History 154: History of Mexico
Course Information:This course is designed to provide the student with a history of the Mexican nation from its pre-Columbian roots to present-day. This course will focus on the various cultural, economic, political, and social developments/structures of Mexico during this period. Particular focus will be given to the indigenous cultures of Mexico, Spanish colonization and the colonial period, Mexican independence, 19th century Mexico, the Mexican Revolution, 20th century Mexico, contemporary Mexican culture, politics, and society, and U.S.-Mexico relations.
The purpose of this course is twofold. First, to assist students in acquiring knowledge about the development of Mexico's history and the impact this history has had on shaping contemporary life in Mexico. Second, to instruct students in the skills of historical thinking. These skills include a historian's ability to analyze the content of documentary evidence, understand events in their historical context, and draw tentative conclusions from limited data. To accomplish this, students will be exposed to primary sources, secondary sources, and cultural artifacts through lectures, assigned readings, and multimedia.
This survey course cannot hope to do justice to nearly 2800 years of history in a time span of one semester. Consequently, a selection process has taken place in an attempt to synthesize these 2800 years of history into thirty-two class meetings. In doing so, certain social, economic, political and intellectual developments will be simplified, briefly mentioned, or even omitted during lectures. It is equally important for students to realize that the synthesis provided by the instructor represents only one of many ways to interpret the themes covered in History 154. It is not absolute truth! The information presented in this course, however, does provide a base from which students can launch their own investigations into the past.
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