SPANISH IN U.S. AMERICA
WHO SPEAKS SPANISH IN U.S. AMERICA ? (adapted from Wikipedia)
- 38.3 million native speakers (2012: 38.3 million people aged five or older, a figure more than double that of 1990).
- Official language in Puerto Rico; recognised minority language in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Texas
- There are more Spanish speakers in the United States than there are speakers of Chinese, French, German, Italian, Hawaiian, and the Native American languages combined.
The Spanish language has been spoken in North America since the 16th century and the arrival of Spanish colonists in areas that would later become the states of Florida, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and California ; the Spanish explored areas of 42 states. West of Louisiana Territory was also Spanish between 1763–1800, after the French and Indian War.
After the incorporation of these states to the U.S. in the first half of 19th century, the Spanish language was reinforced in 1898 by the acquisition of Puerto Rico and by later waves of emigration from Venezuela, Mexico, Cuba, to the U.S., beginning in the second half of 19th century to the present-day.
Spanish was the language spoken by the first permanent European settlers in North America. Spanish arrived in the territory of the contemporary United States with Ponce de León in 1513 (Cf. East Coast: the first English-language speakers in the Mayflower landed in 1619). In 1565, the Spaniards, by way of Juan Ponce de León, founded St. Augustine, Florida, and as of the early 1800s, it became the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in the continental United States. The oldest city in all of the U.S. territory, is San Juan, capital of Puerto Rico, where Juan Ponce De León was its first governor. In 1819 Florida was sold by Spain to the U.S.A. [Adams–Onís Treaty]; so, many Spanish settlers, whose ancestors came from Cuba, Andalusia, and the Canary Islands, became U.S. citizens and continued to speak Spanish.
In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, a large part of the contemporary U.S. territory was a Spanish possession; this included the French colony of Louisiana (under Spanish occupation from 1769 to 1800, and then part of the United States since 1803). When Louisiana was sold to the United States (“Louisiana Purchase” : 1803–1804), its Spanish and French inhabitants became U.S. citizens, and continued to speak French and Spanish.
After Mexico's War of Independence from Spain (1821), Texas was part of the United Mexican States ("the state of Coahuila y Tejas”). A large influx of Americans soon followed, but in 1836, the now largely "American" Texans, fought a war of independence from the central government of Mexico and established the Republic of Texas. In 1846, Texas entered the U.S. as a state.The Republic dissolved and Spanish-speaking people were outnumbered (six-to-one) by English-speaking American and European settlers.
After the Mexican War of Independence from Spain also, California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, western Colorado and southwestern Wyoming became part of the Mexican state of Alta California; and most of New Mexico, western Texas, southern Colorado, southwestern Kansas, and Oklahoma panhandle were part of the state of Santa Fe de Nuevo México.
Yet, following the Mexican-American War (1846–1848), the new republic of Mexico soon lost much of the territory gained from Spain in 1821 : parts of today’s Texas, and Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Wyoming, California, Nevada, and Utah; thousands of Spanish-speaking Mexicans became U.S. citizens.The English-speaking American settlers entering the Southwest established their language, culture, and law as dominant, to the extent it fully displaced Spanish in the public sphere; this is why the U.S. never developed bilingualism as Canada did.
Remember the real name of L.A. (Ca) was: El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora Reina de los Ángeles sobre el Río Porciúncula, while Santa Fe was originally: La Villa Real de la Santa Fé de San Francisco de Asís.
More information can be got from : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_language_in_the_United_States
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