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Ch 1: Early United States History Overview

About This Chapter

This study resource provides a simple and effective overview of early United States history. The lessons include discussion of the origins of Native Americans and the founding of America's original 13 colonies.

Early United States History Overview - Chapter Summary

This comprehensive history resource goes over the colonization and development of early America. The chapter begins with Native American history and moves through concepts such as European colonization, the Columbian Exchange and the settlement of Jamestown. You'll examine how the Puritans founded the New England colonies and take a look at life in early America. Upon completion of this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Identify major landforms in the United States
  • Summarize Native American history
  • Contextualize the effects of European colonization
  • Name famous Spanish explorers and colonies
  • Explain the exchanges of ideas, technology and goods that took place after Columbus discovered the new world
  • Determine why Europeans sailed to the Americas
  • Outline the settlements and people in the Jamestown and Plymouth Rock colonies
  • Describe the founding of the New England colonies and life in early America

Our expert instructors bring history to life with engaging stories and straightforward definitions of early America's key historical figures and events. The chapter includes several supplemental resources to help streamline the learning process, such as self-assessment quizzes and word-for-word lesson transcripts. If you need to review a specific topic, you can quickly find the corresponding video on your course Dashboard and jump to the topic with our video timelines. You can study the chapter material at any time that's convenient since the lessons are accessible on any computer or mobile device.

10 Lessons in Chapter 1: Early United States History Overview
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Major Landforms in the United States

1. Major Landforms in the United States

After watching this video, you will be able to explain what a landform is and describe some of the most important landforms in the United States. A short quiz will follow.

Native American History: Origins of Early People in the Americas

2. Native American History: Origins of Early People in the Americas

Because the first humans and civilizations got their start in Africa and the Middle East, historians and anthropologists have had to figure out how Native Americans got to the Americas. In this lesson we look at the three prevailing theories of the earliest migration to the New World.

Effects of European Colonization: Christopher Columbus and Native Americans

3. Effects of European Colonization: Christopher Columbus and Native Americans

The earliest explorers in the Western Hemisphere left a legacy that would shape the development of the Americas permanently. No matter what they came looking for, Europeans left behind death, horses, and metal.

New Spain: Spanish Explorers and Spanish Colonies

4. New Spain: Spanish Explorers and Spanish Colonies

Who are the most well-known explorers and conquistadors of the New World? In this lesson, we'll look at some of the most infamous explorers. We'll discover the difference between explorers and conquistadors, and then learn about the encomienda system.

The Columbian Exchange

5. The Columbian Exchange

The Columbian Exchange is a term used to denote the world-changing exchange of agricultural goods, slave labor, diseases, and ideas between the Eastern and Western Hemispheres that occurred after the year 1492 CE.

The Old World and New World: Why Europeans Sailed to the Americas

6. The Old World and New World: Why Europeans Sailed to the Americas

This lesson will focus on the Age of Exploration. It will explain the main reasons why Europeans explored the New World. It will highlight their spirit of adventure, the religious desire to see natives converted, and the chance to acquire wealth.

The Settlement of Jamestown Colony

7. 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

8. 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

9. 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 13 Colonies: Life in Early America

10. 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.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter 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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