Major Eras in Texas History

Why Historians Divide
the Past Into Eras
Historians divide the past into eras so
it is easier to identify cause and effect of
the great events/people in history.
To present there are 12 eras in Texas
Natural Texas and Its
 Prehistory - 1528
This era is the prehistory of Texas up to the
point of contact with Europeans in 1528.
This era includes the natural geologic history
as well as Native American history.
Age of Contact
 1528-1690
 This era covers the interaction between European
explorers and American Indians.
 This era covers the establishment of permanent
Spanish mission in 1682-1690
 This era includes the encounters of Cabeza de Vaca
and the numerous expeditions over the next 150
years that define what the Europeans and American
Indians understood about each other and Texas.
Spanish Colonial
 1690-1821
 This era deals with the efforts of Spain to bring Texas
under Spanish control.
 The Spanish established missions, town, ranches, and
military posts in South Central and East Texas.
 Spain’s authority in Texas was challenged by
American Indians, France, the United States, and
Mexican National
 1821-1836
 This era covers the efforts of Mexico to populate and
retain Texas for the Republic of Mexico.
 To do this Mexico developed Anglo and Mexican
settlements and local government institutions
 This eventually led to the Texas Revolution.
Revolution and
This era deals with the Texas revolt against
Mexican rule.
 This began with the establishment of an
independent Republic of Texas.
 At the end of the revolution Texas became a state
of the United States of America.
Early Statehood
 1845-1861
 This era deals with Texas annexation in 1845 and its
effort to secede from the United States of America.
 This includes the Mexican War, resolution of the Texas
boundary, dispute of part of the Compromise of 1850,
significant population growth from immigration into
Texas, and the involvement of the U.S. Army in
frontier defense.
Civil War and
 1861-1874
 This era deals with the reason Texas seceeded
from the United States
 This era deals with conflict while reshaping
Texas following the war by the military,
federal, and state government.
 This era deals with issues brought about by
the growth of slavery in Texas and the events
that impacted the Civil War on Texas
 This era deals with the events and actions that
took place to reconstruct Texas following the
Civil War.
Cotton, Cattle,
and Railroads
 1865-1900
 This era deals with the return to cotton agriculture after
the Civil War.
 This era covers the rise of cattle during and after
 This era shows the development of railroads and the
effects that the different enterprises had on each other and
on life in Texas.
 These industries caused expansion into West Texas which
had an impact on the remaining independent Indian
peoples resulting in more reservations and other
Age of Oil
 1894-1935
 This era deals with the vast range of oil discoveries
beginning with Corsicana in 1894 through East Texas
Field development.
 This includes major discoveries at Spindletop, the
growth of Texas economic and political influence due
to oil, and the effects that oil revenue had on Texas
 This era also covers the role of Texas and Texans in
Texas in the Great
Depression and WWII
 1929-1945
 This era deals with the effects of the
Great Depression on Texas.
 This includes the efforts to improve
the Texas economy, the impact of
the Dust Bowl on Texas, and the
economic and social changes.
 This era also deals with changes
brought on by WWII.
 This includes the social changes
and the role of the federal
government in growing the Texas
wartime economy.
Civil Rights and
 1945-1980
 This era deals with the movements for social change
and equality that began after WWII.
 This includes the efforts by Hispanics and African
Americans to have equal access and treatment.
 This era covers the political shift away from Texans’
long-held allegiance to the Democratic party and
became more conservative in support of the
Republican Party.
Contemporary Texas
 1980-Present
 This era deals with the
events and issues facing
Texans from 1980 to
 This includes the role
of Texas politically
and economically, the
impact of recent
conflicts on Texas, and
issues facing Texas in
the present and future.

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