Monday, December 29, 2008

Texas History - A Specialty Worth Looking Into

If you walk through the streets of any town in Texas, you will no doubt feel the pride of the citizens electrifying the air. Texans are some of the proudest people you will ever meet, especially when it comes to their home state.

There are so many things that make Texas an interesting place, especially from an historical standpoint; more and more history students looking into graduate school and beyond are eyeing Texas history as an area of specialization. Here are a few reasons why the next generation of historians is looking to Texas for more information.


The story of the settlement of Texas reads almost like the Pilgrims coming to the US to colonize. Learn more about Stephen F. Austin and his “Old 300,” among other things when you dig deeper into the primary source material.


Texas has seen its fair share of warfare on a variety of different fronts. The Spanish fought with the Indians to take over Texas and claim it as part of their territory. Later, the Texans fought against the Mexican Army for independence at the Alamo, Goliad, and finally San Jacinto. There is a slew of information out there on these different wars and fronts where the Texans fought—and died—for their independence.


Texas is one of the most culturally diverse states in the US. Just take a visit to the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures Museum in San Antonio, and you’ll see just how different and unique the settled areas of Texas were throughout its brief, but rich history. Once a slave state, African Americans were some of the first people brought in from the southern United States.

Of course, indigenous peoples lived in Texas; several Native American tribes still migrated through Texas due to weather throughout the year. Along the southeast coast of Texas, Cajuns, Germans, and Dutch people created settlements. Especially in central Texas, German was still spoken in some public schools into the twentieth century, when US federal funding required that classes be conducted in English.

Of course, there are many people throughout Texas of Hispanic origin, mainly from Spanish and Mexican mestizo descent. These different cultures have all helped make Texas the great state that it is today and are all great avenues of study for prospective Texas historians.

This post was contributed by Kelly Kilpatrick, who writes on the subject of a History PhD. She invites your feedback at

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