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220115 The Beginning of the Age of Revolution. America, France, and Haiti, 1775-1804 (K) (WiSe 2017/2018)

Inhalt, Kommentar

Which factors lead to the American War of Independence in 1775? How did it influence the French Revolution in Europe in 1789 and how did that, in turn, affect France’s slave-holding colonies in the Caribbean? – Most notably Saint Domingue, the foremost French “sugar island”, which was to become Haiti in its struggle for independence from 1791 to 1804. These are the questions this course revolves around. It aims at highlighting the entangled history of the Age of Revolution in the Americas and the Caribbean in particular. While the French Revolution is important, our focus will mainly be on the western hemisphere.
This course serves as a contextualization to the Seminar Exploring America and the World. French (Pre-)Revolutionary Travel Literature.

Expect a mix of primary source and secondary literature readings in English.

Teilnahmevoraussetzungen, notwendige Vorkenntnisse

good English reading, speaking and writing skills are a definite advantage, however the writing assignements can be done in German, English or Spanish


Introductory reading

Bailyn, Bernard. Faces of revolution : personalities and themes in the struggle for American independence. 1st ed. New York: Knopf : Distributed by Random House, 1990.
Brown, Richard D. Major problems in the era of the American Revolution, 1760-1791. Documents and Essays. Major problems in American history series. 2nd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000.
Desan, Suzanne, Lynn Hunt, and William Max Nelson. The French Revolution in global perspective. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2013.
Forrest, Alan I., and Matthias Middell. The Routledge companion to the French Revolution in world history. Routledge companions. London ; New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group, 2016.
Geggus, David Patrick, and Norman Fiering. The world of the Haitian Revolution. Blacks in the diaspora. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009.
Gaspar, David Barry, and David Patrick Geggus, eds. A Turbulent Time. The French Revolution and the Greater Caribbean. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1997.
Geggus, David Patrick. "Saint-Domingue on the Eve of the Haitian Revolution." In The World of the Haitian Revolution, edited by David Patrick Geggus and Norman Fiering. 3-20. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009.
Klooster, Wim. Revolutions in the Atlantic world : a comparative history. New York: New York University Press, 2009.
Popkin, Jeremy D. A concise history of the Haitian revolution. Viewpoints = Puntos de vista. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012.
Raphael, Ray. A people's history of the American Revolution : how common people shaped the fight for independence. 1st Perennial ed. New York: Perennial, 2002.
Wood, Gordon S. The American Revolution : a history. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2003.


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Konkretisierung der Anforderungen

Studienleistung: We will use a “creating lives” approach to our course subject. That is, after an initial phase of introductory reading and orientation you will create a historical persona from the course context through whose eyes you are going to describe some of the events we are researching in class. Those (short) diary-style descriptions will be posted on the Lernplattform and we’ll discuss them in class. The aim is to learn about and experience the use and boundaries of historical imagination and facts – where does one start, where does the other end and what happens in between.

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