Dr. Erika A Gasser

This course focuses on the trades in three commodities, each of which played a central role in the economic,  social,  and military development of the American colonies in the seventeenth and eighteenth-century Atlantic world.

The course is not about the commodities themselves-it is neither a history of addiction nor of weaponry. Instead,  students will examine the ways that these products created markets and opportunities for some,  but destabilization and destruction for others.

We will consider how these markets drew Native Americans,  Europeans,  and Africans more closely together,  but often in ways that resulted in conflict, dependence,  slavery,  and cultural devastation.

This course will be designed to fulfill the 4000-level requirements of the History Department meaning that it will guide students through an original research project that will utilize both primary and secondary sources and entail significant writing.