History of Latin America to 1825

I.     Course Prefix/Number: HIS 233

       Course Name: History of Latin America to 1825

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course surveys Latin American history from the sixteenth century conquests of Mexico and Peru until the wars of independence early in the nineteenth century. Content includes impact of Spanish colonialism (and to lesser extent that of Portuguese colonialism) on Native Americans and immigrant settler populations; and outlines the evolving institutional bases of life in colonial Latin America. Focus is on topics such as pre-colonial Native American societies, imperial politics, urbanization, patterns of accommodation and resistance, slavery, race, the role of the Catholic Church, colonial literature, and the collapse of the Spanish colonial empire.  IAI S2 910N

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Identify the essential historical figures and events of the period covered.
  2. Describe the ethnic, cultural, and political diversity of Latin America to 1825, and interpret its historical consequences.
  3. Explain the religious, social, economic, and political ideas that emerged in Latin America during the period covered.
  4. Evaluate major religious, literary, and philosophical works produced during the period.
  5. Analyze the relationship between historical events and contemporary issues in the region.
  6. Evaluate conflicting interpretations of the history of Latin America to 1825.
  7. Analyze primary and secondary sources pertaining to the period covered.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Geography and pre-colonial Latin American civilizations
  2. Conquests of Mexico and Peru
  3. The impact of the Columbian Exchange
  4. Early political, economic, social and religious institutions
  5. Native American labor and the institution of slavery
  6. The colonial economy
  7. Colonial Society: Race, Culture and Class
  8. Brazil and Portuguese imperialism
  9. New Spain, Peru and the reforms of Charles III
  10. Independence in South America
  11. Independence in Central America
  12. Cuba and the end of the Spanish colonial empire in the Americas

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Classes will include a variety of instructional methods such as: lectures, in class discussions, group activities, document and film analysis, and the use of new technologies.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Students will be required to:
  1. Read a standard textbook and research materials
  2. Write outside of class the equivalent of 12-14 double-spaced typed pages, in the form of a term paper, summaries of Journal articles, short research papers, and/or other kinds of writing.
  3. Participate in in-class and out-of-class activities.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

  • Mark Burkholder and Lyman Johnson.  Colonial Latin America.  Oxford University Press, 2001. 4th edition.
  • Gabriel García Márquez. (any edition)
  • Domingo F. Sarmiento.  Facundo or Civilization and Barbarism (any edition)
  • Course Reader (selected short weekly readings that are located on the course web page.)
  • OPTIONAL Rampolla, Mary Lynn.  Pocket Guide to Writing in History 

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

At least two exams will be given in addition to other required papers and assignments.

Students will also be evaluated on a combination of written assignments and in- and out-of-class assignments.

XI.   Other Course Information

  1. Support Services: Tutoring is available from Learning Center.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.