Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
The Atlantic World, 1492-1825
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 20 x 1 Hour Lectures
Seminar 3 x 2 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  50%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   (1 x 2 hour exam)  50%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2,500 word supplementary (resit) essay  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   1 x 2 hour supplementary (resit) examination  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Demonstrate an understanding of key developments in the history of the Atlantic world from 1492-1825.

Demonstrate an understanding of key debates in the historiography of the Atlantic world from 1492-1825.

Identify and evaluate a wide range of relevant primary and secondary material.

Demonstrate an ability to analyse and deploy relevant historical evidence to produce appropriate arguments.


This module is intended to introduce students to the concept of Atlantic history. It is designed to complement existing early modern options in the department, by adding an international and comparative dimension. As such it will give students experience of studying European, African and American themes in addition to those with a more specifically British orientation.

Brief description

The events and processes initiated by Columbus’s discovery of the New World in 1492 transformed the world of his contemporaries, and cast a long shadow over the development of early modern Europe and America. Drawing on the histories of four continents, Europe, Africa, North America and South America, this module explores the nature and meaning of the new Atlantic world created in the wake of Columbus’s discovery. The module examines the Atlantic world through the experiences of the men and women who inhabited it from the early sixteenth century until approximately 1800. Settlers in the British colonies, in particular, lived in a world which was intricately connected to and shaped by cosmopolitan and international communities which spanned the Atlantic. The ocean facilitated rather than hindered travel, trade, and communication with people from distant lands and cultures. The primary focus of the module will be upon the British experience of the Atlantic world, although the experience of the Spanish, French and Portuguese empires will also be examined. The module will cover themes such as the formation of empires and states; the interaction and destruction of indigenous societies, the labour migrations of Europeans, Native Americans and Africans; the growth of the slave trade, religion, commerce and imperial conflict.


1. Atlantic History: What, When and Why?
2. The Americas, Europe and Africa before 1492
3. Christopher Columbus and the making of the Atlantic
4. The Spanish, Portuguese and British Empires in the Atlantic world
5. Encountering indigenous cultures
6. Evangelization in the New World
7. European movement and migration
8. British migration to the New World
9. Keeping in touch – communication in the Atlantic world
10. Africa and the Atlantic world
11. The Rise of Slavery
12. Trade and the economy
13. Working on the Atlantic: Pirates, Sailors and Merchants
14. Revival and Revivalism in the eighteenth-century Atlantic world
15. The Atlantic world at war
16. Atlantic Revolutions I: Britain and America
17. Atlantic Revolutions II: France and Spain
18. Empires into Nations: the impact on the Atlantic world

1. The Concept of Atlantic History
2. Encountering indigenous cultures
3. Migration across the Atlantic
4. Atlantic trade
5. Africa and the Atlantic world
6. Atlantic revolutions

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Written communication skills will be developed through the coursework and written examination; skills in oral presentation will be developed in seminars but are not formally assessed.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be advised on how to improve research and communication skills through the individual tutorial providing feedback on submitted coursework.
Information Technology Students will be encouraged to locate suitable material on the web and to apply it appropriately to their own work. Students will also be expected to word-process their work and make use of Blackboard. These skills will not be formally assessed.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will develop a range of transferable skills, including time management and communication skills, which may help them identify their personal strengths as they consider potential career paths.
Problem solving Students are expected to note and respond to historical problems which arise as part of the study of this subject area and to undertake suitable research for seminars and essays.
Research skills Students will develop their research skills by reading a range of texts and evaluating their usefulness in preparation for the coursework and the written examination.
Subject Specific Skills Students will gain a valuable insight into a new historiographical paradigm, and be encouraged to think in a comparative and inclusive manner.
Team work Students will be expected to play an active part in group activities (e.g. short group presentations in seminars) and to learn to evaluate their own contribution to such activities.


This module is at CQFW Level 5