College of Arts and Sciences 
Department of Government and History

Dr. Theron Corse

Course Description 
Outline & Readings 

COURSE SYLLABUS HIST 353, History of Mexico  

Semester/Year: Fall 2001 Office Location: JKSA (TSA) 206A
Semester Hours of Credit: 3 Office Phone: 672-1044
Instructor: Dr. Theron Corse Alternate Phone: 672-1573
Class Meeting Days, Time, and Location: MW, 4:00-5:20  E-Mail: tcorse@uncfsu.edu
Office Hours: W 9-11, 2-3; T, R 1:30-4:00; T 5:30-6:00; or by appointment
Lecture Notes and Study Guides

Maps and Internet Resources





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 This course meets the following NCSS and DPI Competencies:
  • NCSS Standard #1: Culture and Cultural Diversity (see below)
  • NCSS Standard #5: Individuals, Groups, and Institutions (see below)
  • NCSS Standard #8 - Science, Technology, and Society (through use of the Internet for research and class materials)
  • DPI - Educational Framework: Content Knowledge (see below)
  • DPI - DPI - Learning Climate
  • DPI - Dispositions
  • DPI - Diversity (see below)
  • DPI - Technology (through use of the Internet for research and class materials)
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 Meyer, Michael and William L. Sherman. The Course of Mexican History (Sixth Edition).
Azuela, Mariano. The Underdogs (Los de Abajo).


EVALUATION Grades will be based on the assignments listed below. Assignments will be weighted as follows:  
Grade Distribution
Two Exams 2x20%each=40%
Final Exam 25%
Underdogs Essay 10%
Current Events Project 10%
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
Excessive Absence WN


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, the novel, and handouts. The chapter numbers in the schedule are from the Meyers and Sherman book. Underlined readings are links to web sites.  
Weeks Dates Topic and/or Assignment Reading


Aug 23-Sep 11 Pre-Spanish Mexico and the Spanish Conquest Introduction - Where is Mexico? The First Mexicans: Life in Pre-Spanish Mexico. The Hummingbird and the Hawk: The Conquest of Mexico--Cross and Sword Sections 1-2; 3. Aztec accounts of the Conquest of Mexico


Sep 11-25 Colonial Mexico and Independence The Long Sixteenth Century: Silver and the Hapsburg Slumber. Daily Life in New Spain: Marriage, Murder, and Rebellion. Forging the Cosmic Race: Race and Ethnicity in Colonial Mexico. Bourbon Mexico and the Seeds of Independence. Revolt from Below, Reaction from Above: Hidalgo and Iturbide. Sections 3-4; Beatriz de Padilla handout


Sep 25-Oct 16 19th Century Mexico and the Porfiriato Struggle for Identity: The Age of Santa Anna and the War of Northern Aggression. La Reforma: Benito Juarez and the Triumph of Liberalism. Bread or the Club: The Porfiriato (1876-1910). EXAM 1 - SEP. 27. Sections 5-7; 7. The Treaty of Guadaloupe Hidalgo, 2 Feb 1848"


Oct 18-29 The Mexican Revolution(s). One Revolution, Many Revolutions: Madero, Zapata, Villa, Carranza, Etc...... Education in the Mexican Revolution: Vasconselos and the New Mexican. Literature of the Mexican Revolution: the Underdogs (Los de Abajo). Art in the Mexican Revolution: Rivera, the Muralists, and Frida Kahlo. A Revolution in Song: The Mexican Corrido. Sections 8-9; 9. George M. McBride: "Haciendas" from The Land Systems of Mexico, 1923 10. Francisco Madero: The Plan of San Luis Potosi, November 20, 1910 11. Zapata's Plan de Ayala.


Oct 31-Nov 15 The Twentieth Century A New Revolution: Cardenas and the Re-Emergence of the Populists. The Frozen Revolution: Mexico at Mid-Century. A New Mexico: Salinas, Neo-Liberalism, and Democratic Reform (maybe). Struggles With Urbanization: The Explosive Growth of Mexico City. EXAM 2-NOV. 1. Sections 9-10;


Nov 20-Dec 11 Mexico at the Millennium Mexico Divided: NAFTA and the Zapatista Revolt. Popular Culture in Contemporary Mexico. Greater Mexico: Mexicans in the United States and the World of the Borderlands. Distant Neighbors: The Future of Mexican-U.S. Relations. CURRENT EVENTS PROJECT DUE NOV.  20. TBA; 21. Website for the Zapatista Front of National Liberation



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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

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. The WN policy is not in effect in this class, as this is a 300 level class. The last day to withdraw is October 26.


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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