History Department


History 303: Research and Writing Seminar in History


Andrew Morris


The Reagan Administration employed aggressive rhetoric in combating the supposed spread of communism in Latin America during the 1980s. The El Salvador ruling party’s fight against the leftist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front became a hotspot for United States foreign aid and involvement. Extensive amounts of money poured into the region, inciting equally extensive disapproval and distrust from the American people. The reactions to these events at a national level have been extensively covered, whereas university students’ have been left relatively in the dark. This paper analyzes Cal Poly reactions and responses to United States foreign policy throughout the decade. Students and faculty did not remain within the bounds of the modern status quo, which would deem the school and its students as political conservatives; nor did they remain on the sideline in opposing American Imperialism in Latin America.

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