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

Dr. Theron Corse

Course Description 


Semester/Year: Spring 2003 Office Location: Crouch Hall, 111E
Semester Hours of Credit: 3 Office Phone: 963-5517
Instructor: Dr. Theron Corse Alternate Phone: 963-5471
Class Meeting Location: Crouch Hall, 218 E-Mail: tcorse@tnstate.edu
Day and Time: TR 9:25-10:40  Office Hours: MW 3:00-5:00; TR 1:30-3:30


Exam 2 
Exam 1


COURSE DESCRIPTION HIST 350 is an overview of major events in Latin American History in the 20th century. This course is meant to introduce students to the cultural, social, and political history of Latin America, from the pre-colonial era to the present day. Given the number of countries involved, the approach will be primarily thematic, with some attention paid to important examples and case studies. As much as possible, this course will focus on “ground-level” history, examining how historical forces and events shaped the lives of ordinary people. Because of this, the course will give special attention to issues of race, identity, gender roles, social interaction, and the like. Because of the importance of resistance and rebellion for ordinary people in Latin America, these too will be key themes.  The course is also designed to provide students with a richer picture of Latin America than the already have. For most Americans, our southern neighbors are sombreros, burritos, and Castro's cigar. In fact, Latin America is an enormously varied region that has experienced almost every imaginable government, from Constitutional Monarchy in Brazil to Marxist-Leninism in Cuba. Its people are equally varied, from ethnic Jamaicans on Costa Rica's shores to Aymara-speaking Amerindians in Bolivia to Ukrainian-Italian bankers in southern Brazil. 

At the end of the course, students should be able to discuss generally the major cultural and social themes of Latin American history and be able to use that knowledge to analyze current events. 

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GOALS AND OBJECTIVES This course is designed to so that the student will:
  • Be able to evaluate the achievements and lasting impacts of the major Pre-Columbian civilizations.
  • Be able to evaluate the structure and long term impact of the colonial experience in Latin America.
  • Be able to understand the reasons for and the long-term impact of independence in these countries.
  • Be able to identify and analyze the major issues that have confronted Latin America in the 20th Century.
  • Benjamin Keen and Keith Haynes. A History of Latin America, Volume 2: Independence to the Present (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000)


EVALUATION Grades will be based on the assignments listed below. Assignments will be weighted as follows:  
Grade Distribution
Three Exams 3x20% each=60%
Map Quizzes 11%
Book Review 12%
Country Study 12%
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 textbook, this website, and library reserve material. All material marked with an asterisk (*) is required reading. Those not marked with an asterisk are supplemental. Those articles marked "Acrobat" require Adobe Acrobat Reader. This program can be downloaded for free, though most computers already have it. These files also require a password. Please contact Dr. Corse.
Weeks Dates Topic and/or Assignment

Reading - Required readings have an asterisk (*)


Jan 14-23 Introduction/Roots of Latin American Society.   *Winn, Chapter 1
*1. Burkholder, 1-41. (Acrobat)
*2. The Second Letter of Cortes
*3. Aztec accounts of the Conquest of Mexico

4. Excerpts from Bartolome de Las Casas Destruction of the Indies


Jan 28 -Feb 6 Creating Societies.   *Winn, Chapters 2 and 8
5. Solange Alberro, "Beatriz de Padilla: Mistress and Mother" (Acrobat)
*6. John H. Coatsworth, "Patterns of Rural Rebellion in Latin America: Mexico in Comparative Perspective" (Acrobat)
*7.Asunción Lavrin, "Sexuality in Colonial Mexico: A Church Dilemma" (Acrobat)

8. Simon de Bolivar: "Message to the Congress of Angostura, 1819"
 9. Monroe Doctrine 1823  
10. The Treaty of Guadaloupe Hidalgo, 2 Feb 1848"


Feb 6-13 Creating Modern Nations

*Winn, Chapters 3
*11. Donna Guy, "Emilio and Gabriela Coni: Reformers, Public Health, and Working Women"
*12. M.L. Guzman, "The Festival of the Bullets"

13 Francisco Madero: The Plan of San Luis Potosi, November 20, 1910  
14. Zapata's Plan de Ayala.


Feb 18-Feb 27 Grappling With the 20th Century

EXAM 1 - FEB 27

*Winn, Chapter 4
*15.  Daniel James, "October 17th and 18th: Mass Protest, Peronism, and the Argentine Working Class"


Mar 11-27 The Revolutionary Option  *Winn, 493-544 and  Chapters 7 and 9.
17. Fidel Castro: Second Declaration of Havana, 1962

18. "Communism in the Americas" by Roy R. Rubottom, Jr. 
19. Inter-American Committee: Problems of Latin American Economies, 1965
. CIA Memorandum on Plans for Cuban Invasion, January 4, 1961  
21. John F. Kennedy: Address on the Cuban Crisis October 22, 1962


Apr 1-10 Priests and Butchers - Responses to the Crises of the 70s and 80s  

EXAM 2 - APR 3

*Winn, Chapter 10
*22. Gustavo Guttierez, "Liberation Theology" 
*23. Accounts of torture in Argentina (For #20, browse this site - you do not have to read all of it)

24. Encyclical Letter of His Holiness Pope Paul VI promulgated on March 26, 1967  
25. Pope John Paul II: Address at the Puebla Conference, 1979 


Apr 15-May 1 Latin America at the end of the Millennium


*Winn, pp. 544-549, Chapters 5, 6 and 14
*26. J.M. Salcedo, "Simply Pascuala"



May 8 FINAL EXAM MAY 6, 4:00 pm


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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

Attendance and Punctuality: While this class does not fall under the WN rule, attendance is still required. Note that the exams are heavily based on the lecture material. Students are responsible for material covered and assignments regardless of whether or not the student has an excuse. Students are not permitted to leave class before the instructor dismisses them, unless they have received prior permission from the instructor. Again, WN does not apply in 300 and 400 level classes. If you wish to withdraw, the last day to withdraw is March 23. 

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'sown constitutes plagiarism. In cases where plagiarism occurs, the instructorhas 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 28, 2002


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