Course Description

Course Name

Contemporary Latin American History

Session: VSJU1522

Hours & Credits

48 Contact Hours

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


Course Title: Contemporary Latin American History
Course code: HIS 2302
Total contact hours & credits: 48 hours 3 credits
Pre-requisites: None
Course Description
This course is a survey of the main events of the Latin American History after its independence. Topics include the historical causes and effects of the independence, some of the main issues on social, economic and political problems and the main historical leaders in modern Latin America.
This is a theoretical-practical course and it seeks to clarify the following question:
● How to integrate the processes of the contemporary history of Latin American in the analysis of the main political, economic and social issues of a globalized world?
In order to respond the query, we will study the following generative topics:
● Introduction to precolonial and colonial Latin America
● The Wars for Independence
● Main political and social concepts in contemporary Latin America
● Main political and social movements in contemporary Latin America
● Foreign Investment and Intervention
● The Rise of Communism and Guerrilla Warfare
● The Cold War
The course will promote the following skills:
Along the course, the following skills will be fostered:
● Ability to describe the main events that affect the history of Latin America.
● Ability to recognize who were the main leaders of the modern Latin American History.
● Ability to Analyze the importance of the colony period and the independence in the development of the Latin American countries.
● Ability to determine the general causes and effects of the international intervention in the political, economic and social issues of the Latin American countries throughout their history.
● Ability to define the cultural and ethnic background of the Latin American countries.
Values and attitudes
● Teamwork and leadership
● Systemic thinking
● Logical and communicative intelligence
● Problem solving
● Learning how to learn
● Empathic and reliable negotiation
Competencies, criteria and evidence
At Veritas University competencies are reflexive and integrated actions that respond to the professional profile and to context issues ideally and ethically through the integration of abilities, skills and knowledge. What follows are the discipline and core competencies and their correspondent key competencies and evidence of learning for this course. What follows are the discipline and core competencies and their correspondent key competencies and evidence of learning for this course.
Key competences
Evidence of learning
Integrates the processes of the contemporary history of Latin America to analyze the main political, economic and social issues of the world, considering
Describes the main events and political, social, and economic processes that affect the history of Latin America.
Reading comprehension of Primary Sources
Class discussions
Determines the general causes and effects of the international intervention in the political, economic and social issues of the Latin American countries throughout their history
Synoptic Charts
Research Project
Argumentative Essay
Integrates knowledge, skills and attitudes to learn continuously and through one's life pursuing an efficient development in the knowledge-based society.
Learning to learn
Research Project
Builds the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to learn how to communicate orally and in written form in the different disciplines that make up the curriculum.
Communicate thoughts of the discipline orally, in an iconic way, and in written form.
Class discussions
Integrates the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes to learn teamwork and leadership techniques.
Execute teamwork and leadership.
Research Project
Integrates the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to learn interpersonal communication techniques.
Relate well to others
Manage and solve conflicts
Negotiate reliably and empathetically
Speak responsibly
Listen attentively
Research Project Oral Presentation
Unit 1: Colonial Period
o Political, Social and Economic Organization.
▪ Introduction to pre-Columbian History
▪ The Viceroyalties
▪ The social pyramid
▪ The “Encomienda”
Unit 2: Latin American Independence
o Causes and Effects of the Independence.
o Mexican Independence: The Cry of Dolores
o Central America
o Haiti and Cuba
▪ Revolutionary Leaders.
▪ USA intervention
o South America
▪ Revolutionary Leaders (Simon Bolivar and San Martín)
Unit 3: Mexico and Central America
➢ The Mexican Revolution in 1910
▪ Main causes of the Independence
▪ Revolutionary Leaders (Emiliano Zapata, Francisco Madero and Pancho Villa)
▪ The Agrarian Reform
➢ Nicaragua
o William Walker invasion.
o The USA intervention
o Sandino Nicaraguan Revolution
o The Somoza regime
o The Sandinistas regime
o The Contras
➢ The Panama Canal
o The Beginning of the Construction by the French.
o US intervention in Panama Independence
o US Panama Canal Construction
o Brief History of Panama in the 20th Century.
▪ Martyr’s Day
▪ Torrijo’s Regime
▪ Noriega’s Regime
Unit 4: History of the Caribbean
➢ The Cuban Revolution
o The Platt Amendment
o The Cuban Revolution
o Biographies: Fidel Castro and Ernesto “Che” Guevara.
o Castrismo and communism
➢ Trujillo in Dominican Republic
o Independence from Spain
o The Trinitarios
o The USA intervention
o The Trujillo Regime
o The Biography of the Butterflies Sisters.
➢ Haiti:
o The new nation and Dominican Republic
o The Caco Revolt and the USA Intervention
o The main events of the Haitian History during the 20th Century
o The Duvalier Regime
Unit 5: History of South America
➢ Argentina and Peronism
o The main events of the Argentina History during the 20th Century.
o Peronism
o The Dirty War
▪ “Desaparecidos”
▪ The Falkland War
➢ The Colombian Guerrillas
o The Thousand Day War
o La Violencia
o The creation of the Guerrillas
o The FARC
o The Guerrillas and the drug traffic.
➢ Chile: Allende and Pinochet
o The main events of the Chilean History during the 20th Century
o Allende communist Regime
o Pinochet Regime
Unit 6: Costa Rica
o Colonial Period
o The Independence of Costa Rica
o The Development of a Democratic and Free Country
o Costa Rica and the abolishment of its Army
Unit 7: General Conclusions
The methodology used in this course is conceived as an analysis and synthesis process that will use each activity to obtain an understanding of the historic importance of Contemporary Latin America.
The glossary, the primary source analysis, argumentative essay and and synoptic charts will serve to corroborate learning. Sharing with other students and providing bases for the importance of history in the evolutionary process of human development will serve to develop the competency based education skills of learning to learning, investigation, comparison, communication and teamwork.
Teamwork is promoted through class discussion, presenting techniques, and the research project, where learning is developed via teacher guidance. Individual work like essays allow to practice skills of analysis, reflection and synthesis. The role of the teacher will be as a moderator and facilitator of the learning and teaching process, allowing the build-up and autoregulation of the learning from the students.
Learning strategies
The following learning strategies will be executed:
• Argumentative Essay
One argumentative essay as an academic writing tool allows each student to express opinions, interpret, and evaluate one or more topics by formally including adequate justification. The point is to show evidence of research and to demonstrate the ability to compose argument explanations clearly. The essay is an individual and original piece of writing.
• 3 Primary Resource Reports
Students will exercise the capacity of critical thinking, and oral and written expression through the presentation of reports and discussions about reading of primary resources.
• Synoptic table Students will generate a synoptic table that exemplifies most of the important thought and concepts of the Ancient Civilization Schools of Thought. Student will develop synthesis skills and critical thinking by summing conceptos and theories that interconnect.
• Glossary Students will generate a list of concepts to define the main ideologies, movements and political economic and political theories that shapes the Contemporary Latin American History. This will allow students to develop a better understanding of the processes that affected Latin America as a region.
• Research Project
Learning through a research project “A Social, Economic and Political Historic Analysis of a Latin American Country ” will allow student to do a profound analysis of the main historic processes of a specific country of Latin America (not studied in class) They should use at least 4 scholar resources to develop these studies and present their conclusions to their classmates
• Timeline
Student will build a timeline that summarizes the main events and processes of the Contemporary Latin American History. This will develop the ability to recognize the main historic events
Educational resources
In order to guarantee good development of the course, therefore to guarantee learning, the following resources are available: an updated bibliographic database, multimedia equipment that students can use for their individual presentations; whiteboards and other school equipment for weekly sessions, and readings provided by the educator. All of these complement the suggested projects and provide the students with higher possibilities of knowledge own ship. Most of the lessons will take place in the classroom.
During independent work periods students will be able to attend the institution
A campus library, study rooms, and computer labs are available for the students´ independent work time. Free Wi-Fi connection for students, educators, and staff is provided on campus, which gives students the possibility to work not only in the library or computer labs, but also around campus. The online learning resource platform (Canvas) in provided with the sources, assignment, calendar and grading of the class.

*Course content subject to change