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Modern Latin America
History 354
Summer I 2012
Michael Matthews
Lindner 112-B
Office phone: 336-278-6424
Home phone: 336-214-6365 (please no calls after 7pm)
[email protected]
COURSE DESCRIPTION:
1. This course provides an advanced introduction to students to the main problems, trends,
issues, etc. that have historically shaped contemporary Latin American societies since independence
(roughly 1810-25, for most countries in the region).
The main chronological focus will fall on Latin America between the mid-nineteenth century
and the last decades of the twentieth century.
2. The course stresses the changing interconnections between social, cultural, economic, and
political structures over time - not only within Latin America, but in general. In this regard, the
course uses Latin American societies as case studies to encourage students to analyze their own lives
as the product of ongoing and dynamic processes of social, cultural, political, and economic change.
3. The course also places considerable emphasis on the global processes that have shaped
and continue to shape Latin American societies. Again, students are encouraged to use this course to
build awareness of global processes and to think about their own lives and their own society within a
changing global context.
4. A major emphasis in the course falls on the diversity within Latin America - the differences
both across different Latin American societies and within individual countries.
5. Given the diversity that characterizes Latin America, a question that will come up in this
course (in more than one way) is whether it makes any sense to study in one semester and in one
course the region commonly called "Latin America." Does the notion of "Latin America" itself make
any sense? If it does indeed make sense, then we should be able to locate and identify a common
feature or set of features that characterizes the region as a whole. That feature or set features must
not only characterize the region as a whole, but also set Latin America apart from every area of the
world.
6. The course’s focus will fall on five specific countries: Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and
Cuba. Central America will also show up at the end of the semester with an emphasis on Guatemala.
At any rate, the five countries (Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Cuba) that will receive the bulk
of the attention in this course currently account for approximately two-thirds of Latin America's
entire population. They also account for nearly 70% of the total area occupied by Latin America.
COURSE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES:
The general goal of this online summer course is to have students develop a textbook knowledge of
the history of modern Latin America. This includes the following objectives:
1. Identify the major historical figures and events that have shaped modern Latin America.
2. Outline the recurring themes and concepts of Latin American history.
3. Describe the changing and ongoing social, cultural, economic, and political structures
that shape (and continue to shape) modern Latin America.
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4. Differentiate the characteristics between the ways that Latin America fit into the
nineteenth- and twentieth-century world economies.
5. Analyze the general issues, concepts, trends, etc. that have historically shaped modern
Latin America.
6. Demonstrate an appreciation for Latin America art, music, and literature as a reflection
of Latin American society in different historical periods.
REQUIRED READINGS
E. Bradford Burns, The Poverty of Progress (Abbreviated in course schedule as: Burns).
Greg Grandin, Empire’s Workshop (Abbreviated in course schedule as: Grandin).
Benjamin Keen and Thomas Haynes, A History of Latin America, vol. II: Independence to the
Present. (Abbreviated in course schedule as: Keen and Haynes)
**NOTE: There are also a number of readings posted on “eReserves” on Moodle. Make
sure to consult the syllabus regularly in order to keep up with the assigned readings.
**NOTE: There are also a number of handouts that accompany many of the assigned
readings. These materials will be posted on “Course Documents” on Moodle. Again, consult the
syllabus to keep up with the assigned readings.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING
Map Quiz
Writing Assignments (10% each)
Final Essay (6-7 pages)
Active Participation
5%
50%
20%
25%
MAP QUIZ
Students will complete an in-class map quiz covering Latin America’s twenty nations (and one
colony) and their capitals cities.
WEEKLY WRITING ASSIGNMENTS
Students will write weekly papers (2-3 pages). Each paper will require students to use the course
materials and their analytical skills in different ways. These assignments are designed to allow
students to articulate their own understanding of the economic, political, social, and/or cultural
processes that have shaped modern Latin America as well as to provide exercises for exploring how
historians ask questions and interpret primary and secondary sources. All papers should be double
spaced and typed in 12-point font. Students will be expected to demonstrate a solid grasp of “key
terms” and to use discussions of primary and secondary sources as evidence. Answers should
contain clearly stated theses and evidence with quoting kept to a minimum. Students are expected
to PROOFREAD their papers in order to avoid spelling, grammatical, and structural errors. All
papers will be submitted on Moodle’s “Weekly Paper Blog.”
**NOTE: To submit a weekly paper, click “Create Blog Entry” and then cut-and-paste the
essay into the space provided.
**NOTE: Students should submit their assignments on Moodle’s “Weekly Paper Blog” and
label the file FirstInitial+LastName+WeekNumber (e.g. mmatthews1.doc or mmatthews2.doc).
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**NOTE: This label (FirstInitial+LastName+WeekNumber) should also serve as the
Weekly Paper Blogs’ title.
**NOTE: Students should also email each week’s essay directly to the professor
([email protected]). Weekly essays are due on June 4, June 11, June 18, June 25, and June 28 at
10am (due to course scheduling, there will be less time to work on the final weekly essay – plan
accordingly).
PARTICIPATION
Participation in this online course includes timely submission of assignments, sincere and engaged
contributions to the Moodle discussion forum, helpful comments on other students’ weekly essays,
and clear communication of ideas and questions spurred by the course readings and PowerPoint
materials.
**NOTE: Students’ participation grades will be based on the quantity and quality of their
participation.
1. Quantity (1/3 of final participation grade): students are required to post at least ONE
question and/or comment on at least TWO other students’ weekly essays once per week.
Students are also expected to engage the TWO discussion questions posted each week.
2. Quality (2/3 of final participation grade): students’ questions and/or comments should
demonstrate a solid grasp of course materials and demonstrate knowledge that makes
connections across readings, as well as time and place, showing a keen engagement with the
information, ideas, and theories examined during the semester.
MOODLE DISCUSSION FORUMS
There will be two forum discussion formats:
1. A forum to engage and discuss the weekly questions provided by the professor. These
questions will be posted on Moodle under “Discussions.” These questions will be
posted on Wednesdays and Fridays at 10am. Students will have exactly 48 hours to
respond.
2. A forum to engage and discuss the weekly essays submitted by other students in the course.
Students will submit questions and comments on the essays posted on Moodle
under “Weekly Paper Blogs.” Students will have exactly 48 hours to respond after
the papers have been posted.
**NOTE: To submit a comment on a classmate’s essay, click “Comment” on their
blog submission.
ACADEMIC HONESTY AND PLAGIARISM
Students are responsible for compliance with all University policies regarding academic integrity
(http://www.elon.edu/students/handbook/honcode.asp) as well as with American Historical
Association standards for historical scholarship
(www.theaha.org/pubs/standard.htm#StatementonPlagiarism).
DISABILITIES
Elon provides accommodations to students who have documentation of a disability and work
through Disabilities Services to arrange accommodations. Contact Susan Wise in Duke 108 (336-
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278-6500). Once you’ve established eligibility, please see me during my office hours before the end
of the term. If you cannot make it to my office, contact me by email or phone.
TECHNICAL SUPPORT
For technical support questions and help, contact the Help Desk at Elon: 336-278-5200.
COURSE SCHEDULE (subject to change!)
Week One – May 31-June 4
Topics addressed:
Course introduction;
“Colonial legacies;”
Latin America in the nineteenth century: Main trends, major problems, and key issues;
**NOTE: These two PowerPoint “lectures” introduce a number of general issues,
concepts, etc. (e.g. Liberalism, free trade, oligarchic rule, etc.) that are relevant for understanding
Latin America societies in the nineteenth century and especially in the second half of that century. A
solid grasp of those general issues, concepts, etc. will be absolutely crucial once we shift to specific
countries. You can also think about these two PowerPoint “lectures” as a “tool kit” for tackling the
problems that will show up when looking at specific countries.
Mexico in the nineteenth century;
Argentina in the nineteenth century.
On Moodle:
Reading for “Course introduction” and “Colonial Legacies”
Course overview handout;
Reading and writing handout;
Liberalism handout;
Reading for “Latin America in the nineteenth century”
Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, “Latin American Society in the Mid-nineteenth Century: The
City and the Countryside...,”
José Martí, “Salvation through Originality,”
“Neo-colonialism” and labor handout;
Reading for “Mexico in the nineteenth century”
“Mexico City under Santa Anna;”
“Ordinary People Face Economic Challenges;”
“The Indians Lose their Land;”
Reading for “Argentina in the nineteenth century”
“Barbarian Caudillo;”
UCR handout.
In the Text:
Keen and Hayes, pp. xviii-xvi, 178-228; 243-255;
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Burns, pp. 1-85.
Assignments:
1. Participate in the Moodle discussion forum that asks questions about Latin America’s
role in the nineteenth-century world economy and about the establishment of Mexico
and Argentina’s Liberal oligarchic regimes.
2. Write a short essay (500-750 words) describing how the Liberal oligarchic regimes of
Mexico and Argentina promoted export-based economic growth and development (due
June 6 at 10am).
3. Comment on at least TWO students’ short essays by June 8 at 10am. Comments should
demonstrate a sincere engagement with classmates’ discussions. This could include
posing questions about ideas put forward in the essay, providing examples from the
readings that could further support the argument of the essay, explaining the historical
significance of examples used in the essay, or making broader analytical connections
between the two essays.
4. Map quiz of 20 Latin American nations and their capitals as well as the 1 Latin American
colony and its capital. (Due June 5 at 10am).
Week Two – June 5-June 11
Topics addressed:
Chile in the nineteenth century;
Brazil in the nineteenth century;
Latin America in the nineteenth century: Some concluding remarks.
On Moodle:
Readings for “Brazil in the nineteenth century”
“The Antislavery Impulse;”
Brazilian slavery handout;
Readings for “Latin America in the nineteenth century: Some concluding remarks”
Political ideology handout;
“Buenos Aires: First Impressions;”
“Popular Perspective on Modernity,”
In the Text:
Keen and Hayes, pp. 211-215, 255-265;
Burns, pp. 86-154.
Assignments:
1. Participate in the Moodle discussion forum that asks questions about how Chile and
Brazil promoted export-based economies and how Liberal oligarchic regimes defined the
concepts “civilization” and progress.
2. Write a short essay (500-750 words) that discusses how different social groups in Latin
America defined the concepts “civilization” and progress (due June 13 at 10am).
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3. Comment on at least TWO students’ short essays by June 15 at 10am. Comments should
demonstrate a sincere engagement with classmates’ discussions. This could include
posing questions about ideas put forward in the essay, providing examples from the
readings that could further support the argument of the essay, explaining the historical
significance of examples used in the essay, or making broader analytical connections
between the two essays.
Week Three – June 12-June 18
Topics addressed:
Latin America in the twentieth century: Main trends, major problems, and key issues;
**NOTE: These two PowerPoint “lectures” introduce a number of general issues,
concepts, etc. (e.g. populism, political incorporation, import-substituting industrialization, etc.) that
are relevant for understanding Latin America societies in the twentieth century. A solid grasp of
those general issues, concepts, etc. will be absolutely crucial once we shift to specific countries. You
can also think about these two PowerPoint “lectures” as a “tool kit” for tackling the problems that
will show up in when looking at specific countries.
Mexico in the twentieth century;
Cuba in the twentieth century.
On Moodle:
Reading for “Latin America in the twentieth century”
Political incorporation and working definitions handout;
“Economic Dependency;”
Readings for “Mexico in the twentieth century”
“The Plan of Ayala;”
Populism handout;
“Cárdenas Speaks;”
“Agrarian Reform Begins;”
Readings for “Cuba in the twentieth century”
“History Will Absolve Me.”
“Our Day is Coming Soon” handout.
In the Text:
Keen and Hayes, pp. 313-338, 376-399, 514-520, 559-592,
Grandin, pp. 1-54;
Assignments:
1. Participate in the Moodle discussion forum that asks questions about how the 1929/30
worldwide economic crisis helped shape the populist politics and economic policies
promoted by leaders in Mexico and Cuba.
2. Write a short essay (500-750 words) that explains how twentieth-century leaders in
Mexico and Cuba attempted to give more social groups and classes a meaningful political
voice (due June 20 at 10am).
3. Comment on at least TWO students’ short essays by June 22 at 10am. Comments should
demonstrate a sincere engagement with classmates’ discussions. This could include
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posing questions about ideas put forward in the essay, providing examples from the
readings that could further support the argument of the essay, explaining the historical
significance of examples used in the essay, or making broader analytical connections
between the two essays.
Week Four – June 19-June 25
Topics addressed:
Brazil in the twentieth century;
Chile in the twentieth century.
On Moodle:
Readings for “Brazil in the twentieth century”
“On the Protection of the Brazilian Worker;”
Silvio Caccia Bava, “Neighborhood Movements and the Trade Unions...;”
Reading for “Chile in the twentieth century”
“Prelude to Dictatorship and Victor Lara.”
In the Text:
Keen and Hayes, pp. 339-355, 421-437, 499-511
Grandin, pp. 55-201.
Assignments:
1. Participate in the Moodle discussion forum that asks questions about how antidemocratic dictatorships emerged in Brazil and Chile.
2. Write a short essay (500-750 words) that explores why democracy failed to establish itself
in twentieth-century Brazil and Chile (due June 27 at 10am).
3. Comment on at least TWO students’ short essays by June 29 at 10am. Comments should
demonstrate a sincere engagement with classmates’ discussion. This could include posing
questions about ideas put forward in the essay, providing examples from the readings
that could further support the argument of the essay, explaining the historical
significance of examples used in the essay, or making broader analytical connections
between the two essays.
Week Five – June 25-June28
Topics addressed:
Argentina in the twentieth century;
Central America and Guatemala in the twentieth century;
Latin America in the twentieth century: Some concluding remarks.
On Moodle:
Readings for “Argentina in the twentieth century”
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“Perón Appeals to the People;”
“Eva Perón: On Women’s Right to Vote;”
“Letter to President Perón;”
Marysa Navarro, “Evita’s Charismatic Leadership;”
Readings for “Central America and Guatemala in the twentieth century”
“Open Letter to the Junta and Mothers of the Disappeared;”
“Operation Guatemala;”
“The Church and the Nicaraguan Revolution.”
In the Text:
Keen and Hayes, pp. 356-375, 439-467, 511-514, 520-558, 573-581.
Grandin, pp. 202-372.
Assignments:
1. Participate in Moodle discussion forum that asks questions about how Latin American
countries such as Argentina and Guatemala became important theatres of the Cold War
and why U.S. foreign policy supported violent, anti-democratic regimes.
2. Write a short essay (500-750 words) that explores the ways that the Cold War shaped
U.S. policy toward Latin America after World War II (due June 30 at 10am).
FINAL ESSAY QUESTION:
Having read nineteenth-century authors Faustino Sarmiento and José Marti, as well as Bradford
Burns’ monograph The Poverty Progress, it is clear that Latin Americans disagreed about how
“civilization” and progress should be defined and disagreed in their views
a. about the best ways to organize societies in their region, and
b. about the direction that future social, economic, political, and cultural development
should take in Latin America.
Beyond that, in Fordlandia, Greg Grandin’s examination of how Henry Ford hoped to bring the
“American way life,” and thus “civilization,” to the Amazon in his attempt to establish a rubber
plantation in Brazil reveals that this “civilizing mission” continued to shape people’s views about
Latin America in the twentieth century.
Examining Henry Ford’s project in the Amazon, discuss whose ideas about “civilization” and
progress—that is Sarmiento or Martí’s—resembled Ford’s vision most closely. How did Ford’s
understandings of “civilization” and progress shape his project in the Amazon? Was this project a success or failure?
Why?
**NOTE: The final essay is due on Friday June 29, 2012 at 4pm.
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COURSE GRADING
Letter
Grade
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
DF
Description
Indicates an excellent performance in course exams, assignments, and
participation. Students who earn an “A” go beyond a solid grasp of course
materials and demonstrate knowledge and synthesis that makes connections across
readings and lectures, time and place, showing a keen engagement with the
information, ideas, and theories examined during the semester. Moreover, exams
and assignments put forward convincing arguments that successfully use evidence
to support conclusions and that are clearly articulated without significant factual,
structural, or grammatical errors. Exams and assignments have clearly stated theses
that are adequately supported by relevant evidence. Exams and assignments are
organized logically with examples that draw out important contextual information
and use explanatory details to support the main argument.
Indicates an above-average performance in course exams, assignments, and
participation. Students who earn a “B” demonstrate a solid grasp of course
materials and at times make connections across readings and lectures, time and
place, showing a keen engagement with the information, ideas, and theories
examined during the semester. Moreover, exams and assignments put forward
convincing arguments, but contain some problematic areas. Exams and
assignments have generally sound discussions with a few (minor) factual,
structural, and/or grammatical errors. Theses are clearly articulated, but may lack
sufficient support. Several examples are used to support the thesis, but there may
be minor omissions of details.
Indicates a workmanlike performance in course exams, assignments, and
participation. Students who earn a “C” demonstrate a basic grasp and familiarity
with course materials but do not attempt to make deeper connections across
readings and lectures, time and place, showing a lukewarm engagement with the
information, ideas, and theories examined during the semester. Moreover, exams
and assignments are logical but contain problems in argumentation. Thesis
statements are presented in essays, but lack examples and evidence. Factual,
structural, and/or grammatical errors distract from the overall argument.
Indicates a below-average performance in course exams, assignments, and
participation. Students who earn a “D” demonstrate a passing performance
despite problems grasping course materials. Moreover, exams and essays offer
poor discussions that fail to be convincing. Exams and essays contain significant
structural, factual, and/or grammatical errors and frequently fail to provide
logically organized discussions to support thesis statements. Examples may be
given, but fail to support the argument adequately.
Indicates either a failure to meet the basic course requirements or a performance
that fails to meet the basic expectations of comprehension, analysis, and/or work
effort in course exams, assignments and participation. Moreover, exams and
essays demonstrate little or no effort. Exams and essays also falter on issues of
structure and ability to carry an argument. Often essays have no thesis statement
whatsoever and provide little or erroneous information as well as repeated
grammatical errors.
Numerical
Value
94-100
GPA
90-93
3.7
87-89
3.3
83-86
3.0
80-82
2.7
77-79
2.3
73-76
2.0
70-72
1.7
67-69
1.3
63-67
1.0
60-62
0.7
0-59
0.0
4.0
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Modern Latin America History 354 Summer I 2012 Michael