New Lesson Plan: Texas in Transition - Social, Political, and Economic Issues in 1920s Texas
The 1920s was a period of rapid development and urbanization in Texas. With the rise of industrial-scale agriculture and ranching alongside a dramatic increase in oil production, Texas became a part of a booming national and international economy. Wealth and Texas’ role in global trade soon led to growth in urban areas, as workers moved to the centers of distribution, and well-off Texans sought the culture and services available in cities. Immigration surged at this time as well, not just in Texas, but across the nation as foreign laborers and their families moved to the state seeking new opportunities.
This economy linked states and countries even closer than before, and it was the inter-dependencies of Texas to the world and nation around it that made local issues part of a national conversation. Likewise, political and social issues of national concern impacted people across the state of Texas.
In this lesson plan, students examine the culture and politics in 1920s Texas and the nation. Some of the same issues that made headlines in the 1920s are issues that our state and nation are still struggling with to this day. Subjects like civil rights, immigration, the role of women in politics, the use of natural resources, and enforcing a national moral standard were on the forefront in the 1920s. This lesson will ask students to use primary and secondary source materials such as home movies and promotional films from the era, in addition to their textbooks, to illustrate the lives and concerns of Texans in the 1920s. A reference section that provides resources for additional research is included.