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

    History, Latin American Studies, Race Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

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

    History of the Caribbean


    The course introduces the history of the region with a focus on the Hispanic Caribbean, but includes some history of the non-Hispanic Caribbean as well (English, French, Dutch), in order to better understand the history and development of the Caribbean Region as a whole.


    1.    To provide a base of knowledge and the analytical elements required for an understanding of the social, political, and economics principles involved in the formation of today’s Caribbean.
    2.    Special attention is paid to nature and the effects of three centuries of slavery, as well as to the social history of the ex-slaves after emancipation in the 18th century.
    3.    Selected examples of popular 20th-century movements within the region will be analyzed within the context of democracy, dictatorship, and foreign interventions.


    Unit I:  What is the Caribbean?
    1.1     Geography.
    1.2     Population and migration.
    1.3     Culture and identity.


    Unit II:    The Conquest and Imperial Spain after 1492, and the arrival of the
                   imperialists from Northern Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries.
    2.1    The pre-Columbian Caribbean.
    2.2    The Spanish Empire.
    2.3    European rivalry and conquests.
    2.4    “King Sugar”

    Unit III:  Plantations and slavery.
    3.1    Social and economic systems on the plantations.
    3.2    White Creoles:  The dominant class of the plantation owners.
    3.3    The slavery business.

    Unit IV:  Resistance, rebellion, and emancipation.
    4.1        Slave society.
    4.2     Resistance and rebellion.
    4.3     Haiti 1789-1804.
    4.4     Emancipation in the 18th century:  causes and effects.

        Unit V: Popular movements, dictatorships, and foreign domination in the
                     20th century.
    5.1    Popular nationalist and democratic movements.
    5.2    Foreign interventions.
    5.3    Dictatorships and democracy:  The example of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo.
    5.4    The Cuban Revolution of 1959.
    5.5    The Caribbean after the Cold War.



    Units to evaluate Percentages
    Reports Various readings will be assigned. 40%
    Participation Attendance and class participation will be evaluated 30%
    Final research paper   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.

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

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

    Reid, Basil. (2009). Myths and realities of Caribbean history. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama 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.

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