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    Land of the Large - Part III

    Another reason to remember the Alamo

    he Lone Star State is unique among the 50 states for its massive amounts of private property. That present-day situation had its origins more than 160 years ago when Texans won their independence from Mexico in 1836.

    The newly minted sovereign country, the Texas Republic, was much larger than the current state’s boundaries, including parts of New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas and even Wyoming. When Texas agreed to join the United States it retained its claim to all that land, 352,030 square miles, under the 1845 Joint Resolution for Annexing Texas to the United States.

    In 1850, the Lone Star state sold off 104,000 square miles to the federal government in return for about $12 million to pay off Texas’ debt. Under the terms of the deal, part of the Compromise of 1850, Texas retained ownership of all the remaining acreage not part of the transaction. (Interestingly, the state of Texas also kept its right to divide into up to four additional states—of convenient size—that are entitled to admission under the provisions of the Federal Constitution.)

    Even with all the ample land available in Texas, an interesting dynamic has emerged during the state’s growth. Nearly all urban and commercial activity has coalesced around five key hubs: Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Fort Woth and Dallas. These five cities and their surrounding areas now contain the vast majority of Texas population and economic productivity. More on that Wednesday. .:.

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