Texas History

The history of Texas has gone through many hands and empires. It is the only state in the union to serve under six flags: Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Confederacy and the United States. The Texas culture stems from those countries and early inhabitants who claimed Texas as their home.

The Native Americans first inhabited it, but Europeans conquistadors with tales of gold and silver looming in their minds claimed Texas as their own. First the Spanish developed missions, which became the first cities of Texas. And these Spanish missions are great tourist sites too. Spain was in the middle of colonization when Mexico won independence from Spain, which in turn changed everything. However, Texas wanted their independence too, and with the help from Sam Houston they won. Also "Remember the Alamo" is a common cry you'll hear and is a place you should visit. After a trip to the Alamo, visit the San Jacinto Monument and Museum. This is one of the most revered parts of Texas history, because it is the site where they won their independence. Afterwards, the rights to Texas were rather erratic and corresponded with what was transpiring during the Civil War. It went to the confederacy, and then it returned to the Union. Another Texas site to visit is the Texas State Capitol, which was completed in 1888. In 1901, the true potential of Texas was realized when an oil well blew. Those conquistadors were right to search for wealth in Texas, but they were searching for the wrong kind. Under those tumbleweeds was the massive reserve of black gold, or oil.

Through all the wars and political changes stands a strong Texas culture. The Institute of Texan cultures in San Antonio highlights 26 cultural and ethnic groups. And all of Texas culture and Texas traditions are celebrated in their events, festivals and museums. One place to visit would be the Moody Mansion. This was a very powerful family in the early parts of 20th century. The people are proud of the history of Texas and want to showcase it. It is here that honky tonk music was born. "Honky Tonkin" was a way to dance, drink and socialize. German and Czech immigrants put it on the main stage. It evolved over time and found its niche in the 1940’s with Ernest Tubb. Music is still a very important and lively part of Texas, and even though honky tonk music has come and gone, it enriches their culture.

Austin, Texas is an important part of music within Texan cultures. Centered on a bend of the great Colorado River, it attracted many visitors, which in turn created a prospering economy. That diversity created unique music, and in the 1970’s Austin was put on the musical map. It became a chord in the long in a string of history in music. Willie Nelson made a name for himself here and around the United States. Once Austin got their foot in the door of Texas traditions of music, it hit the ground running. Now you can find numerous musical styles in Austin at various nightclubs and concert halls.

The history of Texas is like the landscape of the Rocky Mountains; erratic and full of peaks and valleys. But one thing that stands, and stands strong are Texas traditions. Its difficult to put your finger on any one ethnicity that is Texas, and that is because it is the collection of those ethnicities that make Texas great. So whether you decide to visit Texas for its black gold, musical Mecca, or its tourism you will search to find the wealth you were looking for, as rich as it has been since the days of the conquistadors.

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