– Between the mid 1400s and 1865, people from three areas of the globe (the Americas, Britain and Europe, and West Africa) encountered each other in the Americas. Some were native peoples; others migrated (more or less willingly); still others were enslaved. During the 400 years this course covers, they created many of the economic, political, social and cultural patterns that serve—and restrict—us today. We will discuss some of these patterns and their consequences this semester.
History 202 analyzes four main themes. The first is exchange between cultures and ethnic groups (“races”) in a process I call creolization. The second is the relation of the economy to society and to political and legal ideas. The third is the continuity–not change–between American and British political and economic structures and ideas. And the fourth is the change in family and gender roles, which are intimately connected to cultural and social processes, the economy, and the legal system.