Texas is the 28th state to join the United States of America. Admitted to the Union in 1845, Texas was originally settled by aboriginal tribes thousands of years ago.
In the eighteenth century, parts of Texas were settled by Spanish missionaries, and Spain later assumed control of territory which now comprises the modern-day state. The territory later fell into Mexican hands after Mexico won its independence from Spain.
In the nineteenth century, American settlers began moving to Mexican Texas after hearing promises of free land and other incentives. Following several years of disagreements with the Mexican government, the "Texian" settlers rebelled against the government. General Sam Houston led the militia, eventually winning independence from Mexican dictator Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto in April 1836. Another noteworthy battle, the Siege of the Alamo, was fought over thirteen days in March 1836, and resulted in the deaths of about 230 Texan defenders at the hands of a massive Mexican army.
After winning its independence, Texas formed a republican government, creating the Republic of Texas with Houston as its first (and later, third) president. The republic existed for about ten years, until its leaders' petition to join the United States (a perennial goal of Houston's) was accepted by the U.S. Congress on Dec. 29, 1845.
Texas later seceded from the United States in 1861 to join the Confederate States of America. After the Confederacy's surrender in 1865, bringing an end to the American Civil War, Texas rejoined the Union, along with the other states that had seceded. The state has enjoyed unprecedented growth and success since.