HIS 306N • Caribbean: Conquest- Emancipation
After Columbus and his crew first landed upon the shores of the West Indian islands in 1492, the lush, tropical landscape of the Caribbean continued to attract European adventurers, entrepreneurs, laborers, and warriors for centuries to come. Following the almost complete annihilation of the native population, European colonists imported millions of African slaves to produce the sugar and rum that became the primary exports of the region. Empires and individuals clashed over the resources the islands offered and Caribbean society became renowned for its brutality, criminality, greed, and violence. The region became a major theater for European and American imperial warfare and revolution, the setting for the Haitian Revolution, and the site of several significant slave insurrections. This course will introduce students to the history of the Caribbean from the sixteenth through the early nineteenth centuries and will examine topics such as: conquest and colonization; slavery and plantation growth; slave resistance and rebellion; the American, French, and Haitian Revolutions; piracy, smuggling, and trade; and slave trade abolition and emancipation.
Students will be evaluated on the basis of two papers, a take-home final exam, and class participation.
Hilary Beckles and Verene Shepherd, eds. Caribbean Slavery in the Atlantic World: A Student Reader. Markus Wiener, 2000. Laurent DuBois. Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution. Belknap, 2005. Richard S. Dunn. Sugar and Slaves: The Rise of the Planter Class in the English West Indies, 1624-1713. North Carolina Press, 2000. Marcus Rediker and Peter Linebaugh. The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic. Beacon Press, 2000.