Laredo, a blend of Spanish, Mexican, and American frontier influences, grew as a post on the road to San Antonio and other Texas cities. After the Texas Revolution its ownership remained in doubt until the southern boundary of Texas was established by the Mexican War; during that period the city was the capital of the “Republic of the Rio Grande” (the capitol building, erected in 1755, still stands). Laredo's growth was aided by the arrival of the railroads (1880s), the development of irrigated farming, the discovery of oil and natural gas, and the opening (1936) of a highway to Mexico City. The former army post Fort McIntosh was founded in 1849 and intermittently rebuilt and used until 1946; Texas A&M International Univ. is now on the grounds.
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