Texas Politics

Featuring content from the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin, each chapter presents students of Texas government with the concepts, institutions, and processes they need to know.

Course version

The course version includes all fourteen chapters of original content and is updated each term with the latest polling data from the Texas Politics Project. It also includes in-depth investigations to provide students with a deeper dive into important topics. Soomo course features enable students to monitor their learning and instructors to better help students make progress and succeed in the course. It is free to instructors and a $55 subscription for students.


See a Demo

Self-directed version

Are you a student who wants to study on your own for the supplement to the AP Government and Politics exam or the CLEP American Government Exam? This version of Texas Politics (also priced at $55) is designed to be used outside of a course as a self-study aid to help you prepare for the exam.

Purchase Access

  1. Political Culture
    1. Introduction
    2. I. The Concept of Political Culture
    3. Political Socialization
    4. II. Political Ideology
    5. III. People and Cultures in Texas Political History
    6. Indigenous Groups
    7. Spanish and Mexican Americans
    8. Anglo and African Americans
    9. IV. Population Growth in Texas Today
    10. V. Texas Public Opinion and Politics
    11. Investigation: Contrasting Values (Part 1 of 2)
    12. Investigation: Contrasting Values (Part 2 of 2)
    13. Conclusion
  2. The Texas Constitution
    1. Introduction
    2. I. Characteristics of Constitutions
    3. II. Federal vs. State Constitutions
    4. III. Constitutions in Texas History
    5. The Constitutions of 1836 and 1845
    6. The Constitutions of 1861 and 1866
    7. The Radical Republican Constitution of 1869
    8. The Convention of 1875
    9. IV. The Texas Constitution Today
    10. Articles
    11. Constitutional Powers
    12. Structures and Authority
    13. Education, Taxation, and Revenue
    14. Governing Locally
    15. Amendments and Other Articles
    16. V. Attempts at Revision
    17. Investigation: Propping Up the Constitution (Part 1 of 2)
    18. Investigation: Propping Up the Constitution (Part 2 of 2)
    19. Conclusion
  3. The Legislature
    1. Introduction
    2. I. Organization
    3. Legislative Sessions
    4. Serving in the Legislature
    5. Compensation
    6. Investigation: The Terms of a Term (Part 1 of 2)
    7. Investigation: The Terms of a Term (Part 2 of 2)
    8. II. The Legislature’s Makeup
    9. Demographic Characteristics
    10. Incumbency
    11. III. Powers of the Legislature
    12. Other Areas of Authority
    13. Redistricting
    14. IV. Presiding Officers and Powers
    15. Speaker of the House
    16. V. Committees
    17. The Impact of Committees
    18. Conclusion
  4. The Legislative Process
    1. Introduction
    2. I. The Actors in the Process
    3. The Unengaged Public
    4. Interest Groups
    5. Staff and the Press
    6. II. How a Bill Becomes a Law
    7. Committee and Floor Action
    8. Conference Committee and Governor’s Desk
    9. III. Between the Boxes and Lines
    10. Committees as the Focus of Politics
    11. Floor Debate
    12. Investigation: Saving for a Rainy Day (Part 1 of 2)
    13. Investigation: Saving for a Rainy Day (Part 2 of 2)
    14. The Ticking Clock
    15. The Rivalry Between the House and Senate
    16. Conclusion
  5. The Executive Branch
    1. Introduction
    2. I. The Elected Members of the Executive Branch
    3. Attorney General
    4. Comptroller of Public Accounts
    5. Commissioner of the Land Office and Commissioner of Agriculture
    6. Elected Boards and Commissions
    7. II. Appointees of the Executive Branch
    8. III. State Agencies and the Executive Branch Bureaucracy
    9. Bureaucracy in Perspective
    10. Investigation: The Sun Also Sets (Part 1 of 2)
    11. Investigation: The Sun Also Sets (Part 2 of 2)
    12. Conclusion
  6. The Governor
    1. Introduction
    2. I. Qualifications and Patterns
    3. Rewards and Removal
    4. II. Political Influence
    5. Appointments
    6. Veto Powers
    7. Budgeting and Other Powers
    8. III. Informal Powers
    9. IV. Figurehead Status
    10. Investigation: Whose Emergency? (Part 1 of 2)
    11. Investigation: Whose Emergency? (Part 2 of 2)
    12. Conclusion
  7. The Judicial Branch
    1. Introduction
    2. I. Foundations of Law
    3. Sources of Laws
    4. II. Organization of the Courts
    5. Local and County Trial Courts
    6. Other Texas Courts
    7. Supreme Courts
    8. III. Judicial Selection and Qualifications
    9. Formal Qualifications for Judges
    10. Characteristics of the Judiciary
    11. Terms of Office
    12. Judicial Conduct and Discipline
    13. Modes of Judicial Selection
    14. Impact of Judicial Selection
    15. The Debate over Judicial Elections in Texas
    16. Investigation: Judge for Sale? (Part 1 of 2)
    17. Investigation: Judge for Sale? (Part 2 of 2)
    18. Conclusion
  8. The Criminal Justice System
    1. Introduction
    2. I. Race and Criminal Justice in Texas
    3. Mass Incarceration and Race
    4. Public Opinion of Police and Policing
    5. II. Institutions of the Criminal Justice System
    6. Law Enforcement
    7. The Criminal Trial System
    8. Sentencing
    9. The Jail and Prison System
    10. III. The Special Case of Capital Punishment
    11. Evaluating the Death Penalty
    12. Public Opinion and the Death Penalty
    13. Investigation: Biased Justice (Part 1 of 2)
    14. Investigation: Biased Justice (Part 2 of 2)
    15. IV. Attempts at Reform
    16. Implementing Reform
    17. Conclusion
  9. Elections, Voting, and Campaigns
    1. Introduction
    2. I. Election Types
    3. Getting on the Ballot
    4. II. Voting Requirements
    5. Voting Patterns
    6. Investigation: Power to the Procrastinators (Part 1 of 2)
    7. Investigation: Power to the Procrastinators (Part 2 of 2)
    8. III. Campaigns as Mobilization
    9. Voter Identification
    10. Targeting Strategies
    11. Voter Contact
    12. Advertising and Media
    13. Social Media
    14. Events and Speeches
    15. Polling
    16. IV. Campaigns as Part of the Political System
    17. Rising Campaign Costs
    18. Regulating Contributions
    19. Campaign Finance Regulation in Texas
    20. Debate over Money in Politics
    21. Conclusion
  10. Political Parties
    1. Introduction
    2. I. Parties in Democracy
    3. Party Roles and Functions
    4. Getting Involved
    5. Run for Office
    6. Organize Your Precinct
    7. II. Party Systems
    8. III. The History of Parties in Texas
    9. Statehood and Secession (1845–1865)
    10. Reconstruction (1865–1877)
    11. Democratic Dominance and Divisions
    12. The New Deal Alliance
    13. The Civil Rights Movement
    14. The Rise of the Republican Party
    15. IV. The Parties Today
    16. Republican Party of Texas
    17. Democratic Party of Texas
    18. Third Parties
    19. Investigation: Party Favors (Part 1 of 2)
    20. Investigation: Party Favors (Part 2 of 2)
    21. The Future of Party Politics in Texas
    22. Conclusion
  11. Interest Groups
    1. Introduction
    2. I. Interest Groups in Texas Government
    3. II. Distinguishing Interest Group Types
    4. III. What Interest Groups Do
    5. Organizing Sub-Governments
    6. IV. How They Do It: Interest Group Tools and Techniques
    7. Investigation: Making the Grade (Part 1 of 2)
    8. Investigation: Making the Grade (Part 2 of 2)
    9. Other Types of Influence
    10. Media Strategy and Public Meetings
    11. Conclusion
  12. Public Policy
    1. Introduction
    2. I. The Policymaking Process
    3. II. Funding Texas
    4. Taxes and Fairness
    5. The Politics of Generating Revenue
    6. III. Health Care and Education
    7. Health and Human Services
    8. The Politics of Health Care
    9. Public Education
    10. IV. Infrastructure Issues
    11. Transportation Policy
    12. Investigation: Where the Rubber Meets the Road (Part 1 of 2)
    13. Investigation: Where the Rubber Meets the Road (Part 2 of 2)
    14. Water Policy
    15. Conclusion
  13. Local Government
    1. Introduction
    2. I. Foundations of Local Government
    3. II. Municipal Government
    4. Home Rule Cities
    5. Investigation: Banning the Ban (Part 1 of 2)
    6. Investigation: Banning the Ban (Part 2 of 2)
    7. Forms of Municipal Government
    8. Municipal Revenue and Expenditures
    9. III. County Government
    10. Organization of County Government
    11. Local Government Debt
    12. IV. Special Districts
    13. Education and Municipal Utility Districts
    14. Conclusion
  14. Federalism
    1. Introduction
    2. I. The Federal System
    3. Federalism and the Constitution
    4. American Federalism
    5. Cooperative Federalism
    6. II. Policy and Funding
    7. Texas vs. the United States
    8. From Conflict to Cooperation
    9. States’ Rights
    10. III. Federalism and Partisan Loyalty
    11. Parties in Government
    12. Investigation: Take the Money and Fund (Part 1 of 2)
    13. Investigation: Take the Money and Fund (Part 2 of 2)
    14. Conclusion

Interested in this course?

Get started