Each question should be long enough to fully and thoroughly address all parts of the question. You should not use any outside sources other than the textbook. While it may be tempting to google, it rarely offers the correct or expected response and thus, doing so is likely to cost you points. That said, aiming for approximately 500-1000 words for each essay should be a good estimate. Remember some of this will be supporting evidence from the textbook.
No formal citations are needed. If you quote or paraphrase and idea from the textbook (and you should), you can place the correlated page number in parentheses in the text of your essay. We are all using the same book so it will be easy for me to check the source while I grade.
Be sure to put both essays in a single document/file and save this file using one of the following file extensions: .doc, .docx, ..Pdf, or .rtf. Failure to follow these submission instructions may result in a zero for the assignment.
You must answer BOTH of the following questions to complete your exam. Remember you will need to use material from across the chapters to address the question. Do not focus on a single chapter. There is no single right answer. Your grade will be based on your ability to use critical thinking, synthesize the course material, and show a clear understanding of the materials.
Question 1: The Texas Constitution and Government
The Texas constitution was ratified in to meet the needs and attitudes of a 19th century Texas. Despite hundreds of amendments, critics argue that the Texas constitution is an antiquated document that created a part-time government unable to meet the needs and demands of a 21st century Texas.
To what extent would you agree with these critics? Explain your answer by examining the writing and ratification of the current Texas constitution and the structure and power of the legislative and executive branches as we try to create and carry out policy in today’s Texas.
Question 2 Texans and Politics
Much of the political culture of Texas is rooted in our history and accepted ideas of what it means to be a Texan. John Steinbeck, author of the Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men and other American novels, wrote that Texas is a “state of mind… A nation in every sense of the word. Texas has always dealt with diversity and conflict of ideas, but the demographics of Texans has been shifting rapidly in the last 25 years making us one of the most diverse states in the nation. For example, Houston is the most diverse city in the country when looking at race and ethnicity and over 23% of the city’s population is foreign born. Across the entire state approximately 25% of Texans were born in another state and moved to Texas in the last 20 years.
For this question examine the source and impact of political culture in Texas and how, in your best estimation, will impact not only political culture values, but the way politics works in Texas. Begin by re-reading chapter 1 and consider such political arenas as political parties, campaigns and elections or voting to address the question.