This course is a survey of the early period of Latin American history, from 1492 to 1826. It begins with an overview of the European background and the major indigenous civilizations in what Europeans came to call the New World. The central focus is on the encounter of indigenous and Iberian cultures and the process of conquest, resistance and mutual transformation that ensued over the next three centuries. Attention is also given to the social and economic structures and institutions of the colonies themselves, the development in some regions of plantation economies using slave labor from Africa, and the evolving relationship of Spanish America and Brazil to Europe, culminating in the wars of Independence.
Prerequisites: Students who have HIST 280/281 transfer credit may not take this course.