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download pdfLatin America During the National Period (HIST 140)

“Poor people inhabit rich lands”
- E. Bradford Burns

Spring 2019, Truman State University
MC 211, MWF 10:30-11:20
Office: MC 227 

Marc Becker
Phone: x6036

This course surveys the history of Latin America from independence from European colonial powers at the beginning of the nineteenth century to the early twenty-first century. We will examine a variety of issues including inequality, leadership styles, democracy, religion, and gender. This course fulfills the history mode of inquiry in the Liberal Studies Program. In this mode, students will study a broad topic or major geographic area over an extended period of time and will demonstrate competence in one or more of the following areas, which characterize the work of historians:

  1. thinking in terms of causation, change over time, contingency, context, and chronological frameworks;
  2. the content and methodologies of humanistic and social-scientific disciplines to study and interpret the past;
  3. analyzing the interplay between choices individuals have made and developments societies have undergone; and
  4. understanding the social and aesthetic richness of different cultures.

See the syllabus addendum on Blackboard for additional class policies.


Virginia Garrard, Peter V. N. Henderson, and Bryan McCann, Latin America in the modern world (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2017) w/ sourcebook 2V PK – ISBN#: 9780190910747; website:

Assignments and grades

Assignment                                                                                         Points
Daily identification terms (3 pts ea.)                                      90 pts
15 Weekly quizzes (10 pts ea.)                                              150
14 Primary source analyses (40 pts ea.)                                 560
Final exam                                                                               200

Daily identification terms. We will begin each class period with identifying and giving the significance of one of the key terms listed at the end of each chapter in the textbook. These will be graded on a scale of 1 to 3 points. One point indicates an incorrect response, two summarizes material from the text, and three demonstrates analytical and critical thinking that extends beyond the textbook.

Weekly quizzes. A weekly quiz is on the Blackboard webpage for each chapter from the textbook. Complete the quiz by class time on Monday.

Primary source analyses. Write a one-page essay analyzing one of the primary sources (your choice) for each chapter in the source book and comparing its perspective with the treatment of the subject material in the textbook. The essays must be typed and are due each Friday.

Final Exam. The final exam is comprehensive and cumulative.

Class Schedule

Week 1 (Jan 14-18)     Independence
            Read: Prologue, ch. 1

Week 2 (Jan 23-25)     Regionalism
            Read: ch. 2

Week 3 (Jan 28-Feb 1)            Liberalism
            Read: ch. 3

Week 4 (Feb 4-8)        Exclusion
            Read: ch. 4

Week 5 (Feb 11-15)    Modernization
            Read: ch. 5

Week 6 (Feb 18-22)    Imperialism
            Read: ch. 6

Week 7 (Feb 25-March 1)       Progress
            Read: ch. 7

Week 8 (March 4-8)    Populism
            Read: ch. 8

Week 9 (March 18-22)            Modernity
            Read: ch. 9

Week 10 (March 25-29)          Revolutions
            Read: ch. 10

Week 11 (April 1-5)    Dictatorships
            Read: ch. 11

Week 12 (April 8-12)  Cold War
            Read: ch. 12

Week 13 (April 15-19)            Neoliberalism
            Read: ch. 13

Week 14 (April 24-26)            Identities
            Read: ch. 14

Week 15 (April 29-May 3)     Pink Tides
            Read: Epilogue

Final Exam: Thurs, May 9, 9:30-11:20

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