Texas History

Texas is a state full of history, culture, and experience. Although the area where Texas resides has been around for several millenniums, the first recorded history of the state began in 1519 when the European settlers came to the region. These settlers were Spanish conquistadors who eventually established colonies and maintained control of the territory for some time.

Six Flags of Texas

Although the Spaniards were the first settlers recorded to discover Texas in 1519, there were several countries that claimed the territory between 1519 and 1865. The Six Flags of Texas is a phrase to describe the six countries that governed Texas from 1519 to Present day. These countries include:

  • Spain: 1519-1685 and 1690-1821
  • France: 1685-1690 for Fort Saint Louis and 1800-1803 as French Louisiana
  • Mexico: 1821-1835
  • The Republic of Texas: 1836-1845
  • The United States of America: 1845-1861 and 1865-Present
  • The Confederate States of America: 1861-1865

French Colonization


In addition to Spanish settlers, French settlers made their journey to Texas and established a colony in 1685. However, the colony was unsuccessful due to conflict and battles with Native Americans which eventually destroyed the colony. It was also unsuccessful because the Spanish settlers continued to build more and more settlements in Texas due to the threat of the new French colony.

History Overview

Native Americans and Settlers:

Before the arrival of Spanish conquistadors, Texas was populated by several Native American tribes. Once the settlers arrived, there was immediate conflict followed by battles. Native Americans relentlessly fought against the Spanish settlers to prevent expansion and preserve their land.

Battles for Independence:

Texas has experienced a long history of battles for independence. The settlers in Texas, unhappy with the rules set by the Mexican government. Texas settlers were unhappy for four main reasons:

  1. Mexico planned to abolish slavery, which would negatively impact the cotton economy and would eventually lead to a diminished economy.
  2. Mexico abolished immigration in Texas. This infuriated many settlers because most of them had loved ones in other countries.
  3. The Mexican government desired more unity, taking away the autonomy of Texas.
  4. Mexico enacted heavy duties on foreign goods.

Because of these four main reasons, Texas fought to secede from Mexico and became the Republic of Texas. After several battles, including the Battle of Gonzales, Battle of Goliad, Siege of Bexar and Battle of the Alamo, Texans gained their independence as the Republic of Texas in 1836.

Wars in Texas:

One of the most prominent wars that Texas was involved in was the Civil War. Other important wars revolve around the Texas-Indian wars which took places in the 19th century between the Texas settlers and the Southern Plains Indians.

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Texas Native American History


Prior to European colonization in Texas, the land was populated by several Native American tribes whose ancestors resided in the territory for thousands of years. Although the tribes are not as prominent as a population in Texas as compared to the past, there are still some Native American tribes that exist in Texas today.

Indian Tribes:

Although the earliest recorded history of Texas was in 1519, when the settlers arrived, Native American tribes have been around for many years before that. The original tribes that inhabited the Texas territory include:

  • Apache tribes
  • Bidai tribe
  • Coahuiltecan and Carrizo tribes
  • Caddo tribe
  • Comanche tribe
  • Jumano, Suma, Piro, and other eastern Pueblos
  • Karankawa tribe
  • Kiowa tribe
  • Kitsai tribe
  • Tawakoni tribe
  • Tonkawa tribe
  • Wichita tribe

After the settlers arrived and established colonies, the following tribes were pushed into Texas:

  • Alabama tribe
  • Cherokee tribe
  • Coushatta tribe
  • Kickapoo tribe
  • Tigua Pueblo tribe

Brief History of Original Texas Tribes:

  • Apache tribes: These Native American tribes migrated to Texas around 1528 from Canada. They spent years migrating further south to avoid Spanish explorers, seeking refugee help from other Native American tribes.
  • Bidai tribe: This Native American tribe resided in southeastern Texas territory since 1691 at the latest. Not many members of this tribe survived largely due to an unexpected epidemic.
  • Coahuiltecan tribes: This tribe inhabited southern Texas, near the Gulf of Mexico. Many members suffered from disease, slavery, or death resulting from war.
  • Caddo tribes: The Caddo resided in forests of east Texas and consisted of two main tribes, the Kadohadacho and the Hasinai. Texas’ inherited its well-known name from the Caddo tribal language.
  • Comanche tribe: This tribe was very important to the Native American history of Texas. They inhabited the Southern Plains. They were warriors and also traders with the Spanish settlers.
  • Jumano tribe: The Jumano tribe inhabited central Texas and were known for being buffalo hunters and traders. This Native American tribe mysteriously disappeared in the 1700s.
  • Karankawa tribe: There is not much known about the Karankawa tribe and their prior history has been lost.  They lived near the Gulf of Mexico, and much of what is known about them is myth.
  • Kiowa tribe: This Native American tribe spent their lives hunting and gathering. They inhabited the Texas panhandle and allied with the Comanche.
  • Kitsai tribe: Residing in Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana, the Kitsai tribe who aggressively fought against the Texas Rangers.
  • Tawakoni tribe: This Native American tribe migrated to Texas and Oklahoma and was part of the Wichita tribe. The Tawakoni allied with other tribes to fight against the Spanish settlers.
  • Tonkawa tribe: The Tonkawa tribe spent most of their time hunting buffalo and making use of their hides. They were suspected to have inhabited the northeastern parts of Texas.
  • Wichita tribe: These Native Americans were made up of several bands of tribes such as the Wacos, Tawakonis, Taovayas, Tawehash, Yscani, and Kichai. This tribe moved to Texas in the 1700s due to being pushed from their homeland by other Native Americans.


Texas battles between Native Americans and Settlers:

During the 1800s, there were several conflicts and battles between Texas Native Americans and the Spanish settlers. This then led to several battles with other Europeans and the Anglo-Americans.

Today’s Texas Reservations:

In Texas, there are three main Indian Reservations that exist today. These reservations are the Alabama-Coushatta Reservation, the Tigua Reservation, and the Kickapoo Reservation.

Alabama-Coushatta Reservation:

This reservation is 4,593 acres and is located in Polk County. Today, they host several special events, offer recreational activities, and welcome anyone, even if you are a non-native.

Tigua Reservation:

Located in El Paso County, this reservation is 26 acres. They also welcome non-natives and hosts many special events.

Kickapoo Reservation:

The Kickapoo Reservation is located in Maverick County. Although visitors are not typically welcomed into the reservation without an escort, they are allowed to enter in the casino near the reservation.

Fight for Independence


Texas’ unique name originated from the Caddo word, “tejas.” This Native American word means “friends” or “allies.” Because Texas was a province of Mexico, they were then named Coahuila y Tejas due to the joining between Coahuila and Texas prior to Texas independence. Coahuila y Tejas was a constituent state divided into three districts, Béxar (Texas), Monclova (northern Coahuila), and Río Grande Saltillo (southern Coahuila).

Texas Revolution

Because the colonist residing in Texas were unhappy due to the conflicting cultures and political views of the Mexican government, they made the decision to fight for their independence. The Battle of Gonzales in 1835 marks the first fight that kick-started the Texas Revolution. Battles for independence thereafter include:

  • The Battle of Goliad: Only a few days after the conflict, there was the Battle of Goliad. Texans viciously fought against Mexican soldiers and won the battle.
  • The Battle of Concepcion: Although very outnumbered in the Battle of Concepcion in San Antonio, Texas won the conflict against the Mexican soldiers. Thus advancing their independence.
  • Siege of Bexar: This was an important battle because Texans attacked Mexicans in San Antonio and with this victory, gained most of Texas.
  • Battle of the Alamo: The Battle of the Alamo is perhaps one of the most memorable and important battles in the Texas Revolution. This event lasted 13 days and resulted in the death of all Sam Houston’s Alamo Texan soldiers, including Alamo co-commanders, James Bowie and William B. Travis.
  • Battle of San Jacinto: This battle defined Texas independence from Mexico. It was led by Sam Houston and won in April of 1836.

Texas Declaration of Independence


After the long and brutal battles between Mexicans and Texans, the Texas Declaration of Independence was officially signed on March 2, 1836. 59 appointed delegates from each Texan settlement, including Sam Houston, signed the Declaration of Independence. Once the document was signed, Coahuila y Tejas became the Republic of Texas and Sam Houston became the president.

Republic of Texas Invasions

Rafael Vasquez Invasion:

Naturally, Mexico was not fond of the new-found independence of Texas. Due to this conflict, Rafael Vasquez, along with his army, attempted to invade Texas on March 2, 1842. However, the Mexican Army ended up withdrawing.

Battle of Salado Creek: 

This battle was a turning point because it was the last of the Mexican invasions in 1842. The Texas Rangers fought against the Mexican army during this battle and won. The Mexican Army then retreated.

Texas Rangers:



The Texas Rangers initially began in 1823. Due to several Native American attacks on settlers, Stephen F. Austin arranged for 10 “rangers” to protect settlers and fight against the Indians. Years later, the Texas Rangers because a formal establishment and eventually led a group of over 300 men.

Texas Annexation:

December 29, 1845, marks the calendar when the Republic of Texas was admitted into the United States of America as the 28th state.

Civil War:

In 1861, Texas declared U.S. secession and became a part of the Confederate States. Sam Houston, did not want to succeed from Texas. He was opposed to slavery and believed that succeeding from the Union would do more harm than good. However, Texas continued to succeed from the Union due to the threatened economy along with the desire to govern their own state. During the Civil War, Texas did not partake in any significant battles, however, they did provide supplies and goods to the Confederate soldiers. The Confederate States lost the Civil war and the federal troops began restoration. Restoration in Texas began June 19, 1865.

Contact Brian S. Curry with RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs and Collin County Homes if you’re interested in learning more about living in Collin, Denton or Dallas County. He can assist in scheduling a viewing to see a home or sell your existing home. He is a RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs real estate agent and would be happy to help you find the perfect home or sell your existing home.

Disclaimer: Information as of December 23, 2016. All of the information is deemed reliable, however, some information including dates, statistics, and quotes may be subject to change.