• Offered by School of History
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject History
  • Areas of interest American Studies, History, European Studies, Latin American Studies

This course is an introduction to Atlantic history and the political, socio-cultural, and material connections forged between Europe, Africa, and the Americas during the early modern era. The course examines the character of those connections – the reasons for their formation, convergence, and impact over time. Key themes include: how historians study premodern American peoples; why, and to what extent, many of these peoples were conquered by Europeans; European interactions with (changing) Native American and African societies; the rise of slavery and racism; the consequences for early modern European societies of global expansion.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon Successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Analyse primary sources.
  2. Articulate their understanding of the past and explain how that understanding relates to the wider historiography as well as present-day concerns.
  3. Construct evidence-based arguments about the consequences of the "discovery of the New World" for European, American, and African peoples.
  4. Evaluate continuity and change over time, with particular reference to globalization, a process often said to define modernity.
  5. Identify and transcribe sources from the period, using them to reconstruct beliefs, ideas, and attitudes.
  6. Design and execute a research project in early modern Atlantic history.

Indicative Assessment

Tutorial participation (10%) [LO 1, 2] .

Topical Essay: 2,000 words (30%) [LO 2, 3, 4]. Students will be free to select their question from the related tutorial schedule. Essays will be due 1-2 weeks after class discussion.

Research Proposal: 750 words (10%) [LO 5, 6]. This will be due mid-semester.

Research Essay: 3500 words (50%) [LO, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,6]. As this task takes the place of a final exam it will be due in the first week of the scheduled examination period.

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Two one-hour lectures and 1 hour of small-group discussion per week over 13 weeks. A further 7 hours of private study and completion of coursework assignments per week is expected (total workload of 130 hours over the semester).

Requisite and Incompatibility

You must not enrol in this course if you have completed HIST2205.

Prescribed Texts

An e-brick consisting of primary material and scholarly essays will be compiled and made available on Wattle.

Preliminary Reading

Canny, N., & P. Morgan, eds., The Oxford Handbook of the Atlantic World (2012).
Elliott, J.H., Empires of the Atlantic World. Britain and Spain in America 1492-1830 (2006).
Richter, D., Before the Revolution. America’s Ancient Pasts (2011).

Assumed Knowledge

Students are expected to be able to reflect critically on primary historical evidence and to apply the work of historians, or scholarship from related disciplines, in interpreting it. A background of undergraduate study in one or more of the following disciplines is desirable: archaeology, anthropology, history, (Latin) American or European studies.



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $3054
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $4368
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4339 19 Feb 2018 27 Feb 2018 31 Mar 2018 25 May 2018 In Person N/A

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