Acting as a young historian of Latin America write a paper that analyzes what independent Latin American states focused on in order to secure their statuses as modern countries for themselves and for an international community.

More specifically, use a combination of the class readings of your choice to consider the issues that most worried or excited specific Latin American governments by the first half of the twentieth century and explain why. Please pay attention to those themes and ideas discussed from independence through the 1940s and use some aspect of gender and sexuality to inform your work. Your essay will require you to choose a specific country to write about or to find patterns across countries, and each approach will require you to be as specific as possible. You should make sure to set up a historical context including a geographic setting that will ground your central argument. For example, if you are writing about Brazil you will have to set up the importance of slavery in the nineteenth century and if you are working on Mexico you will have to explain the Mexican Revolution as it pertains to your thesis. You must have a timeline in either approach. Make sure that you create a historical argument informed by more than one class text including Elizabeth Dore, Rebecca Earle, Caudillo reader sources-Sarmiento and Brantz Mayer, Sandra Lauderdale Graham, Nancy Leys Stepan, Katherine Bliss, Okezi Otovo, Pablo Piccato and James N. Green. You may use concepts from the colonial period as long as you note how they are still pertinent to the nineteenth and twentieth century and cite earlier class texts. Support your central argument with assertions and evidence presented in class readings and class notes. Develop supporting arguments and analysis, rather than simply a description or summary of historical sources. Do not shy away from critiquing arguments in the readings if you can back up your statements with evidence. Your essay should pay close attention to historical events, must be situated within a historical timeline, and must pay attention to change over time. Your grade will depend on your ability to formulate a strong thesis and to produce a well-organized, analytical, and creative paper that presents arguments based on texts. You must engage with the arguments made by class authors and then build off of their ideas with your own interpretation. Critical thinking, specificity in argument, and deep analysis will produce the best papers.

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