Lecture 1 Essay Questions

1. Identify and discuss the impact of each pieces of Texas mosaic to our understanding of what we mean by the term Texas.

2. Discuss the stages of the evolution of Texas economic development and show the direction such evolution may take in the 21st century.

3. What specific issues made Texans declare their independence from Mexico and why was Texas not admitted into the union after it secured its independence?

4. Describe the growth pattern of Texas population and its diversified character.

5. Distinguish between two dominant Texas political cultures, traditionalistic and individualistic, and explain their policy implications.

6. Discuss the political culture of Texas. From where did it come? What have been its implications for state policy regarding race relations and government regulation of the economy? Do you accept what Professor Elazar has identified as the dominant political culture in Texas?

7. Trace the historical development and current status of the cotton, cattle, and oil industries in Texas. Based on what you know about work in these industries, in which would you have preferred working? Why, and in what capacity?

8. There are three ethnic groups that constitute 95 percent of the Texas population. Trace the history of each in the state. What are their present approximate percentages in the population, and what future trends are probable in the next generation? Since you are probably a member of one of the three, what are your attitudes toward other two?

9. Discuss the principal industries in Texas at the beginning of the twenty-first century, their origins, and future prospects. Based on what you know, evaluate the future prospects of the field for which you are training. In light of this knowledge, could you have a more stable and secure economic future if you changed plans? Explain.

10. Assume that you have been given autocratic power over Texas. It comes with one condition: you must reduce the percentage of persons living in poverty to 5 percent or less. What would you do? In your discussion, explore the causes and incidence of poverty. You may also want to speculate on whether a high degree of poverty is inevitable.

11. Discuss the role of white supremacy and racial injustice in Texas.  What evidence exists to shed light on the degree to which racial oppression played in the role of Texas History?  Was the Battle of the Alamo an extension of white supremacy against Mexicans? Justify your answers.

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GOVT 2306 State and Local Government
El Paso Community College, El Paso, Texas
Last updated: January 2014