Colonial America

Welcome to Colonial America!!!

Course Description:

This course will begin with an examination of the conditions in Europe which produced an age of empire and colonial expansion. We will compare and contrast how the Spanish colonies differed from the English, French, and Dutch colonies. A significant portion of the class will be devoted to European-Indian relations after contact. Beginning with Jamestown in 1607, the English established their first permanent colony in North America. We will also compare and contrast the experience in Plymouth Massachusetts from the Virginia experience in Jamestown. As a former employee of Colonial Williamsburg,  there will be a greater emphasis on colonial Virginia than might be expected. The cultivation of tobacco had important long-term consequences that reverberate long after the colonial period. There will be an opportunity to take electronic field trips to Colonial Williamsburg via their website at I highly encourage you to navigate this website and familiarize yourself with a few aspects of colonial life. Much of emphasis in this course will be on the cultural and social history of the colonies, although economics and trade were the critical building blocks of the colonies. As we will see for reasons that will become clear, tensions between the British colonists and the Crown escalated during the mid-eighteenth century culminating in the Seven Years War, also known as the French and Indian War. The last section of the course will move from 1763 and end with the Declaration of Independence.

Required books:

Fischer, Kirsten. Suspect Relations: Sex, Race, and Resistance in Colonial North Carolina. Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 2002.

Horn, James. A Land as God Made It: Jamestown and the Birth of America. New York, Basic Books, 2005.

Middleton, Richard & Anne Lombard. Colonial America: A History to 1763. Malden, Blackwell Publishing, 2001.

Morgan, Edmund S. The Puritan Dilemma: The Story of John Winthrop. New York, Longman Publishing Group, 2005.

Philbrick, Nathaniel. Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War. New York, Penguin Group, 2006.

Wood, Peter. Black Majority: Negroes in Colonial South Carolina from 1670 through the Stone Rebellion. New York, W.W. & Norton, 1974.

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