History of Texas

Reading list from HIST 2310: History of Texas

Required Texts

Andrés Reséndez, A Land So Strange: The Epic Journey of Cabeza de Vaca: The Extraordinary Tale of a Shipwrecked Spaniard Who Walked Across America in the Sixteenth Century (New York: Basic Books, 2009).

James E. Crisp, Sleuthing the Alamo: Davy Crockett’s Last Stand and Other Mysteries of the Texas Revolution (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005).

Benjamin Heber Johnson, Revolution in Texas: How a Forgotten Rebellion and Its Bloody Suppression Turned Mexicans into Americans (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003). 

Lone Star Pasts: Memory and History in Texas, edited by Gregg Cantrell and Elizabeth Hayes Turner (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2007).

Recommended Texts

Randolph B. Campbell, Gone to Texas: A History of the Lone Star State. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003).

Course Schedule

Week 1: Course Introduction

  • Moyers, “The Big Story”

Week 2: The First Texans

  • Harrigan, “Tusk!”
  • Hodge, “The Writing on the Wall”
  • Reséndez, A Land So Strange, Selections

Week 3: Spanish Texas

  • Barr, “A Diplomacy of Gender: Rituals of First Contact in the “Land of the Tejas”
  • Reséndez, A Land So Strange, Selections
  • Recommended: Visit the Museum of the Coastal Bend in Victoria & Learn About La Salle, La Belle, and the Matagorda Bay Colony

Week 4: Mexican Texas

  • De la Teja and Wheat, “Bexar: Profile of a Tejano Community, 1820-1832”

Week 5: The Texas Revolution

  • Barker, “The Texan Declaration of Causes for Taking up Arms against Mexico”
  • Lack “Slavery and the Texas Revolution”
  • Crisp, Sleuthing the Alamo

Week 6: The Problems of Studying Texas History

  • Crisp, Sleuthing the Alamo, continued
  • Cantrell and Hayes, eds., Lone Star Pasts, selections

Week 7: The Republic of Texas

  • Barker, “The Annexation of Texas”
  • Douglass, “Texas, Slavery, and American Prosperity”

Week 8: Independent Indians

  • Delay, “Independent Indians and the U.S.-Mexican War”
  • Gwynne, “Last Days of the Comanches,”

Week 9: Slavery & Secession

  • Texas Ordinance of Secession (1861)
  • Reynolds, “Reluctant Martyr: Anthony Bewley and the Texas Slave Insurrection Panic of 1860”
  • Oates, “Texas under the Secessionists”

Week 10: Civil War & Reconstruction

  • Woosters, “Rarin’ for a Fight: Texans in the Confederate Army”
  • Cantrell, “Racial Violence and Reconstruction Politics in Texas, 1867-1868”
  • Downs, “The Hidden History of Juneteenth”

Week 11: The Old West & The New South

  • Miller, “Building a Populist Coalition in Texas, 1892-1896”
  • Cantrell & Barton, “Texas Populists and the Failure of Biracial Politics”

Week 12: The Progressive Era

  • Green, “The Texas Labor Movement 1870-1920”
  • Gould, “Progressives and Prohibitionists: Texas Democratic Politics, 1911-1921”
  • Sorelle, “The ‘Waco Horror’: The Lynching of Jesse Washington”
  • Johnson, Revolution in Texas: How a Forgotten Rebellion and Its Bloody Suppression …

Week 13: From the 1920s to the 1950s

  • Dochuk, “Blessed by Oil, Cursed with Crude: God and Black Gold in the American Southwest”
  • Carleton, “McCarthyism in Houston: The George Ebey Affair”

Week 14: Postwar Texas

  • Guglielmo, “Fighting for Caucasian Rights: Mexicans, Mexican Americans, and the Transnational Struggle for Civil Rights in World War II Texas”

Week 15: Recent History

  • Spong, “That 70’s Show”
  • Hart, “Little Did We Know…”
  • Lithwick, “Extreme Makeover”
  • Lizza, “The Party Next Time”