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El Refugio

Spanish Texas, situated on the border of Spain's North American empire, encompassed only a small portion of what is now the Lone Star State. The Spanish province lay above the Nueces River to the east of the Medina River headwaters and extended into Louisiana. Over time, Texas was a part of four provinces in the Viceroyalty of New Spain (Colonial Mexico): the El Paso area was under the jurisdiction of New Mexico, the missions founded near La Junta de los R?os were under Nueva Vizcaya , the coastal region from the Nueces River to the Rio Grande and thence upstream to Laredo was under Nuevo Santander after 1749, and Texas was initially under joint jurisdiction with the province of Coahuila. Slightly more than three centuries elapsed between the time the Texas shoreline was first viewed by a Spaniard in 1519 and July 21, 1821, when the flag of Castile and Le?n was lowered for the last time at San Antonio. Those 300 years may be divided into three stages: the era of early exploration, in which there was a preliminary evaluation of the land and its resources; the period of cultural absorption, in which the Texas Indians began to acquire Hispanic cultural elements, at first indirectly from Indian intermediaries and then directly from the Spanish themselves; and the time of defensive occupation, in which the Spanish presence in Texas was more dictated by international considerations than caused by the momentum of an expanding empire.

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El Refugio, Texas

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