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Colonial Latin America

Marc Becker
History 120
Spring 1992
University of Kansas

This course will introduce the main themes in Latin American history from the arrival of the first people on the American continents through the Wars of Independence at the beginning of the nineteenth century. This course fulfills KU's non-Western culture requirement, and there will therefore be an emphasis on indigenous and non-European perspectives in Latin American history. In addition, the intent of this course is to introduce students to the concepts, materials, and tools employed in the discipline of history, and to help students develop writing and other skills used in the study of history.

Course grades will be based on the following assignments:

Quizzes 20%
First essay (February 25) 20
Midterm exam (March 24) 20
Second essay (April 21) 20
Final exam (May 6) 20

I will hand out more detailed information on these assignments later. Grades on late assignments will be penalized one half of a letter grade for each day that they are late. Twenty percent of your course grade will be based on unannounced quizzes. There will be no makeups for these quizzes, and only a written medical note will excuse you from them. You have the option of writing a research paper or presenting a final project in lieu of taking the final exam. You must consult with me by April 2 in order to exercise this option.

You are expected and required to attend every class period, and you are responsible for the material covered in the lectures, readings and films, and for any announcements made in class. Excessive unexcused absences will negatively affect your grade. If you have a disability or any conflicts which may affect your class performance, please bring this to my attention immediately so that we can make arrangements for this to be a positive learning experience for you. My office is 1051 Wescoe Hall, and my phone number is 864-4867. Office hours are after class on Tuesdays and Thursday from 4:00-5:00, or by appointment.

The following books are the required readings for this class. You may purchase them at the KU or Jayhawk Bookstores. They are also on reserve in Watson Library. Additional library readings will also be required. Read the weekly assignments on the reverse side of this sheet before class so that you are prepared to carry on an intelligent discussion of the material in class.

Burkholder/Johnson, Colonial Latin America, 1990.
J. Alden Mason, The Ancient Civilizations of Peru, rev. ed., 1986.
Miguel Leon-Portilla, The Broken Spears, 1962.
James Lockhart, Spanish Peru, 1532-1560, 1968.

Class Schedule:

Jan. 16 Introduction

I. Indigenous Civilizations

Jan. 21 Geography: read Mason, pp. 1-37.
Jan. 23 Ancient America: read Burkholder, pp. 3-15.

Jan. 28 Mesoamerica: read Mason, pp. 38-72.
Jan. 30 Maya: read Mason, pp. 73-95

Feb. 4 Teotihuacán: read Mason, pp. 96-109.
Feb. 6 Toltecs: read Mason, pp. 111-139.

Feb. 11 Aztecs: read Leon-Portilla, pp. vii-xxxi.
Feb. 13 Andean Region: read Mason, pp. 140-179.

Feb. 18 Tawantinsuyu: read Mason, pp. 180-238.
Feb. 20 European Exploration: read Burkholder, pp. 16-34.

II. Inventing America

Feb. 25 Cristóbal Colón: read Lunnenfeld, 1492: Discovery, Invasion, Encounter, pp. 97-114 (reserve). First essay due.
Feb. 27 Caribbean: read Burkholder, pp. 35-69.

March 3 The Conquest of Mexico: read Leon-Portilla, pp. 1-157.
March 5 The Conquest of Peru: read Lockhart, pp. 3-10 & 221-234.

March 10 & 12 Spring Break

March 17 The Search for El Dorado: read Hemming, Red Gold, pp. 183-197 (reserve).
March 19 Midterm Review

March 24 Midterm Exam
March 26 Colonial society and class structures: Lockhart, pp. 11-113, 150-170.

III. Colonial Life

March 31 Slavery: read Burkholder, pp. 98-124; Lockhart, pp. 171-198.
April 2 Indigenous resistance and depopulation: read Lockhart, pp. 199-220.

April 7 Colonial administration: read Burkholder, pp. 70-97.
April 9 Economic trade: read Burkholder, pp. 125-161.

April 14 The Mission: read Hemming, Red Gold, pp. 462-486 (reserve).
April 16 The Guaraní

April 21 Age of Andean Insurrections: read Burkholder, pp. 162-233. Second essay due.
April 23 Brazil: read Burkholder, pp. 234-289.

April 28 The meanings of Independence: read Burkholder, pp. 290-334.
April 30 Final Review

Wednesday, May 6, 2:00-5:00 p.m. Final Exam
Final projects due

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