HIST 260: History of Mexico

Class Program
Weekly Contact Hours
Course ID
Meets Degree Requirements For
Social Science

A historic examination of Mexican society from its indigenous roots through conquest and colonization to independence, constitutional struggles, revolutions, and some contemporary issues.

Grading Basis

Course Learning Outcomes

Core Topics


  1. Pre-Columbian Society:
    1. Epochs: Pre-Classic, Classic, and Post -Classic
    2. Olmec, Teotihuacan, Toltec, Mexica—Aztecs
  2. Iberian Society:
    1. Moorish Conquest of Spain in 711
    2. Reconquista through Religious Absolutism and Fueros (Political liberties for elites)
    3. Spanish Inquisition—root out heresy.
    4. Exploration: Columbus. Commercial links and Religious Zealot.
    5. Spanish Arrival to New World: Lust for Gold and Conquest.
  3. Governing a Colony: System of Governance
    1. Hegemony of indigenous society
    2. Hegemony of the Church
    3. Women in Church
    4. Systems of labor (systems of slavery)
    5. Social Organization (Culture of Honor, Gender Roles, and Racism)
  4. Toward Independence:
    1. War of Succession, Seven Years War, American and French Revolution
    2. Bourbon and Pombaline Reforms.
    3. Enlightenment
    4. Father Miguel Hidaglo—The Masses Rise up
    5. Class warfare—Peninsulars vs. Criollo vs. Mestizo
  5. Independent Mexico:
    1. Ideological/Governing differences: Federalism vs. Monarchism
    2. Antonio López de Santa Anna Pérez de Lebrón
    3. Political Divide (rebellions) and Federal Constitution (1824)
    4. Liberal vs Conservative struggle in the midst of Spanish Invasion
    5. Texas and Americans illegal entry to Mexico
    6. American war of aggression (the denigration of Mexican people)
  6. La Reforma:
    1. The Liberal vs. Conservative struggle consumes the nation
    2. Benito Juarez and the Liberal Reforms
    3. Gadsden Purchase
    4. Constitution of 1857
    5. Caste War—Attack of Indigenous Society (Maya)
    6. European Invasion and King Maximillian
  7. The Mexican Revolution:
    1. Dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz
    2. Foreign Control (Mexico owned by Foreign Capital)
    3. Francisco Madero and his revolution
    4. Zapata, Carranza, and Villa
    5. Role of the U.S., specifically the Woodward Wilson Administration
  8. 1917-2000
    1. Constitution of 1917
    2. Creating a National identity—Art, ideology, and anti-U.S.
    3. Article 27—Mexican land for the people/nation of Mexico
    4. Presidential history/succession from Carranza to Fox
    5. La Cristiada (Cristero Rebellion)
    6. Lazaro Cardenas and the United States
    7. Partido Revolucionario Institucional—Institutional Revolutionary Party or PRI.
    8. Mexico and the Cold War and the Tlatelolco Massacre
    9. Corruption
    10. NAFTA
    11. Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (EZLN)