History is the study of the past as it is described in written documents. Events occurring before written record are considered prehistory, it is an umbrella term that relates to past events as well as the memory, collection, organization and interpretation of information about these events. Scholars who write about history are called historians. History can refer to the academic discipline which uses a narrative to examine and analyse a sequence of past events, objectively determine the patterns of cause and effect that determine them. Historians sometimes debate the nature of history and its usefulness by discussing the study of the discipline as an end in itself and as a way of providing "perspective" on the problems of the present. Stories common to a particular culture, but not supported by external sources, are classified as cultural heritage or legends, because they do not show the "disinterested investigation" required of the discipline of history. Herodotus, a 5th-century BC Greek historian is considered within the Western tradition to be the "father of history", along with his contemporary Thucydides, helped form the foundations for the modern study of human history.
Their works continue to be read today, the gap between the culture-focused Herodotus and the military-focused Thucydides remains a point of contention or approach in modern historical writing. In East Asia, a state chronicle, the Spring and Autumn Annals was known to be compiled from as early as 722 BC although only 2nd-century BC texts have survived. Ancient influences have helped spawn variant interpretations of the nature of history which have evolved over the centuries and continue to change today; the modern study of history is wide-ranging, includes the study of specific regions and the study of certain topical or thematical elements of historical investigation. History is taught as part of primary and secondary education, the academic study of history is a major discipline in university studies; the word history comes from the Ancient Greek ἱστορία, meaning'inquiry','knowledge from inquiry', or'judge'. It was in that sense; the ancestor word ἵστωρ is attested early on in Homeric Hymns, the Athenian ephebes' oath, in Boiotic inscriptions.
The Greek word was borrowed into Classical Latin as historia, meaning "investigation, research, description, written account of past events, writing of history, historical narrative, recorded knowledge of past events, narrative". History was borrowed from Latin into Old English as stær, but this word fell out of use in the late Old English period. Meanwhile, as Latin became Old French, historia developed into forms such as istorie and historie, with new developments in the meaning: "account of the events of a person's life, account of events as relevant to a group of people or people in general, dramatic or pictorial representation of historical events, body of knowledge relative to human evolution, narrative of real or imaginary events, story", it was from Anglo-Norman that history was borrowed into Middle English, this time the loan stuck. It appears in the 13th-century Ancrene Wisse, but seems to have become a common word in the late 14th century, with an early attestation appearing in John Gower's Confessio Amantis of the 1390s: "I finde in a bok compiled | To this matiere an old histoire, | The which comth nou to mi memoire".
In Middle English, the meaning of history was "story" in general. The restriction to the meaning "the branch of knowledge that deals with past events. With the Renaissance, older senses of the word were revived, it was in the Greek sense that Francis Bacon used the term in the late 16th century, when he wrote about "Natural History". For him, historia was "the knowledge of objects determined by space and time", that sort of knowledge provided by memory. In an expression of the linguistic synthetic vs. analytic/isolating dichotomy, English like Chinese now designates separate words for human history and storytelling in general. In modern German and most Germanic and Romance languages, which are solidly synthetic and inflected, the same word is still used to mean both'history' and'story'. Historian in the sense of a "researcher of history" is attested from 1531. In all European languages, the substantive history is still used to mean both "what happened with men", "the scholarly study of the happened", the latter sense sometimes distinguished with a capital letter, or the word historiography.
The adjective historical is attested from 1661, historic from 1669. Historians write in the context of their own time, with due regard to the current dominant ideas of how to interpret the past, sometimes write to provide lessons for their own society. In the words of Benedetto Croce, "All history is contemporary history". History is facilitated by the formation of a "true discourse of past" through the production of narrative and analysis of past events relating to the human race; the modern discipline of history is dedicated to the institutional production of this discourse. All events that are remembered and preserved in some authentic form constitute the historical record; the task of histori
Spanish Texas was one of the interior provinces of the Spanish colonial Viceroyalty of New Spain from 1690 until 1821. Spain had claimed ownership of the territory in 1519, which comprised part of the present-day U. S. state of Texas, including the land north of the Medina and Nueces Rivers, but did not attempt to colonize the area until after locating evidence of the failed French colony of Fort Saint Louis in 1689. In 1690 Alonso de León escorted several Catholic missionaries to east Texas, where they established the first mission in Texas; when native tribes resisted the Spanish invasion of their homeland, the missionaries returned to Mexico, abandoning Texas for the next two decades. The Spanish returned to southeastern Texas in 1716, establishing several missions and a presidio to maintain a buffer between Spanish territory and the French colonial Louisiana district of New France. Two years in 1718, the first civilian settlement in Texas, San Antonio, originated as a way station between the missions and the next-nearest existing settlement.
The new town soon became a target for raids by the Lipan Apache. The raids continued periodically for three decades, until Spanish settlers and the Lipan Apache peoples made peace in 1749, but the treaty angered the enemies of the Apache, resulted in raids on Spanish settlements by the Comanche and Hasinai tribes. Fear of Indian attacks and the remoteness of the area from the rest of the Viceroyalty discouraged European settlers from moving to Texas, it remained one of the provinces least-populated by immigrants. The threat of attacks did not decrease until 1785, when Spain and the Comanche peoples made a peace agreement; the Comanche tribe assisted in defeating the Lipan Apache and Karankawa tribes, who had continued to cause difficulties for settlers. An increase in the number of missions in the province allowed for peaceful Indian reductions of other tribes, by the end of the 18th century only a few of the nomadic hunting and gathering tribes in the area had not converted to Roman Catholicism.
France formally relinquished its claim to its region of Texas in 1762, when it ceded French Louisiana to the Spanish Empire. The inclusion of Spanish Louisiana into New Spain meant that Tejas lost its significance as a buffer province; the easternmost Texas settlements were disbanded, with the population relocating to San Antonio. However, in 1799 Spain gave Louisiana back to France, in 1803 Napoléon Bonaparte sold the territory to the United States of America as part of the Louisiana Purchase, U. S. President Thomas Jefferson insisted that the purchase included all land to the east of the Rocky Mountains and to the north of the Rio Grande, although its large southwestern expanse lay within New Spain; the territorial ambiguity remained unresolved until the Adams–Onís Treaty compromise in 1819, when Spain ceded Spanish Florida to the United States in return for recognition of the Sabine River as the eastern boundary of Spanish Texas and western boundary of the Missouri Territory. The United States relinquished their claims on the vast Spanish territories west of the Sabine River and extending into Santa Fe de Nuevo México province.
During the Mexican War of Independence of 1810 to 1821 Texas experienced much turmoil. Rebels overthrew the Spanish Governor Manuel María de Salcedo in 1810, but he persuaded his jailer to release him and to assist him in organizing a counter-coup. Three years the Republican Army of the North, consisting of Indians and of citizens of the United States, overthrew the Spanish government in Tejas and executed Salcedo in 1813; the Spanish responded brutally, by 1820 fewer than 2000 Hispanic citizens remained in Texas. The Mexican independence movement forced Spain to relinquish its control of New Spain in 1821, with Texas becoming in 1824 part of the state of Coahuila y Tejas within the newly-formed Mexico in the period in Texas history known as Mexican Texas; the Spanish left a deep mark on Texas. Their European livestock caused mesquite to spread inland, while farmers tilled and irrigated the land, changing the landscape forever; the Spanish language provided the names for many of the rivers and counties that exist, Spanish architectural concepts still flourish as of 2018.
Although Texas adopted much of the Anglo-American legal system, many Spanish legal practices survived, including the concepts of a homestead exemption and of community property. Spanish Texas was a colonial province within the northeastern mainland region of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. On its southern edge, Tejas was bordered by the province of Coahuila; the boundary between the provinces was set at the line formed by the Medina River and the Nueces River, 100 miles northeast of the Rio Grande. On the east, Texas bordered La Louisiane. Although Spain claimed that the Red River formed the boundary between the two, France insisted that the border was the Sabine River, 45 miles to the west. After Mexican independence from Spain, it was within Coahuila y Tejas from 1824 to 1835. Although Alonso Álvarez de Pineda claimed Texas for Spain in 1519, the area was ignored by Spain until the late seventeenth century. In 1685, the Spanish learned that France had established a colony in the area between New Spain and Florida.
Believing the French colony was a threat to Spanish mines and shipping routes, Spanish King Carlos II's Council of War recommended that "Spain needed swift action'to remove this thorn, thrust into the heart of America. The greater the delay the greater the difficulty of attainment.'" Having no idea where to find the French colony, the Spanish launched ten expeditions—both land and sea—over the next
Waco is a city in central Texas and is the county seat of McLennan County, United States. It is situated along I-35, halfway between Dallas and Austin; the city had a 2010 population of 124,805. The 2017 US Census population estimate is 136,436 The Waco Metropolitan Statistical Area consists of McLennan and Falls Counties, which had a 2010 population of 234,906. Falls County was added to the Waco MSA in 2013; the 2017 US Census population estimate for the Waco MSA is 268,696. Indigenous peoples occupied areas along the river for thousands of years. In historic times, the area of present-day Waco was occupied by the Wichita Indian tribe known as the "Waco". In 1824, Thomas M. Duke was sent to explore the area after the Waco people tried to defend themselves and their lands from settlers, his report to Stephen F. Austin, described the Waco village: This town is situated on the West Bank of the River, they have a spring as cold as ice itself. All we want is some Sugar to have Ice Toddy, they have about 400 acres planted in corn, beans and melons and that tended in good order.
I think. After further violence due to settler incursion, Austin halted an attempt to destroy their village in retaliation. In 1825, he made a treaty with them; the Waco were pushed out of the region, settling north near present-day Fort Worth. In 1872, they were forced onto a reservation in Oklahoma with other Wichita tribes. In 1902, the Waco became official US citizens. Neil McLennan settled in an area near the South Bosque River in 1838. Jacob De Cordova bought McLennan's property and hired a former Texas Ranger and surveyor named George B. Erath to inspect the area. In 1849, Erath designed the first block of the city. Property owners wanted to name the city Lamartine, but Erath convinced them to name the area Waco Village, after the Indians who had lived there. In March 1849, Shapley Ross built the first house in Waco, a double-log cabin, on a bluff overlooking the springs, his daughter Kate was the first settler child to be born in Waco. In 1866, Waco's leading citizens embarked on an ambitious project to build the first bridge to span the wide Brazos River.
They formed the Waco Bridge Company to build the 475-foot brick Waco Suspension Bridge, completed in 1870. The company commissioned a firm owned by John Augustus Roebling in Trenton, New Jersey, to supply the cables and steelwork for the bridge, contracted with Mr. Thomas M. Griffith, a civil engineer based in New York, for the supervisory engineering work on the bridge; the economic effects of the Waco bridge were large. The cowboys and cattle-herds following the Chisholm Trail north, crossed the Brazos River at Waco; some chose to pay the Suspension Bridge toll. The population of Waco grew as immigrants now had a safe crossing for their horse-drawn carriages and wagons. Since 1971, the bridge has been open only to pedestrian traffic and is in the National Register of Historic Places. In the late 19th century, a red-light district called the "Reservation" grew up in Waco, prostitution was regulated by the city; the Reservation was suppressed in the early 20th century. In 1885, the soft drink Dr Pepper was invented in Waco at Morrison's Old Corner Drug Store.
In 1845, Baylor University was founded in Texas. It merged with Waco University, becoming an integral part of the city; the university's Strecker Museum was the oldest continuously operating museum in the state until it closed in 2003, the collections were moved to the new Mayborn Museum Complex. In 1873, AddRan College was founded by brothers Randolph Clark in Fort Worth; the school moved to Waco in 1895, changing its name to Add-Ran Christian University and taking up residence in the empty buildings of Waco Female College. Add-Ran changed its name to Texas Christian University in 1902 and left Waco after the school's main building burned down in 1910. TCU was offered $200,000 by the city of Fort Worth to relocate there. In the 1890s, William Cowper Brann published the successful Iconoclast newspaper in Waco. One of his targets was Baylor University. Brann revealed that Baylor officials had been importing South American children recruited by missionaries and making house-servants out of them. Brann was shot in the back by a Baylor supporter.
Brann wheeled, drew his pistol, killed Davis. Brann was helped home by his friends, died there of his wounds. In 1894, the first Cotton Palace fair and exhibition center was built to reflect the dominant contribution of the agricultural cotton industry in the region. Since the end of the Civil War, cotton had been cultivated in the Brazos and Bosque valleys, Waco had become known nationwide as a top producer. Over the next 23 years, the annual exposition would welcome over eight million attendees; the opulent building which housed the month-long exhibition was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in 1910. In 1931, the exposition fell prey to the Great Depression, the building was torn down. However, the annual Cotton Palace Pageant continues, hosted in late April in conjunction with the Brazos River Festival. On September 15, 1896, "The Crash" took place about 15 miles north of Waco. "The Crash at Crush" was a publicity stunt done by the Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad company, featuring two locomotives intentionally set to a head-on collision.
Meant to be a family fun event with food and entertainment, the Crash turned deadly when both boilers exploded simul
Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U. S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas to the southwest, while the Gulf of Mexico is to the southeast. Houston is the most populous city in Texas and the fourth largest in the U. S. while San Antonio is the second-most populous in the state and seventh largest in the U. S. Dallas–Fort Worth and Greater Houston are the fourth and fifth largest metropolitan statistical areas in the country, respectively. Other major cities include Austin, the second-most populous state capital in the U. S. and El Paso. Texas is nicknamed "The Lone Star State" to signify its former status as an independent republic, as a reminder of the state's struggle for independence from Mexico; the "Lone Star" can be found on the Texan state seal.
The origin of Texas's name is from the word taysha. Due to its size and geologic features such as the Balcones Fault, Texas contains diverse landscapes common to both the U. S. Southern and Southwestern regions. Although Texas is popularly associated with the U. S. southwestern deserts, less than 10% of Texas's land area is desert. Most of the population centers are in areas of former prairies, grasslands and the coastline. Traveling from east to west, one can observe terrain that ranges from coastal swamps and piney woods, to rolling plains and rugged hills, the desert and mountains of the Big Bend; the term "six flags over Texas" refers to several nations. Spain was the first European country to claim the area of Texas. France held a short-lived colony. Mexico controlled the territory until 1836 when Texas won its independence, becoming an independent Republic. In 1845, Texas joined the union as the 28th state; the state's annexation set off a chain of events that led to the Mexican–American War in 1846.
A slave state before the American Civil War, Texas declared its secession from the U. S. in early 1861, joined the Confederate States of America on March 2nd of the same year. After the Civil War and the restoration of its representation in the federal government, Texas entered a long period of economic stagnation. Four major industries shaped the Texas economy prior to World War II: cattle and bison, cotton and oil. Before and after the U. S. Civil War the cattle industry, which Texas came to dominate, was a major economic driver for the state, thus creating the traditional image of the Texas cowboy. In the 19th century cotton and lumber grew to be major industries as the cattle industry became less lucrative, it was though, the discovery of major petroleum deposits that initiated an economic boom which became the driving force behind the economy for much of the 20th century. With strong investments in universities, Texas developed a diversified economy and high tech industry in the mid-20th century.
As of 2015, it is second on the list of the most Fortune 500 companies with 54. With a growing base of industry, the state leads in many industries, including agriculture, energy and electronics, biomedical sciences. Texas has led the U. S. in state export revenue since 2002, has the second-highest gross state product. If Texas were a sovereign state, it would be the 10th largest economy in the world; the name Texas, based on the Caddo word táyshaʼ "friend", was applied, in the spelling Tejas or Texas, by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves the Hasinai Confederacy, the final -s representing the Spanish plural. The Mission San Francisco de los Tejas was completed near the Hasinai village of Nabedaches in May 1690, in what is now Houston County, East Texas. During Spanish colonial rule, in the 18th century, the area was known as Nuevo Reino de Filipinas "New Kingdom of the Philippines", or as provincia de los Tejas "province of the Tejas" also provincia de Texas, "province of Texas", it was incorporated as provincia de Texas into the Mexican Empire in 1821, declared a republic in 1836.
The Royal Spanish Academy recognizes both spellings and Texas, as Spanish-language forms of the name of the U. S. State of Texas; the English pronunciation with /ks/ is unetymological, based in the value of the letter x in historical Spanish orthography. Alternative etymologies of the name advanced in the late 19th century connected the Spanish teja "rooftile", the plural tejas being used to designate indigenous Pueblo settlements. A 1760s map by Jacques-Nicolas Bellin shows a village named Teijas on Trinity River, close to the site of modern Crockett. Texas is the second-largest U. S. state, with an area of 268,820 square miles. Though 10% larger than France and twice as large as Germany or Japan, it ranks only 27th worldwide amongst country subdivisions by size. If it were an independent country, Texas would be the 40th largest behind Zambia. Texas is in the south central part of the United States of America. Three of its borders are defined by rivers; the Rio Grande forms a natural border with the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas to the south.
The Red River forms a natural border with Arkansas to the north. The Sabine River forms a natural border with Louisiana to the east; the Texas Panhandle has an eastern border with Oklahoma at 100° W, a northern border with Oklahoma at 36°30' N and a western
Amarillo is the 14th-most populous city in the state of Texas, United States. It is the largest city in the Texas Panhandle, the seat of Potter County. A portion of the city extends into Randall County; the estimated population was 199,826 as of 2017. The Amarillo metropolitan area has an estimated population of 276,020 in four counties as of 2017; the metro population is projected to surpass 310,000 in 2020. Amarillo named Oneida, is situated in the Llano Estacado region; the availability of the railroad and freight service provided by the Fort Worth and Denver City Railroad contributed to the city's growth as a cattle-marketing center in the late 19th century. The city was once the self-proclaimed "Helium Capital of the World" for having one of the country's most productive helium fields; the city is known as "The Yellow Rose of Texas", most "Rotor City, USA" for its V-22 Osprey hybrid aircraft assembly plant, as well as "Bomb City". Amarillo operates one of the largest meat-packing areas in the United States.
Pantex, the only nuclear weapons assembly and disassembly facility in the country, is a major employer. The location of this facility gave rise to the nickname Bomb City; the attractions Cadillac Ranch and Big Texan Steak Ranch are located adjacent to Interstate 40. U. S. Highway 66 passed through the city. Large ranches exist in the Amarillo area: among others, the defunct XIT Ranch and the still functioning JA Ranch founded in 1877 by Charles Goodnight and John George Adair. Goodnight continued the partnership for a time after Adair's death with Adair's widow, Cornelia Wadsworth Ritchie Adair, the sole owner from 1887 until her death in 1921. During April 1887, J. I. Berry established a site for a town after he chose a well-watered section along the way of the Fort Worth and Denver City Railroad, which had begun building across the Texas Panhandle. Berry and Colorado City, merchants wanted to make their new town site the region's main trading center. On August 30, 1887, Berry's town site won the county seat election and was established in Potter County.
Availability of the railroad and freight service after the county seat election made the town a fast-growing cattle-marketing center. The settlement was called Oneida. Early residents pronounced the city's name more similar to the Spanish pronunciation ah-mə-REE-yoh, displaced by the current pronunciation. On June 19, 1888, Henry B. Sanborn, given credit as the "Father of Amarillo", his business partner Joseph F. Glidden began buying land to the east to move Amarillo after arguing that Berry's site was on low ground and would flood during rainstorms. Sanborn offered to trade lots in the new location to businesses in the original city's site and help with the expense of moving to new buildings, his incentives won over people, who moved their businesses to Polk Street in the new commercial district. Heavy rains flooded Berry's part of the town in 1889, prompting more people to move to Sanborn's location; this led to another county seat election making Sanborn's town the new county seat in 1893. By the late 1890s, Amarillo had emerged as one of the world's busiest cattle-shipping points, its population grew significantly.
The city became a grain elevator and feed-manufacturing center after an increase in production of wheat and small grains during the early 1900s. Discovery of natural gas in 1918 and oil three years brought oil and gas companies to the Amarillo area; the United States government bought the Cliffside Gas Field with high helium content in 1927 and the Federal Bureau of Mines began operating the Amarillo Helium plant two years later. The plant was the sole producer of commercial helium in the world for a number of years; the U. S. National Helium Reserve is stored in the Bush Dome Reservoir at the Cliffside facility. Following the lead of the Fort Worth and Denver City Railroad, the Atchison and Santa Fe Railway and Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad established services to and from Amarillo; each of these three carriers maintained substantial freight and passenger depots and repair facilities in the city through most of the 20th century and were major employers within the community. In 1929, Ernest O. Thompson, a decorated World War I general and a major businessman in Amarillo, was elected mayor to succeed Lee Bivins.
Thompson worked to reduce utility rates. He joined the Texas Railroad Commission by appointment in 1933 and was elected to full terms in 1934, 1940, 1946, 1952, 1958, he became an international expert on conservation. The first Mrs. Thompson, May Peterson Thompson, a former Metropolitan Opera singer, was involved in the arts while in Amarillo and when the couple lived in Austin. Amarillo entered an economic depression. U. S. Routes 60, 87, 287, 66 intersected at Amarillo, making it a major tourist stop with numerous motels and curio shops. World War II led the establishment of Amarillo Army Air Field in east Amarillo and the nearby Pantex Army Ordnance Plant, which produced bombs and ammunition. After the end of the war, both of the facilities were closed; the Pantex Plant produced nuclear weapons throughout the Cold War. In 1949, a deadly F4 tornado devastated much of Amaril
History of Austin, Texas
The recorded history of Austin, began in the 1830s when Anglo-American settlers arrived in Central Texas. In 1837 settlers founded the village of Waterloo on the banks of the Colorado River, the first permanent settlement in the area. By 1839, Waterloo would become the capital of the Republic of Texas. Austin's history has been tied to state politics and in the late 19th century, the establishment of the University of Texas made Austin a regional center for higher education, as well as a hub for state government. In the 20th century, Austin's music scene had earned the city the nickname "Live Music Capital of the World." With a population of over 800,000 inhabitants in 2010, Austin is experiencing a population boom. During the 2000s Austin was the third fastest-growing large city in the nation. Evidence of habitation of the Balcones Escarpment region of Texas can be traced to at least 11,000 years ago. Two of the oldest Paleolithic archeological sites in Texas, the Levi Rock Shelter and Smith Rock Shelter, are located southwest and southeast of present-day Austin respectively.
Several hundred years before the arrival of European settlers, the area was inhabited by a variety of nomadic Native American tribes. These indigenous peoples fished and hunted along the creeks, including present-day Barton Springs, which proved to be a reliable campsite. At the time of the first permanent settlement of the area, the Tonkawa tribe was the most common, with the Comanches and Lipan Apaches frequenting the area; the first European settlers in the present-day Austin were a group of Spanish friars who arrived from East Texas in July 1730. They established three temporary missions, La Purísima Concepción, San Francisco de los Neches and San José de los Nazonis, on a site by the Colorado River, near Barton Springs; the friars found conditions undesirable and relocated to the San Antonio River within a year of their arrival. Following Mexico's Independence from Spain, Anglo-American settlers began to populate Texas and reached present-day Central Texas by the 1830s; the first documented permanent settlement in the area dates to 1837 when the village of Waterloo was founded near the confluence of the Colorado River and Shoal Creek.
By 1836 the Texas Revolution was over and the Republic of Texas was independent. That year was characterized by political disarray in Texas. In 1836, no fewer than five Texas sites served as temporary capitals of the new republic, before President Sam Houston moved the capital to Houston in 1837. Shortly after the election of President Mirabeau B. Lamar, the Texas Congress appointed a site-selection commission to locate an optimal site for a new permanent capital, they chose a site on the western frontier, after viewing it at the instruction of President Lamar, who visited the sparsely settled area in 1838. Lamar was a proponent of westward expansion. Impressed by its beauty, abundant natural resources, promise as an economic hub, central location in Texas territory, the commission purchased 7,735 acres along the Colorado River comprising the hamlet of Waterloo and adjacent lands; because the area's remoteness from population centers and its vulnerability to attacks by Mexican troops and Native Americans displeased many Texans, Sam Houston among them, political opposition made Austin's early years precarious ones.
However, Lamar prevailed in his nomination, which he felt would be a prime location that intersected the roads to San Antonio and Santa Fe. Chartered in 1839, the Texas Congress designated the name of Austin for the new city. According to local folklore, Stephen F. Austin, the "father of Texas" for whom the new capital city was named, negotiated a boundary treaty with the local Native Americans at the site of the present-day Treaty Oak after a few settlers were killed in raids. After the republic purchased several hundred acres to establish the city, Lamar renamed it in honor of Stephen F. Austin in March 1839; the city's original name is honored by local businesses such as Waterloo Ice House and Waterloo Records, as well as Waterloo Park downtown. Lamar tapped Judge Edwin Waller to direct the construction of the new town. Waller chose a 640-acre site on a bluff above the Colorado River, nestled between Shoal Creek to the west and Waller Creek to the east. Waller surveyed a grid plan on a single square-mile plot with 14 blocks running in both directions.
One grand avenue, which Lamar named "Congress", cut through the center of town from Capitol Square down to the Colorado River. The streets running north-south were named for Texas rivers with their order of placement matching the order of rivers on the Texas state map; the east-west streets were named after trees native to the region, despite the fact that Waller had recommended using numbers. The city's perimeters stretched north to south from the river at 1st Street to 15th Street, from East Avenue to West Avenue. Much of this original design is still intact in downtown Austin today. In October 1839, the entire government of the Republic of Texas arrived by oxcart from Houston. By the next January, the population of the town was 839. During the Republic of Texas era, France sent Alphonse Dubois de Saligny to Austin as its chargé d'affaires. Dubois purchased 22 acres of land in 1840 on a high hill just east of downtown to build a legation, or diplomatic outpost; the French Legation stands as the oldest documented frame structure in Austin.
In 1839, the Texas Congress set aside 40 acres of land north of the capitol and downtown for a "university of the first class." This land became the central cam
Walter Prescott Webb
Walter Prescott Webb was an American historian noted for his groundbreaking work on the American West. As president of the Texas State Historical Association, he launched the project that produced the Handbook of Texas, he is noted for his early criticism of the water usage patterns in the region. Webb was reared on his family farm in Carthage in rural Panola Texas. After graduating from Ranger High School in Ranger in Eastland County, he earned a teaching certificate and taught at several Texas schools, he attended the University of Texas at Austin and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1915 at the age of twenty-seven. He worked as bookkeeper in San Marcos and optometrist's assistant in San Antonio in 1918 he was invited to join the history faculty at the University of Texas, he wrote his Master of Arts thesis on the Texas Rangers in 1920 and was encouraged to pursue his PhD. After a year of study at the University of Chicago, he returned to Austin, where he began a historical work on the West.
The result of this work was The Great Plains, published in 1931, hailed as great breakthrough in the interpretation of the history of the region, declared the outstanding contribution to American history since World War I by the Social Science Research Council in 1939. He was awarded his PhD for his work on The Great Plains in the year after its publication. In 1939-1946 he served as president of the Texas State Historical Association. During his tenure as president, he launched a project to produce an encyclopedia of Texas, subsequently published in 1952 as the Handbook of Texas; the world wide web version of the work is a popular Internet reference tool on the state. In all, Webb edited more than 20 books. One of them, The Texas Rangers was considered the definitive study of the legendary Texas Rangers and its Captain Bill McDonald. In 1958 Webb served as president of the American Historical Association. Webb's father-in-law was the Confederate States Army veteran and Austin, Texas-based photographer William J. Oliphant.
Webb was killed in an automobile accident near Austin. He was interred at Texas State Cemetery in Austin on the proclamation of Governor John B. Connally, Jr. At the time of his death he was working on a television series on American civilization under a grant from the Ford Foundation. In his honor the University of Texas established the Walter Prescott Webb Chair of History and Ideas; the position is held by A. G. Hopkins. Webb Middle School in Austin, Texas is named after him. Rundell has examined Webb's main books to see what inspired and prompted the writing of each, what the purpose and message of each seems to be, Webb's emergent philosophy of history; the professional reception of these studies was considered. The message of The Great Plains is contained in its subtitle'A Study in Institutions and Environment.' Its primary purpose was to present representative ideas about the region rather than to write its history. Webb called the settled area of Europe'the Metropolis' and the rest of the world'the Great Frontier', claiming that "the Great Plains environment... constitutes a geographic unity whose influences have been so powerful as to put a characteristic mark upon everything that survives within its borders", pointing to the revolver, barbed wire, the windmill as essential to its settlement.
He claims that the 98th meridian constitutes an "institutional fault", with "practically every institution, carried across it... either broken and remade or else altered". The book was hailed as one of the top contributions to Am. history since World War I by the Social Science Research Council in 1939. Webb's The Texas Rangers was a pungent and learned treatment of a frontier institution, but is regarded by many modern historians as an apologia for border violence perpetuated by Rangers against Mexican-Americans; the economic domination of the North, through the tariff, Civil War pensions, patent monopolies, the development of the centralized economy dominated by 200 major corporations was the theme of Divided We Stand. More Water for Texas popularized and vitalized a federal study of what he regarded as the most serious problem of his state; the Webb thesis focused on the fragility of the Western environment, pointing out the aridity of the territory and the dangers of an industrialized West.
In 1951 Webb published The Great Frontier, proposing the Boom Hypothesis, that the new lands discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492 ran out by 1900, closing the frontier and giving the U. S. economic and ecological problems, threatening the future of individualism and democracy. The book caused a firestorm of controversy. O'Har shows that in his classic interdisciplinary history of the post-Civil War West, Webb develops dominant characteristics of the Great Plains – treelessness, level terrain, semiaridity – and examines effect on the lives of people from different environments. To succeed, pioneers made radical readjustments in their way of life, eschewed traditions, altered social institutions. Webb believed what set the Great Plains apart from other regions was its individualism, innovation and lawlessness, themes he derived from the Frontier Thesis of Frederick Jackson Turner, his focus is said to have missed the emergence of a national empire, others criticize him for failing to acknowledge the roles played by women and Mexicans.
Webb was an esteemed historian when he wrote an article in the May 1957 edition of Harper's entitled "The American West, Perpetual Mirage". In the article