In the lower 48 states, Texas is over 60 percent larger than the next largest state, California. How did this happen? Typically, new states were created by subdividing territories. The Louisiana purchase was divided up into several states including North and South Dakota, Iowa, Missouri and others. The Northwest territories became five states – Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. However, Texas was an independent nation at the time it joined the Union, so it came in with the borders it had. And those were large. At one point in history, Texas was even larger than it is now.
The making of Texas-sized Texas turns out to be a long and winding road, almost 200 years long.