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Unit 4: Nationalism, Industrialism, and Imperialism

Lesson F: Imperialism and the New World of the Americas

Lesson Overview

During the 19th century, most Latin American countries broke from colonial control. Most countries were inspired to fight for independence when the Spanish monarchy was overthrown by Napoleon. As countries in Latin America became "independent," many became vulnerable to American and other military intervention. In addition to military intervention, Latin Americans also saw their economies become dominated by foreign interests and companies. By the end of the 19th century, many Latin American countries were greatly controlled by other countries. This foreign intervention and domination limited change to Latin American social and cultural systems throughout the 19th century.

latin american independence

Latin American Independence [1]

Key Questions

  1. To what extent did Western powers control Latin America economically and politically in the 19th century?
  2. How did social conditions change during the 19th and early 20th centuries?
  3. How did the economic systems of Latin American change and stay the same during the 19th century?

Student Outcomes

  1. Summarize Latin America's growing dependence on the global market.
  2. Analyze the consequences of economic development, elite domination, and the abolition of slavery for peasants, Indian populations, and immigrant laborers.
  3. Assess the effects of foreign intervention, liberal government policies, and nationalism on social and economic changes in Mexico, including legal and political rights for women.
  4. Employ quantitative analysis in order to explore such topics as changes in family size and composition, migration patterns, wealth distribution, and changes in the economy. (Historical Thinking Skill)

Key Terms

Student Resources

Chart of Activities

Activities to Complete Estimated Time
5 minutes
Key Terms
5 minutes
Activator: 19th Century Imperialism
5 minutes
Opening: Latin American Social Structure
10 minutes
Activity 1: Exploring Latin American History
15 minutes
Activity 2: The History of Mexico
15 minutes
Activity 3: United States Involvement in Latin America
20 minutes
Activity 4: Latin American Exports
10 minutes
Activity 5: Analyzing and Researching Economic Data
20 minutes
Activity 6: Latin American Women
20 minutes
Review and Assessment
15 minutes
Lesson Summary
5 minutes

Lesson Completion Time

The total estimated time to complete this lesson is 145 minutes.

Page Notes:

[1] Source: This image from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Latin_American_independence_countries.PNG is licensed under the terms of the GNU License Agreement.