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The Spanish were the first ti discover the New World and were given exclusive rights by the Pope to explore and colonize most of its land area. The French were more interested in an empire based on trade than one with large populations of French colonists. Texas was a lightly settled part of Mexico after its independence from Spain, and the influx of American settlers led eventually to its separation and American statehood. The territory of New Mexico was acquired from Mexico by the Treaty of Guadelupe-Hidalgo and the Gadsden Purchase. The State of Louisiana represents the oldest and at the time most settled portion of the land acquired in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803.