Department of History
Fall 2003

History 68
Atlantic World History, 1492-1825

Professor Perrone

Office Hours: Tues. 1:00-2:30; Wed. 2:00-3:00; Fri. 1:30-2:30
Phone: x7059
Office: Bradley House 213
E-mail: and by appointment.

Course Description:

The fifteenth-century voyages of exploration created a new Atlantic World, linking four continents (Europe, Africa, North America, and South America) together and bringing three races into contact with one another where previously there had been little or no communication. The Atlantic Ocean served as a corridor for the fundamental exchange of ideas, peoples, crops, and technology between the four continents bordering it. This course explores the meaning and nature of the Atlantic World from roughly 1492 to 1825. Topics will include the destruction and reconfiguration of indigenous societies, slavery and the slave trade, labor migrations, the creation of an Atlantic economy, European expansion and conquest, and the different indigenous strategies of accommodation, resistance, and rebellion.


Regular attendance and completion of reading assignments are required. There will be two examinations -- a midterm exam and a final exam. Each will be composed of essay and short identification questions. There will three writing assignments --a 3 page book review of Taylor or another book approved by the instructor (DUE Sept. 30), a 2 page analysis of a primary source (DUE Oct. 14), and a 3 page historiographical essay (DUE Dec. 9). Each student will also participate in a group presentation.

Class participation is also expected of all students. Class participation means active involvement in class activities.


The final grade will be determined as follows:

Class participation 10%, group presentation 5%, book review 15%, primary source 10%, historiographical essay 15%, midterm exam 20%, final exam 25%.

Required Readings:

Ralph Davis, The Rise of the Atlantic Economies (Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ. Press, 1973) [D]

Marvin Lunenfeld, 1492: Discovery, Invasion, Encounter: Sources and Interpretations (Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath, 1991) [L]

David Northrup, Africa's Discovery of Europe 1450-1850 (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 2002) [N]

Karen Racine, Francisco de Miranda: A Transatlantic Life in the Age of Revolution (Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 2003) [R]

William B. Taylor, Drinking, Homicide, and Rebellion in Colonial Mexican Villages (Stanford: Stanford Univ. Press, 1979) [T]

Schedule of Topics:

Week 1: Sept. 2
T: Intro. to Course & Europe and early Iberian expansion
L 16-22, 28-32, 36-9, 45-7, 51-2; D 1-36

Week 2: Sept. 9
T: Columbus & 1492
L 75-118, 131-142 (read 99-with special care); T start reading

Week 3: Sept. 16
T: Spanish Conquest & Debate over the Conquest
L 165-227, 259-72

Week 4: Sept. 23
T: Early Colonial Society in Spanish & Portuguese America
D 37-72

Week 5: Sept. 30
T: Late Colonial Society in Spanish & Portuguese America
D 143-75; T finish reading

Week 6: Oct. 7
T: Africans in Africa
N 1-49

Week 7: Oct. 14
T: NO CLASS (Monday Classes Meet)

Week 8: Oct. 21
T: Midterm & Africans and Colonial Society

Week 9: Oct. 28
T: African Culture and Resistance in the Atlantic World
N 122-187

Week 10: Nov. 4
T: Film, Amistad

Week 11: Nov. 11
T: Rise of Northern Europe & Student Presentation I
D skim 88-124, 231-249, read carefully 176-230; R start reading

Week 12: Nov. 18
T: Northern European Expansion I & Student Presentation 2
L 231-54; D 125-42,250-63

Week 13: Nov. 25
T: Northern European Expansion II/Christianization & Student Presentation 3
D 264-87

Week 14: Dec. 2
T: Film, Black Robe

Week 15: Dec. 9
T: Competition and Revolution in the Atlantic World/Student Presentation 4 & 5

D 288-316; R finish reading