Course Content and Outcome Guide for HST 271

Course Number:
HST 271
Course Title:
History of Central America and the Caribbean
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Surveys Central American and Caribbean history from the pre-Columbian era to the present. Focuses on post-contact history including colonialism, independence, revolution, nation-building and international relationships. Emphasizes social, political and cultural developments and contributions by a diversity of Central American and Caribbean peoples. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

•Articulate an understanding of key events in the history of Central America and the Caribbean and use critical thinking in order to evaluate historical changes and their impact on Central American and Caribbean society.
•Recognize the historical contributions of different groups (national, ethnic, racial, religious, sexual and gendered) that interacted in Central America and the Caribbean in order to appreciate and evaluate Central American and Caribbean diversity.
•Identify culturally-grounded assumptions which have influenced the perceptions and behaviors of people in the past in order to assess how culture continues to affect human behavior.
•Communicate effectively using historical analysis.
•Connect Central America and the Caribbean with the United States in order to better understand the political relationship between the two regions.

Course Activities and Design

Competencies and Skills:
•Connect evidence to its relevant historical context
•Analyze and evaluate written, artistic, or other evidence
•Assess the motivation and purpose of evidence
Evaluate different interpretations of past events and construct individual
•Identify a historian€™s thesis and supporting evidence
•Evaluate the arguments used to support different interpretations of
historical issues
•Develop a thesis and historical interpretation and use evidence to
support it
Think critically about the relationship between past and present events
and issues:
•Recognize and identify historical roots and parallels to current issues
Compare and contrast the experience of diverse groups
•Listen to and appreciate the experience of students from a variety of
•Assess the contributions and experiences of various groups
Communicate effectively in writing about a historical topic
•Communicate effectively in writing about a historical topic
•Communicate in writing an understanding of historical process and an
evaluation of how concepts or values change over time
Clearly articulate thoughts and ideas to a particular audience which
may include:
•Working collaboratively with other students to evaluate and understand
historical events
•Working collaboratively with others in discussions, debate, or role
•Presenting information in oral presentations

Outcome Assessment Strategies

•Analyze and evaluate primary and secondary sources
•Evaluate different interpretations of past events and construct your own interpretation
•Think critically about the relationships between past and present events and issues
•Compare and contrast the experience of diverse groups in American society
•Demonstrate college-level communications skills which may include listening, speaking, and writing

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes, Concepts and Issues
•Mayan and other Pre-Columbian indigenous civilizations
•Exploration and conquest
•Changing political and economic structures
•Cultural development, literature, art, music
•Indigenous and Creole society, culture, and politics
•Imperialism and neo-imperialism
•Independence movements and revolutions
•Role of the Catholic Church and other religions
•The Mission System
•Ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality and social class
•Inter- and intra-ethnic controversies
•Labor systems (such as collectivity, encomiendas, indenture, slavery, unionization)
•Trans-Atlantic slave system
•Sugar economy
•Civil Wars and militarism
•International relations and U.S. interventions
•Geography and the natural environment
•Atlantic World