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HIST201: History of Europe, 1000 to 1800

Unit 3: The European Age of Discovery   The Renaissance set the stage for European state consolidation and expansion overseas between 1450 and 1650.  In the fifteenth century, powerful monarchs launched the first stage of global imperialism.  New developments in maritime technology and a desire to expand the influence of Christianity motivated European rulers to sponsor exploration and conquest in the New World.  In this unit, we will see how the creation of new commercial and political networks caused profound change: they introduced new peoples, ideas, and cultures to Europeans, while also wreaking havoc on indigenous cultures of the New World.

Unit 3 Time Advisory
This unit should take you approximately 13 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 3.1: 4.5 hours ☐    Subunit 3.1.1: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 3.1.2: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 3.1.3: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 3.1.4: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 3.2: 7 hours ☐    Subunit 3.2.1: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 3.2.2: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 3.3.3: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 3.3.4: 0.5 hours

☐    Subunit 3.3.5: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 3.3.6: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 3.3.7: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 3.3: 1.5 hours

Unit3 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:

  • Identify the reasons behind Europe’s voyages of discovery.
  • Compare the gains and losses of several European powers.
  • Recognize and define the longterm effects of European contact with the wider world.

  • Lecture: Middlesex Community College: Dr. David Kalivas’s “World History:” “Age of Discovery” Podcast Link: Middlesex Community College: Dr. David Kalivas’s “World History:” “Age of Discovery” Podcast (iTunes)
     
    Instructions: Please listen to Parts 1 and 2 of this lecture, which are numbered 11 and 12 respectively on the linked page.

    Dr. Kalivas’s lecture offers an engaging overview of European exploration and settlement overseas.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.1 Origins   3.1.1 Reasons and Motivations   - Reading: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Early Modern European History: “Lecture 2: The Age of Discovery” Link: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Early Modern European History: “Lecture 2: The Age of Discovery” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of Dr. Kreis’s lecture linked above.  This lecture addresses why European explorers took to the high seas in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. 
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “The European Voyages of Exploration: Introduction” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “The European Voyages of Exploration: Introduction” (PDF).
     
    Instructions: Please read “The European Voyages of Exploration: Introduction.” This reading will give you a sense of the origins Iberian exploration.

3.1.2 The Portuguese   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “The European Voyages of Exploration: Portugal” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “The European Voyages of Exploration: Portugal” (PDF).
 
Instructions: Please read “The European Voyages of Exploration: Portugal” This reading will give you a sense of the emergence of a powerful and influential Portuguese trading empire.

3.1.3 The Spanish   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Latin America and the Conquistadors” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Latin America and the Conquistadors” (PDF).
 
Instructions: Please read “Latin America and the Conquistadors.”  This reading talks about Latin America and the people who conquered it.

  • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Imperial Spain: Castile and Aragon” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Imperial Spain: Castile and Aragon” (PDF).
     
    Please read “Imperial Spain: Castile and Aragon.” This reading discusses how and why Spain began to create an empire of conquest overseas.

3.1.4 The Problem of Christopher Columbus   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “European Voyages of Exploration: Christopher Columbus and the Spanish Empire” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “European Voyages of Exploration: Christopher Columbus and the Spanish Empire”(PDF).
 
Instructions: Please read “European Voyages of Exploration: Christopher Columbus and the Spanish Empire”This reading will help you to understand the impact of Columbus’s voyage to what he thought was the East Indies, but turned out to be the Americas.

3.2 Early Explorers and the New World   3.2.1 The Spanish in the Caribbean   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “The European Voyages of Exploration: The Caribbean: First Contact” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “The European Voyages of Exploration: The Caribbean: First Contact” (PDF).
 
Instuctions: Please read “The European Voyages of Exploration: The Caribbean: First Contact.” This reading will provide you with an understanding of the origins and impact of Spanish exploration and colonization in the Caribbean.

3.2.2 Magellan and the “Western Isles”   - Reading: The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History: Laurence Bergreen’s “Magellan: Missing in Action” Link: The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History: Laurence Bergreen’s “Magellan: Missing in Action” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read this article, which will provide you with a sense of the circumnavigation of the globe by the Spanish explorer Ferdinand Magellan.  This article is written by famous historian and biographer, Laurence Bergreen, who has published several award-winning books.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.2.3 Cortez and New Spain   - Reading: MexConnect: Dale Hoyt Palfrey’s “The Spanish Conquest (1519-1521)” and Canadian Libraries Internet Archive’s version of Bernal Diaz del Castillo’s True History of the Conquest of Mexico Links: MexConnect: Dale Hoyt Palfrey’s “The Spanish Conquest (1519-1521)” (HTML) and Canadian Libraries Internet Archive’s version of Bernal Diaz del Castillo’s True History of the Conquest of Mexico (HTML)
 
Also available in:
 
ePub format on Google Books
 
Instructions: Please read Palfrey’s article in its entirety.  Then, please read the Preface and Chapter VIII of the Diaz del Castillo selection, paying special attention to Diaz del Castillo’s perceptions and observations of the Aztec Empire.  You may view this text online, or you may choose to download the PDF version, by clicking on the links on the left side of the page.  
 
The first reading will discuss Spanish conquistadores’ defeat of the Aztec Empire.  This second text is an account, written around 1568, which describes the invasion of Mexico by Don Hernando Cortes and his 600 Spanish conquistadors in 1519.  Despite their advanced society, the Aztecs were no match for European disease and warfare; three years later, in 1521, the Aztec capital surrendered to Cortes.  Written from the perspective of the European conquerors, this document is one of only a few texts that elucidate the collision of Spanish and Aztec cultures in the New World.
 
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3.2.4 Pizarro and the Incas   - Reading: U.S. Country Studies: Rex A. Hudson, ed., Peru: A Country Study: “Pizarro and the Conquistadors” Link: U.S. Country Studies: Rex A. Hudson, ed. Peru: A Country Study: “Pizarro and the Conquistadors” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entire webpage linked above.  This reading provides an overview of Pizarro’s victory over the Incas in Peru.  This website contains electronic texts of previous publications printed by the Library of Congress and sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Army from 1986-1998.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.2.5 The Dutch in North America   - Reading: The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History: Simon Middleton’s “Conflict and Commerce: the Rise and Fall of New Netherland” Link: The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History: Simon Middleton’s “Conflict and Commerce: the Rise and Fall of New Netherland” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entire article linked above.  This reading will give you a sense of the role and influence of Holland’s New World colony, New Netherland.  The author of this text, Simon Middleton, lectures at the University of Sheffield.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.2.6 French and English Exploration   - Reading: The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History: James Horn’s “Jamestown and the Founding of English America” Link: The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History: James Horn’s “Jamestown and the Founding of English America” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entire article linked above.  This reading addresses the significance of the Jamestown settlement as well as its historical context.  The author of this text, James Horn, is the Vice President of Research at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Web Media: Champlaign2004.org’s “New France, New Horizons: On French Soil in America” Link: Champlaign2004.org’s “New France, New Horizons: On French Soil in America” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please view this excellent online exhibition of New France, which combines historical context with relevant primary sources.  To do this, please click on each of the following 12 section headings: “Departure,” “Navigation,” “Discovery,” “Encounter,” “Settlement,” “Foundation,” “Daily Life,” “Administration,” “Trade,” “Worship,” “Warfare,” and “Survival.”  Then, read the broad overview and click on each of the links listed beneath it.
     
    This online exhibition was developed jointly by the Direction des Archives de France, Library and Archives Canada, and the Canadian Embassy in Paris to mark the 400th anniversary of the founding of New France.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.2.7 The Portuguese in Brazil   - Reading: U.S. Country Studies: Rex A. Hudson’s (ed.) Brazil: A Country Study: “Frontier Expansion that Shaped Brazil” and “Early Colonization” Link: U.S. Country Studies: Rex A. Hudson’s (ed.) Brazil: A Country Study:Frontier Expansion that Shaped Brazil” (HTML) and “Early Colonization” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read both of Rex A. Hudson’s articles in their entirety.  The first reading will help you to learn about Portugal’s early exploration of Brazil.  The second will give you a sense of early contact between indigenous peoples and the Portuguese settlers.  This website contains electronic texts of previous publications printed by the Library of Congress and sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Army from 1986-1998.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.3 Effects of the Age of Discovery   3.3.1 Indigenous Peoples   - Reading: The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History: Daniel Richter’s “Native American Discoveries of Europe” Link: The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History: Daniel Richter’s “Native American Discoveries of Europe” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entire article linked above.  This reading discusses Native Americans’ perceptions of and reactions to European settlers and explorers.  The author of this text, Daniel Richter, teaches history at the University of Pennsylvania.
 
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3.3.2 The Columbian Exchange   - Reading: The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History: Alfred Crosby’s “The Columbian Exchange” Link: The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History: Alfred Crosby’s “The Columbian Exchange” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entire article linked above.  This reading will provide you with a sense of what happened, ecologically speaking, when Old World met New World.  The author of this article, Alfred Crosby, is Professor Emeritus at the University of Texas, Austin.
 
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3.3.3 Trade   - Reading: University of Minnesota’s James Ford Bell Library: “Trade Products in Early Modern History” Link: University of Minnesota’s James Ford Bell Library:  “Trade Products in Early Modern History” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the brief intro to trade products, and then click on each of the links on the webpage to learn more about specific trade products.  Read each linked webpage in its entirety.  
 
Each of these short articles by various authors offers an excellent overview of specific trade goods that became centrally important in linking Europe to the Americas, Asia, and the Far East.  Goods, such as brazilwood, cod, tobacco, and tea, became valuable trading products that rapidly transformed the world economy.
 
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