Offering a comprehensive introduction to Latin American history, this text has two major objectives: to make available to teachers and students of Latin American history a text based on recent scholarship, and to set Latin American history within a broad interpretive framework. This framework is "dependency theory", a popular interpretation of Latin American history that stresses the economic relationship of these nations to wealthier nations, such as colonial Spain and the United States today. The text covers prehistoric times to the present and mixes a chronolgical and national approach. In-depth coverage of society (class structures, social relationships, and economic organization) and culture (literature, art, and religion) in Latin America and their impact on population, settlement, trade, communication, and economic and political developments, is provided. An introductory section on the geographic background of Latin American history describes significant geographic and climatic features of Latin America and their impact on population, settlement, trade, communication, and economic and political developments. Major developments such as the revolt in Chiapas, the Mexican economic crisis, the Haitian crisis, and NAFTA are discussed. Special emphasis is placed on topics such as the impact of neoliberal economic policies and the gathering revolt against them, the growing urgency of environmental issues, and the heightened visibility of the women's movement.