The course offers students the opportunity to understand the mechanisms that led to the origin of European colonial empires in the early modern age, their functions and how these empires contributed to the first forms of globalization of the early modern world.
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Mutuazione: 21810421 THE ROOTS OF GLOBALIZATION: EUROPEAN EXPANSION AND COLONIALISM in Politiche per la Sicurezza Globale: Ambiente, Energia e Conflitti LM-52 A - Z CARAVALE GIORGIO


This course is designed to introduce students to the methods, theories, and critiques of reconstructing early modern global and world history. It seeks to familiarize students with the major historiographical debates and definitions surrounding the first phase of intensifying global connections that began in the fifteenth century. The course traces the different ways in which various scholars have analyzed the dramatic expansion of cross-cultural interactions and economic exchange in the centuries leading up to the formalization of the modern nation-state.
By the early seventeenth century, European merchants had established maritime trade networks across the Atlantic Ocean and eastward to India and China. These networks allowed them to purchase furs, tea, sugar, spices, and other luxury goods that were in high demand throughout Europe. In the Americas, European colonists began using large numbers of enslaved Africans to grow labor-intensive crops such as sugar cane and tobacco for export to Europe. Portuguese, and later Dutch, merchants acquired many of these slaves from trading posts on the West African coast. Once the slaves had been sold in the Americas, merchants used the proceeds to purchase local goods to sell in Europe. This circular trade pattern dominated the Atlantic economy until the 1800s. European nations carefully controlled their trade networks to protect them from rival states. The Dutch East India Company, for example, owned its own private army and navy, which was used to defend its trade links with India and Southeast Asia.
Global trade changed patterns of production and consumption around the world and led to the rapid growth and development of England and the Netherlands at the expense of the old colonial powers such as Spain and Portugal. In this course we will examine the growth of global trade networks in the 1600s and assess the political, social, and cultural impact of these networks on the peoples of Africa, Europe, and the Americas. Particular attention will be paid to the global circulation of objects and books in the early modern world.

Core Documentation

A syllabus with assigned weekly readings will be distributed at the beginning of the course

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