American History Mondays with Dr. Richard Bell: The World of 1492

American History Mondays with Dr. Richard Bell: The World of 1492


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Who made America? This series of talks led by University of Maryland historian Dr. Richard Bell is designed to allow you to dip in and out depending on your interests. It examines how three peoples—Europeans, Natives, and Africans—encountered each other in North America and, through conflict and cooperation, created what became the United States. Together, these lectures provide a great primer on almost every aspect of early American history prior to 1877. But they’re designed as stand-alone offerings, so come on out for whichever topics spark your imagination.

To learn more about this series and view past and future events, click here.

Let’s begin at the beginning. But where is that exactly? The history of North America doesn’t begin in 1492 when Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue. It begins millennia before then when the first humans settled this great continent.

Who were those first settlers—the people we now call Native Americans? How did they get to America and what sorts of lives did they build for themselves when they got here? Why did the Europeans come searching for a new world in 1492? What were Columbus and his patrons, the King and Queen of Spain, hoping to find on the other side of the Atlantic? And what sort of colonies and empires did the Spanish (and, soon after, the French) build on this continent and in the Caribbean when their ships finally hit land?

Richard Bell is Professor of History at the University of Maryland and author of the new book "Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and their Astonishing Odyssey Home" which is shortlisted for the George Washington Prize and the Harriet Tubman Prize. He has held major research fellowships at Yale, Cambridge, and the Library of Congress and is the recipient of the National Endowment of the Humanities Public Scholar award. He serves as a Trustee of the Maryland Center for History and Culture, as an elected member of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, and as a fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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