The Rise of Atlantic Empires, 1500-1750 module (HY11005)

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Module code


  • Level 1
  • Semester 1
  • History - School of Humanities
  • Coursework 100%
  • Monday Evening Tutorial Available


This module will provide a comparative understanding of the development of European Empires in Africa and the Americas between 1500-1750.

It will also examine the origins of modern "globalisation" and improve your ability to read original sources (in English translation) and use them towards constructive argument.

You will gain an understanding of the major forces that shaped the expansion of Europe from the 15th to the 18th Centuries and an appreciation of the comparative development of British, French, Spanish and Dutch empires.

This module includes Fieldwork or archive visits.


Dr Martine Van Ittersum

Teaching staff

Dr Chris Storrs, Dr Martine Van Ittersum, Dr Matt Ward


This module is assessed by 100% coursework consisting of:

  • One module Portfolio I (50% of the final mark) Weeks 1-6
  • One module Portfolio II (50% of the final mark) Weeks 7-12


Core Reading

  • Thomas Benjamin., The Atlantic World: Europeans, Africans, Indians and Their Shared History, 1400-1900. (Cambridge, 2009)

Background Reading

  • Peter Bakewell., A History of Latin America to 1825. (Oxford, 2004)
  • J.H. Elliott., Empires of the Atlantic World: Britain and Spain in America, 1492-1830. (New Haven, 2006)
  • Jack Greene, Atlantic History: A Critical Appraisal. (Oxford, 2009)
  • Daniel Richter., Before the Revolution: America's Ancient Pasts. (Cambridge, Mass. 2011)

Access the online reading list system


This module is available on following courses: