Title: American Colonies: The Settling of North America
Author: Alan Taylor
Categories: Empire, Transnational History, Indians, Colonialism, Environmental, Synthesis
Place: North and South America
Time Period: 13,000 B.C.-1820 (1775 for Eastern Seaboard, 1820 for western areas)
Key Themes and Concepts
- Emphasis on PROCESS of colonization - as introduction of new ideas, diseases, animals, people, caused responses - a process that is seen in various case studies based on region.
- Indian relations as central to every colonial region, and were indispensable as trading partners, military allies, guides, and religious converts.
- Stresses the importance of empires (balance to emphasis on Indians) - even if imperial policies and actions were not completed as they might have intended, they still mattered quite a bit.
- Balance between teleology and contingency - not wanting the United States to seem like a foregone conclusion, but also looking for patterns that explain revolution
- Transnational perspective - tries to de-Anglicize settlement
- Fragmentation of peoples - emphasizes not only tons of different groups (Russians, Indians, Blacks) but also the tremendous diversity within those groups
U.S. History Qualifying Exams: Book Summaries
by Cameron Blevins
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