The Colonial Period Of American History

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1. The Colonial Period Of American History

During the Earth’s last ice age, about 50,000 years ago there was a bridge of ice joined Asia to America across what is now the Bering Strait. Hunters from Siberia crossed this bridge into Alaska. From Alaska the hunters moved south and east across America, following herds of caribou and buffalo as the animals went from one feeding ground to the next.

For many years Amerindians lived as wandering hunters and gathers of food. The tribes were formed at that time. And later people living in highlands areas of what is now Mexico found a wild grass with tiny seeds that were good to eat. This was the Indian corn. These people became America´s first farmers.

The Pueblo people of present day Arizona and New Mexico were the best organized of the Amerindians farming peoples. They were building networks of canals to irrigate their fields. The Apache never became settled farmers, they were hunting and gathering wild plants. They were warlike. Dakota. (Sioux) – Between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains. They were hunting for buffalo. They lived in tepees. The Iroquois were skilled farmers. Permanent villages. Northeastern part of North America.

In 1492 an Italian adventurer, named Christopher Columbus set sail from Spain to find a new way from Europe to Asia. He stepped ashore on the beach of an ireland. He named the ireland San Salvador. He believed that he had landed in the Indies. When Columbus returned to Spain with his jewerly thousands of treasure-hungrySpanish crossed the Atlantic Ocean to search for more gold. The growing wealth of Spain made other European nations envious. By the 17 century plenty of people in Europe were ready to settle in America. Some hoped to become rich, others hoped to find safety from religious or political persecution.

1. The first permanent English settlement in America was a trading post founded in 1607 at Jamestown /in Virginia/. The settlers had been sent to Jamestown by a group of rich London investors. Virginia Company (But 20 years earlier Sir Walther Raleigh had sent ships to find in the New World where English people might settle. He nemed the land they visited Virginia, in honor of Elizabeth I.) So, it was a business investment.

2. Puritans are people who make a journey for religious reasons. They wanted freedom. They wanted the Church of England to become more simple and pure. First they went to Holland then went to America with a trading vessel, the Mayflower. On November 9, 1620 they reached Cape Code, but they did not have enough food and water and many were sick. But the Pilgrims were determinded to succeed. They learned how to fish and hunt. Friendly Amerindians gave them seed corn - Thanksgiving day! Mayflower Compact!

Later between 1600-1700s permanent settlements were rapidly established all along the eastern cost. Most of the settlers were British. German farmers settled in Pennsylvania. (Dutch) Swedes founded the colony of Delaware. The Dutch settled in New York /called New Amsterdam/

Many immigrants tried to preserve the traditions, religion and culture. Salem – Witch trials

(Naval Acts – Wool Acts -)

2. The War of Independence

In 1756 Britain and France began fighting the Seven Years War. It is known in America as the French and Indian War. The war was ended by the Peace of Paris which was signed in 1763, France gave up its claim to Canada and to all of North America east of the Mississippi River. Samuel de Champlain; René La Salle; Prime Minister William Pitt The victory led England directly to conflict with its American colonies. Even before the final defeat of the French, colonists began to move into the Ohio valley. To prevent the war with the Amerindian tribes who lived in that area, the English king, George III, issued a proclamation in 1763. It forbade colonists to settle west of the Appalachians. The proclamation angered the colonists, and they became angrier when the...
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