With its policy of welcoming immigrants, Texas has contributed to creating the rich multicultural diversity of the United States. The various immigrant groups have not only maintained their own traditions but have blended them together in an artistic and cultural multiplicity.
Throughout most of its history, Texas has welcomed immigrants. During the
During the 1830’s, the first
The major immigration wave into Texas occurred after the Civil War (1861-1865). With a vast amount of cheap land and a sparse population, Texas offered an abundance of economic opportunities for farming, ranching, and employment. The state government, private companies, and individuals actively sought immigrants to populate the state. An extensive written campaign of pamphlets and letters encouraged immigrants from most European countries to come to Texas. A few Texans, mostly planters, even traveled to Europe to entice people to immigrate to the state. The major stipulation was that the new arrivals be hardworking and eager to prosper through their own efforts. In 1870, Texas created the
From 1866 to 1880, a
The first immigrants
Significant European immigration continued into the twentieth century. After World War II ended in 1945, Germans began immigrating to Texas, and substantial German immigration continued into the 1980’s. By then, a considerable number of
By the end of the twentieth century, the majority of immigrants coming to Texas–as in other states–were no longer coming from Europe. While substantial immigration from Mexico continued,
Between 1975 and 1990, many
Texas has also gained a large
Texas’s largest immigrant community is Hispanic, primarily Mexican. The state’s diverse Hispanic community includes families tracing their roots back to residents of Texas while it was still under Mexican rule, people who immigrated and became citizens after Texas became a state, and modern immigrants who have entered the United States illegally. During the early years of the twentieth century, many Mexicans immigrated to the United States to escape to the political unrest and economic disturbances of the Mexican Revolution. At that time, Mexicans were welcomed to come to the state to work on farms and ranches, in the mines, and on the railroads. Between 1910 and 1930, the immigrant Mexican population in Texas tripled.
During the early years of the Great Depression of the 1930’s, many Mexicans were deported back to Mexico. However, in 1942, the U.S. and Mexican governments set up the
From 1970 to 1990, Texas experienced a growth in its foreign-born population that was four times greater than the national average. Both the Hispanic and the Asian populations more than doubled during the period. From 2000 to 2006, the number
Brady, Marilyn Dell. The Asian Texans. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2004. Useful source for the social and cultural contributions of Asian immigrants. Gomez, Luis. Crossing the Rio Grande: An Immigrant’s Life in the 1880’s. Translated by Guadalupe Valdez. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2006. Excellent detailed account by a Mexican immigrant to Texas that offers insights into relationships between early immigrants and their American employers. Also provides a look at Mexican lifestyles in Texas. Gutiérrez, David G. Walls and Mirrors: Mexican Americans, Mexican Immigrants, and the Politics of Ethnicity. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995. Good for understanding the effects of the continuous immigration from Mexico. Also examines U.S. government programs that encouraged the immigration of workers and discusses Mexican resistance to assimilation. Konecny, Lawrence, and Clinton Machann, eds. Czech and English Immigrants to Texas in the 1870’s. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2004. Excellent source for understanding the rhetoric used to bring immigrants to Texas and the lives of immigrants in Texas as well as the dangers they encountered in reaching Texas. McKenzie, Phyllis. The Mexican Texans. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2004. Good coverage of Mexican social and work environments in Texas and the contributions made by Mexicans. Rozek, Barbara J. Come to Texas: Attracting Immigrants, 1865-1915. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2003. Excellent history of efforts of the Texas government and private companies and individuals to lure immigrants to Texas, emphasizing printed sources. Tang, Irwin A., ed. Asian Texans: Our Histories and Our Lives. Austin, Tex.: It Works, 2008. Well-researched and detailed study of the history of Texas’s various Asian immigrants and the discrimination and exploitation they have encountered. Excellent for both hard facts and statistics and anecdotal personal stories.
El Paso incident
Empresario land grants in Texas
Farm and migrant workers
Texas Cart War