Texas is a state in the south-central United States of America. Texas is nicknamed the Lone Star State because it has only one star on its flag. Texas has the second largest area of any US state after Alaska and the second largest population after California. With 254 counties, Texas has the most counties of any state in the United States.

Texas borders Mexico to the south. This makes up about half of the border between the United States and Mexico. Texas also borders the states of New Mexico to the west, Oklahoma to the north, Arkansas to the northeast, and Louisiana to the east.



North Texas (Lubbock, Amarillo, Wichita Falls)
Great Plains, Cotton and the Llano Estacado landscape formation.

Prairies and Lakes (Dallas, Fort Worth)
Lakes promising relaxation and exciting nightlife.

Pine forests (Nacogdoches, Tyler)
Pine forests, swamps, and civil war and civil rights history.

Gulf Coast (Houston, Galveston, Beaumont)
Islands, beaches and port cities.

South Texas Plains (San Antonio, Laredo)
Border area on the Rio Grande, Spanish missions.

Hill Country (Austin, Fredericksburg)
Edwards Plateau, rolling hills, rivers and the capital.

Big Bend Country (El Paso, Odessa)
Big Bend National Park, Mountains, Desert and Canyons.



1 Austin - Live Music Capital of the World. capital of the state. University of Texas (5th largest in the US by student population).
2 Dallas - one of Texas' most popular travel destinations.
3 El Paso - the largest city on the Mexican border.
4 Fort Worth - "where the west begins".
5 Houston - largest Texas city and home of NASA's Control Center.
6 San Antonio - famous for the Alamo and the River Walk district.
7 Amarillo - wide open city; on the edge of the Great Plains.
8 Arlington - Home of the Texas Rangers.
9 Beaumont - the birthplace of the modern oil industry is home to the Spindletop oil field.
10 Brownsville
11 Corpus Christi - famous Gulf Coast town.
12 Fort Stockton
13 Fredericksburg - German settlement, many festivals.
14 Galveston - important port city and tourist destination.
15 Laredo - largest inland port in the United States.
16 Lubbock - Largest city on the Texas Plains.
17 Midland–Odessa - twin cities shaped by oil.
18 Nacogdoches - "Cradle of Texas Liberty", many historic landmarks.
19 San Angelo


Other destinations

Big Bend National Park is located in southern Texas and shares a 1500 km border with Mexico. Desert-like landscapes cover most of the national park area. Yuccas are eye-catching plant species, and there are many types of cacti in Big Bend National Park.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Established on October 15, 1966, Guadalupe Mountains National Park encompasses part of the Guadalupe Mountains range in western Texas. The mountains form a stark contrast to the surrounding Chihuahuan Desert. Carlsbad Caverns National Park is also located 130 kilometers to the north in this southernmost foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The park features Texas' highest point, the 2,667-meter Guadalupe Peak, and a mountain called El Capitan, which has long been a landmark for travelers on an ancient trail later used by the Butterfield Overland stagecoaches. The remains of an old stagecoach station survive near the Pine Springs Visitor Center.



As in all states of the USA, English is also spoken in Texas. Spanish is also widely spoken, being the mother tongue of around 30% of the population.


Getting here

By plane
The easiest way to arrive is via Dallas/Fort Worth Airport (IATA: DFW), American Airlines hub, or Houston/George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IATA: IAH), United Airlines hub. Both are among the largest airports in the USA and are also served directly from Central Europe (e.g. Frankfurt am Main).

Other important airports, which are more accessible by domestic flights or connecting flights, are located in Austin (AUS) and San Antonio (SAT) and El Paso (ELP). The legacy airports of Dallas (DAL; Love Airport) and Houston (HOU; Hobby Airport) are used by budget airlines such as Southwest Airlines.

In view of the dimensions of Texas and the lack of fast train connections, one usually flies as close as possible to the desired destination, if necessary with transfer connections.

By train
Several long-distance Amtrak lines run through Texas: The Texas Eagle from Chicago via St. Louis to Dallas and San Antonio, also three times a week from Los Angeles via Tucson; the Sunset Limited from New Orleans or Los Angeles via Phoenix and Tucson to Houston and San Antonio; and the Heartland Flyer from Oklahoma City to Fort Worth.

By bus
All major cities in Texas are serviced by the Greyhound network buses. Megabus operates bus routes from Chicago to Dallas via St. Louis, Memphis and Little Rock, and from New Orleans to Houston and San Antonio.



Long distances within Texas can be covered by plane, for example from Dallas to Houston or San Antonio.

Long-distance trains run from the Dallas/Fort Worth area to San Antonio in South Texas, and from the Gulf Coast to the Big Bend region and the "Far West" of Texas. This mode of transport is particularly useful if you have enough time and want to see some of the countryside. From Dallas to San Antonio you drive z. B. 10 hours, from Houston to El Paso more than 13 hours. Train travel is not cheap, you should book as early as possible to secure savings.

All major and medium-sized cities are connected by long-distance buses. The largest provider is Greyhound. Between Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio, Megabus is an alternative. For example, driving from Dallas to Houston takes 4-5 hours and costs at best $17 (Megabus) or $21.50 (Greyhound); Houston to San Antonio about three to 3½ hours, from $10.

Incidentally, the car (rental car) is the means of choice to be individually mobile.



In Texas, the barbecue (BBQ for short) plays an important role in everyday life. Northeast of Austin, Taylor hosts the annual International Barbeque Cook Off, a celebration of creative BBQ food. Texas is also known for its chilli dishes. The state's cuisine has a Mexican influence, so chicken fried steak is a specialty.



Texas is located in the southern United States and is bordered by Oklahoma to the north, Arkansas to the northeast, Louisiana to the east, Mexico to the southwest, and New Mexico to the northwest.

Texas can be divided into three different climate zones: A zone in the west determined by a dry continental climate, a subtropical zone in the south and a maritime to temperate subtropical zone in the east.[3] The division into different sub-regions depends on the criteria according to which they are made. A simple breakdown by major regions distinguishes between East Texas, the Gulf of Mexico region, South Texas, West Texas, North Texas and Central Texas.

Landscape-oriented classifications tend to be finer - partly because of the many different landscapes and ecoregions that exist in Texas. Major landscape zones here are the East Texas Piney Wood or Forest region, the Gulf Coast Prairie region, the lower and upper Rio Grande valleys, the Trans-Pecos region to the southwest, the High Plains to the west with the two Llano sub-regions Estacado in the middle and Texas Panhandle to the north, and finally the Blackland Prairie and Edwards Plateau in the Texas heartland.

The landscape and the type of economic use change according to the outlined eco-zones: from the coast, which is bordered by lagoons for almost its entire length, a relatively flat area stretches 50 to 100 kilometers inland, some of which is very fertile and suitable for suitable for the cultivation of cotton, sugar cane and, in places, rice. Rising behind is an undulating hilly country, up to 200 miles wide, encompassing the entire north-east of the state and mostly covered by prairies. The northwestern part of the national territory is mountain and highland and consists in part of a 1300 meter high desert sandstone plateau (Llano Estacado).[5][6] The north, also called the Texas Panhandle, is very fertile and used for cattle ranching. Oil was mined throughout the south and west until the early 1980s.

Texas is rich in rivers, although few are navigable year-round. The Red River separates it from Oklahoma and Arkansas, the Sabine from Louisiana, and the Rio Grande from Mexico. Other important rivers are the Colorado River, the Pecos River and the Brazos River.

Houston is the largest city in the southeast of the state. The second largest city, San Antonio, is to the south, while Dallas, the third largest city, and Fort Worth are to the northeast. El Paso is on the extreme west and Corpus Christi is on the south on the Gulf Coast.

Texas is divided into 254 counties. These are most of the counties in a state in the USA.



The oldest datable finds of human artifacts in North America were made in Texas. At the Buttermilk Creek Complex in Bell County, certain stone implements and flakes have been discovered to lie between 15,500 and 13,200 years before present, underlying a Clovis culture find horizon.

Texas is located in two of the North American cultural areas, on the one hand prairies and plains, on the other hand the southwest. The Texan Paleo-Indians from 9200 to 6000 B.C. were related to the Clovis culture and that of Folsom. They left their mark primarily to the north, in present-day Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument. They made a living from hunting mammoths and bison (bison latifrons). The oldest finds are the Midland Man, found in Midland County in 1953, a female found near Leander in Williamson County in 1983, and a male and boy near Waco. Around 4000 BC BC petroglyphs appeared on the Pecos River. The first corn farmers lived around 1500 BC. on the lower Pecos.

Around 500 BC A sedentary culture developed in the east, which was under the influence of the Mississippi region, beyond the Rio Pecos the Mogollon culture dominated.

After 700 the bow began to displace the spear thrower (Atlatl) and pottery was made. The trade in obsidian reached as far north as the Rocky Mountains and in the south mainly as far as Teotihuacán. Between about 800 and 1500 the so-called Buried City existed, stone dwellings southeast of Perryton in Ochiltree County.

The Plains Village People, who lived around 1150 to 1450, are believed to be the ancestors of the Caddo, Pawnee and Wichita. They lived in permanently inhabited large villages, whose houses consisted of one, but also of up to a hundred rooms. Before 1500 they were driven westward, probably by Apaches.

When the Spaniards arrived, the cultures were divided into numerous ethnic groups of different composition. They included the Alabama, Apache, Atakapan, Bidai, Caddo, Coahuiltecan, Comanche, Cherokee, Choctaw, Coushatta, Hasinai, Jumano, Karankawa, Kickapoo, Kiowa, Tonkawa, and Wichita.

Today in Texas there are only three tribes recognized by the federal government in the 1960s and 1970s, the Alabama-Coushatta, formed from the merging of a group of the Alabama with the Coushatta, the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas (on the Rio Grande in the Maverick County), and the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo in El Paso and Socorro. There is also a South Texas subgroup of the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma. They had been expelled from the Republic of Texas to Mexico in 1839.

In 1519 the Spaniard Alonso Álvarez de Pineda was the first to map the Texas coast. This was also the beginning of the Spanish occupation of the territory. In 1528, the Spaniard Cabeza de Vaca was shipwrecked off the coast of what is now Galveston. A small group of survivors marched across the Indian lands to Mexico City and later spread the legend of the "Seven Cities of Gold." The Spanish adventurer Coronado, attracted by this story, traversed western Texas and parts of present-day New Mexico all the way up to Kansas. Although he did not find the golden cities, the rumor persisted through the centuries.

In the years that followed, many towns and, above all, missions emerged in today's state territory of Texas. In 1621, Spanish immigrants founded the town of Corpus Christi de la Isleta. El Paso followed in 1659.

A French attempt to colonize Texas territory occurred in 1685. Adventurer Robert Cavelier de La Salle sailed into Matagorda Bay and founded Fort St. Louis there. However, the settlement suffered greatly from Indian attacks, disease and the loss of important material through shipwrecks. Just two years later, La Salle was murdered by his own people while trying to get help. St. Louis was subsequently abandoned; Texas was Spanish again. However, the French were able to hold their own in the settlements in the Mississippi Delta. From 1686 to 1689, Alonso de Leon, governor of Coahuila, searched the French colony and found few survivors.

In the course of another Spanish expedition, several mission stations were founded. This is how the Mission of San Antonio de Valero came into being in 1718. Over 100 years later, this mission went down in history as The Alamo. In 1786 Pedro Vial found a path from San Antonio to Santa Fe, but it did not gain importance as a trade route.

In 1821 Texas became part of Mexico, which had become independent from Spain. Many adventurers from the United States gathered here during the Mexican War of Independence. In 1823, after North American Colonel Stephen F. Austin received permission from the central government of Mexico to settle in Texas with 300 families, he founded the city of San Felipe de Austín. The arrangement with Austin was very simple. He had to exchange his US citizenship for a Mexican one and was therefore subject to Mexican jurisdiction. More and more settlers from the north reached the Gulf of Mexico. It was the beginning of Anglo-American colonization, by 1835 about 45,000 people from the North had settled in Texas.

Tensions between American settlers on the one hand and the Mexicans and the Mexican government under President General Santa Anna on the other became increasingly acute when Mexico outlawed slavery. Because the United States wanted to buy the entire state of Texas, Mexican state authorities banned further immigration from the United States in 1830. Religious, cultural and political problems in particular seemed insurmountable. But new laws and regulations granted Texas settlers so many exemptions and freedoms that tensions eased and 1835 was a relatively quiet year at first. However, US land speculators fueled mistrust of Mexico. When Stephen F. Austin was arrested during a visit to Mexico City and spoke out against staying in Mexico due to personal disappointment, separatists saw their chance. After Austin's return, they declared Texas' secession from Mexico at a hastily called meeting. Shortly thereafter, Santa Anna sent troops (about 5,000 men) to Texas. The Texan War of Independence began on October 2, 1835 with the Battle of Gonzales.

Republic of Texas
On March 2, 1836, the Texans, relying on the support of the Democratic Party in the United States, which advocated the proliferation of slave states, proclaimed the independent Republic of Texas and appointed General Sam Houston as military commander-in-chief. The Mexican army under Santa Anna occupied San Felipe de Austín, the capital of Texas, in the course of hostilities.

On March 6, 1836, the mission city of Alamo was taken by the Mexicans after a 13-day siege. All of the approximately 190 defenders were killed, including Davy Crockett, James Bowie and William Travis.

The approximately 1,600-strong Mexican troops were surprisingly defeated by the Texans under Sam Houston on April 21, 1836 in the Battle of San Jacinto. Mexican President General Santa Anna was captured. In the years that followed, the Mexican government attempted to reverse Texan independence through further military expeditions, but failed.

Texas was recognized as an independent republic by France and the United Kingdom on November 23, 1839 and November 14, 1841, respectively. Sam Houston became the first president of the independent nation and republic of Texas. Stephen F. Austin became Secretary of State for his state, but died of lung disease just two months after taking office.

Domestically, the young Republic of Texas was divided into two camps. A group led by Sam Houston advocated rapid accession to the United States. The other group, led by Mirabeau B. Lamar, the second President of the Republic, wished to avoid such a move. Instead, an expansion of the Republic of Texas to the Pacific was considered. Texas was supposed to form a kind of buffer state between Mexico and the United States. Finally, the group around President Houston, who had held this office with interruptions until shortly before the merger with the USA and also became governor of the US state from 1856 to 1861, prevailed.

US state
The country was annexed by the US on February 19, 1845; the US Congress approved the annexation on March 1, 1845, and on December 29, 1845 voted to admit Texas into the Union. The Mexican-American War broke out in 1846, which ended on February 2, 1848 with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Mexico renounced its claims to Texas and the area between the Rio Grande and the Nueces River, but the United States government, by resolution of September 7, 1850, ceded part of that area to New Mexico, which had since been annexed to the Union as a territory. Texas received $10 million in compensation for this.

The victory of Abraham Lincoln, known for his strict principles on the slave issue, in the presidential election of November 6, 1860, triggered the secession of the slave-holding southern states from the Union, beginning with South Carolina on December 20, 1860. Texas, whose declaration of resignation resolved at a convention in Austin on February 1, 1861, was approved by referendum on February 23 and thus came into force on March 2, was the seventh and last southern state to sign up before Abraham Lincoln took office on March 4. March and the beginning of the Civil War left the Union and joined the Confederate States of America founded in February 1861 (see also: Texas Germans in the American Civil War). After the end of the Civil War in 1865, US President Andrew Johnson installed Unionist Andrew Jackson Hamilton as provisional governor of Texas. The process of Reconstruction ended for Texas on March 30, 1870, with the reinstatement of Texas representatives in the United States Congress.

To this day, the flawed modern myth persists that Texas is the only US state that has the right to leave the United States at will because it was admitted to the Union by treaty.

German immigrants
German immigrants have significantly shaped the US state. Caroline Ernst and her family were the first German settlers. An enthusiastic letter from her father to Germany in 1832 was one of the triggers for German involvement in Texas.

Organized German immigration began in the 1830s in 1834 and is largely due to the Giessen Emigration Society and the Association for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas, also known as the Mainzer Adelsverein. After the March Revolution of 1848, some of the Forty-Eighters followed.

At the beginning of the 20th century, about 100,000 Texans were German speakers. Most settled in central Texas in the so-called Texas Hill Country, the German Hills in the area of Austin and San Antonio. Early settlements were the Latin Settlements, founded by German emigrants. Above all, the influence of the First World War led to a significant decline in the German language. The German-English mixed dialect is also called Texas German.

The influence of German immigrants can be seen in place names such as New Braunfels (founded in 1845 by Carl Prinz zu Solms-Braunfels, a member of the Mainzer Adelsverein) and the name of the Schlitterbahn water park. In New Braunfels, about 40 miles south of the capital Austin, the Wurstfest is celebrated every year. In the district of Gruene, founded in 1872 by Henry D. Gruene, is the oldest surviving dance hall in Texas, the Gruene Hall. It is now a historic venue for live music and dance events.

Also near Fredericksburg (founded in 1846 and named "Friedrichsburg" in honor of Prince Friedrich of Prussia (1794-1863), another member of the Mainzer Adelsverein) is a German colony. The local chamber of commerce greets visitors on the Internet with "Welcome", and some restaurant menus are bilingual.

Also known here was the settlement of Luckenbach, which was mentioned in a song performed by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson entitled Luckenbach, Texas. The song reached #1 on the US country charts. Up to 20,000 Texans still speak German today.

Sorbs from Lusatia also emigrated to Texas in significant numbers in the middle of the 19th century and founded, among other things, the settlement of Serbin there under the leadership of Jan Kilian. Although the inhabitants have not spoken Sorbian for a long time, e.g. the Texas Wendish Heritage Museum and a Wendish Heritage Society remember this chapter of Texas history.



Constitutional law
In Texas law, the sunset clause applies.

Electoral College
Texas has had a total of 38 electors in the Electoral College since 2012, and the number has increased in the past as the Texan population grew faster than that of the entire United States.

Political landscape
Politically, Texas has been a Republican stronghold since the 1970s. Only the Democratic presidential candidates John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Hubert H. Humphrey and Jimmy Carter have been able to win in Texas since the early 1960s. After that, however, the Republicans in Texas usually won by a clear margin. Today's strongholds of the Democrats are the counties between San Antonio and the Mexican border as well as the counties in the El Paso and Houston area.

Texas is now considered the stronghold of American conservatism in Europe. From 1874 to 1979, as part of the Solid South, all governors belonged to the Democratic Party, which was then pursuing conservative and racist politics in the southern states. This only changed with the civil rights movement, when the Dixiecrats switched to the Republicans and the former Abraham Lincoln party thus became attractive to racist voters. Presidents George W. Bush and his father George HW Bush made careers in Texas. In the USA, Texas is viewed as conservative through and through, but states such as Mississippi and Alabama still rank well ahead of Texas in the internal view.

Since the mid-2000s, however, a demographic change has been looming in Texas, which is why it can no longer be clearly assigned to the Republicans. While Texas-born George W. Bush was more than 20 percent ahead of his Democratic competitors in both 2000 and 2004—even Barack Obama was more than 10 percent behind his rivals John McCain and Mitt Romney in 2008 and 2012—this has changed this in the recent past. Donald Trump was just nine percentage points ahead of Hillary Clinton in 2016, and four years later his lead over Joe Biden had shrunk to five and a half percentage points. Of all the states in which he received a majority in 2020, he only narrowly won in Florida and North Carolina. Due to this development, Texas is to be classified as a swing state in future elections, which will be as hard fought as Florida. Since the state has the second highest number of residents and thus electors after California, it is essential for the Republicans to win presidential elections. The last Republican to win a presidential election without winning a majority in Texas was Richard Nixon in 1968.

death penalty
In both the US and Europe, Texas stands out for its rigorous use of the death penalty. Unlike other states, the governor of Texas cannot grant pardons to prisoners himself. A pardon by the governor is only possible if the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles recommends a pardon. If the committee says no, the governor can only delay the execution for 30 days. When it comes to the number of foreclosures, Texas takes the top position in the USA; from 1976 to September 2015, 528 people were executed in Texas, accounting for 37% of all executions in the US.

children without health insurance
In no other state did so many children live without health insurance in 2010 (14%).

Hair waivers in schools
As of 2021, half of Texas school districts have policies such as male students not having long hair.

Corporal punishment
Corporal punishment of students is allowed through the so-called paddle. Texas consistently ranks among the top five US states where most paddling is practiced.

Protection of unborn children
In 2021, Abbott signed the Heartbeat Bill. A Texas law passed by the Republican majority in the state legislature that limits the right to an abortion to the time before a fetus's heartbeat begins (which begins around 6 weeks of pregnancy). The law included a rule that citizens could sue anyone who assisted a pregnant woman to have an illegal abortion in Texas. If the lawsuit were successful, the plaintiffs would receive a bounty of up to $10,000 for each illegal abortion borne by the defendant or entity. Through this civil law regulation, the decision Roe v. Wade of the United States Supreme Court to be circumvented. Since these 2022 by the decision Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization was suspended, imprisonment is again threatened. Abortion before the heartbeat begins is also a punishable offense. Abortion is only punishable if the life of the pregnant woman is at risk.