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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2022-23

HIST 5.14 The Americas from Invasion to Independence

Rather than following a narrative across three centuries, this course will use a thematic approach to explore how European empires were conceived, built, and challenged in the Americas. We will discuss how Europeans conceptualized their power, what they hoped they might get out of it, and how they sought to manage people and trade once they had established flourishing businesses and societies. Were their motives economic, religious, or political? Were they responding primarily to events in Europe, or were colonists and officials merely adapting pragmatically to the new environments and people they encountered? Crucially, we will also consider the imposition of empire from the perspectives of the ordinary people who negotiated it on the ground – Native Americans, European colonists, sailors, merchants, and the enslaved. How did they exploit or reject the grander schemes of their aspiring rulers? Finally, we will consider what legacies this complex imperial past has left for contemporary societies across the hemisphere. This course is not open to students who received credit for HIST 9.01 prior to Fall 2021.


Mercado-Montero and Musselwhite

Degree Requirement Attributes

Dist:INT or SOC; WCult:W

The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.

Department-Specific Course Categories

Class of 2023 and Before Major Dist: INTER, pre-1700/pre-1800; Class of 2024 and Beyond Major Dist: premodern.


  • Fall