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Politics and Government

Texas State Capitol, Austin
Texas State Capitol, Austin


Texas’ politics are as complex and diverse as the millions of people living across its large geographical expanse. Our political traditions date back to the Spanish colonial period and Texas Independence with significant Spanish, French and Mexican cultural influences. Texas also has Old South political roots that include secession from the Union, racial segregation and later mandated desegregation.  On the national level, Texas claims four presidents and one vice president, with sites full of stories of their childhood or their rise to political power ready for visitors to explore.

Since 1950, four U.S. Presidents have Texas roots. Although Dwight D. Eisenhower called Kansas home, he was born in Denison where the Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site, a modest frame house illustrates his working class roots. Lyndon Baines Johnson’s upbringing and life of public service is revealed at national and state parks and historic sites around Johnson City, as well as the LBJ Library and Museum in Austin, and the LBJ Museum in San Marcos. George H. W. Bush’s lifetime of military and political accomplishments fill the Presidential Library and Museum in College Station. The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas and the George W. Bush Childhood Home in Midland bookmark this President’s public and private life. Learn about the post-civil war childhood and political life of John Nance Garner at his home in Uvalde, now the Briscoe-Garner Museum. Garner served in the Texas and U.S. House of Representatives before becoming Vice President during the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration.

At the state level, tours of the State Capitol building and the Governor’s Mansion in Austin bring the business of politics and governing to life, and political movements and the lives of influential leaders can be explored at the Texas State History Museum in Austin and other sites across the state.

Those six national flags? Here’s the list: Spain (1519-1685; 1690-1821), France (1685-1690), Mexico (1821-1836), Republic of Texas (1836-1845), Confederate States of America (1861-1865), and the United States of America (1845-1861; 1865-present).


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Read more about Texas government in the Handbook of Texas Online.