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CONTEMPORARY HISTORY OF AMERICA

General Description

This course covers the historical development of the Latin-American countries from their independence up until the present-day. Through well-characterised periods the most relevant aspects of their nationality are studied: the formation of the state, the political evolution, social classes, economic areas, without forgetting questions such as the demographic boom, the foreign debt, or the indigenous problem. The objective is a better understanding of the causes and determining factors of contemporary Latin-America.

Content

  1. INDEPENDENCE
    - Internal and external causes
    - Phases of the independentist movement
    - The thought of Simón Bolívar
  2. TYRANNY AND MILITARISM
    - Origins and meaning
    - The individualist regimes
    - Towards the formation of the State
  3. LIBERALISM AND ECONOMIC EXPANSION
    - The liberal constitutions
    - Political stability and economic growth
    - Immigration and colonisation of unoccupied areas
  4. IMPERIALISM AND INTERVENTIONISM OF THE USA
    - Determining factors of expansion
    - Political, military and economic interventionism
    - The Caribbean and Central-America in the orbit of the USA
  5. THE MEXICAN REVOLUTION
    - Ideological analysis
    - The constitution of 1917
    - The institutionalised revolution
  6. THE CRISIS OF 1929 IN LATIN AMERICA
    - Origins and development
    - Economic and social consequences
    - Political consequences
  7. LATIN AMERICA FROM 1945 ONWARDS. THE POLITICAL QUESTION
    - The political powers and the political parties
    - The populisms and the military dictatorships
    - The revolutionary systems
  8. THE STRUCTURE OF CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY
    - Demographic growth
    - Elite, middle classes and popular sectors
    - The indigenous population
  9. THE CONTEMPORARY ECONOMIC STRUCTURE
    - Large estates and the agrarian reform
    - Industrialisation and foreign investment
    - The foreign debt

Activities

The students must follow the teacher’s explanations in class, and participate in debates. They must also prepare group talks on one determined subject. Optionally they may do an end-of-term short piece of written work on at topic from the syllabus.

Assessment

The final exam is compulsory. Also there will be a mid-term eliminatory exam. Assessment criteria are:
- Attendance, class participation and written work up to 30%
- Final exam, up to 70%

Bibliography

  1. Manuel LUCENA SALMORAL (coord.): Historia de Iberoamérica, III (Edad contemporánea). Madrid, 1991.
  2. Miguel IZARD: América Latina, siglo XIX. Violencia, subdesarrollo y dependencia. Madrid, 1990.
  3. G. VAZQUEZ/N. MARTINEZ DIAZ: Historia de América Latina. Madrid, Madrid, 1990.
  4. Carlos MALAMUD: Historia de América. Madrid, Alianza Editorial, 2005.