This is the first of three foundation courses in American Studies (including AMER2050 and AMER3050). This course is an introduction to early American Hemispheric history and culture, focusing on the gradual transformation of European-American settler societies into the modern industrial nation-states across the American continent. Situating developments within a global context, the course will open with a pre-Columbian contextual discussion, followed by European colonial expansion in the early modern period and conclude with the Spanish-American War or Cuban Independence War in 1898. Topics will include native-colonial relations during European settlement; imperial conquest and competition in the Atlantic world; the rise of slave-based economies and patterns of slave resistance; the relationship between religion and social change; the establishment of capitalist social relations in the nineteenth century; and the dynamics of race, class, gender and sexuality in early life in the American continent across different countries, including The United States, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, Colombia, among others. Particular emphasis will be given to the political, social, and ideological ramifications of the Wars for Independence and migration waves.