Module Identifier WH36230  
Module Title THE ATLANTIC WORLD, 1500 -1800  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Dr David Ceri Jones  
Semester Semester 1  
Course delivery Lecture   18 x 1 hour lectures  
  Seminars / Tutorials   10 x 1 hour seminars  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment 2 X 2,5000 WORD ESSAYS  40%

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to.
Have a firm grounding in the secondary source material and on-going debates in the new and rapidly growing of Atlantic history.

Show an appreciation of the relevance of a comparative approach in history.

Reflect upon and critically analyze secondary and primary sources.

Collect, collate and analyze historical evidence and produce both oral and written arguments.

Work independently and collaboratively.

Produce work in a professional manner and develop skills appropriate to the study of history.

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. Columbus and the significance of 1492
3. Establishment of the Spanish, Portuguese and British Atlantic empires
4. Encountering native cultures
5. Migration across the Atlantic
6. Atlantic trade
7. Africa and the Atlantic world
8. The Atlantic world at war
9. Atlantic revolutions
10. Legacies


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.

Module Skills

Problem_solving Identify problems and factors which might influence potential solutions; develop creative thinking approaches to problem solving; evaluate advantages and disadvantages of potential solutions.  
Research skills Understand a range of research methods and plan and carry out research; produce academically appropriate pieces of written work.  
Communication Read a wide range of both primary and secondary texts; improve listening skills during the lectures, and consequently develop skills in note taking; demonstrate and develop the ability to communicate ideas in two essays; skills in oral presentation will be developed in seminars.  
Improving own Learning and Performance Show awareness of own learning styles, personal preferences and needs; devise and apply realistic learning and self management strategies; devise a personal action plan to include short and long-term goals and to develop personal awareness of how to improve on these.  
Team work Understand the concept of group dynamics; contribute to the setting of group goals; contribute effectively to the planning of group activities; play an active part in group activities (e.g. short group presentations in seminars); exercise negotiation and persuasion skills; evaluate group activities and own contribution.  
Information Technology Students will be encouraged to locate suitable material on the web and to access information on CD-Roms and to apply it appropriately to their own work. Students will also be encouraged to word-process their work. These skills will not be formally assessed.  
Personal Development and Career planning Develop awareness of personal skills, beliefs and qualities in relation to course in progression; plan and prepare for future course / career.  

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Armitage, David (2002.) The British Atlantic world, 1500-1800 /edited by David Armitage and Michael J. Braddick. Palgrave 0333963407
Bailyn, Bernard (1988) The Peopling of British North America: An Introduction London : Tauris, 1987 1850430373
Canny, Nicholas (Sept. 2001) The Oxford History of the British Empire, Vol. I:The Origins of Empire: British Overseas Enterprise to the Close of the Seventeenth Century Oxford University Press, Incorporated 0199246769TRADEPAPER
Colley, Linda (1994.) Britons : forging the nation, 1707-1837 /Linda Colley. Pimlico 071266050XPBK
Colley, Linda (2003.) Captives :Britain, Empire and the world, 1600-1850 /Linda Colley. Pimlico 0712665285PBK
Elliott, John Huxtable (2006) Empires of the Atlantic World: Britain and Spain in America, 1492 1830 London : Yale University Press 0300114311
Frey, Sylvia R. (May 1999) From Slavery to Emancipation in the Atlantic World Taylor & Francis Group 0714649643CLOTHTEXT
Games, Alison (2001.) Migration and the origins of the English Atlantic world /Alison Games. Harvard University Press 0674573811
Karras, Alan L. and MacNeill, J. R. (eds) (1992) Atlantic American Societies: From Columbus through Abolition, 1492 1888
Kidd, Colin. (1999 (2000 prin) British identities before nationalism :ethnicity and nationhood in the Atlantic world, 1600-1800 /Colin Kidd. Cambridge University Press 0521624037
Lunenfeld, Marvin (1991) 1492: Discovery, Invasion, Encounter
Mancke, Elizabeth and Shammas, Carole (eds) (2005) The Creation of the British Atlantic World, 1689 1764 Baltimore ; London : Johns Hopkins University Press 0801880394
Marshall, P. J. (July 2001) The Oxford History of the British Empire, Vol. 2:The Eighteenth Century Oxford University Press 0199246777TRADEPAPER
Steele, Ian K. (1986) The English Atlantic, 1675 1740: An Exploration of Communication and Community
Thornton, John Kelly (1992.) Africa and Africans in the making of the Atlantic world, 1400-1680 /John Thornton. Cambridge University Press 0521392330
(2005.) Empire and nation :the American Revolution in the Atlantic world /edited by Eliga H. Gould and Peter S. Onuf. Johns Hopkins University Press 0801879124


This module is at CQFW Level 6