HIST 1970 Pirates, Slaves, and Revolutionaries: A History of the Caribbean from Columbus to Louverture (also ASRC 1790, LATS 1970) (HST-AS) (HPE, HGS)
Monday and Wednesday: 10:10-11:25 plus Independent Research
Professor Ernesto Bassi
What is the Caribbean? How did its native inhabitants fared in the aftermath of the arrival of Europeans? How did the region shift from a Spanish Lake to a heavily contested geopolitical site where all European powers vied for political and commercial superiority? What were the main production systems of the region and how did they result in dramatic environmental change? How did the eighteenth-century revolutions transform the Caribbean? In this introductory survey to Caribbean history we will answer these and many other questions through the study of the political, economic, social, cultural, and environmental transformations of the Caribbean from the arrival of Columbus to the era of the Haitian Revolution. We will follow indigenous people, Spanish conquistadors, English, Dutch, and French pirates and privateers, planters, and merchants, imperial officers, slaves, sailors, and revolutionaries as they adapted to the multiple transformations that shaped this region. Through lectures, discussions, and readings of primary and secondary sources we will navigate the Caribbean in a quest to understand the historical processes that gave shape to this tropical paradise.