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Week 4: Global Networks of Exchange in the 1600s

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Age of Discovery and Imperialism

Watch the Following Supplemental Videos

  1. The Columbian Exchange [Enter key starts video]
    In which John Green teaches you about the changes wrought by contact between the Old World and the New. John does this by exploring the totally awesome history book “The Columbian Exchange” by Alfred Cosby, Jr. After Columbus “discovered” the Americas, European conquerors, traders, and settlers brought all manner of changes to the formerly isolated continents. Disease and invasive plant and animal species remade the New World, usually in negative ways. While native people, plants, and animals were being displaced in the Americas, the rest of the world was benefitting from American imports, especially foods like maize, tomatoes, potatoes, pineapple, blueberries, sweet potatoes, and manioc. Was the Columbian Exchange a net positive?It’s debatable. So debate. Created by EcoGeek.
  2. The Atlantic Slave Trade [Enter key starts video]
    In which John Green teaches you about one of the least funny subjects in history:slavery. John investigates when and where slavery originated, how it changed over the centuries, and how Europeans and colonists in the Americas arrived at the idea that people could own other people based on skin color.Slavery has existed as long as humans have had civilization, but the Atlantic Slave Trade was the height, or depth, of dehumanizing, brutal, chattel slavery. American slavery ended less than 150 years ago. In some parts of the world, it is still going on.So how do we reconcile that with modern life? In a desperate attempt at comic relief, Boba Fett makes an appearance. Created by EcoGeek.
  3. The Spanish Empire, Silver, & Runaway Inflation [Enter key starts video]
    In which John Green explores how Spain went from being a middling European power to one of the most powerful empires on Earth, thanks to their plunder of the New World in the 16th and 17th centuries. Learn how Spain managed to destroy the two biggest pre-Columbian civilizations, mine a mountain made of silver, mishandle their economy, and lose it all by the mid-1700s. Come along for the roller coaster ride with Charles I (he was also Charles V), Philip II, Atahualpa, Moctezuma, Hernán Cortés, and Francisco Pizarro as Spain rises and falls, and takes two empires and China down with them. Created by EcoGeek
  4. The amazing Life and Strange Death of Captain Cook [Enter key starts video]
    In which John Green teaches you about the life and death of one of history’s great explorers, Captain James Cook of the British Navy. He charted large swaths of the Pacific ocean, laid claim to Australia and New Zealand, and died a bizarre death in the Sandwich Islands, which are now called the Hawaiian Islands. Exactly how and why Captain Cook was killed in Hawaii is a long-running historical debate. John presents two interpretations of the event, and talks about what the differing interpretations say about history. It turns out how the story is told depends on who is doing the storytelling, and people from different backgrounds can interpret events in very different ways. Also, there is a celebration and a moustache involved in this episode, so you definitely don’t want to miss it. Created by EcoGeek.