POLS 381: The U.S. and Latin America

Spring 2004, DuSable 252: TTh 2:00-3:15 p.m.

Gregory D. Schmidt Office Hours: TTh 3:30 – 4:30

Office: Zulauf 308 & by appointment

Phone: 753-7058 E-mail: gschmidt@niu.edu

This class provides an overview of almost two hundred years of interaction between the United States and other sovereign states in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), with an emphasis on more recent events. We will begin with some background on LAC, an overview of this history, and some tools for analysis. We will then examine the territorial expansion of the young North American republic, the emergence of the U.S. as a colonial power at the end of the nineteenth century, U.S. intervention in the Caribbean Basin during the first third of the twentieth century, and the Good Neighbor policy of the 1930s and 1940s. Although the U.S. has largely defined inter-American relations, we will also be sensitive to the concerns and strategies of the less powerful states in the hemisphere. After the midterm and Spring Break, our attention will shift to inter-American relations during the Cold War and post-Cold War periods. Thus, we will conclude the course with a discussion of! contemporary issues, such as free trade, illicit drugs, immigration, and democratization.

Course Philosophy, Requirements, and Policies

1. The Learning Environment. I am committed to the principle of active learning. For me, this means that learning cannot take place without students' active involvement in, commitment to, and responsibility for their own education. Hence, it is important that students conduct themselves in ways that indicate respect for the learning community and the learning process. During lecture segments, please raise your hand if you have a question. We can, however, be less formal during class discussions, so long as we remember to treat one another with common courtesy. Respect for the learning community precludes such behavior as persistent tardiness, leaving the room during class time (unless one has previously advised the instructor or there is an emergency), falling asleep, reading the newspaper, and studying for another class.

NIU policies regarding classroom conduct are discussed in the 2003-2004 Undergraduate Catalog, pp. 48 and 304.

2. Readings and Lectures. Please purchase the following:

Peter H. Smith, Talons of the Eagle: Dynamics of U.S.-Latin American Relations, 2nd Edition (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000).

Robert H. Holden and Eric Zolov, eds., Latin America and the United States: A Documentary History (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000).

All required readings (other than any current events readings) are contained in the two sources listed above. Lectures will parallel and complement, but not merely repeat, the material in the readings. You are responsible for material covered in readings but not in the lectures and vice versa. You should complete reading assignments for each date before coming to class. I may assign some additional current events readings, but these would be made available to the class.

3. Study Guides and Discussion Questions. Study guides and other ancillary materials will be posted on Blackboard before most, if not all, classes. You should review the relevant study guide, especially any discussion questions, before coming to class. The study guides should also help you to integrate material from the readings and lecture for the exams.

Materials for Tuesday classes will be posted no later than noon of the previous Saturday. Materials for Thursday classes will be posted no later than noon of the preceding Wednesday. Although this is my first experience using Blackboard, I hope that in most cases I will be able to post materials well before these deadlines. Only if there is a technical or human problem with Blackboard, will the relevant materials be distributed in class.

You can access Blackboard by following these steps:

1. Type the URL http://webcourses.niu.edu/ in the address box of your browser (Internet Explorer works best) or go to the NIU homepage and click on "Current Students," then "Academics," and then "Blackboard Course Server." You can also access Blackboard with the A-Z feature of the NIU homepage.

2. Click the Login Button.

3. Type username (Novel ID = student ZID) and password. For help with your password, please go to password.niu.edu or phone 753-8100.

4. Click Login.

5. Click on the title of this course, U.S. and Latin America.

6. Click on assignments.

7. Open and print out the relevant assignment.

For any technical problems in accessing Blackboard, please call 753-8100.

4. Videos. I will show a number of videos on course-related topics to the extent that time and scheduling permit. These are not "blow-off" classes; indeed, some exam questions will be based on audiovisual materials. I will introduce videos and help you to focus on the most pertinent information and perspectives. You should print out any study guides for the videos before coming to class.

5. Exams. The mid-term exam is scheduled for March 2. The final will be given on May 4. The final is not comprehensive, though some of the material has a cumulative character. Each exam will have multiple choice and true/false questions. The mid-term will also have a map section. If necessary, exam grades will be curved, in accordance with overall student performance. I will hand back exams for review in class; however, departmental policy requires me to retain all objective questions and answers on file.

6. Term Paper(s). Drawing on the materials presented in the readings, lectures, and videos, as well as any additional materials consulted, each student will write at least one and not more than three 5-7 page paper(s) that critically evaluate(s) U.S. foreign policy towards Latin America during specific periods. The specific issues to be addressed are as follows:

1. Why did the United States and Mexico go to war in 1846? Why did the United States defeat Mexico? Discuss the factors and key events that led to the outbreak of war and affected its outcome. Make sure to include analysis of the societies and politics of both countries. (Due February 17)

2. Discuss the rationale, justification, typical pattern, and consequences of U.S. armed interventions in the Caribbean and Central America from the end of the Spanish American War to the formal beginning of the Good Neighbor policy. (You may exclude the Mexican case, which was sui generis.) Why did the United States begin to turn away from armed interventions in the 1920s? (Due March 16)

3. Discuss the origins, impacts and demise of the Good Neighbor Policy. Critically evaluate the Good Neighbor Policy in comparison to the periods that preceded and followed it. (Due March 23)

4. Discuss the global context for U.S. Latin-American relations and the principal determinants of U.S. foreign policy during the Cold War period. Illustrate your arguments with examples of U.S. interventions as well as other policies that did not entail direct military intervention. (Due April 27)

5. Discuss the global context for U.S. Latin-American relations and the principal determinants of U.S. foreign policy during the current "Age of Uncertainty" (i.e. the post-Cold War period). Illustrate your arguments by discussing at least one major substantive policy area (i.e. trade, drugs, migration, democratization) and at least one case of intervention. (Due May 4)

Papers are due at the beginning of class on the dates indicated. Late papers will be penalized 3 points for each day of tardiness. I will not accept papers that are more than three days late. Please do not submit papers as e-mail attachments. More specific instructions on the papers will be posed on Blackboard.

7. Extra Credit Points. I will not accept extra credit projects to improve low quiz exam grades. I will, however, be glad to help students improve their study habits. Moreover, you can earn up to 4 points of extra credit through attendance and class participation. If you have 2 or fewer recorded absences, I will add 2 points to your course average. I will add 1 point to the course averages of students with 3 or 4 recorded absences. Thus, good attendance can help you, but you are not penalized for poor attendance. I will also give extra credit to students who in my judgment have made significant contributions to class discussion. I will add 1 point for above-average class participation and 2 points for outstanding participation. In assessing class participation, I will emphasize quality, rather than mere quantity.

8. Course Grade. If you write one paper, the mid-term, final, and paper will each count for one-third (33.33%) of your average. If you do two papers, the mid-term, final, and each paper will count for one-fourth (25%) of your average. If you write three papers, the mid-term, final, and each paper will count for one-fifth (20%) of your average. Any extra credit points are added to the respective average.

 

 

 

 

Course grades will be distributed as follows:

Final Average and Final Grade

Any Extra Credit

Points

90-100% A

80-89% B

65-79% C

50-64% D

Below 50% F

9. Seating and Determination of Attendance. Beginning the second week of class, all students will sit in permanently assigned seats to facilitate the checking of attendance and so that I can learn your names. If you arrive after roll is checked, please notify me at the end of class so that you can receive a tardy. The first tardy is excused. The second tardy counts as a half-absence. The third and each subsequent tardy count as absences.

Please do not leave class early without prior permission, as this is very distracting. I will count any "walkouts" as absences, unless the student has permission or there is an emergency.

If you have a serious problem that causes repeated absences (such as a serious illness or a family emergency), please let me know. I am concerned with your welfare and will try to help you keep up. But please do not give me specific excuses for missing this or that class. I cannot verify or keep track of "excused" and "unexcused" absences. As noted above, each student can be absent or tardy a certain number of times and still receive extra credit. Again, there is no penalty for poor attendance, though you probably will not do well if you do not attend class regularly.

10. Make-Ups and Incompletes. Make-up exams will be given only in the case of a documented medical or personal emergency. In such an event, Professor Schmidt (753-7058) or the Political Science Office (753-1011) must be notified before the exam. Make-up exams may be all short answer and essay, a format that requires more intensive preparation.

No incompletes will be given for reasons other than a medical or personal emergency and then only after presentation of verifiable documentation. Academic hardship does not qualify as an acceptable excuse.

11. Adjustments in Course Schedule. I will do my best to follow the course schedule outlined below, but I reserve the right to make reasonable adjustments with adequate warning if unforeseeable or uncontrollable circumstances (e.g. weather, illness, travel) so warrant. It is not fair, however, to change the schedule or previously set exam dates simply to accommodate the preferences of some students, since other students inevitably suffer.

12. Academic Integrity. Students are expected to know and comply with NIU policies on academic integrity (see p. 48 of the 2003-2004 Undergraduate Catalog). Any student found guilty of cheating or plagiarism will receive an "F" for the assignment and for the course. He or she also may be subject to additional sanctions imposed by the University.

 

 

 

 

 

COURSE OUTLINE

 

JANUARY 13

Introduction to Course

The Americas: Land and Peoples

JANUARY 15

Stereotypes of Latin America

Robert H. Holden and Eric Zolov, eds., Latin America and the United States: A Documentary History (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), No. 101, pp. 272-5.

Video, The Gringo in Mañanaland (61 minutes)

Discussion of Stereotypes

JANUARY 20

Discussion of Stereotypes, continued

Overview and Framework for Analysis

Peter H. Smith, Talons of the Eagle: Dynamics of U.S.-Latin American Relations, 2nd Edition (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000) pp. ix-xi, 1-8, 353-70.

You should periodically refer back to the concluding chapter as we complete successive

sections of the course.

Holden and Zolov, eds., Latin America and the United States, pp. xiii-xviii, No. 99, pp. 267-9.

JANUARY 22

Overview and Framework for Analysis, continued

The U.S. Enters the European Game: Imperialism and Territorial Expansion

Smith, Talons of the Eagle, pp. 9-19.

Holden and Zolov, eds., Latin America and the United States, Nos. 1-3, pp. 5-14.

 

JANUARY 27

Texas and the Origins of the War With Mexico

Smith, Talons of the Eagle, pp. 19-20.

Holden and Zolov, eds., Latin America and the United States, No. 7, pp. 21-3.

Manifest Destiny

Smith, Talons of the Eagle, pp. 38-50.

Holden and Zolov, eds., Latin America and the United States, No. 8, pp. 24-6.

 

JANUARY 29

Video, Neighbors and Strangers, Part 1 (55 minutes)

Video, Neighbors and Strangers, Part 3 (short segment on Mr. Polk’s War)

FEBRUARY 3

The U.S.-Mexican War: Outcome and Legacy

Smith, Talons of the Eagle, pp. 20-2, 104-7.

Holden and Zolov, eds., Latin America and the United States, No. 11, pp. 31-3; No. 31, pp. 84-7.

Video, Neighbors and Strangers, Part 4 (final sections on the taking of Mexico City, Treaty of

Guadalupe Hidalgo, Legacy, about 30 minutes)

Discussion of U.S. Mexican War

FEBRUARY 5

From War with Mexico to War with Spain

Smith, Talons of the Eagle, pp. 22-32.

Holden and Zolov, eds., Latin America and the United States, No. 9, pp. 26-7; Nos. 12-8, pp. 34-51; No. 22, pp. 64-7.

 

 

FEBRUARY 10

Origins of the Spanish American War

Smith, Talons of the Eagle, pp. 32-4, 107-8

Holden and Zolov, eds., Latin America and the United States, No. 21, pp. 61-3; Nos. 24-5, pp. 70-2.

Video, Crucible of Empire: The Spanish American War (Act 1, about 42 minutes)

FEBRUARY 12

The Spanish American War: Synopsis and Legacy

Holden and Zolov, eds., Latin America and the United States, No. 26-7, pp. 74-7;

No. 29, pp. 81-2; No. 46, pp. 121-2.

Video, Crucible of Empire: The Spanish American War (Act 3, about 30 minutes)

FEBRUARY 17

Papers on Topic 1 Due

Taking Panama, The Roosevelt Corollary, and the Mexican Revolution

Smith, Talons of the Eagle, pp. 34-7, 50-4, 105-7 (re-read).

Holden and Zolov, eds., Latin America and the United States, No. 19, pp. 55-9; No. 23, pp. 68-9; No. 30, pp. 83-4; Nos. 32-4, pp. 88-94; Nos. 36-8, pp. 97-104; Nos. 40-1, pp. 107-12; No. 43, pp. 115-6; and No. 45, pp. 119-21.

Video: Latin America: Intervention in Our Backyard (first part; about 10 minutes)

Video: Yankee Years (very beginning; about 6 minutes)

FEBRUARY 19

Dollar Diplomacy in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Nicaragua

Smith, Talons of the Eagle, pp. 54-67, 108-11.

Holden and Zolov, eds., Latin America and the United States, No. 39, pp. 104-6; No. 42, pp. 113-4; No. 44, pp. 117-9; Nos. 50-2, pp. 130-7.

Video: Yankee Years (segments on Sandino and Good Neighbor, about 25 minutes)

FEBRUARY 24

The Good Neighbor Policy

Smith, Talons of the Eagle, pp. 67-86.

Holden and Zolov, eds., Latin America and the United States, No. 48, pp. 125-7; Nos. 53-67, pp. 141-81.

Video: Latin America: Intervention in Our Backyard (second part; about 10 minutes)

FEBRUARY 26

Latin American Responses: Engagement and Resistance

Smith, Talons of the Eagle, pp. 87-113 (re-read pp. 104-11).

Holden and Zolov, eds., Latin America and the United States, Nos. 4-5, pp. 15-8; No. 10, pp. 28-30; No. 28, pp. 78-80; No. 35, pp. 95-6; No 47, pp. 123-5; No. 49, pp. 128-9.

Catch-Up and Review

MARCH 2

Midterm

SPRING BREAK!!!

MARCH 16

Papers on Topic 2 Due

Go Over Tests

Latin America’s New Economic Demands

Smith, Talons of the Eagle, pp. 207-10.

Holden and Zolov, eds., Latin America and the United States, No. 73, pp. 198-200.

MARCH 18

Early Post-War Containment

Smith, Talons of the Eagle, pp. 115-35, 197-201.

Holden and Zolov, eds., Latin America and the United States, Nos. 68-72, pp. 185-98.

Intervention in Guatemala

Smith, Talons of the Eagle, pp. 135-9.

Holden and Zolov, eds., Latin America and the United States, Nos. 74-5, pp. 201-5; No. 77, pp. 208-11; No. 86, pp. 235-7.

Video: Yankee Years, Part 2 (about 25 minutes)

Nixon’s Latin American Tour and Incomplete Reassessment of U.S. Policy

Smith, Talons of the Eagle, pp. 139-42.

Holden and Zolov, eds., Latin America and the United States, Nos. 79-80, pp. 214-9.

MARCH 23

Papers on Topic 3 Due

The Cuban Revolution

Smith, Talons of the Eagle, pp. 164-9, 193-7.

Holden and Zolov, eds., Latin America and the United States, No. 78, pp. 211-3; Nos. 81-2, pp. 220-5; No. 84, pp. 229-31; No. 90, pp. 244-6; No. 92, pp. 250-2; No. 96, pp. 260-1,

No. 100, pp. 270-2.

Video, Castro’s Challenge (about first 42 minutes)

MARCH 25

The Alliance for Progress

Smith, Talons of the Eagle, pp. 143-55.

Holden and Zolov, eds., Latin America and the United States, No. 83, pp. 226-8; No. 85, pp. 232-4; No. 87, pp. 238-9; No. 89, pp. 242-4; Nos. 94-5, pp. 255-60; No. 114, pp. 313-6.

The Mann Doctrine and Cooperation with Authoritarian Regimes

Smith, Talons of the Eagle, pp. 155-63, 201-5.

Holden and Zolov, eds., Latin America and the United States, No. 88, pp. 239-41;

No. 93, pp. 252-5; Nos. 97-98, pp. 262-6.

The Dominican Intervention

Smith, Talons of the Eagle, pp. 169-72.

Holden and Zolov, eds., Latin America and the United States, No. 91, pp. 247-9.

MARCH 30

The Overthrow of Allende

Smith, Talons of the Eagle, pp. 172-8, 190-3.

Holden and Zolov, eds., Latin America and the United States, No. 102, pp. 276-9.

Video, La Batalla de Chile (last 30 minutes)

APRIL 1

Carter and Human Rights

Smith, Talons of the Eagle, pp. 205-6.

Holden and Zolov, eds., Latin America and the United States, No. 103, pp. 280-2; Nos. 105-6, pp. 286-91.

Non-Alignment

Smith, Talons of the Eagle, pp. 210-3.

The Invasion of Grenada

Smith, Talons of the Eagle, pp. 178-82.

Video, The US in Latin America: Yankee Go Home (segment on Grenada, about 16 minutes)

APRIL 6

Origins of the Central American Conflicts and US Intervention

Smith, Talons of the Eagle, pp. 182-8, 195-7 (re-read).

Holden and Zolov, eds., Latin America and the United States, Nos. 107-12, pp. 292-309.

Video, Conflict in Central America: Nicaragua (about 10 minutes)

Video, War on Nicaragua (begin, 60 Minutes)

APRIL 8

Video, War on Nicaragua (finish, 60 Minutes)

From Contadora to Esquipulas

Smith, Talons of the Eagle, pp. 213-6, 320-1.

Holden and Zolov, eds., Latin America and the United States, No. 113, pp. 310-3.

Discussion of U.S. Interventions in the Cold War

Smith, Talons of the Eagle, pp. 188-9.

APRIL 13

The Debt Crisis, Economic Liberalization, and Democracy

Smith, Talons of the Eagle, pp. 249-56.

Holden and Zolov, eds., Latin America and the United States, No. 104, pp. 282-6; No.

115, pp. 316-8.

Hegemony By Default

Smith, Talons of the Eagle, pp. 217-48.

Holden and Zolov, eds., Latin America and the United States, No. 124, pp. 347-50.

Video, The Americas in the 21st Century (first 30 minutes)

APRIL 15

Options for Latin America

Smith, Talons of the Eagle, pp. 318-20, 325-52.

Free Trade and the Environment

Smith, Talons of the Eagle, pp. 257-83

Video, NAFTA and the New Economic Frontier (23 minutes)

Holden and Zolov, eds., Latin America and the United States, Nos. 117-9, pp. 324-33; No. 121, pp. 337-9; No. 123, pp. 343-6.

APRIL 20

Illicit Drugs: Who is Responsible?

Smith, Talons of the Eagle, pp. 284-93.

Holden and Zolov, eds., Latin America and the United States, No. 122, pp. 340-2.

Video, Border War: The US Mexico Drug Connection (22 minutes)

APRIL 22

Intervention in Panama

Smith, Talons of the Eagle, pp. 293-300.

Holden and Zolov, eds., Latin America and the United States, No. 116, pp. 321-4.

Video, The US in Latin America: Yankee Go Home (segment on Panama, about 10 minutes)

The Colombian Quagmire

Video, Pipeline War (17 minutes)

APRIL 27

Papers on Topic 4 Due

Migration

Smith, Talons of the Eagle, pp. 300-8.

Holden and Zolov, eds., Latin America and the United States, No. 120, pp. 333-6.

Intervention in Haiti

Smith, Talons of the Eagle, pp. 308-17.

Video, The US in Latin America: Yankee Go Home (segment on Haiti, about 12 minutes)

What Sort of Transition in Cuba?

Smith, Talons of the Eagle, pp. 321-5.

APRIL 29

A Democratic Hemisphere?

Structure and Change in U.S.-Latin American Relations: Final Reflections

Smith, Talons of the Eagle, pp. 353-70 (re-reread).

Catch-Up and Review

MAY 4

Papers on Topic 5 Due

Final Exam (2 – 3:50 p.m.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional Information for Students Taking Political Science Courses

1. Undergraduate Writing Awards. The Department of Political Science will recognize, on an annual basis, outstanding undergraduate papers written in conjunction with 300-400 level political science courses or directed studies. Authors do not have to be political science majors or have a particular class standing. Winners are expected to attend the Department’s spring graduation ceremony where they will receive a certificate and $50.00. Papers, which can be submitted by students or faculty, must be supplied in triplicate to a department secretary by February 29, 2004. All copies should have two cover pages – one with the student’s name and one without the student’s name. Only papers written in the previous calendar year can be considered for the award. However, papers completed in the current spring semester are eligible for the following year’s competition even if the student has graduated.

2. Statement Concerning Students with Disabilities. Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, NIU is committed to making reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. Those students with disabilities that may have some impact on their coursework and for which they may require accommodations should notify the Center for Access-Ability Resources (CAAR) on the fourth floor of the Health Services Building. CAAR will assist students in making appropriate accommodations with course instructors. It is important that CAAR and instructors be informed of any disability-related needs during the first two weeks of the semester.

3. Department of Political Science Website. Undergraduates are strongly encouraged to consult the Department of Political Science website on a regular basis. This up-to-date, central source of information will assist students in contacting faculty and staff, reviewing course requirements and syllabi, exploring graduate study, researching career options, tracking department events, and accessing important details related to undergraduate programs and activities. To reach the site, go to http://www.niu.edu/acad/polisci/pols.html