History of the Caribbean

Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra

Course Description

  • Course Name

    History of the Caribbean

  • Host University

    Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra

  • Location

    Santiago, Dominican Republic

  • Area of Study

    African Studies, Government, History, Latin American Studies, Political Science

  • Language Level

    Intermediate, Advanced

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview


    The course introduces the history of the region, with reference to both the Spanish and the non-Spanish (i.e., English, French, Dutch) Caribbean.


    1. To give a basis of knowledge and elements of analysis for the understanding of the principal social, political, and economic processes in the formation of today?s Caribbean.
    2. To pay special attention to nature and the effects of three centuries of slavery and to the social history of ex-slaves after emancipation in 18th century.
    3. To analyze selected examples of popular movements in the region in the 20th century in the context of democracy, dictatorship, and foreign meddling.


    Unit 1: What is the Caribbean?

    1. Geography.
    2. Population and migration.
    3. Culture and identity.

    Unit 2: The Conquest and Spanish Empire after 1492 and the arrival of the northern European empires in the 16th and 17th centuries.

    1. The Pre-Colombian Caribbean.
    2. The Spanish Empire.
    3. Rivalry and European conquests.
    4. ?King Sugar?.

    Unit 3: Plantations and slavery.

    1. The social and economic system of plantations.
    2. White creoles: The dominant class of plantation owners.
    3. Slave commerce.

    Unit 4: Resistance, rebellion, and emancipation.

    1. Slave society.
    2. Resistance and rebellion.
    3. Haiti, 1789-1804.
    4. Emancipation in the 18th century: causes and effects.

    Unit 5: Popular movements, dictatorships, and foreign domination in the 20th century.

    1. Popular, nationalist, and democratic movements.
    2. Foreign interventions.
    3. Dictatorship and democracy: The example of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo.
    4. The Cuban Revolution of 1959.
    5. The Caribbean after the Cold War.


    Reports (Different reading will be assigned): 40%
    Participation (Attendance and class participation will be evaluated): 30%
    Fianl project: 30%
    Total: 100%


    Bosch, J. (2000) De Cristobal Colón a Fidel Castro. Santo Domingo: Editoria Corripio.

    Cassá, R. (2000) Historia Social y Económica de la República Dominicana. 2 Tomos. Santo Domingo: Editora Alfa y Omega.
    Hoetink, H. (1994) Raza y Color en el Caribe en Santo Domingo y el Caribe: Ensayos sobre Cultura y Sociedad. Santo Domingo: Fundación Cultural Dominicana.

    Klein, H. (1986) La Esclavitud Africana en América Latina y el Caribe. Madrid: Editorial Alianza.

    Lowenthal, D. (1972) West Indian Societies. Londres: Oxford University Press.

    Williams, E. (1984) From Columbus to Castro: A history of the Caribbean. New York: Vintage Books.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.


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