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Take home exam on Latin America

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In 1 to 3 paragraphs, address the 4 of the 6 questions below. To have a chance at earning full credit, you must reference and cite passages and concepts from course readings and class lectures. Responses will be evaluated on how well they demonstrate and synthesize knowledge of relevant materials, as well as for clarity and creativity.

1. What was the relationship between sugar, silver, and slavery in colonial Latin America?Site specific examples from readings and lecture from at least two countries.

2. Imagine General Rafael Videla of Argentina and General Pinochet of Chile smoking cigars and drinking whiskey together, discussing their respective issues in trying to bring order to their countries. Based on what you have learned in this class about their regimes, what advice might they give on another?

3.“Prosperity is not a moral question and the justification of San Domingo was its prosperity.” –CLR James, The Black Jacobins, pg 45

What kinds of violence upheld and promoted the “prosperity” of the San Domingo colony under French rule? What were the consequences (for Haiti, and for Latin America) of slavery and its overthrow in San Domingo/Haiti?

4. Compare and contrast the results of the Cuban Revolution with Guatemala’s Cold War history. Why did Cuba’s revolution succeed in changing the ruling regime when social movements and insurgencies in Guatemala failed to achieve their aims?

5.What are the political, economic, and historical factors tying Cuba and the United States together which made the photograph below possible?

Answer the following questions in essay format. That is, your response must have an introduction with a clear argument, several body paragraphs with evidence backing up your argument, and a conclusion. I invite you to create and carry through your own argument, but you must support this argument with extensive references to readings, lectures and discussions from the course. Please keep each response under 1000 words (but don’t feel that you HAVE to write 1000 words).Responses will be evaluated on how well they demonstrate and synthesize knowledge of relevant materials, as well as for clarity and creativity.

You will write 2 essays. You have a choice of addressing 1 question from section A.

  • Answer 1 of the following 2 prompts. (20 points)

1. Conquest

Drawing from course readings and discussions, compare and contrast the state of the major Andean and Mesoamerican civilizations at the time of Spanish conquest. What were the central factors that allowed the Spanish to conquer these societies, and what were the consequences for native populations? Could things have turned out differently? If so, how?

2. The US and Latin America in the Cold War

During the Cold War, what was the United States’ relationship with the Latin American countries we have studied in this course? How did Latin Americans see and understand the United States, and how did US policy-makers approach Latin America? What role did the US play in shaping Latin American politics, and how did it vary between various countries and change over time?

B. Answer the prompt below (40 points)

Colonial and Cold War Continuum

Although writing of distinct times and places, Michael Taussig’s “Culture of Terror, Space of Death” and Joan Didion’s Salvador each record the unbalancing, “hallucinatory” effects of living with terror. After describing the specific historical and political scenes and contexts these works describe, explore the similarities and differences between their portrayals of terror. According to these authors, what are the causes, effects, and consequences of colonial/Cold War violence? Which portrayal do you find more convincing, and why? Finally, drawing from these and other course materials, explain what you think are the most important conditions and factors giving rise to violence in colonial and Cold War Latin America.