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HIST222: Modern Latin America

Unit 5: Social and Cultural Agents in the 19th and 20th Centuries   Social and cultural agents helped shape distinct regional and national identities across Latin America in the 19th and 20th centuries. The Catholic Church was by far the most significant of these agents. The church played a major role in Latin American society, both as an agent of conservative control and revolutionary change. In the 19th century, elites used the conservative influence of the church to promote national unity and acceptance of social and class distinctions. On the other hand, in the 20th century, radical priests used church institutions to champion social justice and attack corrupt political leaders across the region. Along with church institutions, artists and writers shaped the regional and national identities through their work. Nobel Prize winners in Literature from Latin America, like Gabriela Mistral, Pablo Neruda, Gabriel Garcia Marques, Octavio Paz, and Jose Sarmago, examined local history and regional cultures and highlighted the unique blend of European and indigenous identities and cultural values in countries like Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, Brazil, and Mexico. 
 
In this unit, you will look at how specific social and cultural agents shaped distinct identities in Latin American nations. You will also examine how these cultural agents have been exported throughout the world during the 20th century.

Unit 5 Time Advisory
Completing this unit should take you approximately 10.25 hours.

☐    Subunit 5.1: 6.25 hours
☐    Web Media: 2 hours

☐    Reading: 2.25 hours

☐    Assessment: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 5.2: 1.75 hours

☐    Subunit 5.3: 2.25 hours

Unit5 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to: - analyze the role that cultural agents such as the Catholic Church played in the development of Latin American nations; and - analyze and interpret primary source documents from the 19th and 20th centuries, using historical research methods to garner a more profound understanding of Latin American history.

5.1 Liberation Theology: The Catholic Church as a Revolutionary Agent   - Web Media: Vimeo: Professor Enrique Dussel’s “From Theology and Philosophy to the Politics of Liberation”

Link: Vimeo: Professor Enrique Dussel’s [“From Theology and
Philosophy to the Politics of
Liberation”](http://vimeo.com/40847247) (Flash)  
    
 Instructions: Watch this video from the NorLARNet seminar. At this
seminar, Professor Enrique Dussel offers an overview of the role of
the church in Latin America in the 20<sup>th</sup> century and
discusses Latin American contributions to religion and social
justice. Pay particular attention to the information regarding the
first half of the century.   
    
 Watching this video and pausing to take notes should take
approximately 2 hours.  
    
 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/).
  • Reading: Vatican Library: Pope Paul VI’s “Populorum Progressio”

    Link: Vatican Library: Pope Paul VI’s “Populorum Progressio” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read this papal letter written by Pope Paul VI. This encyclical is the foundational document for the Liberation Theology movement that inspired the Latin American priests and theologians to take action against social, political and economic oppression.
     
    Reading this letter should take approximately 2 hours.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Camilo Torres Restrepo’s “Thoughts on Liberation Theology”

    Link: Camilo Torres Restrepo’s “Thoughts on Liberation Theology” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read the historical note and then study the thoughts on liberation theology, authored by Camilo Torres Restrepo - a liberation theologian and guerrilla member in Colombia in the 1960s.
     
    Reading this text should take approximately 15 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “The Catholic Church as a Revolutionary Agent in Latin America” and “Answer Guide”

    Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “The Catholic Church as a Revolutionary Agent in Latin America” (PDF) and “Answer Guide” (PDF)

    Instructions: Review the articles in this subunit and study your notes before beginning this assessment. Then, try to answer the questions in “The Catholic Church as a Revolutionary Agent in Latin America” as best as you can. You are encouraged to be specific and detailed in your answers. When you have finished answering the questions, consult the “Answer Guide.”  
     
    Completing this assessment should take approximately 2 hours.

5.2 National Identities   5.2.1 Mexican National Development   - Web Media: History Spot: Paul Garner’s “Weetman Pearson and Mexican National Development 1889–1919”

Link: History Spot: Paul Garner’s “[Weetman Pearson and Mexican
National Development
1889–1919](http://historyspot.org.uk/podcasts/latin-american-history/weetman-pearson-and-mexican-national-development-1889-1919)”
(QuickTime)

 

Instructions: Listen to this podcast. Paul Garner analyzes the
development of Mexican political unity through theories of
nationalism, the basic element of national/continental identity in
Latin American history.

 

Listening to this podcast and pausing to take notes should take
approximately 1.5 hours.

 

Terms of Use: This podcast is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 UK: England & Wales
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/uk/). It is
attributed to Paul Garner, and the original version can be found
[here](http://historyspot.org.uk/podcasts/latin-american-history/weetman-pearson-and-mexican-national-development-1889-1919). 

5.2.2 European Immigration of the Late 19th Century   - Reading: Internet Archive: Letters Magazine: “Immigrant Wealth, 1883”

Link: Internet Archive: *Letters Magazine*: [“Immigrant Wealth,
1883”](http://web.archive.org/web/19981203161408/http:/www.signature.pair.com/letters/archive/argentina.html) (HTML)  
    
 Instructions: Read this letter from an Englishman after moving to
South America, in 1883. These types of letters, also known as
*letters home*, were a major creator of emigration pressures.  
    
 Reading this letter should take approximately 15 minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

5.3 Cultural Pride   5.3.1 Literary and Artistic Expressions   - Reading: ArtQuest: “Little Remains of Pre-Colombian Art in Brazil”

Link: ArtQuest: [“Little Remains of Pre-Colombian Art in
Brazil”](http://www.artquest.org.uk/articles/view/history-of-art) (HTML)  
    
 Instructions: Read this article on pre-Colombian Art in Brazil. Pay
special attention to how local cultural forms mixed with foreign
cultural fashions to create a uniquely Brazilian identity.   
    
 Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/).
  • Web Media: New Jersey Institute of Technology: Dr. Norbert Elliot’s “World Literature Lectures”

    Link: New Jersey Institute of Technology: Dr. Norbert Elliot’s “World Literature Lectures” (Mp3) (Mp4)
     
    Instructions: Choose your preferred format (video or audio) to watch or listen to “Lecture 10: Gabriel Garcia Martinez: A History of Latin America and the Caribbean” through “Lecture 16: Octavio Paz.”
     
    Watching or listening to these lectures and pausing to take notes should take approximately 1.75 hours.
     
    Terms of Use: These lectures are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. These lectures are attributed to Dr. Norbert Elliot, and the original versions can be found here.

5.3.2 Exporting Latin American Culture   - Reading: University of Cambridge: Francisco Valdez’s “New Perspectives on Latin America”

Link: University of Cambridge: Francisco Valdez’s [“New Perspectives
on Latin
America”](http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/new-perspectives-on-latin-america) (HTML)  
    
 Instructions: Read this article, which describes the symbols of
Latin American culture and, by extension, of Latin American cultural
integration and fusion.   
    
 Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: This article is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/). It is
attributed to Francisco Valdez, and the original version can be
found
[here](http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/new-perspectives-on-latin-america).