Department of History

History G8284y

Monday 6:10-8:00 p.m. 301M Fayerweather

Prof. David Armitage (

516 Fayerweather: 854-8709

Prof. Richard L. Bushman (

604 Fayerweather: 854-2430

Graduate Colloquium in Britain and America 1600-1765

This colloquium will attempt to break down the barriers between early American history and early modern British history by offering graduate students in American and European history the chance to study each other's history and historiography. The connection between the British colonies in North America and the Caribbean with their antecedents in the British Isles has long been taken for granted, but only in the last generation has it become a central topic in early American historiography. Similarly, early-modern British historians have recently -- but even more belatedly -- begun to put the histories of Britain and Ireland back into their necessary context as part of a developing Atlantic world.

Certain major issues have arisen in these gradually convergent historiographies: the continuities between colonization and migration within the British Isles and similar movements into the Atlantic world; the European roots of New World slavery and racism; attitudes towards labour and the structure of the colonial work-force; the nature of imperial governance, and its debt to British political institutions and theories; the relationship between the established Church, puritanism and Dissent in Britain and North America; the economic impact of colonial markets on the domestic economy, and the balance-sheet of empire during the eighteenth-century colonial wars; and the parallel stages of political and economic development in the metropolis and the colonies between the Glorious Revolution and the American Revolution.

Though this colloquium cannot hope to cover all of these subjects exhaustively, it will attempt to give students a grounding in the problems, methods and sources of early-modern British and American history, and thereby encourage both Americanists and Europeanists to consider their fields as necessarily convergent rather than inevitably distinct.


In responding to each week's readings, we will place greater emphasis on synthesis than on analysis. Customarily, graduate colloquia teach students to break down readings into their constituent parts, the better to evaluate the strengths of scholarly arguments. Eventually,however, analysis must give way to synthesis where the readings are put back together. We have to construct views that we can accept and are willing to propound in our teaching and writing. In the colloquium, we will pursue both lines of inquiry but with more attention to synthesis.  We will seek to combine the findings of secondary works into patterns that account for developments around the Atlantic.

To this end, a few students will be assigned each week to develop questions for the seminar to discuss. These questions should not aim at the weaknesses in the readings but strive to locate their points of contact. What general patterns around the Atlantic do the readings reveal, and how do the regions (Scotland, England, the Chesapeake, New England, Barbados, etc.) compare? What are the differences and similarities? How do we account for the differences? The questions should seek to bring forward these comparisons. To help the other members see the point of the question, it may be necessary to write a paragraph or two about the patterns you discern. The questions and accompanying introductions should be posted by e-mail to other students in the colloquia at least one day before the class meets. In class, we will work together on synthesizing a convincing picture of Atlantic society.

The weekly discussions will focus on the principal readings (marked with an asterisk), though students are encouraged to complete the additional readings too. Seminar members will be asked to report on the additional readings, explaining how they fit into the patterns suggested by the principal readings. The more everyone reads, the wider-ranging and more productive our discussions will be.

For the final paper, you are to work up a synthesis on a single topic in a 10-15 page essay to be handed in at the end of the course by 12 pm on 5 May. The topic may grow out of the assigned readings or address a subject of your own devising. Bibliographical assistance with the papers can be found in the following guides:

David Ammerman and Philip D. Morgan, eds., Books About Early America:  2001 Titles (Williamsburg, 1989).

Royal Historical Society, Annual Bibliography of British and Irish History (published annually in book form, now available cumulatively up to 1996 on CD-ROM).

Required Readings

Bernard Bailyn, The Peopling of British America (New York, 1986).

Linda Colley, Britons: Forging the Nation, 1707-1837 (New Haven, 1992).

Stanley N. Katz, John Murrin and Douglas Greenberg, eds., Colonial America: Essays in Politics and Social Development, 4th edn. (New York, 1993).

Jack P. Greene, Pursuits of Happiness (Chapel Hill, 1988).

Keith Wrightson, English Society 1580-1680 (New Brunswick, 1982).

Recommended Readings

Anthony McFarlane, The British in the Americas 1480-1815 (London, 1994).

Kenneth O. Morgan, ed., The Oxford History of Britain (Oxford, 1988).

Nicholas Canny, ed., The Oxford History of the British Empire, I: The Origins of Empire (Oxford, 1998).

P. J. Marshall, ed., The Oxford History of the British Empire, II: The Eighteenth Century (Oxford, 1998).

25 January: Orientations

*Bernard Bailyn, 'The Idea of Atlantic History,' Itinerario, 20 (1996): 19-44.

*David Armitage, 'Greater Britain: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis?' American Historical Review, 104, 2 (April 1999) (typescript).

J. G. A. Pocock, 'The Limits and Divisions of British History: In Search of the Unknown Subject,' American Historical Review, 87 (1982): 311-36.

Jack P. Greene, 'Beyond Power: Paradigm Subversion and Reformulation and the Re-Creation of the Early Modern Atlantic World,' in Greene, Interpreting Early America: Historiographical Essays (Charlottesville, 1996), 17-42.

1 February: Irish and Indians: Encounters with the Alien

*Nicholas Canny, 'The Ideology of English Colonization: From Ireland to America,' William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd ser., 30 (1973): 575-98.

*Alden Vaughan, 'Early English Paradigms for New World Natives,' Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, n. s. 102 (1992): 33-67.

*Karen Kupperman, Settling with the Indians: The Meeting of English and Indian Cultures in America, 1580-1640 (London, 1980), chs. 6-9.

*Joyce E. Chaplin, 'Natural Philosophy and an Early Racial Idiom in North America: Comparing English and Indian Bodies,' William and Mary Quarterly, 3d ser., 54 (1997): 229-52.

J. H. Elliott, Britain and Spain in America: Colonists and Colonized (The Stenton Lecture, Reading, 1994).

David D. Smits, '"Abominable Mixture": Towards the Repudiations of Anglo-Indian Intermarriage in 17th-Century Virginia,' Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 95 (1987): 157-92.

8 February: Mobility and Migration

*Bernard Bailyn, The Peopling of British America.

*Virginia De John Anderson, 'Migrants and Motives: Religion and the Settlement of New England, 1630-1640,' in Katz, Murrin and Greenberg, eds., Colonial America 96-130.

*Nicholas Canny, 'English Migration into and across the Atlantic During the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries,' and T. C. Smout, Ned C. Landsman and T. M. Devine, 'Scottish Emigration in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries' in Canny, ed., Europeans on the Move (Oxford, 1994), 39-75, 76-112.

James Horn, '"To Parts Beyond the Seas": Free Emigration to the Chesapeake in the 17th Century' in Ida Altman and James Horn, eds., "ToMake America": European Emigration in the Early Modern Period (Berkeley, 1991), 85-130.

Trevor Burnard, 'European Migration to Jamaica, 1655-1780,' William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd ser., 53 (1996), 769-96.

15 February: Landscape and Environment

*W. G. Hoskins, The Midland Peasant: The Economic and Social History of a Leicestershire Village (London, 1957), chs. 6-7.

*Sumner Chilton Powell, Puritan Village: The Formation of a New England Town (New York, 1963), chs. 1, 5-6.

*Robert G. Keith, 'Introduction,' in Haciendas and Plantations in Latin American History, ed. Keith (New York, 1977), 1-35.

Andrew McRae, 'Husbandry Manuals and the Language of Agrarian Improvement,' in Michael Leslie and Timothy Raylor, eds., Culture and Cultivation in Early Modern England: Writing and the Land (Leicester, 1992), 35-62.

William Cronon, Changes in the Land (New York, 1983), chs. 6-8.

T. H. Breen, Tobacco Culture (Princeton, 1985), ch. 2.

22 February: Social Order

*Keith Wrightson, English Society 1580-1680 (New Brunswick, 1982), chs.1-2, 6.

*Jack P. Greene, Pursuits of Happiness, chs. 1-4.

Bernard Bailyn, 'Politics and Social Structure in Virginia,' in Katz, Murrin and Greenberg, eds., Colonial America, 17-40.

Russell Menard, 'From Servant to Freeholder: Status Mobility and Property Accumulation in Seventeenth-Century Maryland,' in Katz, Murrin and Greenberg, eds., Colonial America, 41-65.

Richard L. Bushman, From Puritan to Yankee (Cambridge, Mass., 1967), chs. 1-2.

David Hackett Fischer, Albion's Seed (New York, 1989), 3-11, 199-205, 410-18, 595-603, 777-82, 783-834.

1 March: Gender

*Sara Mendelson and Patricia Crawford, Women in Early Modern England 1550-1720 (Oxford, 1998), chs. 1, 6.

*Mary Beth Norton, Founding Mothers and Fathers: Gendered Power and the Forming of American Society (New York, 1996), pp. 1-17, 96-137, 183-203, 293-322.

*Cornelia Dayton, Women before the Bar: Gender, Law and Society in Connecticut, 1639-1789 (Chapel Hill, 1995), Introduction, chs. 1-2.

Keith Wrightson, English Society, ch. 4.

Amanda Vickery, 'Golden Age to Separate Spheres? A Review of the Categories and Chronology of English Women's History,' The Historical Journal, 36 (1993): 383-414.

Kathleen Brown, Good Wives, Nasty Wenches and Anxious Patriarchs: Gender, Race and Power in Colonial Virginia (Chapel Hill, 1996), chs.1-3.

8 March: Culture and Belief: Witchcraft

*William E. Monter, 'Scandinavian Witchcraft in Anglo-American Perspective' and Peter Burke, 'The Comparative Approach to European Witchcraft,' in Bengt Ankarloo and Gustav Henningsen, eds., Early Modern European Witchcraft: Centres and Peripheries (Oxford, 1990), 425-34, 435-42.

*Alan MacFarlane, Witchcraft in Tudor and Stuart England (London, 1970), chs. 11-12, 15.

*Christina Larner, 'The Crime of Witchcraft in Scotland' and 'Witch Beliefs and Accusations in England and Scotland,' in Larner, Witchcraft and Religion (Oxford, 1984), 23-34, 70-78.

*Carol F. Karlsen, The Devil in the Shape of a Woman (New York, 1987), ch. 3.

Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic (London, 1972), chs. 14, 16-17.

Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, Salem Possessed (Cambridge, MA, 1974), Prologue, ch. 4.

David D. Hall, Witchhunting in 17th-Century New England (Boston, 1991), chs. 3, 17.

13-20 March: SPRING BREAK

22 March: Religion

*Susan O'Brien, 'A Transatlantic Community of Saints: The Great Awakening and the First Evangelical Network, 1735-1755,' in Katz, Murrin and Greenberg, eds., Colonial America, 555-80.

*Harry S. Stout, 'Religion, Communications, and the Ideological Origins of the American Revolution,' William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd ser., 34 (1977): 519-41.

*Michael Crawford, Seasons of Grace: New England's Revival Tradition in its British Context (New York, 1991), Introduction, chs. 5, 7, 10.

*Rhys Isaac, 'Evangelical Revolt: The Nature of the Baptists' Challenge to the Traditional Order in Virginia, 1765-1775,' in Katz, Murrin and Greenberg, eds., Colonial America, 639-62.

Linda Colley, Britons: Forging the Nation 1707-1837, ch. 1.

Leigh Eric Schmidt, Holy Fairs: Scottish Communions and American Revivals in the Early Modern Period (Princeton, 1989), Prospect, ch. 1.

29 March: Free and Unfree Labour

*Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker, 'The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors,Slaves and the Atlantic Working Class in the Eighteenth-Century,' Journal of Historical Sociology 3 (1990): 225-53.

*Mendelson and Crawford, Women in Early Modern England, ch. 5.

*Daniel Vickers, Farmers and Fishermen (Chapel Hill, 1994), 52-64, 219-47.

*Stephen Innes, ed., Work and Labor in Early America (Chapel Hill, 1988), essays by Innes (3-47), Ulrich (70-105) and Morgan (189-220).

C. S. L. Davies, 'Slavery and Protector Somerset: The Vagrancy Act of 1547,' Economic History Review, 2d ser., 19 (1966): 533-49.

Christopher Hill, 'Pottage for Freeborn Englishmen: Attitudes to Wage Labour,' in Hill, Change and Continuity in Seventeenth-Century England (London, 1974), 219-39, 341-48.

Richard S. Dunn, 'Servants and Slaves: The Recruitment and Employment of Labour,' in Jack P. Greene and J. R. Pole, eds., Colonial British America: Essays in the New History of the Early Modern Era (Baltimore, 1984), 157-94.

Edmund Morgan, American Slavery, American Freedom, chs. 6, 11-13.

5 April: Comparative Slavery

*Ira Berlin, Many Thousands Gone: the First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America (Cambridge, Mass., 1998), 17-28, 95-215.

*Richard S. Dunn, Sugar and Slaves: The Rise of the Planter Class in the English West Indies, 1624-1713 (Chapel Hill, 1972), ch. 7.

*Herbert S. Klein, Slavery in the Americas: A Comparative Study of Virginia and Cuba (New York, 1967), Part II, 'The Legal Structure'.

Allan Kulikoff, Tobacco and Slaves: The Development of Southern Cultures in the Chesapeake, 1680-1800 (Chapel Hill, 1986), chs. 1, 10.

Philip D. Morgan, Slave Counterpoint: Black Culture in the Eighteenth-Century Chesapeake and Low Country (Chapel Hill, 1998), chs. 5-6.

12 April: Political Economy

*Robert Brenner, 'The Social Basis of English Commercial Expansion, 1550-1650,' Journal of Economic History 32 (1972): 361-84.

*Patrick O'Brien, 'Inseparable Connections: Trade, Economy, Fiscal State and the Expansion of Empire, 1688-1815,' in Marshall, ed., The Oxford History of the British Empire, II, 53-77.

*Eric Williams, Capitalism and Slavery (London, 1944), chs. 3, 5, 7.

David Harris Sacks, The Widening Gate: Bristol and the Atlantic Economy, 1450-1700 (Berkeley, 1991), ch. 8, Conclusion (251-76, 331-62).

Sidney W. Mintz, Sweetness and Power (New York, 1985), chs. 2, 4.

Robin Blackburn, The Making of New World Slavery: From the Baroque to the Modern 1492-1800 (London, 1997), ch. VII.

19 April: Consumption

*Neil McKendrick, 'The Consumer Revolution of the Eighteenth Century,' in McKendrick, John Brewer and J. H. Plumb, The Birth of a Consumer Society (London, 1982), 9-33.

*Amanda Vickery, 'Women and the World of Goods: A Lancashire Consumer and Her Possessions,' in John Brewer and Roy Porter, eds., Consumption and the World of Goods (London, 1993), 274-301.

*T. H. Breen, 'An Empire of Goods: The Anglicization of Colonial America, 1690-1776,' in Katz, Murrin and Greenberg, eds., Colonial America, 367-98.

*T. H. Breen, '"Baubles of Britain": The American and Consumer Revolutions of the Eighteenth Century,' Past and Present 88 (1988): 73-104.

*Lois Carr and Lorena Walsh, 'Changing Lifestyles and Consumer Behavior in the Colonial Chesapeake' in Cary Carson, Ronald Hoffman and Peter J. Albert, eds., "Of Consuming Interests": The Style of Life in the Eighteenth Century (Charlottesville, 1994), 59-145.

Carole Shammas, 'The Domestic Environment in Early Modern England and America,' Journal of Social History 14 (1980): 3-24.

Richard Bushman, 'American High-Style and Vernacular Culture,' in Jack P. Greene and Jack R. Pole, eds., Colonial British America, 345-83.

26 April: Convergence and Divergence

*Jack P. Greene, Pursuits of Happiness, chs. 5-8

*Dror Wahrman, 'National Society, Communal Culture: An Argument about the Recent Historiography of Eighteenth-Century Britain,' Social History 17 (1992): 43-72.

*Bernard Bailyn and John Clive, 'England's Cultural Provinces: Scotland and America,' William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd ser., 11 (1954): 200-13.

*David S. Shields, Civil Tongues and Polite Letters in British America (Chapel Hill, 1997), Introduction, chs. 1-2.

E. P. Thompson, 'Patrician Society, Plebeian Culture,' Journal of Social History 7 (1974): 382-405.

J. C. D. Clark, English Society, 1688-1832 (Cambridge, 1986), ch. 2.

Gordon Wood, The Radicalism of the American Revolution (New York, 1992), chs. 1-5.

3 May: Making the Nations

*T. H. Breen, 'Ideology and Nationalism on the Eve of the American Revolution: Revisions Once More in Need of Revising,' Journal of American History 84 (June 1997): 13-39.

*Linda Colley, Britons: Forging the Nation, 1707-1837, chs. 2-3.

*Nathan O. Hatch, 'The Origins of Civil Millennialism in America: New England Clergymen, War with France, and the Revolution,' in Katz, Murrin and Greenberg, eds., Colonial America, 617-38.

*John Murrin, 'A Roof Without Walls: The Dilemma of American National Identity' in Richard Beeman, Stephen Botein and Edward C. Carter III, eds., Beyond Confederation: Origins of the Constitution and American National Identity (Chapel Hill, 1987), 333-48.

*Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities, 2d edn. (London, 1991), chs. 4-5.

Jack P. Greene, 'Empire and Identity from the Glorious Revolution to the American Revolution,' in Marshall, ed., The Oxford History of the British Empire, II, 208-30.

Charles Royster, 'Founding a Nation in Blood: Military Conflict and American Nationality,' in Ronald Hoffman and Peter J. Albert, eds., Arms and Independence: The Military Character of the American Revolution (Charlottesville, 1984), 25-49.