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HIST312: Capitalism and Democracy in America

Unit 2: Exploration & Expansion: Europe, 1500-1700   Between 1500 and 1700, Europe reasserted its global dominance after almost a millennium of cultural, military, political, and economic submission to the Arab Middle East and North Africa.  Europe’s newfound power was buttressed by economic growth that was in turn made possible by changes in the political scene, specifically the death of feudalism and the rise of the European middle class.  In addition, European economic growth was aided by the enslavement of millions of Africans whose labor allowed the European colonies in the New World (the Americas) to enrich the mother countries. In this unit, students will explore the roots of European political and economic change between 1500 and 1700, specifically the Protestant Reformation (which weakened the bond between governments and the Church and, over time, eroded monarchs’ political power) and the rise of Enlightenment philosophy, which provided the intellectualframework for more democratic governments. Finally, students will learn how these two developments pushed Europeans to explore first Africa and then the Americas; these explorations led to vast new natural resources and slave labor that enriched Europe and eventually made Great Britain the dominant world power by the beginning of the eighteenth-century.

Unit 2 Time Advisory
This unit should take you 6.5 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 2.1: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 2.2: 2.5 hours

☐    Subunit 2.3: 3 hours

Unit2 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Define and identify the terms “scientific revolution” and “the Enlightenment” in European history.
  • Identify the connections between the Enlightenment and the breakdown of feudalism in pre-modern Europe.
  • Identify the connections between the breakdown of feudalism, the expansion of European exploration, and the emergence of capitalism in pre-modern Europe.
  • Identify and define other contemporary non-capitalist forms of labor in North America such as African and Native American slavery.

2.1 The Protestant Reformation   - Reading: Wikibooks’ European History: “European History/Challenges to Spiritual Authority” Link: Wikibooks’ European History: "Challenges to Spiritual Authority" (PDF)
 
Also available in:
 
Google Books (Chapter 4)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of the webpage.
 
About the link: This online text was developed by Wikibooks as an open educational resource for use in undergraduate history courses.
 
Terms of Use: The Wikibooks article above is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0 (HTML).  You can find the original version of this article here (HTML).

2.2 The Enlightenment   - Reading: Wikibooks’ European History: “Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment” Link: Wikibooks’ European History: "Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment" (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of the webpage.
 
About the link: This online text was developed by Wikibooks as an open educational resource for use in undergraduate history courses.
 
Terms of Use: The Wikibooks article above is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0 (HTML).  You can find the original version of this article here (HTML).

2.2.1 Enlightenment Philosophy   - Lecture: Yale Open CourseWare: Yale University, Professor John Merriman, European Civilization, 1648-1945, Lecture 5, “The Enlightenment and the Public Sphere” Link: Yale Open CourseWare: Yale University, Professor John Merriman, European Civilization, 1648-1945, Lecture 5, “The Enlightenment and the Public Sphere” (Youtube)

 Also available in:   
 [iTunes
U](http://deimos3.apple.com/WebObjects/Core.woa/Browse/yale.edu-dz.2821768462?i=2002787314)  

[mp3](http://openmedia.yale.edu/projects/media_viewer/video_viewer2.php?window_size=audio&type=mp3&title=HIST%20202%20-%20Lecture%205%20-%20Prof.%20John%20Merriman&path=%2Fcourses%2Ffall08%2Fhist202%2Fmp3%2Fhist202_05_091708.mp3)   
 [Transcript (HTML)](http://oyc.yale.edu/transcript/574/hist-202)  
    
 Instructions: Please listen to Professor John Merriman’s entire
55-minute lecture for an overview of the Enlightenment.  
    
 About the link: This website hosts free lectures from the nation’s
top universities in a wide array of academic subjects.  
    
 Terms of Use: John Merriman, European Civilization, 1648-1945 (Yale
University: Open Yale Courses), <http://oyc.yale.edu> (Accessed
March 2, 2011).  License: [Creative Commons BY-NC-SA
3.0](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/). The
original version can be found
[here](http://oyc.yale.edu/history/european-civilization-1648-1945/content/class-sessions).
  • Lecture: WGBH Boston, Eugen Weber, The Western Tradition, Lecture 36, and “The Modern Philosophers” Link: WGBH Boston, Eugen Weber, The Western Tradition, Lecture 36, “The Modern Philosophers” The Modern Philosophers (Adobe Flash)
     
    Note: You must disable pop-up blockers before attempting to view the video.
     
    Instructions: Please listen to Professor Eugen Weber’s entire 30-minute lecture to get a sense of how “…freedom of thought and expression opened new vistas explored by French, English, and American thinkers.”  After clicking the hyperlink, a new webpage should open.  Toggle down to the appropriate lecture and click the box labeled “VoD” on the right – this will open another box that will display the lecture.
     
    About the link: This website an entire series of lectures produced by WGBH Boston called “The Western Tradition.”
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.3 Explorations and Conquest   - Lecture: WGBH Boston, Eugen Weber, The Western Tradition, Lecture 25, “The Renaissance and the Age of Discovery” Link: WGBH Boston, Eugen Weber, The Western Tradition, Lecture 25, The Renaissance and the Age of Discovery (Adobe Flash)
 
Note: You must disable pop-up blockers before attempting to view the video.
 
Instructions: Please listen to Professor Eugen Weber’s entire 30-minute lecture to get a sense of how the Renaissance ignited an age of discovery.  After clicking the hyperlink, a new webpage should open.  Toggle down to the appropriate lecture and click the box labeled “VoD” on the right – this will open another box that will display the lecture.
 
About the link: This website an entire series of lectures produced by WGBH Boston called “The Western Tradition.”
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.3.1 Slave Labor and Pre-Capitalist Economic Development in Europe   - Lecture: iTunesU: Arizona State University, Department of History, College of Liberal Arts, The Birth of the Modern: Europe and Its Others, Lecture 8, “The Slave Trade, Part I” Link: Arizona State University, Department of History, College of Liberal Arts, The Birth of the Modern: Europe and Its Others, Lecture 8, The Slave Trade, Part I (iTunesU)
 
Instructions: Please listen to the entire 42-minute lecture to get a sense of the institution of slavery.
 
About the link: This website hosts free lectures from the nation’s top universities in a wide array of academic subjects.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Lecture: iTunesU: Arizona State University, Department of History, College of Liberal Arts, The Birth of the Modern: Europe and Its Others, Lecture 9, “The Slave Trade, Part II” Link: Arizona State University, Department of History, College of Liberal Arts, The Birth of the Modern: Europe and Its Others, Lecture 9, The Slave Trade, Part II (iTunesU)
     
    Instructions: Please listen to the entire 44-minute lecture to get a sense of the institution of slavery.
     
    About the link: This website hosts free lectures from the nation’s top universities in a wide array of academic subjects.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.3.2 Natural Resources, Slave Labor and European Expansion into the Americas   - Lecture: WGBH Boston, Eugen Weber, The Western Tradition, Lecture 26, “The Renaissance and the New World” Link: WGBH Boston, Eugen Weber, The Western Tradition, Lecture 26, The Renaissance and the New World (Adobe Flash)
 
Note: You must disable pop-up blockers before attempting to view the video.
 
Instructions: Please listen to Professor Eugen Weber’s entire 30-minute lecture to get a sense of how “…the discovery of America challenged Europe.” After clicking the hyperlink, a new webpage should open.  Toggle down to the appropriate lecture and click the box labeled “VoD” on the right – this will open another box that will display the lecture.
 
About the link: This website an entire series of lectures produced by WGBH Boston called “The Western Tradition.”
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.