Urban Growth


Texas History Economic Boom Urban Growth
Students learn about the population shift in Texas as people moved from the rural areas to urban and suburban areas. The students identify reasons people left for the cities and what opportunities awaited them in various Texas cities. Then they learn about positive and negative impacts that the rapid population growth had on the cities.

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Overview

In this experience, students learn about the population shift in Texas as people moved from the rural areas to urban and suburban areas. The students identify reasons people left for the cities and what opportunities awaited them in various Texas cities. Then they learn about positive and negative impacts that the rapid population growth had on the cities.

Objectives:

  • Identify trends in population changes from rural to urban parts of Texas.
  • Identify causes and effects of why people moved into cities, such as Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.
  • Analyze how living conditions in cities differed for people of different economic classes.
  • Identify positive and negative impacts of the large population growth in cities.


When you think of big cities in Texas, you may think of Houston, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio, but these cities were not always so large. In this experience, you will learn why people were moving from the rural areas to the cities.

Objectives:

  • Identify trends in population changes from rural to urban parts of Texas.
  • Identify causes and effects of why people moved into cities, such as Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.
  • Analyze how living conditions in cities differed for people of different economic classes.
  • Identify positive and negative impacts of the large population growth in cities.




Downtown El Paso, 1908


The chart below shows the population in four Texas cites at three points over a sixty-year time span of Texas statehood.




Look at the chart. What observations can you make about the changes in population from the 1850 to 1910? If someone has already listed an idea that you have, try to think of a different one.



Student answers may vary. Discuss with students the answers they provided.

Possible answers:

  • Population increased in all cities
  • Austin doubled in size from 1880 to 1910
  • San Antonio grew over 300% from 1850 to 1880


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