Conservatism and Change in Texas Unit 12, Section Two Notes
Change in Texas Just like any other place or state, Texas has experienced shifts in political, religious, and social ideas over the last 100 years. After the Civil War, people in Texas were greatly against what they called the “Radical” Republicans, and it took years for Texas to again vote for Republican candidates. Now, Texas has a larger majority of Republican voters. We will use today’s notes to talk about other changes in Texas after World War II.
The Cold War Date: 1940’s to 1991 • During World War II, Russia had been a U.S. ally while fighting against Germany and Japan • After the war was over, the U.S., Russia, and Great Britain all occupied certain countries in Europe to ensure peace. Specifically, Germany was occupied for many years. When the U.S. was ready to pull out their troops, Russia refused to leave. Americans feared that Russia’s leader, Joseph Stalin, wanted to spread communism throughout Europe.
The Cold War Continued… • It was called a Cold War because there was no actual fighting between the U.S. and Russia. But the tension of war and other such conflicts led to a high production of war supplies and the opening of military bases throughout the state. This greatly helped Texas’ economy.
Other Conflicts of the Late 20th Century Since the Cold War, the United States has been involved in other conflicts, including the Korean War, Vietnam War, and Gulf War. Because of these conflicts, military bases continued to be built and grow within Texas. The economy in Texas grew, especially the oil industry, which supported the war efforts in many ways. Socially, thousands of men from Texas fought overseas and died.
A Two Party State During the last forty years, the Republicans and Democrats have practically taken turns holding power within our state. In 1948, 85% of citizens in Texas voted Democrat, but in 1972, the voters were split almost evenly. In 1998, 70% voted Republican. The numbers have gone back and forth ever since. Because of this shift back and forth, Republicans and Democrats have been forced to work together to achieve their goals.
Texas Politicians Republicans Democrats Mark White (Governor) Phil Gramm (Congress – switched parties in 1984) Ann Richards (Governor) Bob Bullock (Lieutenant Governor) • Bill Clements (Governor – 1st Republican one since Reconstruction) • Phil Gramm (Congress) • Kay Bailey Hutchison (Senator) • George W. Bush (Governor) • Rick Perry (Governor)
Texas Presidents • Dwight Eisenhower – born in Texas, but considered himself from Kansas • Lyndon B. Johnson – was Vice President first, became president when JFK was assassinated • George H.W. Bush – was a World War II hero before getting into politics • George W. Bush – was first governor of Texas before running for president
Evangelical Movement In the late 1970’s and 80’s, Christian groups became more important to politics in the South. This growth could be associated to television and other types of media. Regardless of the reason, many Christian leaders began to talk about government issues and urging people to vote based on their religious views. The Republican Party gained a lot of votes in the South thanks to the Evangelical Movement.