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2017/18 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HIST2600 Brazil and Cuba from Colonies to Republics

20 creditsClass Size: 28

Module manager: Professor Manuel Barcia

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2017/18

This module is mutually exclusive with

SPPO2510Latin America (c1800-c1930)
SPPO2511Latin America (c1800-c1930)

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module explores the history of Cuba and Brazil from their colonial period and into the years after they both became independent republics, examining both general themes and case studies from both countries. The central themes will be: the background to and the achievement of independence from Spain and Portugal; the transition from colony to empire to republic in Brazil; the transition from colony to republic in Cuba; and the period of political and economic 'instability' from 1830 to 1880 that heavily affected both countries and their relationships with the outer world.


The module aims to provide students with the abilities to analyse, evaluate and understand historical events and characters basing their examination on primary and secondary sources. The learning of basic notions and concepts in the transition of both countries from being Iberian colonies to independent republics will be based on:

- developing students' awarness of the endogenous and exogenous reasons that contributed to the independence of most of the continent and to the formation of democratic republics
- enabling students to critically review the existing literature through a class presentation, an essay, and a final exam
- allowing students to explore how the quest for power and the ensuing conflicts have dynamically determined the historical developments of Brazil and Cuba in the period that followed the Latin American wars of Independence
- ensuring students become aware of the sui-generis character of the independence processes in both countries, especially when compared with the rest of Latin America

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should:
1. Be familiar with the main concepts and themes of Brazilian and Cuban History from c.1820 until 19.30
2. Have displayed the aptitude and confidence to work on the preparation and presentation of a topic.
3. Develop their research and analytical skills while examining existing literature and sources.
4. Understand the historical relationship between issues of power and conflict from colonial to republican times.
5. Demonstrate an advanced capacity for independent critical thoughtand the skills necessary to exercise this in sustained debate.
6. Be able to produce a sophisticated and well-organised essay, using knowledge acquired in class and through independent reading, and addressing issues with reference to their specific contexts.


- Introduction: Aims, Methodology, Bibliography
- Roots of Independence in the Americas
- Cuba and the Caribbean in the Age of Revolution
- Brazil: Colony to Empire
- The US and Latin America 1820-1930
- Brazil under the Empire I
- Brazil under the Empire II
- Colonial Cuba in the nineteenth century
- The Road to Cuban Independence
- Cuba in the Republican Period 1902-1933
- The Belle Epoque in Brazil

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students will be given guided reading for each seminar and encouraged to undertake self-directed reading. Students will prepare independently for both written assessment and for their class presentations.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Office hours, feedback sessions, feedback sheets and forms, seminar discussion

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Literature Review1500 words due by 12 noon on Monday week 830.00
PresentationVerbal presentation + hand-in of annotated slides c.1000 words, to take place throughout semester 1 as determined by tutor20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Unseen exam 2 hr 00 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 06/11/2017


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