Problems and Directed Readings I

North America from the Era European Expansion and to the Formation of the United States, 16th-18th Centuries

This course covers North America from an Atlantic perspective from the 16th to the 18th century. The course is designed to prepare students for the qualifying exams, help them develop the background they will need to teach a US survey (or world history course), and raise historiographical and research questions that they might find useful in their own work (even if they work in different time periods). The emphasis is on cultural contact in Early America and the diversity of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century peoples in eastern North America and the Caribbean; secondarily, it is meant to introduce students to scholarship on the causes and consequences of the American Revolution. Some significant topics in early American history receive less coverage than one might wish and are left to you to pursue on your own (see the bibliography). 

Primary Source Books to be Used in Conjunction with the Readings Below:

Jill Lepore, Encounters in the New World: A History in Documents (NY: Oxford University Press, 2000).

Allen Greer, The Jesuit Relations: Natives and Missionaries in Seventeenth-century North America (Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2000).

Robert Allison, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (Boston, MA: Bedford./St. Martin's, 1995).

Jack N. Rakove, The Federalist: Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay: The Essential Essays (Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2003).

1. Colonial Encounters

Inga Clendinnen, Ambivalent Conquests: Maya and Spaniard in Yucatan, 1517-1570 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1987) - 2nd edition if available.

Karen Ordahl Kupperman, "Reading Indian Bodies," in Kupperman, Indians & English: Facing Off in Early America (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2000): 41-76 (Chapter 2).

2. Spanish Settlement and the Spanish Borderlands

James Brooks: Captives and Cousins: Slavery, Kinship and Community in the Southwest Borderlands (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002).

Juliana Barr, "A Diplomacy of Gender in the 'Land of the Tejas': Indian-European Communication in the Colonial Spanish Borderlands," in Bernard Bailyn and Pat Denault, eds., Cultural Encounters in Atlantic History, 1500-1825: Passages in Europe's Engagement with the West (NY: Palgrave, forthcoming).

3. French Settlement: Canada, the Mississippi Valley, and Louisiana

Peter Moogk, La Nouvelle France: The Making of French Canada-A Cultural History (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2000). 

Jennifer Spear, "'They Needed Wives': Metissage and the Regulation of Sexuality in French Louisiana, 1699-1730," in Martha Hodes, ed., Sex, Love, Race: Crossing Boundaries in North American History (NY: New York University Pres, 1999), xxx.

4. Early Modern England

Kim Hall, Things of Darkness: Economies of Race and Gender in Early Modern England (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University. Press, 1995).

Emily Bartels, "Imperialist Beginnings: Richard Hakluyt and the Construction of Africa," Criticism, 34 (Fall 1992), 517-538.

5. Africa and the African Slave Trade

John Thornton, Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1400-1800 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1992, 1998). - 2nd edition is available.

Christopher Brown, “Empire without Slaves: British Concepts of Emancipation in the Age of the American Revolution,” The William and Mary Quarterly, 56 (1999): 273-306.

Jennifer Morgan, "'Some Could Suckle over Their Shoulders': Male Travelers, Female Bodies, and the Gendering of Racial Ideology, 1500-1770," WMQ, LIV (1997), 167-192.

6. Early British America: Chesapeake, Carolinas, and the Caribbean

Edmund Morgan, American Slavery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia (NY: Norton, 1975).

Selections from: Kathleen M. Brown, Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs: Gender, Race and Power in Colonial Virginia (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1996).

7. Early British America: The Middle Colonies, New England, and British Canada

Christine Heyrman, Commerce and Culture: the Maritime Communities of Colonial Massachusetts, 1690-1750 (NY: Norton, 1984).

8. Slavery and Race in the New World

Philip Morgan, Slave Counterpoint: Black Culture in the Eighteenth-Century Chesapeake and Lowcountry (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998)

9. Religion and Culture

Stephen Foster, The Long Argument: English Puritanism and the Shaping of New England Culture, 1570-1700 (Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 1991).

10. Anglo-American Society in the Eighteenth Century 

Linda Colley, Britons: Forging the Nation, 1707-1837 (New Haven, CN: Yale University Press, 1992).

11. Native American Life

Daniel K. Richter, Facing East from Indian Company: A Native History of Early America (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001).

Selections from: Richard White, The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650-1815 (Cambridge, Mass., 1991).

12. Coming of the American Revolution

Bernard Bailyn, Origins of American Politics (NY: Knopf, 1968).

Edmund Morgan, The Stamp Act Crisis (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1953) - any edition.

13. Creation of the American Republic

Thomas Slaughter, The Whiskey Rebellion: Frontier Epilogue to the American Revolution (NY: Oxford University Press, 1986).

Selections from: Gordon S. Wood, The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787 (Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 1969).

14. New Nation: Politics and Society in the 1790s

Joanne Freeman, Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic (New Haven, CN: Yale University Press, 2001).

Linda Kerber, "The Paradox of Women's Citizenship in the Early Republic: The Case of Martin vs. Massachusetts," American Historical Review, 97 (1992): 349-378.

Jan Lewis, "'The Blessings of Domestic Society': Thomas Jefferson's Family and the Transformation of American Politics," in Peter S. Onuf, ed., Jeffersonian Legacies, (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1993), 109-146.