This class surveys the history of the colonial period (from 1492-1825) of what is now called Latin America. We will discuss pre-Columbian America, Europe in the fifteenth century, the encounter between the Old and the New Worlds, its consequences, the working of colonial institutions, the place of slavery, the role of race and ethnicity in the construction of colonial power, women in a multiethnic patriarchal colonial society, the role of the Church, ad the coming of independence. Without doubt, the history of the colonial period in Latin America is one of the most interesting examples of how different cultures met in the early modern world. To understand this process this survey class focuses on three main questions: First, what constituted the pre-Columbian cultural heritage? Second, how did the encounter between European, African, and indigenous cultures evolve? Third, how did colonialism shape indigenous, Mestizo, Creole, and Afro-American identities.