In 1680, the small village of El Paso became the temporary base for Spanish governance of the territory of New Mexico as a result of the Pueblo Revolt, until 1692 when Santa Fe was reconquered and once again became the capital.
El Paso remained the largest settlement in New Mexico until its cession to the US in 1848, when Texas took possession with the Compromise of 1850.
The region was claimed by Texas as part of the treaty signed with Mexico.
Numerous attempts were made to bolster these claims, however, the village which consisted of El Paso and the surrounding area remained essentially a self-governed community with both representatives of the Mexican and Texan government negotiating for control until Texas irrevocably took control in 1846.
El Paso County was established in March 1850, with San Elizario as the first county seat ignoring history and topography between Texas and New Mexico.
The Franklin Mountains extend into El Paso from the north and nearly divide the city into two sections; the west side forms the beginnings of the Mesilla Valley, and the east side expands into the desert and lower valley.
The Rio Grande Rift, which passes around the southern end of the Franklin Mountains, is where the Rio Grande flows, defining the border between El Paso and Ciudad Juárez to the south and west until the river turns north of the border with Mexico, separating El Paso from Doña Ana County, New Mexico.
Mt. Cristo Rey, an example of a pluton, rises within the Rio Grande Rift just to the west of El Paso on the New Mexico side of the Rio Grande.
East El Paso is noted also for its ridges and cliffs which offer desirable views of the lower valley, the Franklin Mountains and downtown El Paso, and greatest number of entertainment venues in the city.