Spanish Language and Latin America

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International Baccalaureate History of the Americas HL Required Summer Reading Study Guide Born in Blood and Fire: A Concise History of Latin America
By John Charles Chasteen

Foreign Affairs November/December 2000 states: Born in Blood and Fire is a briskly written yet sophisticated introduction to Latin America that will be greatly welcomed by non-specialists and experts alike. Chasteen paints on a very broad canvas, but he succeeds in capturing with enviable conciseness the major ingredients of Latin America's uniqueness and complexity. Especially welcome is his graceful integration of Brazil into the overall picture, which general histories of Latin America often lack. He first takes the reader from the European conquest through the colonial consolidation by Spain and Portugal before looking at the role of indigenous communities in the new order imposed by the Europeans and African slavery's social and cultural consequences. He then follows with the independence movements and the uneven attempts at nation-building in the nineteenth century; race, ethnicity, religious and liberal ideologies, and the roles of key individuals are also covered. Chasteen concludes with the recent return to economic liberalism, this time in the context of open elections, continuing poverty, and social exclusion of large segments of the population. A stellar performance!

Summer Reading Directions: The answers to these questions should be well thought out, typed, 12 point font, single spaced, New Times Roman. The completed review sheet is a summer long process that is not designed and should not be attempted at the last minute. This assignment will be due on the first full school day of the 2011 – 2012 academic school year. These questions will prepare you for the first 2 day examination made up of 96 multiple choice questions and 57 matching terms. This is the first grade of the course and will set the study tempo for the remainder of the school year.

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Study Guide/ Discussion Questions John Charles Chasteen’s Born in Blood and Fire: A Concise History of Latin America. Chapter 1 – First Stop, the Present
1. 2. 3. 4. According to Chasteen, what is the unifying theme or unifying conflict that characterizes Latin American history? Is this a good choice? What might be some strengths or weaknesses of this focus? Why do Cuba and Brazil have such high populations of African Americans? Define “liberalism” as Chasteen uses the term: What are the different attitudes toward Latin Americans that have been common in the U.S. during the twentieth century?

Chapter 2 – Encounter (1492-1600)
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. What were some of the ways the historical and cultural context of the Iberian peninsula shaped the attitudes and practices of Europeans who first sailed to the Americas? Compare the Portuguese colonization of Brazil with the Spanish Colonization of what would become Mexico and Peru. Important similarities and differences? What larger significance does Chasteen see in the name change from “Island of the True Cross” to “Brazil”? What three areas of Africa provided the majority of Black slaves for the Americas? Members of which European country became the most active slave traders? From Chasteen’s perspective, what were the key factors that enabled vastly outnumbered Spanish forces to conquer the Aztec and Inca empires? In what specific ways do Las Casas’s life and values stand in contrast to those of the majority of Spaniards who came to the Americas?

Briefly define or identify the following terms: Encomienda Tupi Pedro Alvarez Cabral Moors Francisco Pizarro Malinche (Marina) Salvador (Bahia)

Chapter 3 – Colonial Crucible (1600-1810)
1. 2. 3. 4. In what ways did economic realities contribute to the prosperity and influence of colonial Spanish America in comparison to colonial Brazil? Name the four viceroyalties and their capitals that came to exist in Spanish America: What does Chasteen mean on p. 77 when he says that...
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