The Spanish Language in the United States
The Spanish language has always been deeply intertwined with the history of the United States. For example, in the 14th century, Spanish conquistadores and discoverers settled down and founded the village of Saint Augustine. Today, that territory belongs to the State of Florida, in the southern portion of the US. St. Augustine is reportedly the first permanent settlement by European settlers in current US territory. The following centuries, Spanish expeditions and colonies expanded their territories as far south as to areas today known as New Mexico, Texas (Tejas), California, Colorado, Arizona etc. Later on, the US, following a shady treaty with Spain and Mexico and the Mexican War in the year 1848, came to gain control over these areas. This way, the southwest area of the US territory, as well as its population, were deeply affected and influenced by the former Spanish colonies, not only linguistically but also culturally.
Following the Spanish-American War, in 1898, the US came to dominate Guam, the Philippines, Cuba and Puerto Rico and a large number of Spanish speaking inhabitants in these countries migrated to US’ main territory.
In the past century, this mass migration of Spanish speaking people originating from Latin America grew exponentially and many (with and without proper documentation) decided to settle in the US and find work in industry or agriculture and some even to enroll in American universities and colleges.
The impact of the Spanish language on America and its culture has continued to grow during the past 150 years and is undeniable. By the turn of the century, as much as 20 million US citizens spoke Spanish at home. Even schools decided to introduce bilingual education both in English and Spanish. There are even a number of TV networks and TV shows purely dedicated to the Spanish speaking population in the US.