Date of Defense


First Advisor

Dr. Jorge Febles

Second Advisor

Dr. Lynn Nations-Johnson

Third Advisor

Dr. Irma López


Upon returning from Mexico this past summer, I began unpacking my suitcase, sorting through the treasures I had gathered throughout the summer. I pulled a stack of large, thin, softcover books from my bag and began perusing.. .the beginning of the world, Mediterranean civilizations, the Middle Ages, absolutism, liberalism, The French Revolution. Curious, I turned to the back of the book to locate the pages dedicated to Christopher Columbus and his exploration of the Americas. Unable to locate an index, I grabbed a second book and experienced the same. The third, fourth, and fifth followed. How was I to locate anything in a 200-page book without an index!! I began inspecting the book once again and finally found the section dedicated to "The Beginning of Colonization in the Americas" (Mercado et al 137). I stopped for a moment to read about Columbus. My eyes were drawn to the bottom of the page, which stated that Columbus "opened the doors for the conquest and colonization of America" (137). Surely I had read this wrong. After all, it was in Spanish. I read the sentence again, slowly this time and confirmed my initial translation. I remembered my 5th grade social studies textbook, the same grade level and subject matter as the book I was holding in my lap. I couldn't conjure up much but I knew that it was nothing like the text I was skimming through now. Hardcovered and boasting an extensive index, it exalted Columbus and failed mention his part in the conquest and colonization of the "New World." I briefly pondered the cause of the differences I had encountered and realized that I already knew the answer. In fact, it was sitting in my lap. The response was history. Although both the U.S.A. and Mexico were "discovered," conquered and colonized, gained independence, and now stand as independent nations, the manner in which this occurred has impacted every aspect of the two countries. The evidence can be seen in something as simple as a 5th grade social studies textbook. The texts of the United States and Mexico differ in format as well as perspective based on the nations' varying histories.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only