College of Arts and Sciences 
Department of History, Geography, and Political Science

Dr. Theron Corse

Course Description 
Outline & Readings 

COURSE SYLLABUS HIST 3200, History of Mexico  

Semester/Year: Spring 2012 Office Location: Crouch Hall, 406A
Semester Hours of Credit: 3 Office Phone: 963-7457
Instructor: Dr. Theron Corse Alternate Phone: 963-5471
Class Meeting Location: Crouch (GRD) 107 E-Mail: tcorse@tnstate.edu
Day and Time:  M 5:00-7:45 Office Hours: MWF: 9:30-3:00; TR: 9:00-11:20, 1-3:00
Final Exam - Due Apr 27 for graduating seniors, May 4 for everyone else


Maps and Internet Resources

1. Handout Reactions 2. Current Events Project 3. Underdogs Essay 4. El Narco Essay


COURSE DESCRIPTION This course will introduce the social, cultural, economic, and political history of Mexico, primarily since independence, with a background on the colonial and Pre-Columbian periods.

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GOALS AND OBJECTIVES The successful student will be expected to have the following competencies:
  • 1. A knowledge of the main geographical features of Mexico, including political geography
  • 2. An ability to give a broad periodization of Mexican history
  • 3. A familiarity with certain Spanish terms required to discuss Mexican history
  • 4. An ability to describe the major social and political movements of Mexico
  • 5. A familiarity with the Mexican Revolution and an understanding of its consequences
  • 6. A familiarity with the outlines of Mexican economic and social structure
  • 7. An understanding of the concept of race in Mexico
  • 8. An understanding of the broad outlines of Pre-Columbian history and society in Mexico
  • 9. An understanding of the current political situation in Mexico
  • 10. An understanding of the basic issues in Mexican-U.S. relations
  • 11. In general, a knowledge base and an analytical ability that will enable the student to understand and follow current events in Mexico
  • 12. Develop an understanding of methods in historical analysis.
TEXTBOOK These books are required and available in the campus bookstore:
  • Hernadez Chavez, Alicia. Mexico: A Brief History (University of California Press, 2006).
  • Grillo, Iaon. El Narco: Inside Mexico's Criminal Insurgency. (Bloomsbury Press, 2011)
  • Azuela, Mariano. The Underdogs (Los de Abajo). Any edition or publisher is acceptable.


EVALUATION Grades will be based on the assignments listed below. Assignments will be weighted as follows:  
Grade Distribution
Two Exams 2x20%each=40%
Handout Reactions 05%
Underdogs Essay 15%
Current Events Project 10%
El Narco Essay 15%
Map Quizzes 10%
Participation 05%
Total 100%


Grades and their numerical equivalents are as follows:
Grading Scale
90 or above A
80-89 B
70-79 C
60-69 D
59 or below F


Office Hours: Students who seek help with instructors during office hours get better grades. Do not wait until you have major problems! Students should speak to me any time they find themselves confused about material, directions, or grades. I am always ready to help any student who needs help with any of the material or any assignment. That's my job.

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READINGS AND ASSIGNMENTS Readings are taken from the textbooks, this website, the novel, and handouts.
While this is generally current, lectures after week 2 are subject to changes -- both minor and dramatic
Weeks Dates Topic and/or Assignment Reading


Jan 16 MLK day, no class  
2 Jan 23


  • Brief History Chp 1;
3 Jan 30
  • Brief History Chp 1
4 Feb 6

Map Quiz 1- Feb 6

  • Brief History Chp 2


5 Feb 13

Map Quiz 2 - Feb 13

  • Brief History Chp 2



6 Feb 20

Midterm questions posted

  • Brief History Chp 3
  • Handouts - TBA
7 Feb 27

Midterm Exam due Mar 6

  • Brief History Chp 4
  • Handouts TBA
  Mar 5 Spring Break  
  Mar 12


  • Brief History Chp 5


  Mar 19
  Mar 26

Last day to withdraw- Mar 23

  • Brief History Chp 8


  Apr 2
  • Brief History Chp 9
  • The Underdogs
  Apr 9

Underdogs Essay - Apr 9


  • Brief History Chps 10-11
  Apr 16

El Narco Essay - Apr 16

  • Brief History Chp 12
  • El Narco
  Apr 23

Current Events Project - Apr 23




  Apr 30 FINAL EXAM: Take Home - Due Apr 27 for graduating seniors, May 4 for everyone else
Final date to turn in Handout Reactions: May 4


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REQUIREMENTS Assignments Assignments for this class will include reading, writing, and special projects. Readings maybe assigned not only from the text, but also from photocopied materials, library books, and Internet sources. Students are responsible for all work assigned in this class, whether or not they are present. Assignments must be completed on time. Late work will be penalized unless you have a good excuse, and no assignments will be accepted more than one week late. All students are expected to participate regularly in class discussions.  

Attendance and Punctuality

All students are expected to attend class punctually and regularly.  Students arriving after the beginning of class may, at the instructor's discretion, be counted absent and/or asked to remain outside the classroom until the end of the lecture.

Excessive absence or tardiness may result in a significant reduction in a student's grade, and instructors are under no obligation to allow make-up work in cases of tests and assignments missed as a result of unexcused absence or tardiness.  The professor reserves the right to deduct from the student's participation grade for more than three unexcused absences and to deduct up to a letter grade from the final grade for excessive unexcused absences (10% of class hours). The professor reserves the right to fail students who miss more that 20% of class hours. Those students who know that they will have a consistent problem due to scheduling conflicts should discuss this with the professor at the beginning of the semester. Students are also responsible for obtaining information presented in class during their absence.

In the event of an illness or emergency requiring absence from class, students should contact the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs in order to obtain the documentation necessary to have the absence excused.  Instructors may require such documentation as a condition for allowing the completion of missed tests or assignments.

Tennessee State University's policy on absences may be found in the Student Handbook, Chapter VII, pp. 100-101.

Special Note on Academic Honesty

Students should be aware that a university is a community of scholars committed to the discovery and dissemination of knowledge and truth. Without freedom to investigate all materials, scrupulous honesty in reporting findings, and proper acknowledgment of credit, such a community can not survive. Students are expected to adhere to the highest traditions of scholarship. Infractions of these traditions, such as plagiarism (cheating), are not tolerated. Misrepresenting someone else's words or ideas as one's own constitutes plagiarism. In cases where plagiarism occurs, the instructor has the right to penalize the student(s) as he or she thinks appropriate. One guideline holds that the first offence results in failure of the assignment, the second offence in failure of the course. 

Class Participation

Class Participation: Preparation: since students are expected to participate in class discussion, it is important to complete all the assigned readings before coming to class. Students are expected to understand the material, or at least have identified what they do not yet understand in order to ask questions in class. All students are expected to come to class prepared to discuss the assigned material.

Students are expected to observe normal courtesy in class. They are expected to pay attention to the instructor, to take detailed notes, to refrain from personal conversation, and to avoid any other behavior that disturbs others. A student who does not observe these courtesies maybe asked to leave the room. 

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Back to Contents Last Updated: January 15, 2007