Summer 2019 - HIST 104 D100

The Americas from Colonization to Independence (3)

Class Number: 4341

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 6 – Aug 2, 2019: Mon, 10:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Aug 7, 2019
    Wed, 12:00–3:00 p.m.



A comparative exploration of the colonization of North and South America by the various European empires together with the role of Native and African peoples in the Americas, from the late fifteenth century to the onset of political independence three hundred years later. Breadth-Humanities.


Between 1492, when Columbus happened upon the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, and 1808, when Napoleon invaded the Iberian peninsula and set in motion events that would push Latin America toward independence, European nations including Spain, Portugal, France, Britain and the Netherlands established a network of colonial settlements in the Americas, profoundly altering the lives of Indigenous peoples throughout the Atlantic world. Stretching from Newfoundland to the southern tip of South America, European outposts produced conflicts and collaborations, opportunities and calamities that trans-formed the Americas, Africa, and Europe itself. This course introduces the history of the colonization of the Americas, locating European settlements in North and South America within the larger contexts of empire and trans-Atlantic economic and social systems. We will also consider connections between Asia and the Americas during this period. Other themes to be addressed include the triggers for European colonization; the relationship of European colonies to their mother countries; the structure of colonial governments and nature of colonial societies; the development of forced labour systems, including slavery, in the Caribbean and on the mainland; the role of religion in the founding and expansion of colonies in the Americas; efforts by non-European peoples to shape, accommodate or resist European settlement; the emergence of new identities and racial categories; and the causes of colonial alienation and independence from Europe.

As an introductory course that explores the colonization of the Americas within a larger comparative framework, this course provides a foundation for the further study of Canadian, U.S., Latin American, and other colonial histories. The course will introduce students to the fundamental skills and ideas needed to study history, including critical thinking, analyzing historical materials, and constructing historical narratives.  


  • Participation [tutorial] 20%
  • Quizzes and in-class assignments [lecture] 20%
  • Primary Source Analysis 20%
  • Midterm 20%
  • Final examination 20%



Douglas R. Egerton, Alison Games, et al., The Atlantic World: A History, 1400-1888    (Harlan Davidson, 2007)

Assigned articles and materials available through Canvas or SFU Library databases.

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