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Texas, one of the West South Central states of the United States. It borders Mexico on the southwest and the Gulf of Mexico on the southeast. To the west is New Mexico, to the north and northeast lie Oklahoma and Arkansas, and Louisiana bounds Texas on the east. Austin is the capital of Texas. Houston is the largest city.
Texas is the size of Ohio, Indiana, and all the New England and Middle Atlantic states combined, and its vast area encompasses forests, mountains, deserts and dry plains, and a long, humid, subtropical coastal lowland. Texas's wealth of mineral resources is almost unequaled among the other states. Its rapid economic development stimulated by these resources and its vast size have made Texas an American legend. Oil wells, chemicals, ranches, and cattle have played a major part in that legend.
For more than 100 years, Texas was part of the Spanish Empire in America. When Mexico gained its independence from Spain in 1821, Texas was for a while joined to Mexico. The section from San Antonio southward retains the flavor of the Hispano-Mexican period in its architecture, foods, and festivals.
The name Texas is derived from tejas or teyas, the rendering by the Spanish in the mid-16th century of the Caddo people's word for friends or allies. It gradually became used to denote the region north of the Río Grande and east of New Mexico, and was officially applied as Texas when the area was organized as a republic in 1836. Texas was an independent republic until it joined the Union on December 29, 1845, as the 28th state. Its single-star flag dates from its independent period and has given Texas the nickname the Lone Star State.
IIPHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY Texas is the second largest state in the nation, after Alaska, and has an area of 692,244 sq km (267,277 sq mi), including 12,844 sq km (4959 sq mi) of inland water and 1046 sq km (404 sq mi) of coastal water over which it has jurisdiction. Extending for about 1240 km (about 770 mi) from east to west and for about 1290 km (about 800 mi) from north to south, the state comprises about 7 percent of the land area of the United States. The mean elevation is about 500 m (1700 ft).
ANatural Regions Texas can be divided into four natural regions, or physiographic provinces: the Gulf Coastal Plain, the Central Lowland, the Great Plains, and the Basin and Range province.

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