This chapter treats Latin America as a unit and discusses trends within the region, it is crucial to remember that all generalizations are tempered by the region's many dissimilarities. Latin American studies define the entire region's history by the voyage of Christopher Columbus. There is a rough consensus that Latin America has three distinct geographical territories: South America, Central America, and the islands of the Caribbean Sea. Latin American studies define the entire region's history by the voyage of Christopher Columbus. Two themes define much of recent Latin American history and modern society: sluggish economic development and the challenge of democratic rule. The industrialization component of import substitution industrialization (ISI) called for Latin America to minimize its status as an agricultural and extractive economy, and to develop strategies like those of the industrialized United States and Europe.