Was Christopher Columbus's voyage to the Americas in 1492 the most important event in the history of the world?
Professor Eakin's provocative answer is a resounding "Yes" - as he presents his case in an intriguing series of 24 lectures. He argues that the voyage gave birth to the distinct identity of the Americas today by creating a collision between three distinct cultures - European, African, and Native American - that radically transformed the view of the world on both sides of the Atlantic. These thoughtful lectures will remind you that when Columbus completed his voyage, he found a people unlike any he had ever known, living in a land unmentioned in any of the great touchstones of Western knowledge. You'll learn how the European world, animated by the great dynamic forces of the day, Christianity and commercial capitalism, reacted to Columbus's discovery with voyages of conquest-territorial, cultural, and spiritual - throughout the New World. And you'll see the traumatic consequences - not only for the native peoples of the Americas, but for the people of Africa, as well, millions of whom had their lives altered by the transatlantic slave trade that resulted. Yet these lectures are far more than an account of heroes and villains, or victors and victims. They form a dramatic, sweeping tale of the complex blending of three peoples into one-forming new societies and cultures that were neither European, African, nor Native American, but uniquely American. While Professor Eakin readily identifies his own interpretation of events, he generously showcases competing views, and you'll benefit enormously from the many works he cites for further study.
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Not a Great Course, not even a good one
The Professor needs to seriously re-check his scholarship. Minor errors in facts might fly in a lecture, but not in a recorded medium. Tecun Umam was not the leader of the Quiche Kingdom. The concept of "race" is not wholly divorced from biology, although it remains a cultural construct.
Not another course by Eakin.
Yes, the course needs a narrator. Eakin stumbles over this words, stammers through his narration, and tries to land awkward jokes. He is not a talented narrator.
Few. The lecture on the Jesuits was not bad.
This is not a course on the "Conquest of the Americas." It is a course on 16th to 18th century European colonialism in the Americas. While somewhat related, colonialism is not conquest. They are not equivalent terms. The course needs to focus on the military encounters between Spain and the high cultures of Central and South America and their missteps in the Caribbean. The course needs an expert in that field, not a Brazilian historian.
- Keith E. Eppich
One of the best.
The pace of the narrator's voice and the passion for the thoughts he delivers.
Passion for the discipline he teaches.