Choose any TWO (2) of the following essays to answer. Your answers should be in complete sentences and give multiple, specific historical examples from the 10 films that were assigned to support your essay. Give examples from multiple films whenever possible. Each essay is worth 25 points (50 points total).
- What is a dictatorship? Explain why Latin American countries historically have been prone to dictatorship. What conditions tend to give rise to authoritarian governments? What characteristics do most dictators have in common? Be sure to explain each characteristic and give a specific historical example from historical Latin American dictators or from the novel The President. Are there any positive aspects of dictators?
- Discuss the role of the United States in Latin America. In what ways has the United States helped the development of Latin America? In what ways has the United States hurt Latin American development? Be sure to give multiple, specific examples to support your ideas. In your opinion, has the United States been more helpful or harmful to Latin America? Be sure to explain why you have this opinion.
- Choose one of the following dictators – Porfirio Diaz, Fidel Castro or Juan Peron– and discuss his regime. What positive accomplishments did he have? What were the negative aspects of his dictatorships? In what ways was the United States involved? Do you believe that the dictator’s overall effect was positive or negative on the country? Why? Be sure to give specific historical examples to support all of the questions.
- Discuss the relationship between the United States and Latin America during the Cold War, 1945-91. What were the issues that left-wing revolutionaries fought for? How did the United States respond? What were some of the U.S. programs and policies during the Cold War that impacted Latin America? How was the Soviet Union involved in Latin America during the Cold War? Give multiple, specific examples to support your answer. In your opinion, was the United States justified in its actions during the Cold War? Why or why not?
- Discuss the issues that poor people have historically faced in Latin America in the 1800s and 1900s (after independence). What are the barriers that the poor have faced? What attempts have they made to try to address the problems? What kinds of resistance have the poor in Latin America faced when they tried to improve their conditions? In what countries were the issues of the poor most successfully addressed? How? What roles has the United States played in dealing with the issues of the poor in Latin America?