The working group “Latin American History” is a part of the History Department at the University of Bremen.
The subject of our field, the history of Latin American, can be subdivided into four periods:
The period of conquest (“Conquista”) starts with the so-called discovery of America by Columbus in 1492 and ends at around 1570.
The colonial period with established Vice-kingdoms and an own administrative apparatus, lasts from the mid 16th century to the mid 18th century.
The time of emancipation which in recent research finds its beginnings in the mid 18th century and lasts until the mid 19th century. It is characterized by the fierce battles for Independence whose result are the (national-) states existing today. The final end to this era only comes with the decolonization of Cuba (1898) and the founding of Panama (1903) at the turn to the 20th century however.
The period of national states which encompasses the 19th and 20th century, whereby the 20th century is a century of particular extremity – between violence, dictatorship, democratization and coping with the past.
At Bremen University the History of Latin America will be taught from the Conquista until the present. The emphasis in research is currently placed on the 19th and 20th century.