This is an introductory survey of Texas history. The goal is to provide a basic knowledge of Texas history from European contact with indigenous peoples through Hispanic control of the region and eventual Anglo dominance during the 19th and 20th centuries. The course should also provide an understanding of the evolution of Texas as a political, social, economic, and cultural entity as well as an appreciation for the events and people that shaped the region’s history. The historical topics and broader themes addressed (i.e. “Myth and Identity in Texan Culture,” “Land, Opportunity, and Settler Frontiers” or “Impetus for Revolution: Culture, Economics, or Liberty”) will be ones the instructor feels most essential in gaining an understanding of Texas in an historical perspective. A primary element of the course will be the growth of critical thinking among students concerning the examination of historical themes and paradigms (examples, patterns, models, and standards).
Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:
1) Identify and critique historical and alternative explanations for interpretations and analyses of social issues and human behavior in the history of Texas.
Assessment Methodology: Factual, analytical, conceptual, and interpretive, multiple choice exams and short answer responses to relevant historical case studies.
2) Identify and appreciate differences and commonalities between Anglo and Hispanic cultures, land ownership and economic opportunities, and conservative Spanish political traditions and Anglo expectations of a liberal (American-style enlightenment) political system.
Assessment Methodology: Online essay/discussion assignments and multi-paragraph mid-term and final essays.
3) Demonstrate knowledge of the origins and evolution of Spanish, Mexican, Tejano, and Texan societies, cultural institutions, political systems, and economic policies and practices.
Assessment Methodology: Factual, analytical, conceptual, and interpretive, multiple choice exams, short paragraph response, and analytical essays.
4) Understand and be able to cogently discuss major trends and themes in Texas history and the role of myth and exceptionalism in the construction of a broader Texan identity.
Assessment Methodology: A comprehensive final exam/essay that demands a critical and detailed understanding of class material, readings, and lectures.
Student Participation Clause: Students in this course are held personally responsible for their own education and encouraged to excel. Active student participation in learning [which is, at the very least, accomplished through the careful reading of all assignments, classroom engagement (attentive note taking and participation in end-of-lecture reviews and discussions), the maintenance of a weekly study schedule, the completion of all assignments in a timely manner, adequate and earnest preparation for exams, and, when necessary, individual post-exam consultation with the instructor] is essential to the successful accomplishment of all expected learning outcomes.
Under no circumstances are “extra credit” assignments given to individual students. Such assignments are inherently unfair to your fellow students. Please do not request “extra credit.” However, bonus points are available on most assignments. Students are encouraged to take advantage of all bonus opportunities. Accordingly, when final grades are assigned, the professor will steadfastly adhere to the following point scale.
A = 90% plus
B = 80 – 89.9%
C = 69 – 79.9%
D = 58 – 68.9%
F = below 58%