Native Geography and Culture



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Early Native Americans and European Colonization

3rd Marking Period 7th Grade Study Guide




Native Geography and Culture

North America was already “settled” by Native peoples who had a culture based on religion, superstition and nature. There are 7 geographic regions settled by Natives:



Pacific Northwest: Cedar forests, flat rocky beaches. Constant rain. Chinook, Kwakiutl used cedar for homes and totem poles (described family history and class status), also made clothes out of wood bark.

California Intermountain range including mountains and Great Basin. In Great Basin, tribes were nomadic because of extreme climate, lack of resources. In California though, tribes were in giant Redwood forests and made homes out of wood. Grass baskets and clamshell necklaces

Southwest: Hopi and Apache were nomadic because of dry climate (little-to-no farming). Canyons and adobe homes called pueblos five stories high on cliffs. Wore cotton made clay pots.

Plateau: between Cascade and Rocky mtns. Many tribes lived here: Nez Perce, Spokane, Yakima. They harvested local roots and berries in summer, in winter built houses partially underground.

Great Plains: Cheyenne, Comanche, Sioux. Lived in teepees and wigwams, hunted buffalo. Made all tools and clothing from buffalo. Nomadic.

Eastern Woodlands: (future 13 colonies land) Iroquois and Algonquian tribes, hunted lived in forests, farming corn, beans and squash. Lived in wigwams or longhouses made of bent trees. Made canoes.

Southeast: Creek, Choctaw and Seminole. Each adapted their diet to hot, wet climate. Made chickees, houses built on platforms above ground with no windows to stay cool in heat. Wore deerskin leggings.

Early Exploration of N. America by Europeans

Four main European countries had colonies in N. America: France, England, Holland and Spain.

Spain: Ponce de Leon and Coronado explored Florida and the southwest

England: John Cabot (actually from Italy) and Henry Hudson explored Canada

Netherlands/Holland: Henry Hudson again explored along the Hudson River

France: Jacques Cartier and LaSalle explored the St. Lawrence River in Canada down to the Mississippi R

The land claims these explorers made became where each country had its colonies.

Differences in how France, Holland, England and Spain colonized

New Spain: ruled closely by Spanish king and had a strict class system (like feudalism) that kept Spanish

in control. Catholic Church ideas of life and religion changed Indians and kept helped keep

Spain in control of Indians and land.

New France: controlled by the king and ruling council, Catholic Church converted Indians in New France

New Netherlands: started by Dutch East India Company to trade with Indians. Dutch royal governors

were not good and the English took over New Netherlands later. Dutch place names,

architecture and graveyards are still around.

English colonies: the most successful and eventually figured out how to trade with the Indians for food

and grow/make products to sell to keep colonies going.



Roanoke, Jamestown and Plymouth

Reasons for colonies: Roanoke and Jamestown were set up for profit. Plymouth for farming and religion

Roanoke: The Lost Colony was started in 1584 of coast of N. Carolina by Sir Walter Raleigh to find gold and be a base for privateers. First group of settlers had to leave because of unfriendly Indians. John White led more settlers there but was forced to leave for supplies and colony vanished when he returned. It failed, bad planning (little food or skilled workers), Indian attacks and fear of the Spanish.

Jamestown: founded in 1607 by Virginia Company. Jamestown was on a swampy peninsula protected from Indians but full of mosquitoes carrying malaria. The river harbor allowed ships to come right to the fort but hundreds of settlers died from salty war, little food and malaria. Jamestown was saved by Pocahontas and John Smith working out food trading agreements (Poca. saved Smith’s life).

John Rolfe set up tobacco plantations to sell as a cash crop to European customers.



Plymouth: Settled in 1620 off Cape Cod Bay, MA by religious separatists (Pilgrims and Puritans) who wanted freedom to practice their religion and others. Half the settlers in Plymouth were religious separatists, the other half indentured servants, ex-criminals or people who wanted land (Miles Standish). Unlike Roanoke and Jamestown, Plymouth did not seek profit. At first, most settlers died here too due to bad planning and sickness. (Mayflower Compact: agreement that men would vote on laws to help keep things good and safe for colonists)

Key colonial leaders

John Smith: President of Jamestown, made colonists work (rule: if you don’t work, you won’t eat)

Pocahontas: saved Smith, persuaded her father Powhatan to trade food to English colonists for metal

John Rolfe: married Pocahontas, peace with Indians and started tobacco plantations sold as cash crops

Miles Standish: not a Puritan but on the Mayflower, helped Puritans and Indians have peace and trade

William Penn: Quaker who founded Pennsylvania in 1681 with help from English King Charles II.

Let PA have religious toleration and freedom of speech.

Penn’s Great Treaty with Lenni Lenape Indians is only treaty never broken in N. America.

Lord Baltimore/Cecilius Calvert: Catholic Englishman who set up Maryland as safe place for Catholics.

John Winthrop: Puritan elected governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630. Kicked Roger Williams

and Anne Hutchinson out of MBC.



Anne Hutchinson: questioned Puritan control of MBC, said you didn’t need a minister or church to have access to God. After being kicked out of MBC, she married and sadly was killed by Indians in NY.

Roger Williams: wanted religious toleration in MBC (any beliefs are allowed) and Indians paid for all land taken by Englishmen. Kicked out of MBC, started Providence, Rhode Island with religious toleration

Sir Walter Raleigh: English nobleman who paid and backed Roanoke in 1584

Thanksgiving and Salem Witch Trials

Wampanoag Indians and Pilgrims probably ate deer, not turkey. Pilgrims took over land that was unused since the Indian owners had died from European disease. Wampanoag Indians in area needed English military help, Pilgrims needed Indians for food (Squanto taught them how to farm in MA).



Salem Witch Trials: 1690s in MBC, 4 girls accused others of being witches. Over 100 accused, 19 found guilty and executed. After, only good evidence and many witnesses allowed to be used in trials.

English Colonies in N. America: political, religious, economics, culture

New England: NH, MA, RI, CT. Puritan ideas of man’s equality before God creates town meetings and elections in some areas. No separation of church and state (government), ministers are political leaders. No religious tolerance. Very few slaves (housekeepers, gardeners, cooks), most people were English and live on small farms or small towns. Otherwise, people trade with England: fish, lumber, shipbuilding

Middle Colonies: NY, NJ, PA, DE. Proprietary colonies with owners allowing some voting and religious tolerance in PA due to William Penn’s Quaker beliefs. Religious diversity (Jews, Catholics, Protestants, Quakers, etc.) and Ethnic diversity (Swedes, French, English, Irish, Scottish and Dutch). Medium farming growing season, farm products like barley, wheat and oats. Some slaves, but mostly indentured servants

Southern Colonies: MD, VA, NC, SC, GA. Hot, steamy and long plantation growing season allowed sale of cash crops: citrus fruit, cotton, indigo, tobacco and rice. Enormous plantations required large amounts of slaves from West Africa. No more indentured servants after Bacon’s Rebellion. Only slaves.

King George’s War : 1744-1748 English and French fought over trade routes and fur in N. Canada

The French and Indian War: 1754-1763 English and French fought over Ohio River Valley (French wanted fur, English colonists land for settlement). G. Washington fought for English.

Slave Trade: 1700s: N. England: a few slaves were housekeepers, gardeners, cooks. Many slaves could buy their freedom here, like indentured servants. Southern: Bacon’s rebellion in Jamestown allowed all indentured servants to run away. Now many slaves were brought into the south to work cash crop plantations.

Important Events in the Colonial Timeline



  1. Roanoke, 1584 p. 54

  2. Jamestown (John Smith, John Rolfe, Pocahontas), 1607 p. 72

  3. Mayflower Compact 1620 p. 79

  4. Plymouth 1620 (John Winthrop, Miles Standish) p. 79

  5. New Netherlands, 1624 p. 57+, 85

  6. Toleration Act of 1649, p. 75

  7. Navigation Acts, 1660 p. 92

  8. King Philip’s War, 1675 p. 95

  9. Bacon’s Rebellion, 1676 p. 74

  10. English Bill of Rights, 1689 p. 91

  11. Salem Witch Trials, 1690s p. 83

  12. Enlightenment, 1700s p. 95

  13. Great Awakening, 1730s-40s p. 94

  14. Zenger Trial, 1733 p. 92

  15. King George’s War 1744-1748 (in notes)

  16. French and Indian War 1754-1763 p. 95

  17. Boston Massacre, 1770 p. 101

  18. Boston Tea Party, 1773 p. 102

  19. 1776, Declaration of Independence, p. 119

  20. Ben Franklin, 1706-1790 p. 169


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