Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the southwest, while the Gulf of Mexico is to the southeast.
If it were a country, Texas would be the 10th largest economy in the world. Though 10% larger than France and almost twice as large as Germany or Japan, it ranks only 27th worldwide amongst country subdivisions by size.Spain was the first European country to claim the area of Texas. Mexico controlled the territory until 1836 when Texas won its independence, becoming an independent Republic. 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. in early 1861, and officially joined the Confederate States of America on March 2 of the same year.The most varied of the regions, this area includes Sand Hills, the Stockton Plateau, desert valleys, wooded mountain slopes and desert grasslands.Texas has 3,700 named streams and 15 major rivers, The size and unique history of Texas make its regional affiliation debatable; it can be fairly considered a Southern or a Southwestern state, or both.The Interior Lowlands region consists of gently rolling to hilly forested land and is part of a larger pine-hardwood forest.The Great Plains region in central Texas is located in spans through the state's panhandle and Llano Estacado to the state's hill country near Austin. "Far West Texas" or the "Trans-Pecos" region is the state's Basin and Range Province.The Texas Panhandle has an eastern border with Oklahoma at 100° W, a northern border with Oklahoma at 36°30' N and a western border with New Mexico at 103° W.El Paso lies on the state's western tip at 32° N and the Rio Grande.S., while San Antonio is the second-most populous in the state and seventh largest in the U. 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. Texas is nicknamed "The Lone Star State" to signify its former status as an independent republic, and as a reminder of the state's struggle for independence from Mexico.