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HIST 2664 What's Colonial About Early America?


HIST 2664 What's Colonial About Early America? (HA-AS) (also AMST 2664)

Monday and Wednesday: 11:15-12:05 plus discussion

Associate Professor Jon Parmenter

Many Americans envision the colonial period as a relatively quaint and benign time dominated by Pocahontas, the Pilgrims, and provinciality.  Pairing the term "colonial" with "America" also tends to render the nearly-three centuries between Europeans' arrival in the western hemisphere and the Declaration of Independence as the prehistory of the United States when in fact multiple colonial regimes existed in North America at any time prior to 1776.  This course investigates the rich, complex, and violent history of early America with the objective of a fresh appreciation of its "colonial" aspects – natural resource extraction, territorial expropriation and displacement of indigenous peoples, exploitation of enslaved labor, and the imposition of juridical authority over "settled" spaces – with an eye toward a better understanding of the larger patterns of domination (however incomplete) in which the emergent international state system and global capitalism creating imbalances of wealth and power that persist to this day.  In addition to exploration of familiar sites like the thirteen Anglo-American colonies, the course will venture into less well-known areas (including those outside contemporary national American boundaries) to enhance students' appreciation of the diversity of human in experience in early America via comparative analysis. (pre-1800)


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