History of Texas: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Trenton Judson

Trenton is an assistant English professor with a Master's degree in English.

Texas is known for its big land, its big football stadium, and its BIG history. In this lesson, learn the history of how Texas became the biggest state in the lower United States.

Texas: The Biggest State in the Lower 48

What do armadillos, former President George W. Bush, and The Alamo all have in common? That's right! They all come from Texas.

Texas is the largest state in the continental U.S. It is bordered by Mexico to the southwest and the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast.
map of Texas

Texas has a history of liking things big. The cowboys wear big hats. Their football stadium is the biggest in the country and it also has the world's biggest TV! They even have the world's largest pecan. Maybe it's because Texas is the biggest state in the lower 48 United States, only second in size to Alaska.

How Did Texas Start?

There were a lot of people who came to Texas. First were the Native Americans, then the Spanish, followed by the French, and then the Spanish again. Eventually, Texas became part of independent Mexico in 1821.

Americans Begin to Settle in Texas

Even though Mexico now ruled Texas, the Mexicans wanted people - including Americans - to settle there. Stephen Austin was the first major American settler in Texas. He brought a group of families to Texas to live, and they loved Texas, but they started to have trouble with the Mexican government. That trouble got worse and worse until it started a war.

Texans are proud of Stephen Austin.
Statue of Stephen Austin

The Battle of the Alamo

The Battle of the Alamo, also known simply as 'The Alamo', was one of the most famous battles in Texas history. A small group of Texans, including famous mountain man and congressman Davey Crocket, took on a large group of Mexican soldiers. The Texans fought the Mexican soldiers in a standoff that lasted 13 days. The Texans refused to give up. Eventually the Mexican soldiers won, but many consider this heroic stand to be the reason that Texas later won its independence.

The Alamo is where a small group of Texans fought for Independence

Texas Declares its Independence and Wins the Fight

I'm sure you have heard the about the Declaration of Independence that was written in 1776 for America. It's the reason we celebrate the 4th of July and get to see fireworks. But did you know that Texas had its own Declaration of Independence? It was written on March 2, 1836.

With this declaration and big dose of pride, General Sam Houston led the Texans against the Mexican army one last time on April 20, 1836 in the Battle of San Jacinto. He finally defeated the Mexican army and captured their General, Santa Anna. Texas was finally free, and became its own country, the Republic of Texas. Sam Houston became its first president in September of the same year.

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