Texas Lakes Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

European Heritage

Four women dressed in traditional Norwegian dress
Norwegian women, Clifton

The arrival of Europeans in the territory now known as Texas marked the beginning of a dramatic transition for Native Americans already inhabiting the region. Spanish conquistadors (a term that literally means “conquerors), the first to arrive in 1519, established a pattern that would ultimately terminate the Native American presence and pave the way for colonization of the pre-Texas region by Europeans. Texas today is a lively amalgam of cultural influences, a diversity well-documented and interpreted with historic artifacts at cultural museums across the state, including San Antonio’s Institute of Texan Cultures. More than twenty cultures, most of them European, are represented here. Events, timelines, and personal stories of immigrants from Germany, France, Eastern Europe, Italy, and Spain, among others, help explain the complexity of cultural aggregation that occurred first in pockets and then statewide across Texas. Although the state’s European heritage mirrors much of the nation’s, the European Texan immigrant, like Texas itself, represents a uniqueness found only in the Lone Star state.  

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