Skip to main content

Module

LAS2030 : Comparative History of Hispano-America and Brazil: from Independence to the Mexican Revolution (1789/1810-1917)

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Jens R Hentschke
  • Owning School: Modern Languages
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

In consonance with the degrees offered in the SML, this module aims:
•       to build on skills and knowledge gained at Stage 1.
•       to provide students with an in-depth knowledge of Latin American history in the ‘long 19th century’ with its lasting legacies.
•       to prepare students for more specialist study at Stage 4.
•       to make aspects of the above available to students from outside the degree.

The main purpose of this course is to give students an idea of the similarities and divergences in the historical development of Latin American countries during the key period from Independence to the Mexican Revolution. In contrast to Western Europe and North America, in Latin America ‘Independencia’ state-building preceded nation-building. Iberian mercantilism gave way to an economic re-colonisation by Great Britain, while France remained the major cultural reference point during the ‘long 19th century’. Yet, 'Amérique Latine' was an artificial construct, suggesting that the more than two dozen Latin American countries formed a kind of homogenous bloc.

The course will make you aware that, from their Conquest, Spanish and Portuguese America, let alone French Saint-Domingue (an important excursus), had been separated by more than language and natural barriers, and you will understand why Liberator Simón Bolivar failed in maintaining at least the territorial integrity of the four Spanish viceroyalties. We will look at the 'caudillo' dictatorships which followed political emancipation and contrast them to Brazil's ambivalent attempts to forge a nation post facto; analyse the liberal reforms of the mid-19th century in Colombia, Mexico and Argentina; compare Cuba's anti-slavery and belated pro-Independence movements with Brazil's abolitionists and republicans; and learn about Uruguay’s transformation into Latin America’s first welfare state democracy and Mexico’s paradigmatic 1910-17 revolution.

Outline Of Syllabus

The course will cover the following topics and case studies:

Week 1:
Intro to course and intro to Latin America
Weeks 2-8 (core):
1. LATIN AMERICA ON THE EVE OF INDEPENDENCE:
State, society and economy at the end of the colonial period and the anti-colonial movements in Spanish America and Brazil (Tupac Amaru Revolt in Peru and Brazilian Inconfidências);
2. THE REVOLUTION OF INDEPENDENCE IN SPANISH AMERICA:
The first (1810-16) and second phase (1816-26)
3. INDEPENDENCE IN SOCIETIES WITH A DYNAMIC PLANTATION SLAVERY:
Haiti's slave revolution and Brazil's independence as a monarchy
4. CONTINUITY AND CHANGE: LATIN AMERICA IN THE PERIOD OF POST EMANCIPATION (1826-ca. 1850):
The 'oligarquización de la política' in Spanish-America vs. Brazil between pro-Portuguese absolutism, nativist constitutional monarchy and democratic republic
5. DURING BRAZIL'S 'CONCILIATION' GOVERNMENTS: THE LIBERAL REFORM WAVE IN MID-NINETEENTH CENTURY SPANISH AMERICA:
Colombia's 1849-54 liberal revolution and Argentinas 'national reconstruction' under Mitre and Sarmiento
6. THE REVIVAL OF ABOLITIONISM AND REPUBLICANISM IN THE LAST THIRD OF THE 19th C.
Benito Juárez's ‘Reforma’ and the overthrow of Maximilian in Mexico and the Cuban Ten-Year-War in Spanish America vs. Paraguayan War, gradual abolition of slavery, and overthrow of the monarchy in Brazil.
7. CHALLENGES TO THE OLIGARCHIC SYSTEMS AT THE BEGINNING OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY:
The reformist challenge (Uruguayan Batllismo) vs the revolutionary challenge (Mexican Revolution)
Weeks 9:
Round-up and materials on Essay Writing

The course will be taught and assessed in English.

Teaching Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Assessment Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Reading Lists

Timetable