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HISTORY 77S: Independence or Death! The Transformation of Latin America in the Age of Revolution (1808-1831)

The first half of the nineteenth century saw a cascade of Revolutions transform Latin America from a collection of colonies into independent and sovereign countries struggling for their own national identity. The invasion of the Iberian Peninsula by Napoleon in 1808, the forced abdication of the Spanish Royal Family and the escape of the Portuguese royal family to Brazil forever changed the course of Latin America. But the history of that region was not solely defined in Europe, and it was through their own agency that the people of Latin America set about the road to independence.In this course we will explore the history of Latin America in the years preceding, concurrent and following the many Wars of Independence that splintered the continent into many sovereign nations. Specifically, we¿ll focus on the cases of Mexico, New Granada (Colombia and Venezuela) and Brazil, to understand what was unique and what as shared among each of these. We'll learn about the colonial period, how th more »
The first half of the nineteenth century saw a cascade of Revolutions transform Latin America from a collection of colonies into independent and sovereign countries struggling for their own national identity. The invasion of the Iberian Peninsula by Napoleon in 1808, the forced abdication of the Spanish Royal Family and the escape of the Portuguese royal family to Brazil forever changed the course of Latin America. But the history of that region was not solely defined in Europe, and it was through their own agency that the people of Latin America set about the road to independence.In this course we will explore the history of Latin America in the years preceding, concurrent and following the many Wars of Independence that splintered the continent into many sovereign nations. Specifically, we¿ll focus on the cases of Mexico, New Granada (Colombia and Venezuela) and Brazil, to understand what was unique and what as shared among each of these. We'll learn about the colonial period, how the ideas of the enlightenment influenced revolutionary movements in Latin America, and what changes these revolutions brought to the people of Latin America. Using a wide range of primary and secondary sources, among them speeches, newspapers, books, paintings and movies, we'll attempt to understand the history of the Independence movements not only from the points of view of the colonial elite, but from the many other groups that constituted Latin American society, such as Indigenous populations and the many enslaved. Doing so we'll tackle the question: What did these Revolutions really mean to the day-to-day lives of Latin Americans?
Terms: Spr | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-EDP, WAY-SI
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