Latin America

Genevieve G. & Aheron L. L.


Foundations - 600 CE


200 BCE - 1000 CE : Emergence of cities, social stratification, and the flowering of material culture.

300-900 CE: Developments in astrology, calendars, math, and writing within the Mayan culture.

300-900 CE: Architectural developments (city on high, large platform) at Monte Albán in Mexico.

200 BCE - 600 CE: Weaving & mummy bundles at Paracas on the southern Peruvian coast.

200 BCE - 600 CE: Nazca lines on the southern Peruvian coast.

200 BCE - 600 CE: Pottery with realistic painting at Moche on the northern Peruvian coast.

450-750 CE: Theocratic empire develops at Teotihuacán in Mexico. There was a large urban center and Pyramids of the Sun and Moon.

600-800 CE: Rise of large urban cities & empires at Huari in Peruvian Highlands.

600-1000 CE: Monolithic stone architecture at Tiwanaku by Lake Titicaca in Bolivia.


600 - 1450


682-721-- Ah Cacaw (Lord of Cocoa) ruled over Tikal during this period. His burial tomb was later found deep inside the 145-foot height Temple of the Great Jaguar.
740-- Tah ak Chaan began a 50 year rule over the city of Cancuen in what later became Guatemala.
765-790-- The Mayan palace of Cancuen, one of the largest in Guatemala, was built by King Taj Chan Ahk.
795-- Taj Chan Ahk, the Mayan ruler of Cancuen (Guatemala), died.
796-- A 600-pound limestone altar was carved to honor a treaty in the Mayan city of Cancuen (Guatemala). It was uncovered in 2001 and soon stolen. It was retrieved in 2003.
800-- About this time unidentified conquerors destroyed the Mayan palace at Cancuen (Guatemala) and killed the members of the court. Archeologists in 2005 reported that King Maax, son of Taj Chan Ahk, was found buried in full regalia.
1200-1330-- A Mayan city in Peten state, the “El Pajaral” site, dated to the post-classic period of this time. The ruins were found in 2000.


682 A.D.-- Lubaantun in the Southern Toledo District of Belize is on the regular trade routes from the central Peten city states and political alliances.

850 A.D.-- All of Belize from north to south was a thriving country with a population over 300,000 in different city states about 67 kilometers apart.

1100 A.D.--Altun Ha in northern Belize is still thriving, while the city states of the Peten are disintegrating. Lubaantun in the southern Toledo District of Belize is also going strong. The 200 year drought affects all the American continents. 1123 A.D.--Throughout Belize, the Yucatec Maya rise up and overthrow the Itza-Maya (from the Peten), the rulers and overlords.

1346-- (Christian calendar), Shi Col attends ceremonies on Wild Cane Caye in the Toledo District, then returns to her hill village. 

738AD-- Butz Tiliw’ or Cauac Sky defeated his overlord, Copan’s 13th ruler, 18 Rabbit. Monuments to this event are at the Quirigua Maya site in Guatemala.
746AD-- Jun 12, The estimated date for the dedication of the Mayan Temple 22 in Copan.
763-- Altar Q depicts Yax Pasah, Copan’s last dynastic ruler, receiving the symbolic baton of office from founder K’inich Yax K’uk’ Mo’ in this year.
900-- The Mayan city-state of Copan was abandoned.


1450 - 1750

    These five themes helped shape Latin America in this vital time period:

Interactions Between Humans and Enviornment
Deforistation was a negative effect of the Spanish arrival between 1450-1750.  In Central America, costline forests were the first to go due to ship-building by the Spanish. By 1750, deforistation was  significant, yet necessary, for cattle and plantations.
- The Spanish were very interested in mining gold and silver during this time.  If no precious metals were found in a certain place, they would use the land to raise crops ranging from bananas to sugarcane.  One problem the Spanish encountered with these mines, however, was keeping people working in them.  Though natives were used for this work, many quickly died off due to the plummeting population.

Development and Interaction of Cultures
One of the most influential events during this time period was the Columbian Exchange (see "Essays" tab for in-depth analysis).

State-building, Expansion, and Conflict
In 1500, Latin America had a native population of an estimated 67 million. By 1700,  the ENTIRE Western Hemisphere dwindled to an estimated 13 million.

Creation, Expansion, and Interaction of Economic Systems

Development and Transformation of Social Structures

1750 - 1914

5 Themes:
Interactions Between Human and Environment
- Gold mining begins in the Montes de Aguacate, a mountainous area along the route traveled between the Central Valley and the Pacific port of Puntarenas.

Development and Interaction of Cultures

State-building, Expansion, and Conflict
- Panama was a big expansion period. They built the railroad from coast to coast (Pacific Ocean to Atlantic Ocean). They also had the Panama canal that opened to shipping during World War I. 
 - President Taft of the United States, sent troops to Honduras and Nicaragua after Nicaragua executed two U.S. citizens and to protect American banana interests in Honduras.

Creation, Expansion, and Interaction of Economic Systems

Development and Transformation of Social Structures
- The Central American Federation split into Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. The federation didn't get much done due to the many arguments between the liberals and the conservatives. 

1823 Guatemala declares independence following the example of neighbouring Mexico
1838 The Central American Federation splits into Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica
1855 The Panama Railroad company completes a line between the Atlantic and the Pacific, providing America's first transcontinental link
1856 An American adventurer, William Walker, wins control of the government in Nicaragua and for a year rules as president.
1860US adventurer William Walker, thrown out of Nicaragua in 1857, is executed in Honduras
1879 A congress in Paris, with Ferdinand de Lesseps as president, decides to construct a canal from coast to coast in Panama
1889The French Panama Canal company goes into liquidation with work still in progress
1903 A US warship appears off the coast of Panama in support of rebels declaring an independent republic. The Colombian government rejects the Hay-Herrán treaty with the US on the Panama canal, thus prompting the break-away of Panama. The U.S. is granted exclusive control in perpetuity of a ten-mile corridor across Panama, suitable for a canal
1909 President Taft sends marines to Nicaragua after the government there executes two US citizens
1911 President Taft sends US marines to Honduras to protect American banana interests during a spell of political turmoil
1912 President Taft sends troops to Honduras to protect US interests during a period of political unrest and he also sends US marines into Nicaragua during a period of disorder
1914 The Panama Canal opens to shipping on a neutral basis just two weeks after the start of World War I

1914 - Present

Interactions Between Humans and Enviornment

Development and Interaction of Cultures

State building, Expansion, and Conflict

Creation, Expansion, and Interaction of Economic Systems

Development and Transformation of Social Structures