Seventeenth-Century America Essays In Colonial History Syllabus

On Teaching

Essays pertaining to teaching - broadly defined. Students, K-12 teachers, and interested public are particularly encouraged to contribute.

Food for Thought: Five Ways to Think About (and Teach) the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict Steven A. Glazer is professor of History at Graceland University, in Lamoni, Iowa.  The author would like to thank the reviewers and editors of THE MIDDLE GROUND for their helpful suggestions to improve an earlier draft. Portions read more »

Column: What Is Informal Imperialism? Abstract: This article aims to explain in a theoretical way, but with practical historical examples the complex notion of informal imperialism. First analyzing imperialism(s) and colonialism as a whole, it will then try to caracterize and categorize more specifically what is informal imperialism. Comparing imperialism read more »

Girmit Connections to Global Networks: South Asians and the Pacific Labor Trade Abstract: This article considers how the experiences of South Asian indentured laborers in Fiji links the Pacific labor migrations of the late 19th and early 20th century to larger global movements of workers.  In doing so, it offers read more »

Column: Partnership in the Japanese and American Imaginary: Gender and the Mediation of Difference in Hayao Miyazaki’s and Walt Disney Studio’s Animated Movies Abstract This paper compares two animated movies made by Hayao Miyazaki, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984) and Princess Mononoke (1997) and two movies made read more »

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Teaching Students to Fly: Faculty-Designed Study Abroad in the Czech Republic Abstract: Reflecting on teaching and participating in a course that traveled abroad during spring break, 2011, professors and students share their insights to promote faculty-designed study abroad.  The article explains how the course was designed to facilitate students learning read more »

Abstract: The following essay will discuss the question of global historiography. It will outline the assertion that national historiographies are antiquated relicts in a modern world where almost every historical account has to take global interconnections into consideration. It is therefore obvious that a global world needs historians who are read more »

This essay is a part of our series, Borders in the Classroom -- for more information, please see HERE. Teaching Borderlands History to Undergraduates: Some Reflections From a First-Year Faculty Member Short Title: Teaching Borderlands History Abstract: The article offers reflections from a first-year faculty member about teaching borderlands history read more »

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Step by Step: The Creation of Original Independent Undergraduate Research The most overlooked ideas can possess wondrous potential. There exist opportunities for research with the possibility to instruct individuals about their world in the most unconventional ways; different topics rarely explored by previous generations of academia. Topics as seemingly mundane read more »

Teaching World History for the First Time Editor's Note: Because of a limitation in the software, we are unable to list all six co-authors. Therefore I have elected to idetify them within the article below. HML. Thomas Barker – University of Kansas Christopher Orlando – Southwest Middle School, Lawrence, Kansas read more »

“Teaching World History as Family History; China as a Case in Point” By Emily Bruce, Yueqin Chen, MJ Maynes, Fang Qin, Ann Waltner   One of the challenges of teaching world history is how to connect individual lives with large-scale processes. We confront this challenge head-on in a course we read more »

Column – HistoryBytes: The Finding of the Car-Park King: The Search for and Discovery of King Richard III of England “Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace, Have no delight to pass away the time, Unless to spy my shadow in the sun And descant [discuss at length] read more »

Abstract: Courses on colonial North America are world history courses.  This article discusses some of the parameters used in developing and teaching this course and the ways world history narratives continue to fall short when it comes to this era of history. Key Words: Teaching, colonial North America   One read more »

Students of British imperial history will, no doubt, be familiar with the notion of the “New Imperial History,” an historiographic tradition that argues for the synergy between Britain’s domestic and imperial histories.  As Kathleen Wilson suggests in the introduction to her edited volume A New Imperial History: Culture, Identity, and read more »

Abstract: While extensive scholarship, popular novels, and films have been devoted to the conflict in Vietnam, by comparison, significantly fewer works have focused on the connections between literary and intellectual movements in Vietnam and the United States in combination with their relevance to contemporary policy. Through an examination of primary read more »

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In the twenty-three centuries since his death, Alexander of Macedon has come to hold a prominent place in the Western canon, symbolizing for some the military hero personified while others view his legacy as a tragic tale of greatness lost amidst self-indulgence and megalomania.  In more recent decades, world historians read more »

In most colleges and universities, a World History survey course is an essential part of the liberal arts curriculum.  It is the belief by many colleges and universities that a student taking one or two world history courses (as well as other parts of a core curriculum) would be challenged read more »

Abstract This article looks at the World History portion of the recently adopted Texas state standards by noting some of the positive aspects, the discussion of certain content not found in other states, and the negative aspects, how implementation could portray an overly Eurocentric view.  This discussion is framed with read more »

This short piece provides a way of thinking about the Enlightenment’s legacy and the strength of modern propaganda in order to enable world history teachers to use these themes in their classes, both for teaching history and for helping students to reflect on their own lives. The authors provide background read more »

Teaching the Emergence of the Islamic World through Art and Architecture: A Lesson in Cross-Cultural Exchange [Figure 1] Frequently in the world history classroom we teach the emergence of the Islamic World and the expanding dar al-Islam via dramatic maps and dates of the “Arab Conquest.”   [Figure 2] Yet such read more »

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Can web 2.0 tools enhance students’ understanding of historical concepts? Do digital natives really want more technology in the classroom? This article covers a world history research project, including the learning goals, free digital tools used, student responses, and lessons learned for the next version of the assignment.   The read more »

[Edited by the author] No employee of the public school systems in the U.S. can escape the hovering shadow of the "No Child Left Behind" legislation, the updated "Race to the Top" competition and the limited educational reform funds of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, while struggling with increasingly read more »

Seventeenth-Century America: Essays in Colonial History.Edited by James Morton Smith. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, for the Institute of Early American History and Culture at Williamsburg, Va., 1959. Pp. xv, 238. Index. $5.00.)

The major part of this book consists of a half-dozen monographs by as many different authors on important aspects of seventeenth-century Virginia history. Besides this, there is a similar essay on Massachusetts Bay, a critical discussion of the historical accounts of the colonies in the seventeenth century written in or near the period, a lecture pointing out the significance of the experiences and changes of the period that resulted in the American way of life, and an excellent introduction summarizing the essential contribution of each chapter and supplying enough connective tissue to produce a unified whole.

The lecture on the significance of the period for future American history points out how the strange, new, and elemental experiences of the colonists engendered in them the conviction of divinely ordained mission. At one time or another peoples from the ancient Jews to the Germans of the days of the last Kaiser and the English of the days of Kipling have been effectively inspired by such a conviction.

The essay on moral and legal aspects of the dispossessing of the Indians makes a strong case for the Indians, but may be a little too much inclined to apply modern standards. The preponderance of official pronouncements by church and state seems to have held that non-Christians had no right to own anything—not even their own bodies. The principle of "finders-keepers" was thus applied by the absolute sovereigns to the unowned New World. Uninterrupted possession even by an interloper could be argued as nine points in the law if the possessor were strong enough. If evidence existed that would enable one to run clear abstracts of title for all the land on earth, it is doubtful whether he would find one square inch of soil that did not at one or more times show transfers of title through forcible, uncompensated dispossession. No doubt many of the Indian tribes occupied lands that they had acquired by conquest.

The essay on Indian culture indicates that because of friction between Indians and white settlers there was not too much conscious borrowing by one from the other. With some important exceptions this is undoubtedly true. The American wilderness, however, was conquered by pioneers who had as much of the characteristics of the Indian as they did of the old country Englishman. The requirements of the environment may to some extent have produced the survival of the same characteristics in the pioneer as in the Indian, but there was much that has escaped the documents.

The painstaking and industrious effort to search out the social strati from which the majority of the early settlers came will be much appreciated by historical scholars. Research tends to solidly confirm the earlier supposition, sometimes questioned, that the majority were of the substantial middle class. The importance of this finding should not blind one, however, to the importance of this other fact that if the newcomers contained a preponderant number who were deeply dissatisfied with conditions in England and who had enough initiative and courage and energy to do something about it, such as getting into jail or coming to America, these people would be truer seed of the American people of today than the washed-out people, regardless of social class, who were content to take things lying down and remain where they were.

The author of the essay on the Anglican church is convinced that English statesmen and churchmen realized the importance of strengthening the establishment in the colonies as an instrument of imperial control but concludes that confused and changing political and religious conditions resulted in failure to take effective measures. The chapter on the church in New England is restricted to a treatment of the disciplinary functions of the church. The influence of its theological tenets on such things as economic enterprise and education are omitted. An investigation of the Puritans' attitude toward the place of equity in judicial decisions re-establishes the balance in the statement of the truth. The author might have cited a few of the many cases where decisions were based solely upon reason and common sense and then justified by quoting a text from the Bible that by no stretch of the imagination could be related either to the case or to the decision.

The essays on the origins of the Virginia landed aristocracy and the control of local and provincial governments is well done. The essayist gives more attention in his discussion of local government to the vestrymen than to the county justices; but since they were in the nature of interlocking directorates, it makes no real difference. In his concluding paragraphs the writer states that the situation in Virginia at the time of the Glorious Revolution in England and the disturbances in the colonies had more points of similarity to situations in the other colonies than differences. This may be true. There was in each of the colonies a ruling class that held the balance of power between the British government and a large group of colonials who had little political power. The ruling class to a considerable degree maintained its position down to the American Revolution by playing the other groups against one another. An important difference between colonies is revealed at the outbreak of the American Revolution when the Virginia aristocracy kept step with the humbler folk, whereas a much larger proportion of the aristocracy in most of the other colonies sided with the British. The essays as a whole are examples of the solid, honest research and writing that can and should be done over the whole field of American history.

Indiana University Albert L. Kohlmeier


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