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Texas Study Guide & Plot Summary

This Study Guide consists of approximately 45 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Texas.
This section contains 436 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
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Texas Summary & Study Guide Description

Texas Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Texas by James A. Michener.

Plot Summary

Barlow is summoned to the office of the governor of Texas. He is in Austin to give a series of guest lectures at the University of Texas, which he graduated from. At the governor's office, he is introduced to a group of four people. Ransom Rusk, Lorenzo Quimper, Lorena Cobb, and Professor Efrain Garza. The governor enters and introduces everyone. The governor wants a report in time for the Sesquicntennial or 150-year anniversary of the state. The report is to include recommendations for the teaching of Texas history for schoolchildren, including what they already know and what they should know. The report must emphasize what makes Texas unique from other states and how to instill a love for Texas in the children.

The governor of Texas appoints a Task Force to prepare this report for the Sesquicentennial with Barlow as chairman of the committee. The other members are billionaires Ransom Rusk and Lorenzo Quimper, socialite Lorena Cobb and Professor Efrain Garza. All the members have long family histories in Texas and have contributed to the culture in different ways. The group will have three graduate students to help them. The group is to travel around the state and hold meetings in different areas.

Michener weaves his historical novel around the families of the Task Force members. Opening in 1535 in Vera Cruz, Mexico, the novel spans four centuries up to the 1980s. The reader sees how the Mexicans and white settlers lived peacefully until he battle for independence. Texas was a part of Mexico and the white settlers were subject to Mexican law, even though they established their own communities. This meant that they had to be Catholic and married to receive free land. Since many men left their wives behind, they married local women to obtain land.

The lack of freedom of religion and the influx of white settlers created tensions that led to the war for independence. The brutality of the war at Santa Anna led to intense hatred of Mexicans by the Texans, resulting in brutality toward the Mexicans in the Mexican Way of 1846 to 1848. This hatred and distrust lasted for years after the war.

Michener also examines the different problems faced by Texans. These problems included the problem of the Indians, the problem of water, and the development of the cities. The discovery of oil and all the oil millionaires made people think that all Texans were rich, but this however was not true. There was also a great deal of poverty. Many people came to Texas to make a better life and most of them did just that.

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This section contains 436 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Texas Study Guide
Copyrights
Texas from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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