HIST 563: The Atlantic World During Colonialism and Slavery


Dr. Christina Proenza-Coles, 101-H Colson Hall
Office Hrs. M & F 2-4:30 W 2-5 and by appointment


Course Description:
This course examines several of the forces and institutions that shaped the rise of the modern Atlantic complex during the colonial period (1500-1900). We focus on the interrelated developments of capitalism, slavery, and free labor in the context of New World colonial settlement, state building in Western Africa, and political and economic development in Western Europe. Topics include indentured servitude and slavery, African and European free persons, maroon societies, the Haitian Revolution, and the rise of the working class.

Course Texts:
--Mintz, Sidney. Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History. Peguin Books, 1986.
--Breen, T.H. and Stephen Innes. Myne Owne Ground: Race and Freedom on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, 1640-1676. Oxford, 1980.
--Selected readings. These reading are provided on the course website or will be provided as hard copies in class.


CLASS PARTICIPATION: completing the reading assignment before class and thoughtfully engaging in discussion are essential for this seminar-style course--50% of the course grade is based on class participation.

WEEKLY ASSIGNMENTS: these may include written work (short 1-2 page responses to the reading) and oral presentations.

RESEARCH PAPER:15-20 page paper on a topic approved by the instructor. Students are required to prepare a research proposal, an outline, a bibliography, rough draft(s), and a final draft. The research paper will count for 50% of the course grade. Failure to meet any of the research paper preparation requirements will result in a lower research paper grade.

Weds Aug 19:

Week 2: Prehistory of the Atlantic World QUESTIONS
Weds Aug 26:
--Thorton, John, Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1400-1800, Cambridge University Press, 1998, pp.13-42, 72-97. E-Reserves
--Wolf, Eric, Europe and the People Without History, University of California Press, 1982, pp.101-125. E-Reserves
--Bennet, Lerone, Jr., Before the Mayflower: A History of Black America, 1619-1962, Penguin, 1984 [1962], pp.3-26. E-Reserves
--Abu-Lughod, Janet. "The World System in the 13th Century." American Historical Association. E-Reserves
(housed in GEHI 114)

Week 3: First Encounters QUESTIONS
Weds Sept 2:
--Restall, Matthew. Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest. Oxford University Press. 2003. pp. xiii-26. E-Reserves
--Restall, Matthew. "Black Conquistadors: Armed Africans in Early Spanish America." The Americas 57:2 Oct 2000. pp. 171-205. WEB.
--Landers, Jane. "Precendents for Afro-Caribbean Society in Florida." Black Society in Spanish Florida. University of Illinois Press. 1999. pp. 7-28. E-Reserves
--Merrell, James H., "The Indians' New World: The Catawba Experience," William & Mary Quarterly, 41:4 1984, 537-565. WEB
--Rediker, Marcus. The Slave Ship: A Human History. Viking. 2007. Chaps 1 & 9. WEB

Week 4: New World Labor QUESTIONS
Weds Sept 9:
--Curtin, Philip, "The Tropical Atlantic in the Age of the Slave Trade," American Historical Society. 1991. pp. 1-47. E-Reserves
--Menard Russell and Stuart Schwartz. "Why African Slavery? Labor Force Transitions in Brazil, Mexico, and the Carolina Low Country." Slavery in the Americas. Wolfgang Binder, Koningshausen & Neumann, ed. 89-114. Handout.
--Knight, Franklin. "Slavery in the Americas." A Companion to Latin American History. Thomas H. Holloway, ed. Blackwell Publishing. 2008. pp.146-161. WEB

Week 5: Sugar: A World System QUESTIONS
Weds Sept 30:
--Mintz, Sideny. Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History, Penguin 1986 [1985].
--Proenza-Coles, C. "Atlantic Islands." Encyclopedia of African American History. Alexander and Rucker, eds. ABC-CLIO. 2008.
--Engels, Friedrich."The Condition of the English Working Class" 1845 WEB
--Bell, David. "Rewriting History:" New York Times, 7/1/01. WEB
--Morgan, Philip. "The Cultural Implications of the Atlantic Slave Trade: African Regional Origins, American Destinations and New World Developments." Slavery and Abolition. 18:1 1997. pp. 122-145. Emailed.

Week 6: Atlantic Creoles and Captives QUESTIONS
Weds Oct 7:
--Berlin, Ira. Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America. Harvard University Press. 1998. pp. 1-14, 17-28. Handout.
--Linebaugh, Peter and Marcus Rediker, The Many Headed Hydra: Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic, Beacon Press, 2000, pp.143-173. E-Reserves
--Rediker, Marcus. The Slave Ship: A Human History. Viking. 2007. Chaps 1 & 9. WEB
--Duncan, Pearl. "Somebody Forgot to Mention that the Ships the Artists Painted Carried Slaves." WEB
--Owens, Mitchell. “Surprises in the Family Tree,” New York Times, 1/8/2004 WEB
--Axtell, James. "White Indians," The European and the Indian, 1981, pp. 168-206. E-Reserves

Week 7: Afro-Anglo Slavery QUESTIONS
Weds Oct 14: .
--Bennett,Lerone Jr., “Before the Mayflower,” Before the Mayflower, pp. 28-41. E-Reserves
--Fredrickson, George, “Settlement and Subjugation,” White Supremacy: A Comparative Study of American and South African History, Oxford, 1981, 3-21. E-Reserves
--Breen, T.H. and Stephen Innes. Myne Owne Ground. Oxford University Press, 1980.
--Morgan, Edmund. “Slavery and Freedom: The American Paradox.Journal of American History, 59(1), 1972, pp. 5-29. WEB B
--Dunn, Richard. "Barbados, The Rise of Planter Class," Sugar and Slaves, pp. 46-83.

Week 8: Afro-Spanish Slavery QUESTIONS
Weds Oct 21:
--Siete Partidas. WEB
--Klein, Herbert. Slavery in the Americas: A Comparative Study of Virginia and Cuba. University of Chicago Press, 1967, pp.37-87, 193-264. E-Reserves
--Landers, Jane. "African American Women and Their Pursuit of Rights Through 18th Century Texts." Haunted Bodies: Gender and Southern Texts. University of Virginia Press. 1997. pp. 56-76. WEB
--de la Fuente, Alejandro. "Slaves and the Creation of Legal Rights in Cuba: Coartación and Papel," Hispanic American Historical Review 87:4, 2007. pp. 659-692. WEB

Week 9: Maroons QUESTIONS
Weds Oct 28:
--Price, Richard, ed. Maroon Societies: Rebel Slave Communities in the Americas. Johns Hopkins University Press. 1996 [1972]. pp. xi-30. E-Reserves
--Kent, Raymond. "Palmares, An African State in Brazil." Journal of African History, Vol. 6, 1965. pp. 161-75. WEB
--Davis, David Brion. Review of "Narrative of a Five Years Expedition against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam." New York Times, March 30, 1989. WEB
--Proenza-Coles, C. "1733 Slaves Capture St. John Island,"and "Jamaica's Second Maroon War." Great Events from History: The Eighteenth Century. Salem Press. 2006. WEB
--The Great Dismal Swamp of Virginia WEB

Week 10: Resistance
Weds Nov 4:.
--Blair, Barbara. "Wolford Simon Van Hoogenheim in the Berbice Slave Revolt of 1763-1764," Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 140 (1984), no: 1, Leiden, pp. 56-76. WEB
--Brown, Vincent. "Spiritual Terror and Sacred Authority in Jamaican Slave Society." Slavey and Abolition 1:24, 2003. WEB
--Bush, Barbara. Slave Women in Caribbean Society, 1650-1838. Indiana University Press, 1990, pp. xi-10, 51-82. E-Reserves
--Olaudah Equiano. The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. FILM

Week 11: The Haitian Revolution
Weds Nov 11:
--Knight, Franklin. "The Haitian Revolution," American Historical Review 105:1 2004 WEB
--Geggus, David. The Impact of the Haitian Revolution on the Atlantic World. University of South Carolina Press, 2001, pp. xi-xviii, 3-20. WEB
--Trouillot, Michel-Rolph. Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History Cambridge: Beacon Press. 1997. Chapter 3. WEB
--Egerton, Douglas. "The Empire of Liberty Reconsidered." The Revolution of 1800. Horn, Lewis, and Onuf, eds., University of Virginia Press. 2002. pp. WEB
--Bender, Thomas. "The Age of Revolution: Founding Fathers Dreamed of Uprisings, Except in Haiti." New York Times, 7/1/01. WEB
--Jefferson, Thomas. Notes on Virginia. 1781.

Week 12: Luso-American Slavery
Weds Oct Nov 18:
--Schwartz, Stuart. Sugar Plantations and the Formation of Brazilian Society. Cambridge University Press, 1986. Chap. 9, pp. 245-263.
--Marx, Anthony. Making Race and Nation: A Comparison of the United States, South Africa, and Brazil. Cambrige University Press, 1998, pp. 1-79, 264-278.

Week 14: Sierra Leone and Liberia
Weds Dec 2:
--Egerton, Douglas. Death or Liberty: African Americans and Revolutionary America. Oxford University Press, 2008. Chapter 8. WEB
--Pybus, Cassandra. "Starving in the Streets of London," and "Relief for London's Black Poor." Epic Journeys of Freedom. Beacon Press. 2006.
--Clark, Emily Clark and Virginia Gould, "The Feminine Face of Afro-Catholicism in New Orleans, 1727-1852," William & Mary Quarterly, 59 [2002]: 409-448. WEB