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The content of this course has covered an understanding of Indigenous Latin American tribes, contact and conflict with European explorers and settlers, life under the Spanish and Portuguese empires in the New World, and finally, the various pushes for Latin American independence from European control. All of this follows the theme of our text: Exploration, Exploitation, and Resistance.
For this exam essay, what I would like to see is for you to show me your understanding of these changes that have occurred over time and across place – the work of historians. As always, there are a variety of ways in which you can do this. For example, we have discussed in great detail the changes brought about by the Catholic Church to Indigenous peoples. We have looked at trade and economic changes, we have looked at labor issues – from community participation to forced labor, to the slave labor of natives, imported African slaves, and eventually, a model based more on free choice and wage labor. We have looked at political changes over time – from tribal authority to empire-building and settlement of outsiders in this world to a fight for national sovereignty and independence from foreign control. We have looked at life under the constraints of outside control and with that the effects of a growing class and caste system that developed and evolved over time.
For your final essay, you may choose any of these focuses listed above – or one of your own – that shows the extensive change over time and across the place of Latin America from Pre-Columbus through to the fight for independence from European Empirical control. You may construct a simple narrative of the changes, you may create an argument and support your position (Latin America would have developed differently if not for….), or at the suggestion of a classmate, you may role-play (take on the persona of a person and his/her family for the several generations that encompass the time period).
Technical stuff: Any turn it in % over 20% will be an automatic F for the exam.