566: Paper #1

Write a 1,000-word essay on the history of Latin America that we've studied so far, focusing on one of these important themes:

1. Identity.

2. Democracy.

3. Outside influence.

Explain how one of these themes was influential in Latin American development. Consider how looking at this theme illuminates the nature of Latin American history. Make sure you discuss at least two different countries and use evidence from both the colonial and post-independence periods.

This is more of an exposition than an argument essay. I recommend beginning the essay over the weekend, then bringing questions you have about the assignment to class on Monday.

Recall our discussion of the Mexico reading. When I asked you to describe the nature of the history of the United States, you had no trouble coming up with an answer, though you were divided between those who thought it was an inspiring story about the resurgence of democracy in the world and those who thought it was a story about oppression and exploitation. Is the story of Latin America, as far as you can tell so far, a story of progress or decline? Is it inspirational or depressing? Or maybe it's impossible to even identify one story, and the story of each nation is distinctly unique.

Things to consider with each theme:

1. Nationalism vs. internationalism; race; class; European influence; immigration; ideology.

2. Inequality; caudillismo and militarism; economics and trade; colonial legacy.

3. Europe; US; Economic relations; culture; military interventions.

See my Paper-Writing Guide for suggestions about writing a history paper. Everything you need to know is there.

The heading of your paper should look like this:

Jane Smith

HIS 566

1,000 words.

Also, number your pages.

Use the word count function of your word processing software to get the word count just before you print it off. You should also include a title and subtitle, separated by a colon. The subtitle is longer and more detailed than the title. The title could be something something pithy, perhaps a quote, identifying the theme, followed by a subtitle identifying or hinting at the question or the argument, like so:

The Populist Explosion: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics

See the Course Requirements page for a discussion of how I assess papers.

Citation: Use the Author's last name followed by a comma, a page number and a period, in a footnote. If you use a source not assigned (this is not recommended), then give full citation, using Chicago/Turabian formatting style. For more on citation, go here.