CUP Undergraduate Research


The Unremitting Struggle: A Comparative Analysis of the History and Politics of the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Peru

Date of Award

Spring 4-1-2010

Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis


College of Theology, Arts, & Sciences


Math & Science

Degree Name

Biology, BA

First Advisor

Dr. Gerd Horten


This paper will delve into the topic of the effects of colonialism on Latin America. The conquering of the Caribbean, Central, and South America by the Spanish has left lasting consequences. During their colonial reign in the Western Hemisphere, the Spanish set up a caste system based on skin color. The lighter skinned individuals, being the Europeans and creoles, were generally valued more in society and part of the elite class. The darker skinned individuals like the mixed peoples, native Indians, and African slaves were the lowest in the caste system. Next, this paper delves into the issues of totalitarianism, military overthrows, and constant revolution in Latin America. The colonies were forced to fight for their freedom and continued to fight as new regimes took away the rights of the common people. There is a constant circular motion to this history, especially in Central and South America, when one leader will come to power, they are overthrown by a civil war or military coup, and then a new dictatorial leader will come to power. This paper also deals with the issues of violent oppression, a lack of help for the lower classes, as well as constant United States involvement in the affairs of Latin America.

The three main countries studied in this work are the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Peru. There is a country that represents each of the three regions of the western Spanish Colonial Empire and the main regions where the Spanish language is spoken today. After the three case studies, this paper ends with a look into the future of Latin America. It discusses the issues currently faced by the three countries and the directions that they may be heading in the future. I use the word may because as the reader will come to find, politics and life in Latin America can be very hard to predict.

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