I. Short Answers (x4 = 10 points)

Identify the following and make sure to give what, where, when, historical significance, and the

source or sources where you obtained the information for each short answer:

A) Matteo Ricci

B) Codex Mendoza

C) Battle of Lepanto

D) The Southern Inspection Tour Scrolls

III. Primary Source Essay (10 points)

Write an essay that answers the following question:

How can primary sources help historians gain insight into Latin American Independence?

Suggested Short Answer Prep for Exams (this is a suggested strategy intended to help you expand upon your grade potential so you do not turn it in).

Since there will be short answers on the first test and on the Final Exam, it is strongly advisable to write out a paragraph explaining the historical significance of the following people and terms. We will address short answers each week leading up to the Mid Term Test, but please remember that your paragraphs should including a sentence explaining what the person or term was (ie. a ruler or perhaps a battle or conflict), the beginning and end dates for the person or term (ie. 711-1492), and their location (ie. the Iberian Peninsula or “the area encompassing present-day Spain”). For specific rulers you can give the beginning or end dates of when the lived or when they ruled, but do not use both categories. If you choose when they ruled, you always include an “r.” before the beginning and end date (ie. r.1516-1556). The remainder of your paragraph is the most important part of your identification, and you need to explain, concisely, why you think that person or term was important. In this portion of your paragraph, please make sure to provide at least one specific example to support your assertions and keen insights. Unless specified otherwise, your short answer terms can be prepared from your reading of the textbook (see Index to locate terms quickly), Oxford Reference Online Premium (as detailed in the PowerPoint below, it is found through the MacEwan Library Catalogue), lectures, or supplemental materials provided to the class each week (such as the Kanopy video listed below). Whatever source you use, please be sure to write it down since you will need to provide that information on the first test and on the Final Exam. Do not use Wikipedia for your Short Answer Prep.

Also Feel free to use the PowerPoints provided.


I. Short Answers:

A) Matteo Ricci:

  • What: Matteo Ricci was an Italian Jesuit missionary who traveled to China during the late Ming dynasty.
  • Where: China
  • When: Matteo Ricci lived from 1552 to 1610.
  • Historical Significance: Matteo Ricci played a significant role in the cultural exchange between China and the West during the early modern period. He introduced Western science, mathematics, and cartography to China and gained influence at the Chinese imperial court. Ricci’s efforts contributed to the Jesuit mission’s success in China and facilitated further communication and understanding between East and West.
  • Source: Textbook readings and lectures.

B) Codex Mendoza:

  • What: The Codex Mendoza is a pictorial manuscript created in the early 16th century that documents the history and tribute obligations of the Aztec Empire.
  • Where: Aztec Empire (present-day Mexico)
  • When: The Codex Mendoza was created circa 1541.
  • Historical Significance: The Codex Mendoza provides valuable insights into the political organization, social structure, and tribute system of the Aztec Empire. It was commissioned by the Spanish viceroy of New Spain, Antonio de Mendoza, as a record of Aztec history and tribute payments following the Spanish conquest of Mexico. The codex serves as a primary source for understanding Aztec society and the impact of Spanish colonization on indigenous cultures.
  • Source: Textbook readings and online scholarly sources.

C) Battle of Lepanto:

  • What: The Battle of Lepanto was a naval engagement fought between the Holy League, led by the Spanish Empire and the Papal States, and the Ottoman Empire in 1571.
  • Where: Gulf of Corinth, off the coast of Greece
  • When: The Battle of Lepanto occurred on October 7, 1571.
  • Historical Significance: The Battle of Lepanto was a decisive victory for the Holy League, halting the Ottoman Empire’s expansion into the Mediterranean and preserving Christian dominance in the region. It marked the last major engagement of the galley warfare era and demonstrated the effectiveness of organized naval coalitions against Ottoman naval power.
  • Source: Textbook readings and academic articles on naval history.

D) The Southern Inspection Tour Scrolls:

  • What: The Southern Inspection Tour Scrolls are a series of scrolls commissioned by the Kangxi Emperor of the Qing dynasty, documenting his tours of southern China in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.
  • Where: China
  • When: The Southern Inspection Tour Scrolls were created between 1689 and 1698.
  • Historical Significance: The Southern Inspection Tour Scrolls provide valuable visual and textual records of the Kangxi Emperor’s efforts to consolidate Qing rule in southern China and maintain control over the region’s bureaucracy and population. They offer insights into Qing imperial ideology, governance, and regional administration during the early modern period.
  • Source: Textbook readings and academic articles on Qing dynasty history.

III. Primary Source Essay:

Primary sources, such as letters, diaries, official documents, and eyewitness accounts, offer valuable insights into the events and perspectives surrounding Latin American Independence movements. These sources provide firsthand accounts of the social, political, and economic conditions leading up to and during the independence struggles, allowing historians to gain a deeper understanding of the motivations, strategies, and impact of these movements.

For example, letters exchanged between revolutionary leaders, such as Simón Bolívar and José de San Martín, reveal their ideological convictions, strategic plans, and diplomatic efforts to rally support for independence. Official documents, such as declarations of independence and constitutions, illustrate the aspirations of newly formed Latin American nations and the principles upon which they sought to build their societies.

Eyewitness accounts from soldiers, civilians, and foreign observers offer diverse perspectives on the violence, hardship, and sacrifices endured during the wars of independence. These accounts shed light on the experiences of different social groups, including indigenous peoples, slaves, and women, whose voices are often marginalized in traditional historical narratives.

By analyzing primary sources, historians can uncover the complexities and contradictions inherent in Latin American Independence movements, including the tensions between nationalist aspirations and social inequalities, the role of external influences and alliances, and the legacy of colonialism and racial hierarchies. Primary sources enable historians to construct nuanced interpretations of the past, challenging conventional narratives and revealing the diverse voices and experiences that shaped Latin American history.


  • Textbook readings on Latin American Independence movements.
  • Primary source documents from archives and digital collections.
  • Academic articles and monographs on Latin American history.
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