State-Building in Latin America - HISP3190

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2021 to 2022.


This module introduces Latin America through the lens of state formation. It examines the nineteenth century from the end of the colonial period and independence through to the decolonisation of Cuba. It has a particular focus on the cases of Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Cuba, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela. Topics include the recurrence of internal and external wars, tensions between the center and regions, the development of export markets and its links to the creation of stability, caudillismo, and the importance of ideology in state building.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 20

Method of assessment

Essay (2,000 words) – 45%
Mid-term Assignment (2,000 words) – 45%
Seminar Participation – 10%

Indicative reading

Indicative reading list:

Archer, C.I. (2000). The Wars of Independence in Spanish America. Wilmington, Delaware: Scholarly Resources
Brown, M. (2008). Informal Empire in Latin America: Culture, Commerce and Capital. Oxford: Blackwell
Collier, S. (2006). Chile: The Making of a Republic, 1830-1865: Politics and Ideas. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
De la Fuente, A. (2000). Children of Facundo: Caudillo and Gaucho Insurgency during the Argentine State-formation Process (La Rioja, 1853-1870). Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press
Fowler, W. & Lambert, P. (2006). Political Violence and the Construction of National Identity in Latin America. New York: Palgrave MacMillian
Hamnett, B.R. (2006). A Concise History of Mexico. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to

Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of Latin American history and culture of the 19th and 20th Centuries (particularly related to Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Cuba, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela);
Analyse a variety of textual media, synthesising information from a number of sources in order to gain a coherent understanding of the subject, whilst expanding their knowledge of critical and cultural theory;
Demonstrate their ability to analyse, criticise and assess logical arguments, and to study and reach conclusions independently.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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