Ch 1: Colonial Period and Road to Revolution

About This Chapter

Find out how North America was settled by the Europeans. The following video lessons and quizzes range from the first voyages across the Atlantic to the actions that led to the American Revolution.

U.S. History and Government: Colonial Period and Road to Revolution

This chapter's lessons cover American history starting with the initial voyages of European explorers and failed settlements by the French and English. You'll learn about the first successful English settlement, Jamestown, as well as one that followed shortly after, Plymouth Colony. Another lesson deals with the Puritans and the establishment of the New England colonies. The settlement of the southern and middle colonies are covered as well, and you'll learn about life in the 13 American colonies.

Other lessons look at the economics of life in the colonies. You'll get information on the rise of slavery and the role it played in the American economy. Overseas trade for goods is discussed, and you will explore how world events impacted America. The period of enlightenment in the colonies, resulting in intellectual and social changes, is also included.

The events that led up to the Revolutionary War are covered, including the Stamp Act and the Intolerable Acts. You'll learn about rebel groups such as the Sons of Liberty, look into what spurred the Boston Tea Party, and examine the Boston Massacre and its consequences. The First Continental Congress and what it accomplished is another topic that is covered in these video lessons.

Experienced instructors guide you through the topics in these concise video lessons. You can test what you've learned through multiple-choice quizzes. The questions contain links to the videos, and allow you to go back and review important topics without watching the entire lesson again.

15 Lessons in Chapter 1: Colonial Period and Road to Revolution
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
North American Exploration & Failed Colonies of France & England

1. North American Exploration & Failed Colonies of France & England

Between 1497 and 1607, the rulers and leading citizens of European nations fought to establish their own empires in North America, as Spain had been doing for 100 years in South America. Learn about influential explorers and their failed attempts to establish their own New World colonies.

The Settlement of Jamestown Colony

2. The Settlement of Jamestown Colony

In 1607, the London Company settled the colony of Jamestown. The settlers overcame many odds to become the first permanent, English settlement in North America. In this lesson, learn about the failures and successes of Jamestown before it was taken over by the Crown.

The Mayflower and the Plymouth Rock Settlement

3. The Mayflower and the Plymouth Rock Settlement

Find out how much you know about the Pilgrims and their voyage. In this lesson, you'll learn about the misplaced Plymouth Colony, its escaped indentured servants, and the Wampanoag Indians who saved their lives.

The Puritans and the Founding of the New England Colonies

4. The Puritans and the Founding of the New England Colonies

Learn about the people and motives that led to the founding of Massachusetts Bay Colony, as well as the growth and internal dissent that led to the establishment of Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Hampshire.

The Southern Colonies: Settlement and Growth

5. The Southern Colonies: Settlement and Growth

What led to the use of slavery and the creation of different colonies? In this lesson, learn about the unique purposes and patterns of settlement, growth and society in the southern colonies (Virginia, Maryland, the Carolinas, and Georgia).

The Middle Colonies: New York, Delaware, New Jersey & Pennsylvania

6. The Middle Colonies: New York, Delaware, New Jersey & Pennsylvania

Learn about the unique identity and diversity of the middle colonies that led America to be called a melting pot. English control of the middle colonies began with the takeover of New Netherland, from which all of the other middle colonies can trace their beginnings.

The 13 Colonies: Life in Early America

7. The 13 Colonies: Life in Early America

What was it like to live in America during the colonial period? Just like today, it depended where you were. Learn about the factors that categorized all of the American colonies, as well as the differences between the northern, middle and southern colonies.

Rise of Slave Trade: Black History in Colonial America

8. Rise of Slave Trade: Black History in Colonial America

In this lesson, you'll learn a little about the slave trade, the growth and characteristics of slavery in the colonial period - including laws regulating the institution and the population of free blacks in the English colonies.

The 13 Colonies: Developing Economy & Overseas Trade

9. The 13 Colonies: Developing Economy & Overseas Trade

England's intention had always been for the colonies to make them rich. The plan worked, but it became more difficult for England to make sure things stayed that way. And even with regulation, the colonies prospered, too.

The 13 Colonies: World Events that Influenced Colonial America

10. The 13 Colonies: World Events that Influenced Colonial America

How come New York seems like part of the Northeast instead of a Middle colony? Where did the Amish come from? What gave colonists the idea that they had a right to representation when there was a king? What's the difference between England and Great Britain? If these were English colonies, how come so many Americans say they have Scottish or Scots-Irish ancestry? This lesson answers these questions and other mysteries of American history.

The American Enlightenment: Intellectual and Social Revolution

11. The American Enlightenment: Intellectual and Social Revolution

For a thousand years, Europe had been living in the Dark Ages until a series of philosophical, religious and scientific movements helped turn on the lights. The Enlightenment began in Europe, but quickly spread throughout America in the 1700s and helped set the stage for a revolution against British rule.

The French and Indian War: Causes, Effects & Summary

12. The French and Indian War: Causes, Effects & Summary

In the mid-1700s, the Seven Years' War involved all of the world's major colonial powers on five continents. The biggest fight was between France and Great Britain, and the victor would come away with control of North America.

Sons of Liberty: Resistance to the Stamp Act and British Rule

13. Sons of Liberty: Resistance to the Stamp Act and British Rule

In 1763, British Prime Minister George Grenville passed new legislation aimed at solving some of the empire's problems stemming from the French and Indian War. The colonists cried, 'Taxation without representation is tyranny!' They organized boycotts, the Sons of Liberty and the Stamp Act Congress until some of the new taxes were lifted.

Boston Massacre: Colonists and the Declaratory and Townshend Acts

14. Boston Massacre: Colonists and the Declaratory and Townshend Acts

After overturning the hated Stamp Act, Parliament asserted its right to tax the colonists without representation by passing the Declaratory Act. When the Townshend Acts imposed import duties, the colonists went into action again. An escalating cycle of violence ended with the Boston Massacre, resulting in the cancellation of all duties except the one on tea.

The Boston Tea Party, Intolerable Acts & First Continental Congress

15. The Boston Tea Party, Intolerable Acts & First Continental Congress

Three years of calm followed the Boston Massacre and the repeal of most Townshend duties. But no sooner had Parliament passed a new tax on tea than the colonies were in an uproar again about taxation without representation. What followed were the Boston Tea Party and the fateful last steps leading to war.

Chapter Practice Exam
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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