MW, 2-3:15 p.m.
The Atlantic World, 1400-1850:
Office Hours: MW, 10-11 a.m., 1-2 p.m., 3:30-4:30 p.m.; TTh, 1-3 p.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 1850. 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 and first several decades of the 19th 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.
Specific Objectives of the Course:
This course will provide you with
to improve in the following three areas of intellectual endeavor:
The Seminar Environment
A seminar is a course in which the basis for instruction is discussion. Discussion is, of course, a collective enterprise, which means that this course works bests if everyone participates. Participation chiefly means contributing ideas to our considerations of the various issues with which this course deals. Thus, while I am the instructor, this is a course that you will very much be responsible for shaping. I invite you to take advantage of the unique opportunities that a seminar environment offers.
As this course depends on a lively discussion environment, it is essential that there be freedom for everyone to contribute. This means that disagreements over issues are in order. Personal attacks, insults, or other disruptions of the discussion environment (e.g. arriving late, leaving early, talking with other students during class, sleeping, reading, passing notes), however, are not acceptable.This is an advanced, 4000-level course and it is expected that you come into the course with some preparation both in terms of the skills needed to write a research paper and in terms of the context that we will be engaging with: early modern Europe. I will not be able to provide a survey-type overview of the material in the course. I will, of course, be happy to answer individual questions of a more general nature outside of class, but class discussion will focus on the assigned readings for the course.
Secondary Source Readings:Philip D. Curtin, The Rise and Fall of the Plantation Complex: Essays in Atlantic History, Second Edition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998).
Alison Games, Migration and the Origins of the English Atlantic World (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001).
Bernard Moitt, Women and Slavery in the French Antilles, 1635-1848 (Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2001).
David Northrup, Africa's Discovery of Europe, 1450-1850 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002).
Matthew Restall, Maya Conquistador (Boston: Beacon Press, 1998).
Primary Source and Additional Secondary Source Readings:
James Williams, A Narrative of Events since the First of August 1834, editied by Diana Paton (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001).
Primary and Seconday Source Selections in Paper and
Web-Based Form: These readings will be noted in the syllabus with
Should the reading not be in the public domain, I will indicate this
a ***. This means that downloading or making multiple copies of
the reading may violate U.S. copyright laws.
Of course there are requirements. Every course has them.
Course-work consists of four elements: participation in discussion,
informal writings, formal writings, and an essay examinations.
Table of the Course Components and Their
Classroom Environment: Talking to your classmates or others outside the context of classroom activities is rude and will not be tolerated. Reading outside materials, listening to music, taking telephone calls on your cell-phone, and similar non-class related activities are equally unacceptable. I expect all students to be respectful of one another's right to speak and express opinions. Disagreements and different viewpoints are welcome, but debates should not involve insults. Finally, food and drink are permitted in class as long as courtesy is observed; e.g. if you haven't quite finished your cup of coffee, do bring it along to class, but turning the classroom into a cafeteria is not permissible.
Attendance: As noted above, regular attendance is crucial to your success in this class. If you miss class regularly, your grade will suffer. I would also like to note that frequent lateness in coming to class and frequent early departures will also be penalized as these habits are rude to your fellow classmates and to me as the instructor. I will take attendance daily in this class and an absence is an absence and will be counted as such.
Preparation: All assignments for a given day, whether reading or writing, are to be completed before the class meets on that day. I also recommend that you take notes as you read and during lectures and discussions as this will make studying for the quizzes and writing the papers for the class less of a challenge.
Late Papers: The following policy applies to all late papers for this course that will receive aletter grade. All papers submitted at any time on the day that the paper is due will be considered on time. Papers submitted after that date, no matter what the reason may be, will be automatically marked down one grade. You will then have seven days from the original due date to turn in the paper. If in that time you are unable to complete the work, the paper will receive a zero. Exception to the above policy: For the final paper of the course, due on December 15, you must turn the paper in (i.e. physically submit it to me) five days from the due date; thus no papers will be accepted after December 20. This exception is essential as I must have your grades in by Wednesday December 22.
NO PAPERS MAY BE SUBMITTED VIA E-MAIL!!!
Late Informal Writings and Missed Participation Opportunities: No late informal writings will be accepted, so don't ask. Moreover, if you miss class you miss that day's participation regardless of your reasons for having to do so. Remember, though, that your participation grade is a composite of your performance inclass, your in-class analytical essay and your performance on informal writings. As long as you manage to achieve the appropriate number of participation points, it will not matter to me how you do so. Although I will obviously keep track of what you do by way of participation I would advise you to remain aware of where you stand for yourself so that you know whether or not you are achieving the necessary minimum level of participation.
Missed Examinations: Make-ups for the final examination will be allowed only under extraordinary circumstances and the nature of any make-up final given will be determined at my discretion.
Academic Dishonesty: As
per Section 4.07 of the CU Student Handbook: "Each student is expected
engage in all academic pursuits in a manner that is above reproach.
are expected to maintain complete honesty and integrity in the academic
experiences both in and out of the classroom. Any student found guilty
of academic dishonesty… will be subject to disciplinary action."
For examples of academic dishonesty please see the full version of
4.07 at: http://www.cameron.edu/student_development/student_conduct/academic.html
Among the most serious offenses a
student can commit is plagiarism, which is the representation of the
work of another as your own. In all of the writing you do for this
course you must make clear to me which ideas in a paper are your own
and which come from someone else. This is especially important for any
formal essays you write. In
such essays you must cite all primary and secondary sources you use in
accordance with the proper conventions. Instructions on the
of citation may be found under the general guidelines for papers.
before any formal essays come due. If for some reason you do not
choose to examine this page, know that you will not be exempt from
its guidelines. In cases of plagiarism, the Department of History
and Government at CU follows the plagiarism policy in the current
Handbook," as described in Sections 4.07 and 4.08 of the CU Code of
Conduct. Penalties for plagiarism as defined by the Student Code
Please heed this warning as I am
quite serious about it.
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Please Note: The Syllabus is Subject to Change if that Becomes Advisable or Necessary!
Week 1 Living in an Atlantic World Society Today
(8.25) Defining the Atlantic World and Its Importance.
Week 2 The Coming of the Atlantic World
(8.30) Spain and Portugal in the Opening of the Atlantic World
Week 3 West Africa's Politial Economy, c. 1400-1650.
(9.6) Labor Day--No Class
(9.8) Politics, Religion, and Economy
Week 4 The Spanish in the Caribbean and Mexico, c.1492-1550.
(9.13) The Spanish in the Caribbean
(9.15) Cortez and Mexico.
Week 5 The Spanish and the Maya: Conquest
(9.22) The Maya Response to Conquest.
Week 6 The Maya in the Later Colonial Period
(9.27) Maya History of the Conquest.
Read: Restall, 104-128, 144-178.
Week 7 Mutual Influences: England and the
Atlantic World, c. 1650.
(10.4) London and the Atlantic World.
(10.6) Who were the seventeenth-century English migrants to
(10.11) The English Plantation Colonies 1
(10.13) The English Plantation Colonies 2
(10.18) Puritans in New England.
(10.20) The English Atlantic: A Comparative View.
Week 10 Africa and the Atlantic Economy.
(10.25) Commerce in Africa.
(10/27) The Impact of Atlantic Trade in Africa
(11.1) Finding European Labor for Caribbean and North American
European Settlements, 1700-1800.
(11.3) The Slave Trade in Sources: Written and Visual
Read: ***Jean Barbot's Account** of the slave trade at:
Week 12 Africa and Migration during the 17th and 18th C.
(11.8) Placing Africans in a Caribbean Context: the beginnings
of the French Antilles.
(11.10) Gender and Labor in the French Antilles.
(11.15) Daily Life for Women in the French Caribbean and
(11.17) Women, Freedom, and Revolution in the French Antilles
Week 14 The End of the Plantation System?
(11.22) Abolition in the Caribbean 1
(11.24) Thanksgiving: No Class
Week 15 Africans and Europe in the Eighteenth Century.
(11.29) Abolition in the Caribbean 2
(12.1) Africans and the European Enlightenment.
(12.6) Manumission, Runaway Slave Communities, and Pirates.
(12.8) Film Discussion.
(12.13) FINAL EXAMINATION REVIEW.
Week 17 Finals Week
and that the web-syllabus is the syllabus of record.