- Explain the cultural, demographic and economic context of Texas government.
- Identify the values that characterize Texas' political culture and describe the factors and conditions fostering that culture.
- Describe the racial and ethnic composition of Texas’ population and identify important demographic trends.
- Discuss the evolution of the Texas economy and assess the economic and financial challenges facing the state in the 21st century.
Texas Political Culture
Texans possess a strong sense of state identity, shaped by a distinctive history and culture. Rooted in rugged individualism and southern tradition, Texas political culture places a premium on individual liberty and harbors a distrust of government. This video introduces the cultural, historical, and social context of Texas politics and examines whether a political culture formed in the 19th century has evolved in the 21st century.
Video Focus Points
Look for answers to these questions when watching the video:
- What is the basis of Texas government?
- How might technology and changing demographics alter the limited government style of Texas?
Look for answers to these questions throughout the lesson:
- How does Texas compare to other states in the following categories?
- Geographic size
- Racial and ethnic diversity
- Describe the governmental experience of Texas prior to its independence from Mexico.
- Give examples of how the Spanish colonial influence left its mark on Texas’ political and legal culture.
- What are the three state political cultures identified by Daniel Elazar? Which ones apply to Texas?
- Identify the values that compose Texas political culture. What historical/geographical factors contributed to the development of this culture?
- Summarize the mythological significance of the following three symbols:
- Describe the influence of the frontier era on Texas’ political culture.
- How has the geographic size of Texas impacted Texas politics?
- On average, where would you place Texans on the ideological spectrum? Why?
- What are the political implications of increased urbanization?
- What is the ethnic and racial distribution of Texas’ population? Which group has seen the most dramatic growth with potential long-term political consequences?
- What commodities formed the basis of the Texas economy in the 19th century? How did this change in the early 20th century?
- Describe the character of the modern Texas economy. Why is this economy an improvement over its traditional economy based on oil and other commodities?
- Analyze three of the most important challenges facing Texas policymakers in the 21st century.