Fall 2005

SOCS 634
European Imperialism 1500-1900

Paquette,Gabriel

09/12/2005 - 12/17/2005
Tuesday 06:30 PM - 09:00 PM

Public Affairs Center 107

Here we examine the role of empires in the making of the modern world since 1500. We focus on the origin and development of the European imperial systems that served as circuits for exchanges of peoples, ideas, products, and technologies. Although the empires of Britain and Spain are emphasized, the Portuguese, French and Dutch imperial experiences also receive attention. The course addresses several vital themes: early maritime exploration; colonization; interactions between Europeans and indigenous peoples; the slave trade and slavery; ideologies of empire; the rise of mercantile capitalism and the formation of a world economy; the independence movements which transformed colonies into nations; imperial rivalry as a factor in European politics; and justifications for empire in the modern world.

The course is designed to introduce students to the range of approaches that historians have employed to analyze and understand the European empires. Approaches which emphasize the importance of the state, war, diplomacy, high politics, administration, and government will be studied alongside more recently developed perspectives, including those of social, intellectual and transnational history. Films and other visual media shall be incorporated into the course if possible.

Covering a broad chronological scope with an emphasis on competing methodologies, this course aims to foster a stimulating classroom atmosphere, with an emphasis on debate and the exchange of ideas. Students are encouraged to pursue their own interests within the context of the course.

Readings will include Bayly, The Birth of the Modern World, 1780-1914; Elliott, The Old World and the New: 1492-1650; Hyam, Britain's Imperial Century 1815-1914; and Kamen, Empire: How Spain Became a World Power, 1492-1763.

Students will be expected to write a 5-7 page mid-term paper and a 10-12 page final research paper. In addition, each student will make one in-class presentation.


Gabriel Paquette (B.A. Wesleyan University; M.A National University of Ireland, Galway; M.Phil, Ph.D. Candidate University of Cambridge) is a visiting instructor in history. He is author of five peer-reviewed articles in academic journals and nine book reviews and miscellaneous publications. His book, Enlightenment, Governance and Reform in Spain and its Empire, circa 1759-1808, Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series (Palgrave Macmillan), is forthcoming.


ENROLLMENT INFORMATION

Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:
C.A. Bayly, THE BIRTH OF THE MODERN WORLD (Blackwell Publishers), Paperback

J.H. Elliott, THE OLD WORLD AND THE NEW (Cambridge University Press), Paperback

Ronald Hyam, BRITAIN'S IMPERIAL CENTURY (Palgrave Macmillan), Paperback

C.L.R. James, THE BLACK JACOBINS: TOUSSAINT L'OUVERTURE AND THE SAN DOMINGO REVOLUTION (Vintage), Paperback

Walter Rodney, HOW EUROPE UNDERDEVELOPED AFRICA (Howard University Press) Revised Edition, Paperback

A.J.R. Russell-Wood, THE PORTUGUESE EMPIRE, 1415-1808 (Johns Hopkins University Press), Paperback

Stanley & Barbara Stein, THE COLONIAL HISTORY OF LATIN AMERICA (Oxford University Press), Paperback

READING MATERIALS AVAILABLE AT BROAD STREET BOOKS, 45 BROAD STREET, MIDDLETOWN, 860-685-7323

Register for Courses



Contact glsinquire@wesleyan.edu to submit comments or suggestions. 
Copyright Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, 06459