Conquest of the americas the great courses z gastroenterol


Why was Christopher Columbus’s voyage to the Americas in 1492 arguably the most important event in the history of the world? Professor Marshall C. Eakin of Vanderbilt University argues that it gave birth to the distinct identity of the Americas today by creating a collision between three distinct peoples and cultures: European, African, and Native American.

This collision of cultures also had enormous consequences for the peoples of Africa. The transatlantic slave trade, the largest forced migration in human history, changed the lives of millions of Africans and initiated one of the most tragic chapters in the history of the Americas.

You discover the wondrous accomplishments of the three great Native American empires, the Aztecs, Incas, and Mayas. These sprawling empires mastered the domestication of crops and animals, as well as the control of water so necessary for a society to develop.

When the conquistadors first encountered the breathtaking architectural achievements of these civilizations, they were awestruck. These were edifices that matched anything seen in the revered world of ancient Greece and Rome. Some questioned whether the "savages" of these lands were capable of producing such wonders.

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, Europe was a politically fragmented backwater, and hardly poised to become the dominant force on the globe. How did Portugal, for example, a territory barely larger than Maine, eventually build a trading empire so dynamic it would eventually push out into the Atlantic and set the stage for Spain’s historic expeditions of conquest?

Excellent! This class is exactly what I wanted! After I completed watching this class, I went back and reread all of the previous reviews. The positive reviews are spot-on. Not only did I enjoy this class, I learned a lot. I will watch it again and use it as a future reference.

The biggest complaint of the negative reviewers is that this class spends little time covering North America. The COURSE OVERVIEW on the Teaching Company web site shows what each of the 24 lectures cover. Only Lectures 18, 19, 20, and 21 cover the settlements of the English, French, and Dutch as late arrivers during this period of European expansion to the Americas. The negative reviewers could have known this before they bought the class if they had evaluated the lecture topics prior to purchasing. I did and was happy, since Latin America was my primary interest.

There is one major concern that I always evaluate before buying a class. I want the professor to be fair and not have an ideological bias. If there is a bias, I will not buy the class. I was pleased with this professor. He spent most of this class presenting factual information. A few times he did state some of his personal beliefs, as intelligentsia is wont to do. But that was minor in comparison to the overall excellence of this class.

Old-school TGC course covers lots of ground Most of my recent courses have been new TGC productions, so it was a blast from the past to follow this 2002 entry: old “farmhouse” set with Harvard Classics on the table, very limited graphics, no closed captioning, talking-head approach to lectures, and even the trusty old Bach theme song. I would probably recommend doing this course in audio format, since there is little of interest on the screen except some maps and the occasional illustration. The course book is also old-style: just 3 or 4 pages per lecture of outline-style notes. But the book contains a glossary, timeline, and bibliography, items which are sometimes lacking in more recent productions.

The subject of the “conquest of the Americas” has become even more of a hotbed of discussion in the years since Prof. Eakin recorded these lectures, but I think his approach is fair and even-handed. He covers the interactions, or ‘collisions,’ between various European groups and the people they met in North and South America. You’ll learn the differences between how each country approached its ‘conquests,’ and how small groups of Europeans were able to destroy or displace whole native civilizations. All the famous names are here: Columbus, Pizarro, Cortez, Montezuma, Raleigh, etc. You’ll hear familiar stories, but also quotes from other figures who experienced these interactions and wrote about them. This is a solid but unexceptional entry in the catalog, and is probably due for an update.