History 345 - Spring 2000
2:40-3:50 p.m., even days
Room: 223 Main,  CSB Campus

Africans, Europeans and Americans on the Move:
The Atlantic World, 1400-1800

Doug Catterall
office: 445 Main Building
work telephone: 363-5190
home telephone: (612) 788-3963
e-mail: dougc@cameron.edu

Office Hours: even days 11a.m.-12:15p.m. and by appointment

Goals and Approach:

In this course we will explore the movement of people, ideas, and material goods between societies in Africa, Europe and the Americas between 1400 and 1800. The ongoing ties between these regions created what historians call the Atlantic world and in this course we will be exploring what linked the diverse cultures of the Atlantic world and how they became connected.

The course begins with the birth of the Atlantic world in the 15th century. In this century the Portuguese navigators like Vasco da Gama cracked the wind code of the Atlantic, making possible a more regular contact between African and European cultures. Portuguese and Spanish exploration of the African coast and then the Americas soon led to the colonization of Latin America. Contacts between the Spanish and Portuguese side also changed life in Africa as well. Having examined these early interactions, we will look at the 17th-century efforts of the Dutch, English and French to establish colonies in North America and the Caribbean. Our study of this history will introduce us to the complex relationships between Europeans, Native Americans and Africans in the Americas, all of whom found themselves living in a world that was not the home they had known. Next the course looks at the long-term influence of the slave trade on African societies in the 17th and 18th centuries and the impact of Atlantic world migration on Europe in the same period. Finally we will consider the changing world of the 18th century, with its more regular commercial relations, larger European migrations, increasingly marginalized Native Americans and intensified Atlantic slave trade.

Through this course you will learn to think in an integrative way about the histories of Africa, Europe and the Americas, a valuable skill in an increasingly interconnected world. It is also my aim that each of you will improve your writing and discussion skills; your capacity for critical thought and analysis; and your ability to read insightfully.