Third Week: Colonial Life

The Colonial Life section covers covers one week of class time (suggested) and begins with the influence of the English Civil War on the colonists in America and ends with the First Great Awakening in the 1730's. Time period: 1600 through the early 1700's.

Our emphasis here is on the English experience - how different goals for the northern and southern colonies resulted in different patterns of settlement, different regional economies and different attitudes towards slavery. We examine life in the English colonies from the perspective of the wealthy elites, the small farmers, women, servants and slaves. Intellectual and religious influences are discussed, especially the influence of the Enlightenment on early Americans.

The Colonial Life section contains three separate days:
Day 1: England in the 17th Century examines the influence of the English Civil War and Glorious Revolution on the American colonists, especially how the ideas of John Locke impacted English beliefs on the best form of government.
Day 2: Slaves and Servants looks at life from the perspective of a slave or an indentured servant and traces the development of both parallel systems of servitude. The role of women in colonial America is also discussed.
Day 3: Frontier Life tells the story of how the Scots-Irish came to settle America and describes the major Native civilizations the English colonists were living alongside.

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  • Colonial Life
  • Explorers
  • How did the English Civil War affect the American colonies? How did English ideas about limited government evolve? Who were Thomas Hobbes and John Locke? How did the English Bill of Rights influence our Bill of Rights?
    • Colonial Life
    • Explorers
  • How was American slavery different from other types of slavery in the history of the world or in different parts of the world? What was life like as an indentured servant in America? What were the unique challenges faced by colonial-era women?
    • Colonial Life
    • Explorers
  • What kinds of people lived on the frontier during the colonial period? How did the Scots-Irish come to America and where did they settle? What types of Native civilizations shared the frontier with these English settlers?
    • Colonial Life
    • Explorers