HIS 317L • Colonial America-W
This course examines the chief characteristics of Anglo-American culture from the initial permanent English settlement of British North America in the early seventeenth century to the emergence of provincial societies in the mid-eighteenth century. Its theme is the settlement and unsettlement of North America as migrants from Europe and Africa mingled with aboriginals already in the New World. We will look comparatively at different colonizing experiments in North America and the Caribbean, in order to comprehend the varied and often international context within which colonial history took place. At he same time, we will look for the values that shaped early American institutions and social norms and examine them against alternatives both that other contemporary societies offered and that the circumstances of colonial life suggested. In doing so we will attempt to understand how environment and experience shaped distinctive new world cultures.
Essay on assigned primary sources (5 pages)-15% Comparative essay on Jordan and Parent and (7 pages)-25% Comparative essay on Ulrich and Vickers (7 pages)-25% Class discussion participation-10% End-of-Term Examination-25%
Assigned books will include the following: Richard Middleton, Colonial America. A History, 1565-1776, 3rd edition (Oxford, 2002). Vincent Carretta, ed., Unchained Voices: An Anthology of Black Authors in the English Speaking World of the Eighteenth Century (Kentucky, 1996). Richard Dunn, Sugar and Slaves: The Rise of the Planter Class in the English West Indies, 1624-1713 (Chapel Hill, 1972; 2000). Winthrop D. Jordan, White Over Black: American Attitudes Toward the Negro, 1550-1812 (Chapel Hill, 1968; 1995). Anthony S. Parent, Jr., Foul Means: the Formation of Slave Society in Virginia, 1660-1740 (Chapel Hill, 2003). Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, A Midwife's Tale: the Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 (New York, 1990). Daniel Vickers, Farmers and Fishermen: Two Centuries of Work in Essex County, Massachussetts, 1630-1850, (Chapel Hill, 1994)