Unit ONE Materials

Unit 1: Transatlantic Encounters and

Colonial Beginnings to 1754


1. Pre-Columbian Societies (Assignment: Ch.1 pages 2-34)

  • Early inhabitants of the Americas
  • American Indian empires in Mesoamerica, the Southwest, and the Mississippi Valley
  • American Indian cultures of North America at the time of European Culture


2. Transatlantic Encounters and Colonial Beginnings, 1492-1690 (Assignment: Ch. 2 pages 37-77)

  • European contact with Native Americans
  • Spanish, French colonization of North America
  • English settlement of New England and Chesapeake
  • Servitude and slavery
  • Religious diversity in the English colonies
  • Resistance to authority: Bacon’s Rebellion, the Glorious Revolution, and the Pueblo Revolt


3. Colonial North America, 1690-1754 (Assignment: Ch. 3&4 pages 77-132)

  • Colonial population growth, 1609-1754
  • Transatlantic trade and the growth of seaports
  • The 18th century backcountry
  • Growth of plantations and slave societies
  • The Enlightenment and Great Awakening
  • Colonial Governments and imperial policy in British North America

Essential Questions

  1. Why did slavery develop in the American colonies?
  2. How did religion impact the colonial experience?
  3. Why did Europeans find the Americas an attractive investment?
  4. Was the encounter between Europeans and Native Americans a tragedy or a positive?
  5. In what ways were the American colonies an experiment in economics, society, religion, and politics?
  6. What colonial political developments had the greatest impact on the colonial experience?


Terms, People & Concepts


Mississippian Culture
Pueblo Indians
Iroquois (Haudenosaunee)
Bartolome de las Casas
Treaty of Tordesillas
Hernan Cortes
De Soto
Sir Walter Raleigh
Henry VIII
Elizabeth I
James I
English Reformation
Humphrey Gilbert
Richard Hakluyt
Lost colony of Roanoke
Joint-Stock Company
Virginia Company
John Rolfe
The Starving Time
William Penn
John Winthrop
John Peter Zenger
House of Burgesses

Powhatan Confederacy
Indentured Servant
Proprietary Colony
Royal Colony
Anne Hutchinson
Roger Williams
Halfway Covenant
Mayflower Compact
Fundamental Orders of Connecticut
Maryland Toleration Act
Bacon’s Rebellion
Freedom Dues
Halfway Covenant
First Great Awakening
Leisler’s Rebellion
Boston Bread Riot of 1710
George Whitefield
Jonathan Edwards
Albany Plan of Union
Salutary Neglect
Navigation Acts (1660s)
Admiralty courts
Virtual Representation
Actual Representation



The following questions have been asked as AP Free Response (FRQ) and Document Based Questions (DBQ) on this unit. 

1.  Compare the ways in which religion shaped the development of colonial society (to 1740) in TWO of the following regions:
• New England
• Chesapeake
• Middle Atlantic

2.  How did economic, geographic, and social factors encourage the growth of slavery as an important part of the economy of the southern colonies between 1607 and 1775?

3.  Analyze the cultural and economic responses of TWO of the following groups to the Indians of North America before 1750
• British
• French
• Spanish

4.  To what extent had the colonists developed a sense of their identity and unity as Americans by the eve of the Revolution (1750 to 1776)?

5.  Analyze the extent to which religious freedom existed in the British North American colonies prior to 1700.

6.  For the period before 1750, analyze the ways in which Britain’s policy of salutary neglect influenced the development of American colonies as illustrated in the following:
• Legislative assemblies
• Commerce
• Religion

7.  Analyze the ways in which TWO of the following influenced the development of American society:
• Puritanism during the seventeenth century
• The Great Awakening during the eighteenth century
• The Second Great Awakening during the nineteenth century

8. Although New England and the Chesapeake region were both settled largely by people of English origin, by 1700 the regions had evolved into two distinct societies.  Why did this difference in development occur?

9. Analyze the differences between the Spanish settlements in the Southwest and the English colonies in New England in the seventeenth century in terms of TWO of the following:
• Politics
• Religion
• Economic Development