Lecture 1: June 8
(An Empire of Regions: A Brief History of Colonial British America, Eric Nellis)
Colonial history now includes the roles of. “natives, slaves, women, and families” (xvii)
“The British settlers and their progeny did not so much colonize the resident native populations in
the usual sense of a minority ruling over a majority; settlers displaced or assimilated the
indigenous residents to become the majority” (xix)
Amerigo Vespucci (1451-1512) is an explorer often forgotten because cartographer labelled the
region as “America” and not “Amerigo”
Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) born as Cristoforo Colombo known to Spanish as Cristoval
Americas began as part of Pangaea until tectonic plates moved.
“Europeans experienced hotter summers, colder winters, more violent storms, skies that seemed
higher and wider than their own” (6)
Europeans were more coherent on Christianity (7). Assimilated indigenous communities to take
the majority (xix).
Climate and geography kept many of the Americas separate (7)
Now, people do not praise Columbus for the way he acquired the land from the natives (10).
What happened to all of them? Few aboriginals survived into the 19
century. How many were
there? How many were killed? How many died of biological warfare? Can these numbers be
trusted? Are the recorded deaths and reason for death accurate? Did explorers lie about how many
they killed so that they would not seem as bad?
Mestizo (Spanish), Mestico (Portuguese), Metis (French) for “half-breed” between explorer and
What is “American” History?