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HST 121: History of Latin America

Course Prefix

Course Number

Course Title


Credit Hours



History of Latin America



Course Description

Surveys the political and constitutional history of the principal Latin American nations. The course will cover movements leading to independence and social and economic events which are pertinent to relationships with the United States.

Topical Outline

  1. The Pre-Columbian Civilizations
  2. The Iberian Background
  3. The Iberian Conquest of Latin America
  4. The Institutions of Colonial Spanish America: Government, Labor, Economic, Church, Social
  5. The Causes of Independence
  6. The Wars for Independence in Latin America
  7. Nineteenth Century Political Life: The Rise of Dictatorships
  8. The Mexican-American War
  9. The Abolition of Slavery in Brazil
  10. Revolutionary Mexico
  11. Argentina: The Age of Peron
  12. The Causes and Consequences of the Cuban Revolution
  13. The Civil War in El Salvador
  14. U.S. Foreign Policy in Latin America
  15. Current Events and Issues in Latin America Today

Method of Presentation

  1. Lecture
  2. Class discussion
  3. Student research and presentations

Student Outcomes (The student should…)

  1. comprehend the social, economic, and political development of Colonial Latin America.
  2. understand the social, economic, and political development of principle Latin American nations.
  3. comprehend the development of United States-Latin American relations.

Method of Evaluation

  1. Three essay exams
  2. Map quiz of Latin America
  3. Objective quizzes
  4. In-class writing assignments
  5. Two research papers (The student’s ability to organize, analyze, and write will be taken into account.)


Asturias, The President, Waveland, 1997.

Danner, Mark, The Massacre at El Mozote, Random House, 1994.

Keen, Benjamin, et al., History of Latin America, 7th ed., Houghton Mifflin Co., 2009.

Prepared by: David T. Richmond, Fall, 2008