Dr. Jim Williams
Office hours: TR after class to noon
Please call me, if necessary, at home: 292-8417
Web page: www.mtsu.edu/~jhwillia
The goal of this course is to promote the intellectual and personal development of all the participants. We achieve this goal by studying the history of the early English Atlantic world. Topics include:
These will be discussed on the first day of class and agreed upon by all members of the class. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated in any form; violators will be subject to the honor code.
Your course grade will be determined by how well you convince the instructor that you have developed intellectually and personally through your understanding of the large questions that this course explores. You determine how much you do and the quality of what you do in the following categories:
I. Attendance and class participation: To be eligible for an A in this category, you may not have more than three absences. To be eligible for a B in this category, you may not have more than five absences. To be eligible for a C in this category, you may not have more than seven absences. (If you miss more than seven classes, your chances of passing the course are slim.) The instructor will record a participation score for each student each day. That score reflects the amount and the quality of participation. A great deal of this class revolves around discussion and group work in class. Your attendance each day is essential.
II. Shorter essays on the assigned books: Essays will be assigned for the Breen/Innes, Kupperman, Wood, Mancall, and Demos books. To be eligible for an A in this category, you must complete your choice of four of these essays. To be eligible for a B, three of these essays. To be eligible for a C, two of these essays. To pass the course, you must complete at least one of the essays; if you choose to do only one essay, your score in this category will not be higher than 65. Please note: Completing the work that makes you eligible for a particular grade level does not mean that you will earn that grade. To earn an A, for instance, you need to complete the required quantity of work listed above and that work must be, on average, at the A level. Likewise, if you earn an A on every essay you complete but do not complete enough to be eligible for more than a C, then you will receive a C. The choice is yours.
III. Final course essay: The longest and most complex of the assignments this semester is the final essay. The assigned topic will ask you to draw together your views on the major contours of the English Atlantic world from 1500 to 1688. This essay is in lieu of a final examination; you may wish to think of it as a take-home comprehensive examination. The assignment will be distributed after spring break.
Each category will contribute one-third of the final course grade. The standard grading scale will be used (A=90-100, B=80-89, C=70-79, D=60-69, F=below 60). Everyone who earns an A will receive an A; there are no limits or quotas.
Thurs., Jan. 11: Introduction
Tues., Jan. 16: Why did the English begin thinking of an empire in the 16th
Thurs., Jan. 18: No class
-->Read Nicholas P. Canny, "The Ideology of English Colonization: From Ireland to America," William and Mary Quarterly 30 (Oct. 1973): 575-98, available online through the JSTOR database in the library. Then email me (by noon today) a two-paragraph summary of the essay. The first paragraph should state Canny's argument; the second paragraph should include your reaction to the essay. This response will be recorded as your participation grade for today.
Tues., Jan. 23: Was Ireland a model for the colonization of America?
Thurs., Jan. 25: How did some Englishmen promote "adventures" and "plantations" in the Americas?
-->Read Mancall through p. 106
Tues., Jan. 30: Why did the first English settlements struggle for success?
-->Read Mancall to the end; course pack documents 2, 3, 5, 6, and 10
Thurs., Feb. 1: What was different about New England?
-->Read course pack documents 1, 4, 7, 8, 9, and 11
Tues., Feb. 6: How did internal and external forces threaten New England in
-->Read course pack documents 12-15; Mancall essays due in class
Thurs., Feb. 8: What was family life like in Plymouth colony?
-->Read Demos through p. 106 and course pack document 24
Tues., Feb. 13: How did Plymouth compare to other English colonies?
-->Read Demos to the end
Thurs., Feb. 15: How did the English Civil War affect the colonies?
-->Read course pack documents 16-23
Tues., Feb. 20: What were early relations like between Indians and English?
-->Demos essays due in class
Thurs., Feb. 22: Why do the English seem as foreign to us as the Indians?
-->Read Kupperman through chap. 1
Tues., Feb. 27: What did the English believe about Indian bodies and
-->Read Kupperman, chaps. 2 and 3
Thurs., Mar. 1: How did the English intrude into Indian religious and village life?
-->Read Kupperman, chaps. 4 and 5
Tues., Mar.13: Who is "the other"?
-->Read Kupperman to the end
Thurs., Mar. 15: How did the English attempt to provide labor for their colonies?
-->Read course pack document 25
Tues., Mar. 20: How did African slavery develop?
-->Kupperman essays due in class
Thurs., Mar. 22: How did English ideas about liberty and stereotypes about Indians and Africans shape the development of slavery in the colonies?
-->Read Wood through chap. 2
Tues., Mar. 27: How did the Caribbean colonies develop compared to the
Thurs., Mar. 29: Why did slavery develop first in the Caribbean and Carolina colonies?
-->Read Wood, chap. 3
Tues., Apr. 3: What was slavery like in the Chesapeake colonies?
-->Read Wood, chap. 4, and course pack document 26
Thurs., Apr. 5: Did the Quakers' antislavery sentiment fit larger themes of liberty at the time?
-->Read Wood, chap. 5, and course pack documents 31-33
Tues., Apr. 10: How did a multiracial society develop in Virginia?
-->Read Breen & Innes through chap. 3
Thurs., Apr. 12: Why did freedom disappear in Virginia?
-->Read Breen & Innes to the end; Wood essays due in class
Tues., Apr. 17: Why did the colonies seem in turmoil in the 1670s?
-->Read course pack documents 27-30
Thurs., Apr. 19: What did the Glorious Revolution mean for the American colonies?
-->Read course pack documents 34-35
Tues., Apr. 24: Conclusion
Breen and Innes essays and the final essays are due during the examination period