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Texas’ Individualistic And Traditionalistic Culture: The Impact These Ideologies Have Had On Texas State Government And The Reasons People Support T

898 words - 4 pages

Texas is a unique place with a colorful history of legendary cowboys
and tall tales. The state stretches over the middle section of the
southern United States. Texas has experienced shifts in governmental
control within the United States. French, Spanish, Mexican, and
Confederacy, and all having once been in charge, not to mention the
time Texas spent as an independent republic. Texas has had many battles
and wars within its borders, resulting in seven different constitutions
within a span of fifty years between each document. The people of Texas
are diverse and carry their “big can-do attitudes and accents”
(Pearson); making Texas a bigger than life state. The political culture
of Texas is impacted by two different subgroups of individualistic and
traditionalistic characteristics. The combination of traditionalism and
individualism has had a huge impact on the state and Texas’ seven
different constitutions. The shift in power between 1827 and 1876 has
impacted the political diversity Texas has today. Looking at the
specifics of these subcultures, the traditionalists believe government
should benefit the wealthy and powerful, and that government services
must be limited. The individualists believe people should take care of
themselves and not be dependent on the government for assistance.
Understanding both subgroups within Texas’ political cultures, and the
reasons why Texans support such values, beliefs, and, attitudes towards
one group have impacted the structured government in Texas.

Individualists believe citizens are responsible for themselves and
their own wellbeing. Their belief is to be responsible for whatever he
or she achieves in life, couple with a strong attachment to land. “The
landowners' ethos is still strong in Texas. Texas individualism was
nurtured by the frontier experience, epitomized in fights against the
Native Americans, by the rough but effective frontier defense provided
by the Texas Rangers, and by the whole mythology of the cowboy”
(O’Conner). There is tremendous evidence, to suggest that individualism
is a strong part of Texas culture such as, the use of biennial sessions
of the legislature, the partisan election of judges, and limited powers
of the governor. The people of Texas with individualism as their root
belief do not want government to control their lives. They want the
legislature meeting every other year because Texans fear too much time
in session might lead to change. This is also the reason they have
restricted the powers of governor. Although Texans generally do not
want a strong government, this does not stop them from complaining and
seeking answers when outcomes in government do not go their way.

Looking at traditionalism, they are of the belief that people should
adhere to tradition and make very few changes, especially in cultural
or religious practice. “Traditionalism is a system holding that all
knowledge is derived from original divine revelation and...

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