In the south of the United States of America is the federal state of Texas, which is the second largest US state after Alaska. It covers an area of 695,622 km² and has a population of around 22 million. Neighboring states are Ohlahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Mexico. In the south, the coast is washed by the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
The surface of the country is very diverse, in the west the peaks of the Rocky Mountains rise, on the border with New Mexico is the Guadalupe mountain range. The highest mountain, Guadalupe Peak, is 2,667 meters above sea level. Towards the east, a belt of desert and semi-desert stretches to large plains with remnants of prairies. The east is mostly lowland, and the coast of the Gulf of Mexico consists of vast lagoons and swamps. The Rio Grande, Red River, and Brazos River flow through the state. The mountainous regions have a continental climate, the west of the country a desert climate, and the lowlands a subtropical climate.
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In the colonial period, the territory of present-day Texas belonged to the Spanish colony of New Mexico. Between 1821 and 1836 it fell to Mexico and the territory was divided between 4 states and a territory. On March 2, 1836, Texas declared independence and became the Republic of Texas, which included only about a third of the territory of present-day Texas. Over time, however, the newly established republic began to claim the rest of its territory as well as other Mexican territories on the left bank of the Río Grande. Texas entered the Union on February 19, 1846, becoming the 28th US state. Texas got its current size on September 9, 1850, when it was forced to give up part of the territory in the west and northwest.
The population of Texas is very diverse these days, with a significant influx of people from Mexico and Latin America in particular. Whites make up around 53% of the population, Hispanics 32%, blacks 11.5% and Asians 2.7%. The original Indian population today represents only 0.7% of the population. The people are mostly Christian-based, Protestants who divide into several religious sects predominate here. The Catholic Church also has a large presence.
An important branch of the state’s economy is industry, especially petrochemical, chemical, engineering, electrotechnical, shipbuilding, food, textile and space industries. Mining of oil, natural gas, uranium, sulfur and graphite is also significant. Agriculture is focused on the cultivation of cotton, fruit, corn, wheat, millet, fruit, vegetables and tobacco. Cattle, sheep and pigs are raised here.
According to COUNTRYAAH, the capital is Austin, which was founded in 1839 on the site of the original village of Waterloo. However, it was renamed Austin in honor of Stephan F. Austin. The city is located on the north bank of the Colorado River, and since 1883 the famous university – the University of Texas – has been located here. Houston is a much larger city, which is also the fourth most populous city in the USA. Roughly 2 million people live here, but the entire metropolitan area has a population of over 5.3 million. Houston is nicknamed “Space City” because the space center is located here, from which all space flights of the US space shuttles are controlled. Houston can also be proud of the tenth largest port in the world – Port of Houston.
Other major Texas cities include Dallas, San Antonio, El Paso, Fort Worth, Arlington, Corpus Christi, Plano, and Garland.
Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument
Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument is located in the US state of Texas, about 48 km north of Amarillo. It is an important archaeological site in the northwest of the state, which is adjacent to the Lake Meredith recreation area to the north and west. The area became the Alibates Flint Quarries and Texas Panhandle Pueblo Culture National Monument in 1965, and was renamed to its current name in 1978. Today it occupies an area of 5.5 square kilometers.
The monument mainly protects the local quarries and about 250 shallow pits with a diameter of 1.2 – 2.5 meters. More than 12,000 years ago, the original indigenous peoples from the Clovis complex began mining colored stones on the local dolomite walls. Native peoples continued this activity until 1870. The area is also home to several ruined historic dwellings built by the Plains Village Indians between 1150-1500.
Between 1150 and 1450, the Prairie Indians lived here in large and permanent villages, where they gathered into communities. One such village could have up to 100 rooms, and many of them were even connected underground. However, why these advanced Indian tribes eventually abandoned the area and their villages around the 15th century is unknown. It may have been caused by an unbearable drought, which made agriculture and therefore subsistence impossible, or raids by enemy tribes (probably Apaches) were to blame.
A growth of short prairie grasses is typical for the local landscape, they form the dominant vegetation. The area has become home to many species of wildlife, such as long-eared deer, white-tailed deer, coyotes, hares, and a variety of birds. If you want to explore the local surroundings and landscape, you can only do so with a guide. However, the area is primarily known as an important archaeological site, as tools made from local stones, estimated to be around 13 thousand years old, were discovered here.
Today, the area is protected as a National Historic Landmark under the administration of the National Park Service, so it is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.