State of Texas general data
- Time zone: 6 hours less than Italy
- Capital: Austin
- Main towns: Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth,Houston, San Antonio.
- Area: 695.622 km²
- Population: About 28,400,000 inhabitants.
- Population density: 40,8 residents / km²
- State abbreviation: TX
- Entry into the United States: It joins the United States on December 29, 1845, it is the 28th state to join the union.
Given the enormous size of the state of Texas (12% of the contiguous area of the United States), it is very diverse geographically. Broadly speaking, it can be divided into four physical zones, which coincide with sections of the large regions of the American territory: the coastal plain, the central lowlands, the great plain and the Rocky Mountains. The average height of the state is 518 m above sea level, and the highest point is located on the summit of Mount Guadalupe, of 2,667 m. The coastal plain extends from the Gulf of Mexico coast to the interior of the southern and eastern sections of Texas.
In turn, it is divided into several regions: The gulf prairie, the Rio Grande plain and the fertile plains that extend from Oklahoma, (which is in fact the extension of the Osage plains that cover the south of this state), up to to the central part of Texas. This portion of the coastal plain of the gulf has a maximum height of 305 m. The region of the central lowlands is characterized by a slightly undulating terrain, varying in height between 180 and 900 m, approximately. This zone includes the central part of the state, between the Red River and the territory that extends south of the Colorado River. The soil of this area is suitable for agriculture and livestock, and its subsoil is rich in mineral resources. To the west of the lowland region the land rises gradually, up to the section of the Great Plains with semi-arid soils, the best known part of which is the Llano Estacado, south of the Canadian River. With heights ranging between 760m and 1,235m, this plain extends into the states of Oklahoma and New Mexico, and west south of Midland city to connect with the Rocky Mountains. In this southwestern region is the Edwards Plateau an area with narrow wild valleys.
According to thembaprograms.com, the mountainous area of Texas, (Trans-Pecos), is located in the southwestern part of the state, with wide valleys, plateaus and elevations up to 2,667 m, (Guadalupe Peak). The land is arid and unsuitable for agricultural exploitation.
The most important rivers in Texas are the Rio Grande, the Red, the Colorado, and the Brazos. The Rio Grande marks the border between the United States and Mexico, from El Paso to the Gulf of Mexico. Due to the large amount of Rio Grande water that is used in New Mexico, the river enters Texas, with very little flow until near Ojinaba it receives the waters of the Conchos River, from the Mexican side. The Red River originates near the city of Amarillo and defines most of the border between Texas and Oklahoma, the latter state where it flows until it reaches the Mississippi River. The Brazos and Colorado rivers (not to be confused with the larger Colorado that flows in the homonymous state), flow for most of the Texan territory, in a south-easterly direction until they flow into the Gulf of Mexico. Other important rivers, as much for their scope as for their economic usefulness, they are the Canadian River tributary of Arkansas and flowing in the northwestern sector of the state, (region known as Panhandle, between New Mexico and Oklahoma), the Nueces, the Neches, the Sabine, Trinity, San Antonio and Guadalupe. Texas has few natural lakes. The largest is the Sabine, in the eastern part of Texas, near the state of Louisiana. Most of the lakes were built on major rivers. The most important are the Amistad, the Falcon, the Texoma, the Patman and the Tawakoni.
Flora and Fauna – The dense pine forests of East Texas stand in stark contrast to the deserts of the West; similarly, the grassy plains of the north contrast with the bush of the semi-arid south. In East Texas, oaks, hickory, ash, and magnolias also grow. Elms, oaks, cedars and mesquite dominate the center of the state. On the Trans-Pecos mountains, pine and fir forests extend; to the south-west the typical vegetation is represented by cacti, agave and yucca.
Texas is a passageway for many species of migratory birds, such as the howler crane, which are now almost extinct. Other animals native to Texas are the brown bear, the puma, the antelope, while the American bison has now disappeared. Smaller mammals still include the muskrat, badger, armadillo, fox, mink and coyote.
The climate – Texas may qualify as humid subtropical in some areas, arid in others, and even continental in some areas. Variations in this aspect are determined by three major factors: altitude, latitude and the effect of large currents. In some areas of Texas, the weather undergoes abrupt changes due to the confluence of the cold winds from the continent and the warm, humid currents from the Gulf of Mexico. In general it can be said that summers in Texas are warm and winters mild, and that in the short seasons of autumn and spring it enjoys very pleasant temperatures. The average temperatures oscillate, according to the zones, between 9 ° C and -4 ° C in January, and 31 ° C and 34 ° C in July. Thus, the eastern part of Texas, near the sea, has hot and humid summers, with temperatures of up to 35 ° C, while in winter the thermometer rarely drops below 0. In the far north of the state, temperatures in summer are higher, in some areas, such as in Amarillo, temperatures of 38 ° C occur frequently, and many days below 0 in the winter months. As for precipitation, in most of the state, it varies between 1,200 mm and 1,390 mm, although in some areas of the west there is no more than 254 mm of rainfall on average annually. Snowfalls are very scarce throughout the territory, practically non-existent in the southern and south-eastern area; of a certain consistency only in the highlands of the interior. On the contrary, tornadoes and hurricanes sporadically devastate the Texan territory.
Texas tourist attractions
The western part of the state, where the Rio Grande flows, borders the state of New Mexico; the scenery, as well as the way of life, are those of the Far West, with its immense herds of oxen, while the subtropical landscapes of the south-east are reminiscent of those of Louisiana. The motto Six Flags over Texas (Six flags over Texas) recalls the struggles between the European powers that fought that rich region and the other states of the South with which Texas has many points in common: cotton plantations, wells of oil, large ports, metropolises with skyscrapers such as Houston and Dallas etc.
For Texas, San Antonio is the symbol of the past. The era of technological development has transformed the physiognomy of the city, but the Texans, proud of their past, try to preserve its vestiges. Here the imprint of Spanish Mexico is predominant with the fìestas and Mexican neighborhoods populated by Chicanos. A walk follows the sinuous course of the San Antonio River, whose banks are transformed into boulevards: it is the Paseo del Rio, where between one souvenir shop and another one can refresh oneself in the shade of subtropical vegetation in cafes and Mexican restaurants. In the evening the atmosphere becomes romantic, while the guitars play, on board the flat boats that cross the river, you can dine by candlelight.
The most notable image of San Antonio remains Fort Alamo, the most famous of the missions created in the early 18th century; transformed into a fortress, it was the scene of a battle in 1836, when a handful of heroic Americans, including Davy Crockett, stood up to the Mexican army for twelve days. Not far from the modern Tower of the Americas (228 meters), the mission, which has been restored, houses a museum full of glorious memories.
Big Bend National Park —This park is one of the most pristine corners of the United States. From deep canyons along the Rio Grande to the pine forests of the Chisos Mountains, Big Bend offers a series of river and mountain landscapes, canyons and deserts with all the typical environments of the American Southwest. The variety of habitats means that the park preserves equally varied flora and fauna.
Big Thicket National Preserve — is truly one of a kind and preserves 15 biologically distinct areas totaling over 39,000 acres on the Texas-Louisiana border. Although part of the reserve is inaccessible, this area was a refuge for runaway slaves and outlaws. Today it is known for the quantity and variety of flora and fauna.
Aransas National Wildlife Refuge — According to topschoolsoflaw.com, founded in 1937 to protect the wildlife of the Texas coast, Aransas today is home to alligators, armadillos, wild boars, peccaries, coyotes, deer and other species. Surrounded by swamps regulated by the tides and interrupted by long and narrow ponds, the Aransas is an ever-changing territory.
Fort Davis – In the heart of the Davis Mountains, Fort Davis is a popular destination for those seeking refreshment during the scorching Texas summer. In the summer, costumed actors hold guided tours of some of the fort’s restored structures. At 2070m, atop Mount Locke, 27km northeast of Fort Davis, is the McDonald Observatory, which offers visitors the opportunity to see stars and planets.
Rio Grande Valley —Along the river of the same name, for a length of 320 km between Laredo and the Gulf of Mexico, extends the Rio Grande Valley, a fervent corridor of agricultural and commercial activities, with a series of residential centers for retirees. The valley becomes more and more animated as you get closer to the gulf. Roadside stalls sell grapes or red chillies. The history of the region, from smuggling and border banditry to current bilateral trade, is described by exhibits at the Rio Grande Valley Museum, while numerous parks protect the region’s natural heritage.
Cultural tourist places– Most of Texas’s cultural institutions are concentrated in the large cities of Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio, Houston and Austin. These include the following: in Dallas-Fort Worth, the Amon Carter Museum of Western Art, the Kimbell Museum of Art, the Fort Worth Museum of Art, the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of History Dallas Natural; in Houston, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Ima Hogg Collection, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Natural Sciences and the San Jacinto Museum; in San Antonio, the Alamo Museum; in Austin, the Texan Institute of Culture, the Lyndon B. Johnson Museum and Library and the Witte Museum; in Amarillo, the Texas Commemorative Museum and the Amarillo Art Museum; in Corpus Christi, the South Texas Art and Japanese Art Museums; in Canyon, the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, and in the neighboring city of El Paso, the Museum of Art. Other places of historical and cultural interest are the numerous missions. The Texas Old Missions and Fort restoration Association (TOMFRA), has been operating since 1974 to maintain these missions and colonial garrisons, built by the Spaniards during the 17th and 18th centuries, such as the Mission of San José, that of Alamo, that of San Ildefonso or that of Our Mrs. della Candelaria. The birthplace of presidents Dwight David Eisenhower (Denison) and Lyndon Baines Johnson (Johnson City) are also preserved and can be visited.
Curiosity – Texas has various teams that participate in the main professional leagues in the United States, such as the Houston Rockets, the Dallas Mavericks and the San Antonio Spurs, in basketball, Houston Astros and Texas Rangers, in baseball, Dallas Stars, in ice hockey; and the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Oilers, in American football.
Austin: capital of Texas
According to countryaah.com, Austin is the capital of the state of Texas. The city of Austin is located in the central area of the state of Texas, on the banks of the Colorado River 136 km from the city of San Antonio. Bordered to the north by a chain of lakes known as Highland Lakes, including Austin and Town. Austin’s climate is subtropical, with hot summers and temperate winters. Average annual temperatures are 20 ° C, with averages of 10 ° C in January and 28 ° C in August. The rains are concentrated in spring and autumn, and occasionally snowy.
History– The territory that is now occupied by the city of Austin was traveled by Spanish explorers in the early sixteenth century. The region was part of the Eastern Inner Provinces, an administrative subdivision of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, until Mexico gained independence in 1821. With the independence of Texas in 1835, new settlers from the United States began to arrive in the region. They founded several new settlements, among them the city of Waterloo, on the banks of the Colorado River. Since this new settlement was located in the center of the state, equidistant from San Antonio, Houston and Dallas, the President of the Republic of Texas, Mirabeau B. Lamar, agreed that the city of Waterloo be designated the capital of the new state. His idea was seconded and in 1839, the Texas Congress designated Waterloo as the capital and was renamed Austin in honor of the “father of Texas”, Stephen F. Austin. The city was also the seat of Travis County ever since. During the Civil War (1861-65), Austin supported the secessionists and contributed armaments and some regiments. The construction of railway lines beginning in 1871 brought great prosperity to the city of Austin. However, it was the foundation in 1883 of the University of Texas that later allowed the true development of the city and the one that gave the capital a cosmopolitan character.
Economy– Austin’s major economic activities depend on the University of Texas and state government departments, although new industries began to be encouraged in the 1950s. Alongside high-tech companies, there are also those in the construction, trade and transport sectors, and those in the food processing sector. Tourism and the presence of the Bergstrom Air Force Base give an important help to the economy of the Texan capital. Austin has an airport from which flights to various cities from the United States depart.
What to see – Austin’s museums include the State Capitol, home to the Texas Congress, the Governor’s residence; and the French Mission, a building built in 1841 to house the diplomatic mission of France during the years when Texas was an independent state. Also of interest are the State Cemetery and the museums dependent on the University of Austin. Other interesting museums and galleries are the Art Warehouse which houses nearly forty art galleries, and the centers dedicated to Hispanic art, the Museo del Quartiere and the Tonazin Gallery. Finally, the Bilbioteca and the Lyndon B. Johnson Museum should be mentioned.