Period 1: 1491–1607 Key Concept 1

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PERIOD 1: 1491–1607
Key Concept 1.1 Before the arrival of Europeans, native populations in North America developed a wide variety of social, political, and economic structures based in part on interactions with the environment and each other.
I. As settlers migrated and settled across the vast expanse of North America over time, they developed quite different and increasingly complex societies by adapting to and transforming their diverse environments. (PEO-1) (ENV-1) (ENV-2)
A. The spread of maize cultivation from present-day Mexico northward into the American Southwest and beyond supported economic development and social diversification among societies in these areas; a mix of foraging and hunting did the same for societies in the Northwest and areas of California.
• Pueblo, Chinook
B. Societies responded to the lack of natural resources in the Great Basin and the western Great Plains by developing largely mobile lifestyles.
C. In the Northeast and along the Atlantic Seaboard some societies developed a mixed agricultural and hunter–gatherer economy that favored the development of permanent villages.
• Iroquois, Algonquian

Key Concept 1.2: European overseas expansion resulted in the Columbian Exchange, a series of interactions and adaptations among societies across the Atlantic.
I. The arrival of Europeans in the Western Hemisphere in the 15th and 16th centuries triggered extensive demographic and social changes on both sides of the Atlantic. (PEO-4) (PEO-5) (ENV-1) (WXT-1) (WXT-4) (WOR-1)

  1. Spanish and Portuguese exploration and conquest of the Americas led to widespread deadly epidemics, the emergence of racially mixed populations, and a caste system defined by an intermixture among Spanish settlers, Africans, and Native Americans.

• smallpox, Mestizo, Zambo

  1. Spanish and Portuguese traders reached West Africa and partnered with some African groups to exploit local resources and recruit slave labor for the


  1. The introduction of new crops and livestock by the Spanish had far-reaching effects on native settlement patterns, as well as on economic, social, and political development in the Western Hemisphere.

• horses, cows

  1. In the economies of the Spanish colonies, Indian labor, used in the encomienda system to support plantation-based agriculture and extract precious metals and other resources, was gradually replaced by African slavery.

• sugar, silver

II. European expansion into the Western Hemisphere caused intense social/religious, political, and economic competition in Europe and the promotion of empire building. (ENV-1) (ENV-4) (WXT-1) (WOR-1) (POL-1)

  1. European exploration and conquest were fueled by a desire for new sources of wealth, increased power and status, European exploration and conquest were fueled by a desire for new sources of wealth, increased power and status, and converts to Christianity.

  1. New crops from the Americas stimulated European population growth, while new sources of mineral wealth facilitated the European shift from feudalism to capitalism.

• corn, potatoes

  1. Improvements in technology and more organized methods for conducting international trade helped drive changes to economies in Europe and the Americas.

• sextant, joint-stock companies

Key Concept 1.3: Contacts among American Indians, Africans, and Europeans challenged the worldviews of each group.

  1. European overseas expansion and sustained contacts with Africans and American Indians dramatically altered European views of social, political, and economic relationships among and between white and nonwhite peoples. (CUL-1)

  1. With little experience dealing with people who were different from themselves, Spanish and Portuguese explorers poorly understood the native peoples they encountered in the Americas, leading to debates over how American Indians should be treated and how “civilized” these groups were compared to European standards.

• Juan de Sepúlveda, Bartolomé de Las Casas

  1. Many Europeans developed a belief in white superiority to justify their subjugation of Africans and American Indians, using several different rationales.

  1. Native peoples and Africans in the Americas strove to maintain their political and cultural autonomy in the face of European challenges to their independence and core beliefs. (ID-4) (POL-1) (CUL-1) (ENV-2)

  1. European attempts to change American Indian beliefs and worldviews on basic social issues such as religion, gender roles and the family, and the relationship of people with the natural environment led to American Indian resistance and conflict.

• Spanish mission system, Pueblo, Juan de Oñate

  1. In spite of slavery, Africans’ cultural and linguistic adaptations to the Western Hemisphere resulted in varying degrees of cultural preservation and autonomy.

• maroon communities in Brazil and the Caribbean, mixing of Christianity and traditional African religions

Period 2: 1607-1754
Key Concept 2.1: Differences in imperial goals, cultures, and the North American environments that different empires confronted led Europeans to develop diverse patterns of colonization.

  1. Seventeenth-century Spanish, French, Dutch, and British colonizers embraced

different social and economic goals, cultural assumptions, and folkways, resulting in

varied models of colonization. (WXT-2) (PEO-1) (WOR-1) (ENV-4)

  1. Spain sought to establish tight control over the process of colonization in the Western

Hemisphere and to convert and/or exploit the native population.

  1. French and Dutch colonial efforts involved relatively few Europeans and used trade

alliances and intermarriage with American Indians to acquire furs and other products for export to Europe.

  1. Unlike their European competitors, the English eventually sought to establish colonies based on agriculture, sending relatively large numbers of men and women to acquire land and populate their settlements, while having relatively hostile relationships with American Indians.

II. The British–American system of slavery developed out of the economic, demographic, and geographic characteristics of the British-controlled regions of the New World. (WOR-1) (WXT-4) (ID-4) (POL-1) (CUL-1)

  1. Unlike Spanish, French, and Dutch colonies, which accepted intermarriage and cross-

racial sexual unions with native peoples (and, in Spain’s case, with enslaved Africans), English colonies attracted both males and females who rarely intermarried with either native peoples or Africans, leading to the development of a rigid racial hierarchy.

  1. The abundance of land, a shortage of indentured servants, the lack of an effective

means to enslave native peoples, and the growing European demand for colonial goods led to the emergence of the Atlantic slave trade.

  1. Reinforced by a strong belief in British racial and cultural superiority, the British

system enslaved black people in perpetuity, altered African gender and kinship relationships in the colonies, and was one factor that led the British colonists into violent confrontations with native peoples.

  1. Africans developed both overt and covert means to resist the dehumanizing aspects of

• rebellion, sabotage, escape
III. Along with other factors, environmental and geographical variations, including climate and natural resources, contributed to regional differences in what would become the British colonies. (WXT-2) (WXT-4) (ENV-2) (ID-5) (PEO-5) (CUL-4)

  1. The New England colonies, founded primarily by Puritans seeking to establish a community of like-minded religious believers, developed a close-knit, homogeneous society and — aided by favorable environmental conditions — a thriving mixed economy of agriculture and commerce.

  1. The demographically, religiously, and ethnically diverse middle colonies supported a flourishing export economy based on cereal crops, while the Chesapeake colonies and North Carolina relied on the cultivation of tobacco, a labor-intensive product based on white indentured servants and African chattel.

  1. The colonies along the southernmost Atlantic coast and the British islands in the West

Indies took advantage of long growing seasons by using slave labor to develop economies based on staple crops; in some cases, enslaved Africans constituted the majority of the population.
• the Carolinas (rice), Barbados (sugar)
Key Concept 2.2: European colonization efforts in North America stimulated intercultural contact and intensified conflict between the various groups of colonizers and native peoples.
I. Competition over resources between European rivals led to conflict within and between North American colonial possessions and American Indians.

(WXT-1) (PEO-1) (WOR-1) (POL-1) (ENV-1)

  1. Conflicts in Europe spread to North America, as French, Dutch, British, and Spanish colonies allied, traded with, and armed American Indian groups, leading to continuing political instability.

• Beaver Wars, Chickasaw Wars

  1. As European nations competed in North America, their colonies focused on gaining new sources of labor and on producing and acquiring commodities that were valued in Europe.

• furs, tobacco

  1. The goals and interests of European leaders at times diverged from those of colonial citizens, leading to growing mistrust on both sides of the Atlantic, as settlers, especially in the English colonies, expressed dissatisfaction over territorial settlements, frontier defense, and other issues.

• Wool Act, Molasses Act, widespread smuggling in Spanish and English colonies

II. Clashes between European and American Indian social and economic values caused changes in both cultures. (ID-4) (WXT-1) (PEO-4) (PEO-5) (POL-1) (CUL-1)

  1. Continuing contact with Europeans increased the flow of trade goods and diseases into and out of native communities, stimulating cultural and demographic changes

• Catawba nation, population collapse and dispersal of Huron Confederacy, religious conversion among Wampanoag in New England leading to the outbreak of King Philip’s War

  1. Spanish colonizing efforts in North America, particularly after the Pueblo Revolt, saw an accommodation with some aspects of American Indian culture; by contrast, conflict with American Indians tended to reinforce English colonists’ worldviews on land and gender roles.

• praying towns, clothing

  1. By supplying American Indian allies with deadlier weapons and alcohol, and by rewarding Indian military actions, Europeans helped increase the intensity and destructiveness of American Indian warfare.

Key Concept 2.3: The increasing political, economic, and cultural exchanges within the Atlantic World” had a profound impact on the development of colonial societies in North America.
I. “Atlantic World” commercial, religious, philosophical, and political interactions among Europeans, Africans, and American native peoples stimulated economic growth, expanded social networks, and reshaped labor systems. (WXT-1) (WXT-4) (WOR-1) (WOR-2) (CUL-4)

  1. The growth of an Atlantic economy throughout the 18th century created a shared labor market and a wide exchange of New World and European goods, as seen in the African slave trade and the shipment of products from the Americas.

  1. Several factors promoted Anglicization in the British colonies: the growth of autonomous political communities based on English models, the development of commercial ties and legal structures, the emergence of a trans-Atlantic print culture, Protestant evangelism, religious toleration, and the spread of European Enlightenment ideas.

• Maryland Toleration Act of 1649, founding of Pennsylvania, John Locke

  1. The presence of slavery and the impact of colonial wars stimulated the growth of ideas on race in this Atlantic system, leading to the emergence of racial stereotyping and the development of strict racial categories among British colonists, which contrasted with Spanish and French acceptance of racial gradations.

Casta system, mulatto, Métis

  1. Britain’s desire to maintain a viable North American empire in the face of growing internal challenges and external competition inspired efforts to strengthen its imperial control, stimulating increasing resistance from colonists who had grown accustomed to a large measure of autonomy. (WOR-1) (WOR-2) (ID-1) (CUL-4)

  1. As regional distinctiveness among the British colonies diminished over time, they developed largely similar patterns of culture, laws, institutions, and governance within the context of the British imperial system.

  1. Late 17th-century efforts to integrate Britain’s colonies into a coherent, hierarchical imperial structure and pursue mercantilist economic aims met with scant success due largely to varied forms of colonial resistance and conflicts with American Indian groups, and were followed by nearly a half-century of the British government’s relative indifference to colonial governance.

• dominion of New England, Navigation Acts

  1. Resistance to imperial control in the British colonies drew on colonial experiences of self-government, evolving local ideas of liberty, the political thought of the Enlightenment, greater religious independence and diversity, and an ideology critical of perceived corruption in the imperial system.

• Great Awakening, republicanism

PERIOD 3: 1754–1800
Key Concept 3.1: Britain’s victory over France in the imperial struggle for North America led to new conflicts among the British government, the North American colonists, and American Indians, culminating in the creation of a new nation, the United States.

  1. Throughout the second half of the 18th century, various American Indian groups repeatedly evaluated and adjusted their alliances with Europeans, other tribes, and the new United States government. (ID-4) (POL-1) (ENV-2) (ENV-4) (CUL-1)

  1. English population growth and expansion into the interior disrupted existing French Indian fur trade networks and caused various Indian nations to shift alliances among competing European powers.

  1. After the British defeat of the French, white–Indian conflicts continued to erupt as native groups sought both to continue trading with Europeans and to resist the encroachment of British colonists on traditional tribal lands.

Teachers have flexibility to use examples such as the following:

• Pontiac’s Rebellion, Proclamation of 1763

  1. During and after the colonial war for independence, various tribes attempted to forge advantageous political alliances with one another and with European powers to protect their interests, limit migration of white settlers, and maintain their tribal lands.

• Iroquois Confederation, Chief Little Turtle and the Western Confederacy

  1. During and after the imperial struggles of the mid-18th century, new pressures began to unite the British colonies against perceived and real constraints on their economic activities and political rights, sparking a colonial independence movement and war with Britain. (ID-1) (WXT-1) (POL-1) (WOR-1) (CUL-2) (CUL-4)

  1. Great Britain’s massive debt from the Seven Years’ War resulted in renewed efforts to consolidate imperial control over North American markets, taxes, and political institutions — actions that were supported by some colonists but resisted by others.

Teachers have flexibility to use examples such as the following:

• Stamp Act, Committees of Correspondence, Intolerable Acts

  1. The resulting independence movement was fueled by established colonial elites, as well as by grassroots movements that included newly mobilized laborers, artisans, and women, and rested on arguments over the rights of British subjects, the rights of the individual, and the ideas of the Enlightenment.

• Sons of Liberty, Mercy Otis Warren, Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania

  1. Despite considerable loyalist opposition, as well as Great Britain’s apparently overwhelming military and financial advantages, the patriot cause succeeded because of the colonists’ greater familiarity with the land, their resilient military and political leadership, their ideological commitment, and their support from European allies.

  1. In response to domestic and international tensions, the new United States debated and formulated foreign policy initiatives and asserted an international presence. (WOR-5) (POL-2)

  1. The continued presence of European powers in North America challenged the United States to find ways to safeguard its borders, maintain neutral trading rights, and promote its economic interests.

  1. The French Revolution’s spread throughout Europe and beyond helped fuel Americans’ debate not only about the nature of the United States’s domestic order, but also about its proper role in the world.

  1. Although George Washington’s Farewell Address warned about the dangers of divisive political parties and permanent foreign alliances, European conflict and tensions with Britain and France fueled increasingly bitter partisan debates throughout the 1790s.

Key Concept 3.2: In the late 18th century, new experiments with democratic ideas and republican forms of government, as well as other new religious, economic, and cultural ideas, challenged traditional imperial systems across the Atlantic World.

  1. During the 18th century, new ideas about politics and society led to debates about religion and governance, and ultimately inspired experiments with new governmental structures. (ID-1) (POL-5) (WOR-2) (CUL-4)

  1. Protestant evangelical religious fervor strengthened many British colonists’ understandings of themselves as a chosen people blessed with liberty, while Enlightenment philosophers and ideas inspired many American political thinkers to emphasize individual talent over hereditary privilege.

Teachers have flexibility to use examples such as the following:

• John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Adam Smith

  1. The colonists’ belief in the superiority of republican self-government based on the natural rights of the people found its clearest American expression in Thomas Paine’s Common Sense and in the Declaration of Independence.

  1. Many new state constitutions and the national Articles of Confederation, reflecting republican fears of both centralized power and excessive popular influence, placed power in the hands of the legislative branch and maintained property qualifications for voting and citizenship.

  1. After experiencing the limitations of the Articles of Confederation, American political leaders wrote a new Constitution based on the principles of federalism and separation of powers, crafted a Bill of Rights, and continued their debates about the proper balance between liberty and order. (WXT-6) (POL-5) (WOR-5)

  1. Difficulties over trade, finances, and interstate and foreign relations, as well as internal unrest, led to calls for significant revisions to the Articles of Confederation and a stronger central government.

Teachers have flexibility to use examples such as the following:

• tariff and currency disputes, Spanish restrictions on navigation of the Mississippi River

  1. Delegates from the states worked through a series of compromises to form a Constitution for a new national government, while providing limits on federal power.

  1. Calls during the ratification process for greater guarantees of rights resulted in the addition of a Bill of Rights shortly after the Constitution was adopted.

  1. As the first national administrations began to govern under the Constitution, continued debates about such issues as the relationship between the national government and the states, economic policy, and the conduct of foreign affairs led to the creation of political parties.

• Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, Hamilton’s Financial Plan, Proclamation of Neutrality

  1. While the new governments continued to limit rights to some groups, ideas promoting self-government and personal liberty reverberated around the world. (ID-4) (WOR-2 ) (POL-5) (CUL-2)

  1. During and after the American Revolution, an increased awareness of the inequalities in society motivated some individuals and groups to call for the abolition of slavery and greater political democracy in the new state and national governments.

• Abigail Adams, Pennsylvania Gradual Emancipation Law

  1. The constitutional framers postponed a solution to the problems of slavery and the slave trade, setting the stage for recurring conflicts over these issues in later years.

  1. The American Revolution and the ideals set forth in the Declaration of Independence had reverberations in France, Haiti, and Latin America, inspiring future rebellions.

Key Concept 3.3: Migration within North America, cooperative interaction, and competition for resources raised questions about boundaries and policies, intensified conflicts among peoples and nations, and led to contests over the creation of a multiethnic, multiracial national identity.

  1. As migrants streamed westward from the British colonies along the Atlantic seaboard, interactions among different groups that would continue under an independent United States resulted in competition for resources, shifting alliances, and cultural blending. (ID-5) (ID-6) (PEO-5) (POL-1) (WOR-1) (WOR-5)

  1. The French withdrawal from North America and the subsequent attempt of various native groups to reassert their power over the interior of the continent resulted in new white–Indian conflicts along the western borders of British and, later, the U.S. colonial settlement and among settlers looking to assert more power in interior regions.

Teachers have flexibility to use examples such as the following:

• march of the Paxton Boys, Battle of Fallen Timbers

  1. Migrants from within North America and around the world continued to launch new settlements in the West, creating new distinctive backcountry cultures and fueling social and ethnic tensions.

• Scots-Irish; Shays’ Rebellion, frontier vs. tidewater Virginia

  1. The Spanish, supported by the bonded labor of the local Indians, expanded their mission settlements into California, providing opportunities for social mobility among enterprising soldiers and settlers that led to new cultural blending.

corridos, architecture of Spanish missions, vaqueros

  1. The policies of the United States that encouraged western migration and the orderly incorporation of new territories into the nation both extended republican institutions and intensified conflicts among American Indians and Europeans in the trans-Appalachian West. (POL-1) (PEO-4) (WOR-5)

  1. As settlers moved westward during the 1780s, Congress enacted the Northwest Ordinance for admitting new states and sought to promote public education, the protection of private property, and the restriction of slavery in the Northwest Territory.

  1. The Constitution’s failure to precisely define the relationship between American Indian tribes and the national government led to problems regarding treaties and Indian legal claims relating to the seizure of Indian lands.

  1. As western settlers sought free navigation of the Mississippi River, the United States forged diplomatic initiatives to manage the conflict with Spain and to deal with the continued British presence on the American continent.

Teachers have flexibility to use examples such as the following:

• Jay’s Treaty, Pinckney’s Treaty

  1. New voices for national identity challenged tendencies to cling to regional identities, contributing to the emergence of distinctly American cultural expressions. (ID-5) (WXT-2) (WXT-4) (POL-2) (CUL-2) (ENV-3)

  1. As national political institutions developed in the new United States, varying regionally based positions on economic, political, social, and foreign policy issues promoted the development of political parties.

  1. The expansion of slavery in the lower South and adjacent western lands, and its gradual disappearance elsewhere, began to create distinctive regional attitudes toward the institution.

  1. Enlightenment ideas and women’s experiences in the movement for independence promoted an ideal of “republican motherhood,” which called on white women to maintain and teach republican values within the family and granted women a new importance in American political culture.

PERIOD 4: 1800–1848

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