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Texas Semester

Texas Stars
 Course Work

Survey of Texas History:   This course offers a broad overview of Texas history and culture from pre-history to the present. Intended as foundational instruction, it provides students with the basic knowledge upon which the other courses will build.

Spanish Colonial Texas:  The course provides a survey of Spanish exploration, colonization, and hegemony in what is now the state of Texas from 1519 to 1821. Topics will include explorers and conquistadores, the French challenge, international rivalry, mission, presidio, and villa expansion, Anglo-American settlement and the decline of the missions, the twilight of Spanish Texas, and the legacies.

Texas Revolution and Republic:  The course provides a survey of Anglo-American immigration, settlement, and hegemony in Texas from 1821 to 1846. Topics will include Mexican Texas (1821-1836), the road to revolution (1830-1835), the Texas Revolution, (1835-1836), and the Texas Republic (1836-1846).

Texas from Statehood to National Leadership:  The course provides a survey of Texas history, politics, and social life from 1846 to the transformational discovery of oil at Spindletop in 1901. Topics will include early statehood (1846-1861), pioneer institutions (1845-1874), secession and war (1860-1865), Reconstruction (1865-1874), from Reconstruction to reform (1874-1890), advance of the frontier (1865-1880), and life in Texas at the turn of the century.

The Crafting of the Texas National Character:  Twentieth-century American novelist John Steinbeck observed:  “Texas is a state of mind, Texas is an obsession. Above all, Texas is a nation in every sense of the word.”  Why is that?  The course will define, explore, teach, and celebrate Texas distinctiveness. Students will probe the common stereotypes to reveal and examine the realities of Texan culture, past and present. Topics will include: myth, mystique, music, literature, food, and sports.

Grand Tour of Texas: This three-week, May term course will involve a bus tour of the state’s six geographic regions. Stops during the journey will include natural wonders, archival repositories, historic sites, museums, and restaurants. Some of the state’s most distinguished historians will meet students and conduct tours.  For the proposed itinerary, click here.

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