Identity Crisis

Seeing ourselves as something new

Colonial Government

Most of the colonies were governed by a charter established under the authority of the English monarch. These charters set the rules for the colonies. Some of the colonies had colonial assemblies with representatives elected to help make decisions. One such assembly, the House of Burgesses, was the first colonial legislature in North America.

In New England, where people were close enough to the town center that they could meet, local decisions were made in town meetings. In the more rural southern colonies people lived too far from one another to meet, so most decisions were made at the county level instead. The middle colonies used a mixture of both local and county meetings to make such decisions.

After Parliament replaced King James they passed the English Bill of Rights. This act weakened the power of the monarchy and increased the power of the Parliament.

The colonists began to grow accustomed to making decisions for themselves. They used colonial courts to govern local affairs and to protect individual freedoms. It was during this period that a tradition of self-governance was being established in the colonies.

Movers and shakers who were Puritans and Quakers.

The desire for religious freedom helps shape the colonies.
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The Antinomian Controversy

The image above depicts Anne Hutchinson, midwife and follower of free-grace preacher John Cotton, being put on trial for holding devotional meetings about Cotton's sermons in her home. These sermons went against Puritan theology and Hutchinson's meetings were considered divisive to the community. For this reason, and most likely due to the fact that she was a woman, Hutchinson and her followers were excommunicated by the Puritan General Court of Massachusetts.

She would go on to found Portsmouth, Rhode Island.

Pilgrims, Puritans, and Quakers

Use the links below to compare these three important groups and to complete the graphic organizer.

The Pilgrims

This Protestant religious group made there way to the New World to escape persecution for their beliefs. They were so opposed to the Church of England that they wanted to separate from the church all together. For this reason they were referred to as "separatists."

Use the links below to learn more.

The Puritans

Like the Pilgrims, the Puritans were a Protestant group who were not happy with the Roman Catholic practices of the Church of England. They hoped, however, to "purify" the church. They became known as the Puritans for this reason.

Click on the links below to learn more.

The Quakers

The Quakers were another religious group who came to the New World seeking religious freedom. This "Society of Friends" as they were known were a pacifists group who settled in present-day Pennsylvania. They received their name due to a comment made by George Fox to a magistrate whom he told to, "quake at the name of God."

Click on the links below to learn more.

The Roots of Freedom

Use the links below about the Magna Carta, Virginia House of Burgesses, Mayflower Compact, and the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut to help you answer this question.

Which rights and freedoms that we enjoy today can be traced to colonial times?

The Magna Carta (1215)

Use the links below to learn more.

House of Burgesses (1619)

Use the links below to learn more.

The Mayflower Compact (1620)

Use the links below to learn more.

The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut (1639)

Use the links below to learn more.

Religious Freedom


What is religious freedom?

Should people be free to practice their religion any way they want?

Does having religious freedom give followers the right to practice religious acts that might bring harm to themselves or others?

Does religious freedom give individuals the right to disregard or break laws in the practice of their religion?

Writing reflection:

Should individuals who seek religious freedom for themselves extend that freedom to others who do not have the same beliefs? Why or why not?

Mercantilism, the Triangle Trade, and slavery in the Americas

The Triangular Trade

Use the link to the interactive Triangular Trade map below to review the exchange of goods across the Atlantic Ocean. Answer the questions below the map.

The Slave Codes

Below is a link to a website citing the Slave Codes of the colony of South Carolina in May, 1740.

Why were the Slave Codes written?

Do you think that they were effective in accomplishing this goal? Why?

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Slavery and Climate

In what ways did climate impact the slave trade?

How is slavery linked with the growth of colonial trade?

Breaking it down...

What did Great Britain do when it received imports from the 13 Colonies?

Where did Great Britain send its exports (manufactured goods)?

Who benefited most from mercantilism? Why?

What did the Colonies receive from Africa?

Why did the Colonies depend on this trade?

The First Great Awakening

The Road to Revolution

The First Great Awakening was a religious movement in the colonies around the middle of the 1700's. It was defined by powerful religious speakers and massive gatherings that changed the structure of colonial religion. In addition, it also challenged social and political life in the colonies. It was the first truly American experience and caused colonists to see themselves as something more than just English settlers.

How do you think the Great Awakening will influence the American Revolution?

Who in the world is this guy to the right?

Who was credited with starting the First Great Awakening in the colonies?

Dig In

Watch the videos posted below to learn more about the First Great Awakening.

Video #1

Jonathan Edwards and the Great Awakening: Sermons & Biography
Video #2
Mini Crash Course in U.S. History: The Great Awakening

Concept Map

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