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Wild, Wild West
Texas Law Men, Part 1



Texas Law Men, Part 1
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.57

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    ferocity, statehood, inability, suicidal, offensive, agency, raiders, legislation, reload, militia, authority, ineffective, enforcement, accuracy, revolver, tribal
     content words:    Texas Rangers, United States, Stephen Austin, New England, Native American, Walker Colt, Texas Devils


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     Spanish: Agentes del orden de Texas (primera parte)


Texas Law Men, Part 1
By Mary Lynn Bushong
  

1     The Texas Rangers have been called the oldest state-level law enforcement agency in the United States. The roots of that agency go back to 1823. The idea for the Texas Rangers started with Stephen Austin. He took over a contract his father had made to help settle the then Mexican province of Tejas. He would choose the new colonists for the area and was given authority to police the area.
 
2     In 1823, there were growing numbers of raids by Comanche and other Indian tribes. Austin formed a militia to protect the people from raids and criminals. The men could join for days or months, depending on the need. Rather than paying his people in money, they received land for their services.
 
3     What kind of ability was looked for in an early ranger that carried through to modern times? It was the ability to think for himself in a given situation and still be able to follow the rules.
 
4     The Texas Rangers did not receive that name until 1874, when it was mentioned in some legislation. Until that point they were called other names like ranging or mounted rifle companies, spies, minutemen, or mounted volunteers.
 
5     At first, there were two companies of these rangers. Those numbers grew or shrank as the need arose. For a short time, there were more than 1,000 rangers, but today there are only a few hundred.

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