Texas HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
In 2000, Latinos numbered 7,318,988, or 35.1 percent of the Texas population. Dispersed across the state’s 261,797 square miles, this population represents nearly five hundred years of habitation. The current Latino presence in the area
primarily represents migration from Mexico dating back to the sixteenth-century Spanish colonization of the region.
Spanish exploration in the sixteenth century was followed by seventeenth-and eighteenth-century settlement in present-day Texas. In the nineteenth century, Mexican independence from Spain, along with Anglo-American and European migration into the territory, redefined the identity of Tejanos (Texans of Mexican descent). While cultural and religious traditions tied Tejanos to Mexico, this group of Texans also felt a growing sense of autonomy.
Economic and ideological conflicts between Mexico and Texas led to warfare resulting in the short-lived Republic of Texas (1836-1845). After Texas became a state in 1845, Tejanos experienced economic and educational restrictions, and many of their lands were seized. Tensions between Anglo-American and Mexican American citizens escalated in the twentieth century, after the beginning of the Mexican Revolution and the influx of Mexican migrants into the country. Many of the newly arrived migrants brought with them a revolutionary spirit that fired the Mexican American imagination. In the following decades, these migrants’ organizational efforts laid the groundwork for much of the economic and educational successes experienced during the Chicano Movement and beyond.
Texas Subway Map Photo Gallery
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