Essay on Oil in Texas

1561 Words Dec 23rd, 2011 7 Pages
How did the national demand for oil affect the local businesses in Texas, and how did Texas oil discoveries affect the national oil market? As the Texas oil industry grew, so did related industries. Some companies began producing oil by-products such as petrochemicals. Others produced pipelines, barrels, and oil-field equipment. As these companies began moving into oil towns such as Houston, Beaumont, and Port Arthur, they further expanded the local economies. Some moved into small towns, quickly turning them into cities. In North Texas the town of Wichita Falls grew from 8,200 residents in 1910 to about 40,000 in 1920.The state income also increased from just over $101,000 in 1906 to $5.9 million in 1929, largely due to the oil …show more content…
Gradually, the oil glut began to affect ordinary Texans. Soon after Spindletop, the availability of an ocean of cheap oil encouraged its use as fuel for transportation and manufacturing. After railroads converted from coal to oil, steamships followed, led by those operating in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. As automobiles became more common, roads began to be paved across the state. Mechanization of farm work increased quickly, enabling farmers to produce more food with fewer people. Manufacturing plants developed in the formerly agricultural state, using cheap oil as fuel. Texas' population scales, heavily weighted toward the rural before Spindletop, started to balance, and by 1940, the population was almost even: 55 percent rural and 45 percent urban. World War II tipped the scales, however, when wartime jobs at manufacturing plants in the cities lured large numbers of people from farms and small towns. Most never returned. This displacement of farming families was exacerbated by the absorption of many family farms into large corporate operations. Increasing numbers of migrants from other states and foreign countries also settled principally in urban centers. By 1980, the state was four-fifths urban. The political economy of resource-rich states faces an inherent tension between the role of the state and the private sector over control of
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