Summer 2020 - HIST 104 D100

The Americas from Colonization to Independence (3)

Class Number: 3264

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 11 – Aug 10, 2020: Tue, 12:30–2:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Aug 14, 2020
    Fri, 11:31–11:32 a.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, dramatically impacting the lives of Indigenous people 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 context of empire and trans-Atlantic economic and social systems. We will also consider ways in which Indigenous models and resistance shaped cultures and economies in the Americas and note 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 found-ing 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.  


  • Participation 20%
  • Presentation 10%
  • In-class writing assignments including quizzes 25%
  • Midterm 20%
  • Final examination 25%



Douglas R. Egerton, Alison Games, et al., The Atlantic World (Harlan Davidson, 2007).

Assigned articles and primary materials available via Canvas or SFU Library databases.

Registrar Notes:


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Please note that all teaching at SFU in summer term 2020 will be conducted through remote methods. Enrollment in this course acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning ( or 778-782-3112) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.