Lesson Plans

World Civilizations: The Global Experience ©2001

by Stearns, Adas, Schwartz, and Gilbert

Focus Lesson 23

Chapter 38: "Latin America: Revolution and Reaction in the 20th Century"

AP* Course Description

Major Developments

  1. Political revolutions and independence movements; new political ideas
    • Latin American independence movements

Key Components

  • Instructor's Manual:
    Chapter 38, pp. 291–299
  • Study Guide, Vol. II:
    Chapter 38, pp. 167–178
  • Test Bank:
    Chapter 38, pp. 499–512

Key Web Sites Listed in the Student Text

Given the changing nature of the Internet, you may wish to preview these sites.

  • Chapter 38: p. 959

Key Words and Terms

  • Mexican Revolution
  • Mexican Constitution of 1917
  • Tragic Week
  • United Fruit Company
  • Salvador Allende
  • Alliance for Progress
  • Victoriana Huerta
  • Cristeros
  • Juan José Arevado
  • Ernesto Guevara
  • Banana Republics
  • Pancho Villa
  • Diego Rivera
  • Juan D. Perón
  • Fidel Castro
  • Augusto Sandino
  • Gabriel García Marquez
  • Emiliano Zapata
  • José Clementa Orozco
  • Eva Duarte
  • Fulgencio Batista
  • Sandinistas
  • Francisco Madero
  • Lázaro Cárdenas
  • Getúlio Vargas
  • Jacobo Arbenz
  • Shining Path
  • Jorge Luis Borges
  • Alvaro Obregón
  • PRI
  • liberation theology
  • Good Neighbor Policy

Suggested Pacing

Allow one week to teach Chapter 38.

Test Strategy

When studying documents, students must look for the important elements in the documents. Students should first check the source of the document. Is it a primary source, such as an interview with an actor in an event? Or is a secondary source—a newspaper article about an event? In reading the document, students should look for accuracy in the information presented, identify any biases, and distinguish fact from the writer's opinion. The ability to read and analyze source documents is a necessary skill for doing well on the DBQ.

Key Concepts

Latin America as Third World
While not all Latin American nations fall within the designation of Third World, many do. Even though they had wrested their independence from European nations more than 100 years before the nations of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, the countries of Latin America found themselves trying to throw off economic imperialism in the 20th century. In addition, the problems of hierarchical social structure and the lack of integration of the poor into the political and economic life of the nations remain from the days of colonialism. In the end, little in the way of the social and political structures of Latin American nations has changed.

Summing Up Student Understanding

As the countdown begins for the AP* World History test, have students practice writing a comparative essay. Remind them that they will have 40 minutes on the real test and that five minutes of that time should be spent planning their essay—just as they have been doing during their in-class timed writing practice. Give students the following writing prompt.

Compare the political and economic development of those economies that industrialized in the 20th century—the Soviet Union and the Pacific Rim—to that of Latin America. In your answer refer to specific Pacific Rim and Latin American countries wherever appropriate.


You might also find these additional readings useful to develop students' background knowledge or for DBQ activities:

  • The Global Experience, Vol. II, edited by Schwartz, Wimmer, and Wolfe—Chapter 26
  • Documents in World History, Vol. II, edited by Stearns, Gosch, and Grieshaber—Section Three