Week 8: Europe and the Wider World

Discussion: A Portrait of the Sun King
Read and discuss excerpts from the Eye-Witness Accounts of the Royal Court of Verrsailles

BoyleRevolutions in Science (II)
Image right: Johann Kerseboom, The Hon. Robert Boyle, F.H.S. (1689). Image source: The Chemical Archives.

I. What is a Fact of Nature?
A. Problems with the “Triumphalist” Story of Scientific Progress
B. A Case in Point: The Meaning of Monsters

Image: Ulisse Aldrovandi's Monstrous Rooster
Image: A Monstrous Prodigy—The Pope-Ass
Image: A Monstrous Prodigy-The Monk-Calf of Freiberg
Image: Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
Image: Robert Boyle's Air Pump
Image: Joseph Wright of Derby (1737-1797), Experiment with the Air Pump (1768)

II. Debating the Scientific Method
A. Ancients versus Moderns
B. The Mechanics of Fact-Making
C. The Scientific Method Challenged

III. Making the New Knowledge Stick

Map: The Spread of Scientific Academies, 1650-1810

NewExperimentsImage left: Sir James Thornhill (1675-1734), Sir Isaac Newton (1709-1712). Oil on canvas. Woolsthorpe Manor, Lincolnshire. Image source: Web Gallery of Art. Image right: Robert Boyle, New Experiments Physico-Mechanical, Touching the Spring of the Air, and Its Effects (Made, for the most part, in a New Pneumatical Engine) (Oxford: Hall, 1662). Image source: University of Leeds.


Ulisse Aldrovandi (1522-1605)
Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)
Robert Boyle
Isaac Newton

Monstrous Births & Prodigies
“Ancients and “Moderns

The Air Pump
Royal Society of London for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge, a.k.a., The Royal Society (Est. 1660).

The Sinews of Power: The Netherlands and Britain Compared
Image: Rembrandt van Rijn, The Syndics of the Clothmakers' Guild (1662), 191.5 x 279 cm, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Source: Artchive.

I. An Argument: Domestic Bases of Empire

Map: Novissima totius terrarum orbis (18th c.)

II. The Dutch “Golden Age”
A. The Tulip Craze of the 1630s
B. Banking, Investment, and Infrastructure
C. Long-Distance Trade: Bulk and the “Rich Trades”
D. Alliance Between the Dutch State and Merchant Classes

III. Britain After the Revolution
A. The “Glorious Revolution” of 1688
B. The British East India Company
C. The “Sinews of Power”

IV. A Contrast: The Long Decline of Spain
A. An Empire Spread Too Thin?
B. A Parasitic State?

Map: Amsterdam in the Seventeenth Century
Map: Land Reclamation in the Netherlands, 1600-present
Map: Jan & Willem Blaeu, Novus XVII Inferioris Germaniæ Provinciarum typus (1645)
Image: The Dutch Art of Shipping Revealed (Seventeenth Century) (De Nederlandsche Scheeps-Bouw-Konst Open Gestelt)
Image: The VOC Storehouse in Amsterdam
Map: Dutch Commerce in the Seventeenth Century

Map: England after the Glorious Revolution (1688)
Image: Portrait of William of Orange, Stadhouder of the Dutch Republic (1672-1702) and King of England (1688-1702)
Chart: Total Tax Net Income in Britain, 1690-1791

Map: The "Spanish Road"

Image right: Dirck van Delen (1605-1671), The Great Hall of the Binnenhof, The Hague, during the Great Assembly of the States General in 1651 (1651). Oil on panel, copper. 52 x 66 cm. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Object number SK-C-1350. Image source: Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.


Tulip Craze” (1630s)
Bulk Trades, Rich Trades

Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie, or VOC), est. 1601
British East India Company, est. 1600

The “Spanish Road”

Image right: Semper Augustus, one of the most sought-after bulbs during the "Tulip Craze"

The Emergence of a Global Economy

Image right: Bichitr, Jahangir preferring a Sufi shaikh over Emperors and Kings (ca. 1620). Image source: WikiCommons

I. Introduction: How the Portuguese Conquered Melaka

II. The Projection of Violence
A. Projecting European Power Beyond Europe
B. Zones and Patterns of Interaction
1. Siberia, America, Subsaharan Africa, Southeast Asia
2. The "Gunpoweder Empires"
3. China, Korea, Japan

Image: The Siege of Melaka, 1629
Image: The Famosa Fortress in Melaka
Map: The Expansion of Manilla Fortress, 1576-1650
Image: The Dutch Fort of Batavia, ca. 1681

Image: The Flagships of Zheng He and Vasco da Gama, compared
Map: The Voyages of Zheng He (1405-1433)

Map: The Mughal Empire
Map: The Safavid Empire

II. Europe and the Global Economy
A. From Tribute Extraction to Capitalism
B. A Case in Point: The Atlantic Slave Trade

Map: India and the Spice Islands in 1682
Map: Eighteenth-Century Trading Patterns
The Early Modern Slave Trade
An Eighteenth-Century Slave Ship


Mahmud Shah, Sultan of Melaka (r. 1488-1511) 
Iskandar Muda, Sultan of Acheh (r.1607-1636)

Manilla--an example of European-style fortification in Asia
São Tomé (early Portuguese sugar plantation economy, based on African slave labor)

Growth of the Middle Passage:
Sixteenth century: 370,000 people "exported" to the Americas
Seventeenth century: 1,870,000 people
Eighteenth century: 6,130,000 people

Image right: Chaine d'esclaves venant de l'interieur, from René Claude Geoffroy de Villeneuve, L'Afrique, ou histoire, moeurs, usages et coutumes des africains: le Sénégal (Paris, 1814), vol. 4, facing p. 43. Image source: Allposters.com.

Image: A view of the Dutch West Indies Company base at New Amsterdam -- conquered by Britain in 1664 and renamed "New York."

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