History of the Caribbean
Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra
Santiago, Dominican Republic
Area of Study
History, Latin American Studies, Race Studies
Taught In English
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits3
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units4
Hours & Credits
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?
1.2 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
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:
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.
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.