Welcome to History 566

Otherwise known as Readings in North American History, 1500-1800. It is somewhat changed from the Spring 2007 syllabus. I eliminated the week on Gender and Culture and added, in its stead, a Borderlands week. I’m OK with this since there are several gender readings scattered throughout the semester under other themes. The other major change is since Rice now has a slightly shorter semester, I have smooshed the old Republican Politics and Republican Cultures weeks into one called. simply, Republic. Other than that, a few small changes from week to week, but the structure of the course remains otherwise unchanged. It has been fun over the last two years making notes for changes, and as always, it has served as an incentive to constantly keep up with emerging literature. This is becoming more difficult task every year, as the geographical boundaries of “early America” broaden.


This graduate readings seminar introduces recent problems and questions as well as enduring issues in early American history. It is arranged both thematically and chronologically. Students will be expected to explore three key elements of early American historiography: chronology (the basic timeline and narrative of historical development), major events and turning points (periodization), and they will be expected to engage in critical analysis of the major works and themes in the field. By the end of the course you should be familiar with broad themes and interpretations in early American history, in preparation for oral exams, research in early American history, and teaching the first half of the standard American history survey.

If you think you need a refresher course on background and basic chronology, you should consult Alan Taylor’s American Colonies (Viking, 2001), D.W. Meinig’s The Shaping of America, vol. I (Yale, 1986), and/or Jack P. Greene, Pursuits of Happiness: The Social Development of the Early Modern British Empire and the Formation of American Culture (UNC, 1988). For a historiographical overview, you should read the relevant articles in Daniel Vickers, ed., A Companion to Colonial America (Blackwell, 2003). For the English background, you should consult the first two volumes of The Oxford History of the British Empire or Keith Wrightson’s English Society, 1580-1680 (London, 1982). For the Spanish in North America, see especially David Weber, The Spanish Frontier in North America (Yale, 1992). For the French in North America, see especially W.J. Eccles, The French in North America, 1500-1765 (Michigan State, 1998). These books are all on reserve at Fondren Library for you to consult.

Each student in the course will participate in weekly discussions, review one week’s readings, and write a historiographical essay, due at the end of the semester (in lieu of a final exam). All reading is required (with the exception of the section labeled “recommended.” These readings are not required, will not be discussed in class, and are for your interest and future reference only.) Students should take notes on individual readings as well as make synthetic notes on each week’s topic as a whole. As the semester progresses, your knowledge and familiarity of the field will increase, and I will expect you to make methodological and historiographical connections with earlier readings. For the week you select to write a review of the readings, you must also submit (by 8pm on Monday the evening before class) a set of concise questions for the seminar, distributed via email to me and to the whole class. Your review of one week’s readings will be 8-10 pages in length, and your final paper, on a topic of your choosing, will be 12-15 pages. You are expected to do additional reading for the final paper; you will consult with me to formulate a topic and I will make recommendations for additional readings. A prospectus and annotated bibliography for the final paper is due on our final class meeting, Friday, 17 April 2009. The final paper is due to my office by 12 noon on Monday, 11 May 2009. No late papers will be accepted and no extensions will be granted (except in the case of severe illness or other personal emergency—any excuses must be accompanied by appropriate documentation).

Your grade will be based on active participation in class discussion (30%), the 8-10 page review and pre-circulated questions (30%), and the final paper (40%).

I recommend that you purchase books that are assigned in full (using Amazon or some other site). All books are also on reserve at Fondren Library. All assigned articles are online and available via JSTOR, History Cooperative, Informaworld, or Synergy.

Tuesday 6 January: Introductions
For our first class, please read the following short articles, and prepare a 3-5 page essay answering the question “Why study early American history?” This essay won’t be graded, but I will read it and return it with comments. As you read and write, you should also consider some key thematic questions: what should be the geographical boundaries of early America? When should “early America” begin? Who were the early Americans? And, where has the historiography and methodology of early American history been, and where should it go next?
• James A. Hijiya, “Why the West is Lost” William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Ser. vol. 51, no. 2 (April 1994), 276-292. (JSTOR)
• Michael McGiffert, et al., “Forum: Why the West is Lost” William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Ser. vol. 51, no. 4 (October 1994), 717-754. (JSTOR)
• Claudio Saunt, “Mapping Early American Historiography,” William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Ser., vol. 65, no. 4 (October 2008), 745-778. (History Cooperative)
• Juliana Barr, “How Do You Get from Jamestown to Santa Fe? A Colonial Sun Belt,” Journal of Southern History vol. 73, no. 3 (August 2007), 553-566. (available via History Cooperative)
• Philip Morgan, “Rethinking Early American Slavery,” in Pestana and Salinger, eds., Inequality in Early America (Dartmouth, 1999), 239-266. (on reserve)
• James Taylor Carson, “American Historians and Indians,” Historical Journal vol. 49, no. 3 (October 2006), 921-933. (I will provide copies.)
• Elizabeth Mancke, “Another British America: A Canadian Model for the Early Modern British Empire,” Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History vol. 25, no.1 (January 1997), 1-36. (Informaworld.com)
• Joyce E. Chaplin, “Expansion and Exceptionalism in Early American History Journal of American History vol. 89, no.4 (March 2003), 1431-1456. (available via History Cooperative)

Tuesday 13 January: Native North America
• Inga Clendinnen, Aztecs: An Interpretation (Cambridge University Press, 2001), entire.
• Neal Salisbury, “The Indians’ Old World: Native Americans and the Coming of Europeans” William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Ser. vol. 53, no. 3 (July 1996), 435-458. (JSTOR)
• John F. Scarry, “The Late Prehistoric Southeast” in Hudson and Tesser, eds., The Forgotten Centuries: Indians and Europeans in the American South, 1521-1704 (University of Georgia Press, 1994), 17-35. (on reserve)
• Daniel K. Richter, The Ordeal of the Longhouse: The Peoples of the Iroquois League in the Era of European Colonization (University of North Carolina, 1992), 1-49. (on reserve)
• Patricia Galloway, Choctaw Genesis, 1500-1700 (Nebraska, 1998), entire.

Tuesday 20 January: Encounters
• J.H. Elliott, Empires of the Atlantic World: Britain and Spain in America, 1492-1830 (Yale, 2006), xiii-xx, 3-28, 57-87.
• Joshua Piker, Okfuskee: A Creek Indian Town in Colonial America (Harvard, 2004), entire.
• Nicholas P. Canny, “The Ideology of English Colonization: From Ireland to America” William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Ser., vol. 50, no. 3 (July 1973), 575-598. (JSTOR)
• Alfred W. Crosby, “Virgin Soil Epidemics as a Factor in the Aboriginal Depopulation in America” William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Ser., vol. 33, no. 2 (April 1976), 289-299. (JSTOR)
• Joyce E. Chaplin, Subject Matter: Technology, the Body, and Science on the Anglo-American Frontier, 1500-1676 (Harvard, 2001), 1-3, 157-198. (on reserve)
• Karen Kupperman, Indians and English: Facing Off in Early America (Cornell, 2000), entire.
• Michael Leroy Oberg, The Head in Edward Nugent’s Hand: Roanoke’s Forgotten Indians (Penn, 2008).

Tuesday 27 January: Migration
• Alexander X. Byrd, Migrants and Voyagers: Black Migrants Across the Eighteenth-Century British Atlantic World (LSU, 2008), entire.
• J.H. Elliott, Empires of the Atlantic World, 29-56.
• Allan Greer, The People of New France (Toronto, 1997), 3-26. (on reserve)
• Richard White, The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650-1815 (Cambridge, 1991), ix-xvi, 1-93.
• Virginia DeJohn Anderson, “Migrants and Motives: Religion and the Settlement of New England, 1630-1640” New England Quarterly vol 58, no. 3 (September 1985), 339-383. (JSTOR)
Special Guest Star: Dr. Alexander Byrd.
• Bernard Bailyn, The Peopling of British North America: An Introduction (Vintage, 1986), entire.
• James P.P. Horn, Adapting to a New World: English Society in the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake (UNC, 1994), 1-120.

Tuesday 3 February: Profit
• J.H. Elliott, Empires of the Atlantic World, 88-116.
• Kenneth Andrews, Trade, Plunder, and Settlement: Maritime Enterprise and the Genesis of the British Empire, 1480-1630 (Cambridge University Press, 1984), 1-40, 256-355. (on reserve)
• Robin Blackburn, The Making of New World Slavery: From the Baroque to the Modern (Verso, 1997), 127-184, 217-276. (on reserve)
• Edmund Morgan, American Slavery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia (W.W. Norton, 1975), 3-212. (on reserve)
• Richard White, The Middle Ground, 94-141.

Tuesday 10 February: Work
• Jennifer L. Morgan, Laboring Women: Reproduction and Gender in New World Slavery (Pennsylvania, 2004), entire.
• Richard White, The Middle Ground, 94-141 (think about this in the context of work as well as profit).
• Robin Blackburn, The Making of New World Slavery: From the Baroque to the Modern, 1492-1800 (Verso, 1997), 307-368, 457-508. (on reserve)
• Edmund Morgan, American Slavery, American Freedom, 213-292. (on reserve)
• Stephen Innes, ed., Work and Labor in Early America, (University of North Carolina, 1988), 3-47. (on reserve)
• Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, “Martha Ballard and Her Girls: Women’s Work in Eighteenth-Century Maine,” in Ibid., 70-105. (on reserve)
• Philip D. Morgan, “Task and Gang Systems: The Organization of Labor on New World Plantations,” in Ibid., 189-220. (on reserve)
• Allan Greer, The People of New France, 27-42. (on reserve)
• Trevor Burnard, Mastery, Tyranny, & Desire: Thomas Thistlewood and his Slaves in the Anglo-Jamaican World (University of North Carolina, 2004), 37-68. (on reserve)
• Sharon B. Sundue, Industrious in Their Stations: Young People at Work in Urban America, 1720-1810 (UVA, 2008), entire.

Tuesday 17 February: Religion and Belief
• J.H. Elliott, Empires of the Atlantic World, 184-218.
• Perry Miller, “Errand into the Wilderness” in Errand into the Wilderness (Harvard, 1956), 1-16, 48-98. (on reserve)
• David Hall, “On Common Ground: The Coherence of American Puritan Studies” William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Ser., vol. 44, no. 2 (April 1987), 193-229. (JSTOR)
• Emma Anderson, The Betrayal of Faith: The Tragic Journey of a Colonial Native Convert (Harvard, 2007), entire.
• Rhys Isaac, “Evangelical Revolt: The Nature of the Baptists’ Challenge to the Traditional Order in Virginia, 1765-1775” William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Ser. vol. 31, no. 3 (July 1973), 345-368. (JSTOR)
• Jon E. Sensbach, Rebecca’s Revival: Creating Black Christianity in the Atlantic World (Harvard, 2005), entire.
• Rebecca Larsen, Daughters of Light: Quaker Women Preaching and Prophesying in the Colonies and Abroad, 1700-1775 (Knopf, 1999), entire.
• Mary Maples Dunn, “Saints and Sisters: Congregational and Quaker Women in the Early Colonial Period” American Quarterly vol. 30, no. 5 (Winter 1978), 582-601. (JSTOR)
• Jon Butler, Becoming America: The Revolution before 1776 (Harvard, 2000), 185-224. (on reserve)
• E. Brooks Hollifield, Theology in America: Christian Thought from the Age of the Puritans to the Civil War (Yale, 2003), entire.

Tuesday 24 February: Borderlands
• James F. Brooks, Captives and Cousins: Slavery, Kinship, and Community in the Southwest Borderlands (UNC, 2002), entire.
• Juliana Barr, “A Diplomacy of Gender: Rituals of First Contact in the ‘Land of the Tejas’”, William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Ser., vol. 61, no. 3 (July 2004), 393-434. (available via History Cooperative)
• Steven W. Hackel, “The Staff of Leadership: Indian Authority in the Missions of Alta California,” William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Ser., vol. 54, no. 2 (April 1997), 347-376. (JSTOR)
• David J. Weber, “Bourbons and Bárbaros: Center and Periphery in the Reshaping of Spanish Indian Policy,” in Christine Daniels and Michael V. Kennedy, eds., Negotiated Empires: Centers and Peripheries in the Americas, 1500-1820 (Routledge, 2002), 79-104. (on reserve)
• Forum on Richard White, The Middle Ground (articles by Susan Sleeper-Smith, Richard White, Philip J. Deloria, Heidi Bohaker, Brett Rushforth, and Catherine Desbarats), William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Ser., vol. 63, no. 1 (January 2006), 1-96. (available via History Cooperative)

Tuesday 3 March: No Class, Spring Break

Tuesday 10 March: Politics, Authority, and Power
• J.H. Elliott, Empires of the Atlantic World, 117-183.
• Holly Brewer, By Birth or Consent: Children, Law, and the Anglo-American Revolution in Authority (UNC, 2005), entire.
• Richard White, The Middle Ground, 142-268.
• Gary B. Nash, “The Transformation of Urban Politics, 1700-1764” Journal of American History vol. 60, no. 3 (December 1973), 605-632. (JSTOR)
• Jack P. Greene, Negotiated Authorities: Essays in Colonial Political and Constitutional History (UVA, 1994), 1-24. (on reserve)
• Linda Colley, Britons: Forging the Nation, 1707-1837 (Yale, 1992), 11-54, 195-236 (on reserve)
• Adrian Howe, “The Bayard Treason Trial: Dramatizing Anglo-Dutch Politics in Early Eighteenth-Century New York City” William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Ser., vol. 47, no. 1 (January 1990), 57-89. (JSTOR)
• Daniel Hulsebosch, Constituting Empire: New York and the Transformation of Constitutionalism in the Atlantic World (UNC, 2005), entire.
• Any of the other essays in Jack P. Greene, Negotiated Authorities: Essays in Colonial Political and Constitutional History (UVA, 1994).
• Brendan McConville, The King’s Three Faces: The Rise and Fall of Royal America, 1688-1776 (UNC, 2006), entire.

Tuesday 17 March: Political Economy
• Albert O. Hirschman, The Passions and the Interests: Political Arguments for Capitalism before its Triumph (Princeton, 1997), entire.
• Eric Williams, Capitalism and Slavery (London, 1944), chapters 3-5. (on reserve)
• Blackburn, The Making of New World Slavery, 307-400. (on reserve)
• J.E. Crowley, This Sheba, Self: The Conceptualization of Economic Life in Eighteenth-Century America (Johns Hopkins, 1974), prologue, chapters 1, 2, 4. (on reserve)
• Joyce O. Appleby, “Ideology and Theory: The Tension between Political and Economic Liberalism in Seventeenth-Century England,” American Historical Review vol. 81 (1976), 499-515. (JSTOR)

Tuesday 24 March: Material Culture
• James Deetz, In Small Things Forgotten: An Archaeology of Early American Life (Anchor Books, 1996), entire.
• Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, The Age of Homespun: Objects and Stories in the Creation of an American Myth (Knopf, 2001), 41-74 (“An Indian Basket”) and 108-141 (“Hannah Barnard’s Cupboard”). (on reserve)
• Rodris Roth, “Tea-Drinking in Eighteenth-Century America: Its Etiquette and Equipage,” in Robert Blair St. George, ed., Material Life in America, 1600-1860 (Northeastern University Press, 1988), 439-462. (on reserve)
• Laurier Turgeon, “The Tale of the Kettle: Odyssey of an Intercultural Object” Ethnohistory vol. 44, no. 1 (Winter 1997), 1-29. (JSTOR)
• T.H. Breen, “An Empire of Goods: The Anglicization of Colonial America, 1690-1776” Journal of British Studies vol. 25, no. 3 (July 1986), 467-499. (JSTOR)

Monday 2 April: Atlantic Worlds
• David Armitage, “Three Concepts of Atlantic History,” in Armitage and Braddick, eds., British Atlantic World, 1500-1800 (Palgrave, 2002), 11-30. (on reserve)
• J.H. Elliott, Empires of the Atlantic World, 255-291.
• Vincent Brown, The Reaper’s Garden: Death and Power in the World of Atlantic Slavery (Harvard, 2008), entire.
• Jorge Canizares-Esguerra, Puritan Conquistadors: Iberianizing the Atlantic, 1550-1700 (Stanford, 2006), 1-34, 215-233. (on reserve)
• Joyce Chaplin, “Race” in Armitage and Braddick, eds., British Atlantic World, 1500-1800, 154-172. (on reserve)
• “Forum: Beyond the Atlantic” (essays by Alison Games, Philip J. Stern, Paul W. Mapp, and Peter Coclanis) William and Mary Quarterly vol. 63, no. 4 (October 2006), 675-742. (History Cooperative)
• John Thornton, African and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1400-1800, 2nd Edition (Cambridge, 1998), entire.

Tuesday 7 April: Revolution
• J.H. Elliott, Empires of the Atlantic World, 292-368.
• Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (Harvard, 1967), entire.
• David Armitage, The Declaration of Independence: A Global History (Harvard, 2007), 1-102.
• Gary B. Nash, The Forgotten Fifth: African-Americans in the Age of Revolution (Harvard, 2005), 1-68.
• Edmund S. Morgan, “The American Revolution: Revisions in Need of Revising” William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Ser., vol. 14, no. 1 (January 1957), 3-15. (JSTOR)
• T.H. Breen, “Ideology and Nationalism on the Eve of the American Revolution: Revisions Once More in Need of Revising” Journal of American History vol. 84, no. 1 (June 1997), 13-39. (JSTOR)
• Jesse Lemisch, “Jack Tar in the Streets: Merchant Seamen in the Politics of Revolutionary America” William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Ser., vol. 25, no. 3 (July 1968), 371-407. (JSTOR)
• Charles Royster, “Founding a Nation in Blood: Military Conflict and American Nationality” in Hoffman and Albert, eds., Arms and Independence: The Military Character of the American Revolution (Virginia, 1984), 25-49.
• Benjamin L. Carp, Rebels Rising: Cities in the American Revolution (Oxford, 2007), entire.

Friday 17 April: Republic
• J. H. Elliott, Empires of the Atlantic World, 369-411.
• Richard White, Middle Ground, 269-523.
• Gary B. Nash, The Forgotten Fifth, 69-170.
• Daniel T. Rodger, “Republicanism: The Career of a Concept” Journal of American History vol. 79, no. 1 (June 1992), 11-38. (JSTOR)
• Gordon Wood, The Radicalism of the American Revolution (Vintage, 1991), entire.
• “Forum: How Revolutionary was the Revolution? A Discussion of Gordon S. Wood’s The Radicalism of the American Revolution (articles by Michael McGiffert, Joyce Appleby, Barbara Clark Smith, Michael Zuckerman, and Gordon S. Wood), William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 51, no. 4 (October 1994), 677-716.
• James T. Kloppenberg, “The Virtues of Liberalism: Christianity, Republicanism, and Ethics in Early American Political Discourse,” Journal of American History vol. 74, no. 1 (June 1987), 9-33. (JSTOR)
• Drew McCoy, The Elusive Republic: Political Economy in Jeffersonian America (Chapel Hill, 1980), entire.
• Woody Holton, Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution (Hill and Wang, 2007), entire.
• Alan Taylor, The Divided Ground: Indians, Settlers, and the Northern Borderland of the American Revolution (Knopf, 2006), entire.


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