Kevin R. Hardwick
James Madison University
This course is an interpretive survey of the British Atlantic World from 1558 to 1776. It focuses on several broad themes, all relating to the development of Britain’s North American colonial empire: the nature of authority in Colonial America, the history of slavery, the role of religion in the development of Colonial society, the emergence of provincial societies on the British colonial periphery.
This course emphasizes critical reading, writing, and speaking skills. We will be reading historical works by a number of distinguished historical scholars, and you will evaluate them during weekly class discussions. In addition, you will research and write a series of projects, culminating in a research paper based upon exploration of a primary source.
History is a discipline that places emphasis on your ability to evaluate historical evidence to construct causal and comparative arguments. It is worth taking a moment to consider of just what historical scholarship consists. As historian Edward Countryman has noted, “every piece of written history starts when somebody becomes curious and asks questions. The very first problem is who, or what, to study.” Here, I will be assisting you, by pointing you to rich sources, and by suggesting broad questions you might ask of them. “In one sense,” Countryman continues, “history is all that happened in the past. In another it is the universe of potential evidence that the past has bequeathed. But written history does not exist until a historian collects and probes that evidence (research), makes sense of it (interpretation), and shows others what he or she has seen so that they can see it too (writing).” Over the course of the semester you too will be historians—you will, quite literally, make history, as well as read about it.
Your ability to write is fundamental to your ability to do well in this class. When you write the various essays for which you will be graded, remember that you will be assessed based on your ability to take a position and use evidence to make a convincing case that your position is correct. What do you want your reader to believe? And why should your reader believe you? Your essays should have clear thesis statements. You should organize them in paragraphs, each of which expresses a single main idea, and each of which contains a clear topic sentence. I should be able to extract an outline of your argument simply by reading the topic sentences of your essay, so make certain that you have organized the paragraphs of your essay in a way that makes sense.
Required Readings (with prices from Amazon.com):
Ira Berlin, Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America, $21
Francis J. Bremer, The Puritan Experiment: New England Society from Bradford to Edwards, $20
Richard Bushman, From Puritan to Yankee: Character and the Social Order in Connecticut, 1690-1765,
Rhys Isaac, The Transformation of Virginia, 1740-1790, $12
D.W. Meinig, The Shaping of America: Volume I, Atlantic America, 1492-1800, $24
Edmund Morgan, American Slavery, American Freedom, $12
Richard White, The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region,
Copies of these books will be available at the reserve desk of Carrier library. However you acquire them, you will need to read these books over the course of the semester.
In addition, you should buy one of the primary source volumes listed under assignment one. These books are available at the Special Order Desk of the JMU Bookstore--you will need to go to the actual store (not the temporary store in the ballroom) to buy them. You do not need to buy all of them--just choose one. The primary source will be the basis for your research paper.
Many of the individual articles can be found via JSTOR, which is an internet repository of journal articles. You can reach JSTOR at the following internet address: www.jstor.org
You will need to download an adobe acrobat reader in order to print articles from JSTOR--follow the instructions from the "print" menu, once you are inside the JSTOR site.
* You are expected to adhere fully to the JMU Honor Code for all work performed in this class.The Honor code can be found on the James Madison University Web Site, at:* You are expected to comport yourself in a professional fashion.
http://www.jmu.edu/honor/Successful professionals take pride in themselves and their work. College is in part preparation for a professional career. I will be judging your work accordingly. In the professional work place people lose their jobs for producing shoddy or careless work--in our class, I will not accept work which fails to meet minimum professional standards. Anything that you do professionally you should strive to do well--you should expect nothing less from yourself here.* You are expected to make every reasonable effort to attend class.You are responsible for all material and assignments presented in class, whether you attend or not. Part of your grade will be determined through class participation. Absences and inattention will affect your grade. In my experience, those students who perform best are those who make a serious commitment to the class, who take their own notes, and who participate actively in class discussions.Assignments:
Assignment One: Students will write a series of exercises, culminating in a 12-15 page research paper, based on the exploration of a primary source. This assignment has several parts, which will culminate in the final draft of the essay:* Part I (5% of Class Grade): Write a short 1-2 page essay describing your source. What is it? Who wrote it, and why? When and where was it written? What questions do you think you can ask (and answer) using this source?Assignment Two (Essay, 15% of final course grade; Presentation, 5% of grade): Each student, once during the semester, will read and present a book, chosen from the among the books listed under "Book Review" for that week. The student will write a short 4-6 page book review, assessing the book and describing the book's argument. Does the author successfully demonstrate or prove it? During the class meeting the student will make a ten minute presentation of the book to the rest of the class.
* Part II (10% of Class Grade): Write a 4-6 page essay in which you choose an interesting incident or vignette, or a series of related incidents or vignettes, from your source and describe it. What does this episode tell us about Early American history?
* Part III (5% of Class Grade): Prepare a section outline of your argument. What is your thesis? What will your rhetorical structure be? What subordinate claims do you need to establish in order to demonstrate your thesis?
* Part IV (20% of Class Grade): Write a 12-15 page essay analyzing your primary source, or using it to explore some aspect of Early American society or culture.
Primary Sources for this assignment:
Mel Yazawa, ed. The Diary and Life of Samuel Sewall
Elise Pinckney, ed., The Letterbook of Eliza Lucas Pinckney, 1739-1762
Carol Karlson, ed., The Journal of Esther Edwards Burr, 1754-1757
Susan E. Klepp and Billy G. Smith, eds., The Unfortunate: The Voyage and Adventures of
William Moraley, an Indentured Servant
Richard J. Hooker, ed., The Carolina Backcountry: The Journal and Other Writings of
Charles Woodmason, Anglican Itinerant.
Kathryn Zabelle Derounian-Stodola, ed. Women's Indian Captivity Narratives (Mary
Rowlandson, Mary Jemison, or several shorter narratives)
Wendy Martin, ed., Colonial American Travel Narratives (Mary Rowlandson, Sarah Kemble
Knight, William Byrd II, or Dr. Alexander Hamilton)
Discussion Presentations (5% each, 10% of your final grade): Twice during the semester each student will prepare the readings for a particular week and lead discussion. Class discussion should focus on the following issues: What are the theses of the works under discussion? What kind of sources do the authors use to support and sustain the arguments? How reliable are these sources? How reliable are the author’s conclusions?
Midterm Exam (15% of Class Grade)
Final Exam (15% of Class Grade)
Jack Greene and J.R. Pole recently proposed a framework for understanding the history of British Colonial America. Colonial History, they argue, can be understood according to a "developmental framework," which has three distinct phases.
"The first phase involved the social simplification of inherited forms . . . . With very few exceptions, this early phase was characterized by much unsettlement and disorientation, as people sought to find ways to manipulate their new environments for their own sustenance and advantage while endeavoring, with limited success, to impose upon that environment social arrangements that, except possibly in the orthodox colonies of Puritan New England, bore little more than a crude resemblence to those they had left behind."
"As social arrangements gradually became more settled, population grew more dense (and usually more heavily creole), and the inhabitants acquired greater economic wherewithal, the simple social conditions that had characterized the first phase of settlement gave way to more elaborate ones. This second phase, one of social elaboration, thus involved the articulation of socioeconomic, political, and cultural institutions, structures, and values that, although they were usually highly creolized variants of those found in the more developed areas of Britain, were sufficiently functional to enable local populations to assimilate them with relatively little difficulty."
"If this second phase was marked by a growing aculturation of the inhabitants to their social environment, that acculturation was not so complete as to inhibit demands, emanating largely from emerging elites, for a restructuring of their societies along lines that would make them more demonstrably British. Through the last decades of the period, colonial societies became more populous, offered prospects for greater comfort and affluence, grew more settled (if not in all cases more orderly), and became more internally complex. In the common language of the times, these developments were subsumed under the term 'improvement.' With these and other 'improvements,' colonial society approximated more closely the settled societies of the Old World and entered into still a third phase of development, a phase of social replication. In this phase members of strategically placed elites, who by the late colonial period almost everywhere dominated and gave tone and definition to their societies, displayed a keen desire to replicate British society in America and took pride in the extent to which their societies were becoming increasingly Anglicanized." (Jack Greene and J.R. Pole, eds., Colonial British America: Essays in the New History of the Early Modern Era, pp. 14-15.)
The transition from "social simplification" to "social elaboration" thus characterizes the first period of British Colonial American history, while the transition from "social elaboration" to "social replication" characterized the second.
For the first exam, write an essay assessing the utility of this model for the 17th century. For the second exam, write an essay assessing the utility of this model for the 18th century. Both essays should be 6-8 pages long. Remember that this is an exam--your agenda in writing your essays is to demonstrate your thoughtful mastery of the material we have been reading and discussing.
Reading and Assignment Schedule
Unit One: The 17th Century
Week 1: Jan. 11, Jan. 13
D.W. Meinig, The Shaping of America: Volume I, Atlantic America, 1492-1800, pp. 3-76.
Week 2: Jan. 18, Jan 20
Empire and Expansion
Edmund Morgan, American Slavery, American Freedom, pp. 1-43
Jack P. Green, Peripheries and Center, pp. 7-42. [On Reserve in Carrier Library]
Nicholas P. Canny, "The Ideology of English Colonization: From Ireland to America," William and Mary
Quarterly, Series Three, 30 (1973): 575-598. [Available via JSTOR]
D.W. Meinig, The Shaping of America: Volume I, Atlantic America, 1492-1800, pp. 79-91.
Carl Bridenbaugh, Vexed and Troubled Englishmen, 1590-1642 (1968)
Week 3: Jan. 25, 27
Richard White, The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region,
1650-1815, pp. 1-141.
Alfred Crosby, "Virgin Soil Epidemics as a Factor in the Aboriginal Depopulation in America," William and
Mary Quarterly, Series Three, 33 (1976), pp. 289-299. [Available via JSTOR]
Francis Jennings, The invasion of America : Indians, Colonialism, and the Cant of Conquest (1975)
Assignment One: Part I due this week
Weeks 4 and 5: Feb. 1, 3; Feb. 8, 10
Francis J. Bremer, The Puritan Experiment: New England Society from Bradford to Edwards
Philip J. Greven, Jr. "Family Structure in Seventeenth-Century Andover, Massachusetts," William and Mary
Quarterly, 3rd. Ser., Vol. 23, No. 2. (Apr., 1966), pp. 234-256. [Available via JSTOR]
Perry Miller, "Errand Into The Wilderness," William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd. Ser., Vol. 10, No. 1. (Jan.,
1953), pp. 3-32. [Available via JSTOR]
David D. Hall, " On Common Ground: The Coherence of American Puritan Studies," William and Mary
Quarterly, 3rd. Ser., Vol. 44, No. 2. (Apr., 1987), pp. 193-229. [Available via JSTOR]
T. H. Breen, Stephen Foster, " Moving to the New World: The Character of Early Massachusetts Immigration,"
William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd. Ser., Vol. 30, No. 2. (Apr., 1973), pp. 189-222. [Available via JSTOR]
Stephen Foster, " New England and the Challenge of Heresy, 1630 to 1660: The Puritan Crisis in
Transatlantic Perspective," William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd. Ser., Vol. 38, No. 4. (Oct., 1981), pp.
624-660. [Available via JSTOR]
D.W. Meinig, The Shaping of America: Volume I, Atlantic America, 1492-1800, pp. 91-109.
Kenneth Lockridge, A New England Town: The First Hundred Years (1970)
David G. Allen, In English Ways (1981)
Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, Salem Possessed: The Social Origins of Witchcraft (1974)
Edmund Morgan, The Puritan Dilemma: The Story of John Winthrop (1958)
Weeks 6 and 7: Feb. 15, 17; Feb. 24
[No class Feb. 22]
Edmund Morgan, American Slavery, American Freedom, pp. 44-249.
Lois G. Carr and Lorena Walsh, "The Planter's Wife: The Experience of White Women in Seventeenth-Century
Maryland," William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd. Ser., Vol. 34, No. 4. (Oct., 1977), pp. 542-571. [Available
Martin H. Quitt, "Immigrant Origins of the Virginia Gentry: A Study of Cultural Transmission and Innovation,"
William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd. Ser., Vol. 45, No. 4. (Oct., 1988), pp. 629-655. [Available via JSTOR]
Russell R. Menard, Lois Green Carr, Lorena S. Walsh, "A Small Planter's Profits: The Cole Estate and the
Growth of the Early Chesapeake Economy," William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd. Ser., Vol. 40, No. 2. (Apr.,
1983), pp. 171-196. [Available via JSTOR]
James Horn, Adapting to a New World: English Society in the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake (1994)
Kathleen M. Brown, Good Wives and Nasty Wenches: Gender, Race, and Power in Colonial Virginia
Assignment One: Part II due Feb. 22.
Week 8: Feb. 29, Mar. 2
Ira Berlin, Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America, pp. 1-93.
Betty Wood, The Origins of American Slavery: Freedom and Bondage in the English Colonies, pp. 5-39.
[On reserve in Carrier Library.]
Ira Berlin, "Time, Space, and the Evolution of Afro-American Society on British Mainland North America," The
American Historical Review, Vol. 85, No. 1. (Feb., 1980), pp. 44-78. [Available via JSTOR]
Richard S. Dunn, Sugar and Slaves: The Rise of the Planter Class in the English West Indies, 1624-1713
Mid-term take home essay due Mar. 2.
Unit Two: The 18th Century
Spring Break: Mar. 6-10
Week 9: Mar. 14, 16
D.W. Meinig, The Shaping of America: Volume I, Atlantic America, 1492-1800, pp. 119-144, 205-307.
Week 10: Mar. 21, 23
Evolution of Empire
T.H. Breen, "An Empire of Goods: The Anglicization of Colonial America, 1690-1776," in Stanley Katz, John
M. Murrin, and Douglas Greenberg, Colonial America: Essays in Politics and Social Development, pp.
367-397. [On reserve in Carrier Library]
Jack Greene, Peripheries and Center: Constitutional Development in the Extended Politics of the British
Empire and the United States, 1607-1788, pp. 43-78. [On reserve in Carrier Library.]
Jack Greene, "The Gifts of Peace: Social and Economic Expansion and Development in the Periodization of Early
American Past, 1713-63," in Jack Greene, ed., Negotiated Authorities: Essays in Colonial Political and
Constitutional History (1994), pp. 93-130. [On reserve in Carrier Library.]
Jack Greene, "The Growth of Political Stability: An Interpretation of Political Development in the
Anglo-American Colonies, 1660-1760," in Jack Greene, ed., Negotiated Authorities: Essays in Colonial
Political and Constitutional History (1994), pp. 131-162. [On reserve in Carrier Library.]
Stephen Saunders Webb, "Army and Empire: English Garrison Government in Britian and America, 1569 to
1763" William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd. Ser., Vol. 34, No. 1. (Jan., 1977), pp. 1-31. [Available via JSTOR]
James Henretta, "Salutary Neglect": Colonial Administration under the Duke of New Castle (1972)
Alison Olson, Anglo-American Politics, 1660-1775: The Relationship between Parties in England and
Colonial America (1973)
Week 11: Mar. 28, 30
Richard Bushman, From Puritan to Yankee: Character and the Social Order in Connecticut, 1690-1765
Michael Zuckerman, "The Social Context of Democracy in Massachusetts," William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd.
Ser., Vol. 25, No. 4. (Oct., 1968), pp. 523-544. [Available via JSTOR]
Christine Leigh Heyrman, Commerce and Culture (1984)
Daniel Vickers, Farmers & Fishermen: Two Centuries of Work in Essex County, Massachusetts,
Week 12: Apr. 4, 6
Rhys Isaac, The Transformation of Virginia, 1740-1790, pp. 1-142.
T. H. Breen , "Horses and Gentlemen: The Cultural Significance of Gambling among the Gentry of Virginia,"
William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd. Ser., Vol. 34, No. 2. (Apr., 1977), pp. 239-257. [Available via JSTOR]
Allan Kulikoff, " The Colonial Chesapeake: Seedbed of Antebellum Southern Culture?" The Journal of Southern
History, Vol. 45, No. 4. (Nov., 1979), pp. 513-540. [Available via JSTOR]
Darrett B. Rutman and Anita H. Rutman, A Place in Time: Middlesex County, Virginia, 1650-1750 (1984)
Jack P. Greene, Landon Carter: An Inquiry into the Personal Values and Social Imperatives of the
Eighteenth-Century Virginia Gentry (1967)
Kenneth A. Lockridge, The Diary, and Life, of William Byrd II of Virginia, 1674-1744 (1987)
Assignment One: Part III due April 6.
Week 13: Apr. 11, 13
Rhys Isaac, The Transformation of Virginia, 1740-1790, pp. 143-242.
Susan O'Brien, "A Transatlantic Community of Saints: The Great Awakening and the First Evangelical Network,
1735-1755," The American Historical Review, Vol. 91, No. 4. (Oct., 1986), pp. 811-832. [Available via
Patricia U. Bonomi, Peter R. Eisenstadt, "Church Adherence in the Eighteenth-Century British American
Colonies," William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd. Ser., Vol. 39, No. 2. (Apr., 1982), pp. 245-286. [Available
Jon Butler, " Enthusiasm Described and Decried: The Great Awakening as Interpretative Fiction," The Journal
of American History, Vol. 69, No. 2. (Sep., 1982), pp. 305-325. [Available via JSTOR]
Frank Lambert, Inventing the "Great Awakening" (1999)
David Hall, Worlds of Wonder, Days of Judgment: Popular Religious Belief in early New England (1989)
Week 14: Apr. 18, 20
Ira Berlin, Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America, pp. 93-216,
Allan Kulikoff, "The Origins of Afro-American Society in Tidewater Maryland and Virginia, 1700 to 1790,"
William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd. Ser., Vol. 35, No. 2. (Apr., 1978), pp. 226-259. [Available via JSTOR]
Philip D. Morgan, "Work and Culture: The Task System and the World of Lowcountry Blacks, 1700 to 1880,"
William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd. Ser., Vol. 39, No. 4. (Oct., 1982), pp. 563-599. [Available via JSTOR]
Lorena Walsh, From Calabar to Carter's Grove: A History of a Virginia Slave Community (1997)
Peter H. Wood, Black Majority: Negroes in Colonial South Carolina from 1670 through the Stono
Assignment One, Part IV: Due 20 April
Week 15: 25, 27
Richard White, The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region,
1650-1815, pp. 142-314.
Daniel K. Richter, "War and Culture: The Iroquois Experience," William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd. Ser., Vol.
40, No. 4. (Oct., 1983), pp. 528-559. [Available via JSTOR]
James H. Merrell, Into the American Woods: Negotiators on the Pennsylvania Frontier (1999)
Take Home Final exam, due 1 May