The Southwestern United States (also known as the American Southwest or simply the Southwest is a region defined in different ways by different sources. Broad definitions include nearly a quarter of the United States, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah. Narrowly defined, the "core" Southwest is centered around the Four Corner states, with parts of the other states making up the beginnings and endings of the Southwest. The five main southwestern states, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada, are also all considered part of the Mountain West as well as the Southwest. The total population of these states is roughly 19 million people.
Most of it was a part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, in the Spanish Empire, during the Modern Era. What is now California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and portions of Colorado, Wyoming, Oklahoma and Kansas were part of Mexico before the Mexican-American War and the Gadsden Purchase of 1853. Portions of some of the areas in the "divided" states, and including western parts of Texas, were those in dispute after the Texas Revolution.