Colonial Period of American History


This course examines the origins and development of colonial British America.  Lectures focus on geography, politics, culture, economy, and society in North America and the Caribbean, ca. 1584 - 1783.  Readings offer first-hand accounts of colonial experiences as well as historical models of analysis and interpretation.  We study the emergence of regions and work to understand how each place fits into a wider Atlantic world populated by Europeans, Native Americans, and Africans.  Students will learn to see early America with new eyes as a dynamic space that spanned islands and continents.  Topics include first colonial foundlings, plantation slavery, cartography, criminal justice, transatlantic trade, agriculture and environment, imperial competition, Anglo-Indian frontier war, material culture, gender and society, and the origins of the American Revolution.  

Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904


(434) 924-7147
(434) 924-7891
M-F 8am to 4:30pm
Department Contacts