction, though the state had
been readmitted to the Union previously,
did Texas arrive at a stage in its political
history where it could look confidently
toward the future.
Nearly one fourth of the population of
Texas lives in the four counties in solid
black-Bexar, Dallas, Harris and Tarrant.
Slightly more than one fourth lives in the
twenty-seven shaded counties. These thirty-
one counties have a little more than one half
of the population of the State.
Added to the clearing away of these
physical and political difficulties, there
has been the favorable economic develop-
ment mentioned above, namely, the
diversification of Texas industry to open
it as a land of opportunity to Americans
outside the Cotton Belt. Obviously, the
added wealth and income necessary to
sustain a future rapid increase in Texas
population must come from development
of such a diversity of industry for the
processing of Texas' raw materials into
materials for the consumers' market.
It is on basis of these significant devel-
opments that an unbiased appraisal of
Texas' future may include an estimate of
accelerated population increase, although
the census decade which closed in 1940
showed the lowest percentage of popu-
lation gain in the history of the state.
Texas' Population Growth.
On another page is a table, Texas Pop-
ulation, 1744-1940, which gives a tabular
history of population increase for Texas.
and there is a similar table for the
The first permanent settlement was
that of the present communities of Ysleta
and Soccoro in El Paso County, estab-
lished in 1682, which is related in greater
detail in the chapter on the history of
Texas. There were other border com-
munities at an early date, but it was
from the establishment of San Antonio in
1718 that the growth of white population
in Texas may be reckoned. This growth
was slow, and 100 years later San An-
tonio, Nacogdoches and Goliad were the
only Texas white communities of impor-
Early Population Estimates.
Yoakum, the historian, estimates the
population of Texas at 7,000 in 1806, and
it was not much greater fifteen years
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Texas Almanac, 1941-1942, book, 1941; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117164/m1/98/: accessed December 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.