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Known in Mexico as Rio Bravo, the Rio Grande rises in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado flows through New Mexico before becoming the boundary between Texas and Mexico, touching the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, and Tamaulipas.The first European known to sight the Rio Grande was Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca in 1536.At the time of the Louisiana Purchase, American expansionists regarded the purchase as including the land up to the Rio Grande. Mexico was not prepared to accept this claim, and their refusal was one of the causes of the Mexican War.After the Mexican War, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo set the boundary between Mexico and the United States as the Rio Grande between its mouth and El Paso in the west. In 1944, the Big Bend National Park was created out of scenic land along the river in Texas.