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HIST321: Comparative New Worlds, 1400-1750

Unit 6: European Empires, New World Colonies   By the mid-1600s, the New World had become critically important to many European nations.  Portuguese, Spanish, English, and French powers had founded permanent colonial settlements and established plantation economies.  Inter-European political conflicts, religious wars between Protestants and Catholics, European population pressures, and the emergence of new “enlightened” ideas had fueled Europe’s new emphasis on imperial aspirations.
      
In this unit, we will consider how pressures and conflicts in Europe spurred European colonization of the New World in the 1600s and early 1700s.  We will also study how agricultural and industrial innovations and new “enlightened” ideas undergirded Europe’s expansionist ideology.

Unit 6 Time Advisory
This unit will take you 9 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 6.1: 5.5 hours

☐    Subunit 6.1.1: 0.5 hour

☐    Subunit 6.1.2: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 6.1.3: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 6.1.4: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 6.1.5: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 6.1.6: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 6.2: 1.5  hours

Unit6 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • identify and analyze the causes of European exploration and colonization; and
  • identify and analyze the economic, religious, social, and political factors that influenced European expansion.

6.1 Reasons for New World Colonization   Note: This topic is covered by the materials in the inclusive sub-subunits below.

6.1.1 European Imperial Competition   - Reading: Richard Hakluyt’s “Discourse of western planting 1584” and Governor Glen’s “The Role of the Indians in the Rivalry Between France, Spain, and England 1761”

Link: Richard Hakluyt’s [“Discourse of Western planting
1584”](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/HIST321-6.1.1-Richard-Hakluyt-Discourse-of-western-planting.pdf)
(PDF), and Governor Glen’s [“The Role of the Indians in the Rivalry
Between France, Spain, and England
1761”](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/HIST321-6.1.1-The-Role-of-the-Indians-in-the-Rivalry-Between-France-Spain-and-England.pdf)
(PDF).  

 

 

Also Available in:  

[HTML](http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/documents/before-1600/richard-hakluyt-discourse-of-western-planting-1584.php)
(“Discourse of Western planting 1584”)  

[HTML](http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/documents/1751-1775/governor-glen-the-role-of-the-indians-in-the-rivalry-between-france-spain-and-england-1761.php)
(“The Role of the Indians in the Rivalry Between France, Spain and
Engalnd 1761”)  

 Instructions: Please read the document “Richard Hakluyt, Discourse
of Western Planting 1584” to get a sense of what sparked European
exploration and colonization as nations.  As you read, ask yourself
the following questions: What reasons does Hakluyt give for
England’s need to establish American colonies?  How does he describe
Spain’s presence and activities in the Atlantic region?  What
benefits for England will be wrought by colonization and how will
this impact England’s relations with Spain?  

The please read the document “Governor Glen, The Role of the Indians
in the Rivalry Between France, Spain, and England 1761.”  As you
read, ask yourself the following questions: According to Governor
Glen, over which regions do England, France, and Spain exercise
influence in North America?  What characterizes the relations among
these nations in North America?  What impact do Native Americans
have on these relations?  How does this shape diplomacy in colonial
North America?  

 (15 minutes)  

 Terms of Use: The resources above are in the public domain.

6.1.2 The Creation of an Atlantic Economy   - Reading: The Avalon Project’s “Charter of the Dutch West India Company : 1621”, Thomas Mun’s “England's Treasure By Forraign Trade, 1664”, American History’s “Adam Smith From The Wealth of Nations 1776 The Cost of Empire”, and Modern History Sourcebook’s “Summary of Wallerstein on World System Theory” Link: The Avalon Project’s “Charter of the Dutch West India Company: 1621” (PDF),Thomas Mun’s “England's Treasure By Forraign Trade, 1664” (PDF),American History’s “Adam Smith From The Wealth of Nations 1776 The Cost of Empire” (PDF), and Modern History Sourcebook’s “Summary of Wallerstein on World System Theory” (PDF).
 
Also Available in:
HTML(“Charter of the Dutch West India Company: 1621”)

[HTML](http://www.fordham.edu/Halsall/mod/1664mun-engtrade.asp)(“England’s
Treasure By Forraign Trade, 1664”)  

[HTML](http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/documents/1776-1785/adam-smith-from-the-wealth-of-nations-1776-the-cost-of-empire.php)(“Adam
Smith From The Wealth of Nations 1776 The Cost of Empire”)  
 [HTML](http://www.fordham.edu/Halsall/mod/Wallerstein.asp)(“Summary
of Wallerstein on World System Theory”)  


 Instructions: Please read the documents to get a sense of the rise
of an Atlantic Economy.  As you read, ask yourself the following
questions for each document:  

 Dutch West India Company Charter: What rights does the Charter
grant to those individuals representing the Dutch West India
Company?  In what ways does the parent country, the United
Provinces, provide support and protection to these individuals?
 What rights does the parent company retain for itself?  

 Thomas Mun document: what rule for foreign trade does Mun lay out
in this document?  What, according to Mun, is the primary goal of
foreign trade and how can one recognize the achievement of this
goal?  

 Adam Smith document: According to Adam Smith, what benefits does
Europe derive from American colonies?  How do goods from the
Americas effect markets in Europe?  What is the objective of the
mercantile system?  What are the consequences of this objective for
Europe?  

 Summary of Wallerstein: According to the summary, what was the
“feudal crisis” and what caused it?  How does the author define the
modern world economic system that emerged in the wake of the feudal
crisis?  What is the division of labor in this system?  What roles
do each of the following divisions play in this system: Core,
Periphery, Semi-Periphery, and External Areas?  

 (25 minutes)  
    
 Terms of Use: The resources above are all in the public domain.

6.1.3 Religious Conflicts and Wars   - Reading: Modern History Sourcebook’s “Map: Religious Division of Europe”, and The Saylor Foundation’s World History Relevant Chapter – VII, 69: “The Religious Wars” Link: Modern History Sourcebook’s “Map: Religious Division of Europe” (PDF), and The Saylor Foundation’s World History Relevant Chapter – VII, 69: “The Religious Wars” (PDF).
 
Also Available in:
HTML(“Map: Religious Division of Europe”)
 
Instructions: Please read the Chapter VII, “The Religious Wars,” in the above textbook.  As you read, ask yourself the following questions: Over what lands did Charles V preside?  Who was the Peace of Augsburg in 1555 between and what was its outcome?  To whom did Charles V leave the crown of Spain and Spanish possessions in Italy, Sicily, the Netherlands, and America?  What reasons does the author offer for the rebellion against Spanish rule in the Netherlands?  What was the result of this rebellion?  What reasons does the author give for Philip II’s attempt to conquer England?  According to the author, what is the significance of England’s defeat of the Spanish Armada?  Among which segment of the population in France did Calvinism spread most widely?  What was the Edict of Nantes and what did it grant?  What did the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 end and what, according to the author, is its long-term significance?
 
Terms of Use: The resources above are in the public domain.

6.1.4 Absolutism   - Lecture: Yale University: Professor John Merriman’s “Lecture 2: Absolutism and the State” Link: Yale University: Professor John Merriman’s “Absolutism and the State” (YouTube)
 
Also available in:
ITunes U, Quicktime, MP3, HTML
 
Instructions: Please watch the entire 45-minute lecture in order to understand that absolutism emerged in Europe as a result of the protracted religious conflicts of the late 1500s and early 1600s.
 
Terms of Use: “Absolutism and the State” is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.  It is attributed to Yale University and John Merriman; the original version can be found here (HTML).

  • Reading: Jacques Benigne Bossuet’s Political Treatise, Duc de Saint-Simon’s “The Court of Louis XIV” and Jean-Baptiste Colbert’s “Memorandum on Trade, 1664.” Link: Jacques Benigne Bossuet’s Political Treatise (PDF),Duc de Saint-Simon’s “The Court of Louis XIV” (PDF) and Jean-Baptiste Colbert’s “Memorandum on Trade, 1664” (PDF).

    Also Available in:
    HTML (Political Treatise)
    HTML (“The Court of Louis XIV”)
    HTML (“Memorandum on Trade, 1664”)

    Instructions: Please read the documents in order to get a sense of the origins of “absolute” monarchy in Europe.  As you read, ask yourself the following questions: According to Bossuet, from where does a king derive his authority?  In what ways should kings exercise this authority?  How does Bossuet characterize royal power?  To whom is the king responsible?

    How does Duc de Saint-Simon describe Louis XIV of France?  What was the king’s “weakness?” How does Saint-Simon describe life at Versailles?

    According to Jean-Baptiste Colbert, how did trade levels shift when Louis XIV ascended to the throne of France?  What, according to Colbert, should the king’s trade goals be?

    (20 minutes)
     
    Terms of Use: The resources above are in the public domain.

6.1.5 Constitutionalism   - Lecture: Yale University: Professor John Merriman’s “Lecture 3: Dutch and British Exceptionalism”

Link: Yale University: Professor John Merriman’s
[“](http://www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv=4btBZdhf5Uo)[Dutch and British
Exceptionalism”](http://www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv=4btBZdhf5Uo)<span
style="font-size: 12px;"> (YouTube) </span>

   
 Also available in:  
 [ITunes U, Quicktime, MP3,
HTML](http://oyc.yale.edu/history/hist-202/lecture-3)  

 Instructions: Please watch the entire 45-minute lecture in order to
understand how and why both England and Holland rejected absolutist
rule.  
    
 Terms of Use: The resource above is released under a [Creative
Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/).  It
is attributed to Yale University and John Merriman; the original
version can be found
[here](http://oyc.yale.edu/history/hist-202/lecture-3) (HTML).

6.1.6 A Rising European Population   - Lecture: Yale University: Professor Robert Wyman’s Lecture 7: “Demographic Transition in Europe; Mortality Decline”

Link: Yale University: Professor Robert Wyman’s Lecture 7: [“<span
style="font-size: 12px;">Demographic Transition in Europe: Mortality
Decline”</span>](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAZuUNNbrns)<span
style="font-size: 12px;"> (YouTube)</span>

 

Also available in:  
 [ITunes U, Quicktime, Flash,
HTML](http://oyc.yale.edu/molecular-cellular-and-developmental-biology/mcdb-150/lecture-7)  
    
 Instructions: Please watch the entire 1-hour lecture by Yale
biologist Robert Wyman.  You will get a sense of the reasons why
Europe experienced a population explosion in the 1700s and why some
political economists, such as Thomas Malthus, worried that the
population might exceed the food supply.  
    
 Terms of Use: The resource above is released under a [Creative
Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/).  It
is attributed to Yale University and Robert Wyman; the original
version can be found
[here](http://oyc.yale.edu/molecular-cellular-and-developmental-biology/mcdb-150/lecture-7)
(HTML).

6.2 The Early Enlightenment   - Lecture: Yale University: Professor John Merriman’s “Lecture 5: The Enlightenment and the Public Sphere”

Link: Yale University: Professor John Merriman’s “Lecture 5: [The
Enlightenment and the Public
Sphere](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2CmuJgurus)” (YouTube)  
    
 Also available in:  
 [iTunes U, HTML, Flash,
MP3](http://oyc.yale.edu/history/hist-202/lecture-5)  

 Terms of Use: The resource above is released under a [Creative
Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/).  It
is attributed to Yale University and John Merriman.
  • Reading: Modern History Sourcebook: Jean Jacques Rousseau’s “The Social Contract, 1762”, and Modern History Sourcebook: Immanuel Kant’s “What is Enlightenment?, 1784” Link: Modern History Sourcebook: Jean Jacques Rousseau’s “The Social Contract, 1762” and Modern History Sourcebook: Immanuel Kant’s “What is Enlightenment? 1784”
     
    Also Available in:
    HTML(“The Social Contract, 1762”)
    HTML(“What is Enlightenment? 1784”)
     
    Instructions: Please watch the entire 45-minute lecture, which argues that the Enlightenment was not simply the “age of reason” but was also the age of the public sphere and the declining power of the monarchy, and read the documents to get a sense of the early Enlightenment.  As you read, ask yourself the following questions: According to Rousseau, what must the strong do in order to always be master?  Rousseau states, “Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains.”  What does he mean by this?  To what does Rousseau link liberty?  How does he define war?  What is the problem that the Social Contract solves?  What is the Social Contract?

    According to Kant, what is enlightenment?  How does man remove himself from a life of tutelage?  How does Kant define the freedom that accompanies enlightenment?  How does he distinguish between the public and the private use of reason?

    (25 minutes)
     
    Terms of Use: The resources above are in the public domain.