I went to the museum today and I have to say it surprised me to learn that how much the history of Texas ties with oil. As one of you guys said in your posting it is amazing that when I personally took my Texas history class in high school I never learned about the great impact of oil in Texas history and development. It is also amazing to note that Texas growth was built based on development of oil industry. I don’t know if anybody noticed but the room with the short movie and all its displays was from ExxonMobil, the only American oil company that I like to call it really a Texan company inherited from Humble Oil and Refining Company. I noticed that it said in the displays that “ In 19th century Pennsylvania was the leader, but by 1901 Texas struck oil at Spindeltop Beaumont which made Texas the leader in oil industries.” I can’t help it to wonder if this is a good thing or bad thing. One side of the story is the great impact of oil in the life of many people and in development of amazing industries and on the other side are all the environmental impacts it carries. I would like to summarize reasons oil is considered to have a great impact on Texas as a state:
1) Oil changed population distribution in Texas. From 1900 to 1950 agriculture and so rural living gave it’s place to manufacturing and urban living.
2) Not only that oil effected Texas but Texans affected the way oil was taken out of the ground and refined. They invented tools and techniques to meet challenges of Texas oil fields they reinvented the industry, which made Texas a national and international force in economics and policy.
3) Texas oil industries (refineries) were responsible for fulfilling the great military needs the United States had during the World Wars by shifting their production to meet military needs. For all these reasons, Texas was in the forefront of national defense and politics.
4) Oil industries promoted a great base for other industries and manufacturing.
5) The industry need for manpower drew workers from farms and ranches to jobs in factories and offices.
6) At this time Texans had better standard of living and enjoyed leisure time and could afford cars, which expanded possibilities of where they could work and live.