Teaching at SBS

I have been meaning to write about my teaching opportunity at the Second Baptist School this past Wednesday. Phil Sinitiere, a friend and a colleague who is the history department chair at SBS invited me to teach his Advanced Placement European History class on the Age of Exploration. Although I met Phil for the first time this past summer, I am looking forward to working with him on future research and writing projects. While teaching at SBS, I did not get as far in the lecture as I had hoped, though our class meeting went well. Not only are SBS students bright, but I found them to be as receptive and polite as my HCHS students. I started the session off by presenting an illustration that conceptualizes the growth of European modernity and the birth of what Arnold Toynbee would call the “Industrial Revolution.”

“The Industrial Revolution” coined by Toynbee in the late 1800s and used by Marxist and socialist historians to attack “the captains of industry” and expose “the conditions of the working classes;” after World War II, conservative social scientists like Rostow used Britain as model for industrial “take-off.” Recent scholarship suggests the story not so simple; e.g. Peter Sterns

Unfortunately, I ran short of time before drawing a conclusion on the relationship between European constitutionalism, mercantilism, geo politics, and the expansion of capitalism. Because of these factors and a number of others, the British middle class promulgated the growth of Atlantic slavery while modeling a new economic paradigm that the French bourgeoisie and nobility would desire. Unlike the traditional Marxist’s interpretation of the revolution that claimed it started as a matter of class conflict between the third estate (peasants & bourgeoisie) and the first and second estates, recent interpretations claim the revolution was a result of the Atlantic market system. Feudal lands and titles no longer carried the wealth that the Atlantic market offered. With an ancient system in existence that prevented the French nobility from prospering in this newly minted Atlantic market, the second and third estate unified to overthrow the French ancient class system.

Besides the colonial wars fought for geo-political gain in the Atlantic market, the dawn of neo slavery emerged. Paradoxically speaking, this institution heightened during a period in which the literature addressed both natural rights and racial inferiority. I believe the process of understanding European history from 1450 to 1815 rest on students’ understanding of the Atlantic market.

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18 thoughts on “Teaching at SBS

  1. Hey Eddie, thanks again for gracing us with your presence, giving us your time, and lecturing on an amazingly fascinating topic. I can’t wait to read the article, and look forward to future collaborations.

  2. Mr Carson, I just wanted to thank you so much for coming to speak to our class on Wednesday. Your lecture was very stimulating and I enjoyed it immensely. I am looking forward to a day later in the year when you can return to finish your lecture. Your view of history moving geographically and proving it with diagrams and representations really put the history of Europe in a completely different perspective. Thank you so much -Xeris Gregory

  3. Xeris,

    I do hope to return one day. As you stated, the geographical model in looking at cause – effect relationships over time gives all of us a tree to hang multiple developments on; I look forward to talking to you in the future.

  4. Sounds like a very interesting topic. I like talking about Toynbee as well. I tend to focus more on his non-Western critics as one who teaches the IR from a non-Western view. Congrts. on the SBS experience.

  5. Dear Mr. Carson,

    You are very entertaining, and your lecture was truly enlightening. The visualization that you used to explain how modernity spread to Europe was helpful in simplifying a complex historical development. Your presentation on the initial perceptions which Europeans and Africans had of each other was interesting in how it related to colonization and the slave trade. All together, it was impressive how much you were able to fit into a 50 minute period, and I hope you can visit again sometime to discuss history, and arkansas.

  6. Mr. Carson, I enjoyed your lecture too; it was interesting how you approached the Atlantic slave trade. I also like that while you were discussing Europe’s involement with Africa, you kept asking us about the the development of the rest of the world, i.e. China. Futhermore, your discussion of geo-politics helped to explain how history moved geographically. Your tree diagram of how the Renaissance relates all the way to the French Revolution provides another perspective on history. Overall, your visual aids were great, and I can’t wait to hear from you again. Next time we will try to have a pizza ready.

  7. John – Thanks! I can talk all day about Arkansas. The process of colonization is most interesting to me seeing that was also the plague of the 20th century.

    Kaylin – I am with you here. The connection of slave markets and its relationship to geo politics is one that deserves more attention. I am all for pizza. Just let me know and I will be there.

  8. Mr. Carson- thank you so much for coming to speak to our class. I really enjoyed your lecture. It was very beneficial for me to visualize the Age of Exploration. I liked the way you approached the Atlantic Slave Trade. With your discussion I was able to put the Atlantic Slave Trade in a more worldly perspective. I also really liked your diagrams. I hope you can come back to our class and talk.

  9. Mr. Carson,

    Wow! Thanks so much for coming to our class. Your lecture was stimulating and I really enjoyed how dynamic you are for histroy. Your passion for the subject was apparent the minute you began speaking.

    Your methods of teaching, using a literally lateral global progession, really put the Atlantic Market into perspective. This was not the first time that a major body of water was the headquarters for trade of all sorts.

    Hopefully next time you meet with our class time will be no issue (sorry about that!), pizza will be served, and Arkansas will continue to be the butt of all jokes!

    Thanks again,
    Hailie Durrett

  10. Meagan & Hailie:

    Thanks for the many kind words. Your class made the trip over an easy one. I will addres the time factor so that we all will have time to ponder some of the more complex factors. I too find it interesting the significance of water and power. As for Arkansas jokes — I have plenty.

    If any questions emerge from our class meeting, feel free to present them here. I would love to answer them.

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