About This Chapter
How it works:
- Identify the lessons in the McDougal Littell The Americans Exploration and the Colonial Era chapter with which you need help.
- Find the corresponding video lessons within this companion course chapter.
- Watch fun videos that cover the exploration and Colonial Era topics you need to learn or review.
- Complete the quizzes to test your understanding.
- If you need additional help, rewatch the videos until you've mastered the material or submit a question for one of our instructors.
Students will learn:
- Native American history
- Mesoamerican civilizations
- The Inca civilization
- Pre-Columbian civilization
- Spanish explorers and Spanish colonies
- The Valladolid debate
- Effects of European colonization
- Jamestown Colony settlement
- The Mayflower and settlement at Plymouth Rock
- The Puritans and the New England Colonies
- Rise of the slave trade
- The American Enlightenment
- The First Great Awakening
- The French and Indian War
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1. 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.
2. Mesoamerican Civilizations: The Olmecs to Cortes
This lesson focuses on the early cultures of Mesoamerica. The Olmec, Maya, and Aztecs developed great civilizations in Mesoamerica over millennia. Then, after all of this development and the building of a great empire, the Aztec were quickly defeated by Hernando Cortes.
3. The Inca Civilization and Pizarro: Pre-Columbian South America
The Incan Empire was an amazing empire of the early Americas. Their accomplishments rival those of many other great empires, but they were defeated by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro in only a few years.
4. Pre-Columbian Civilization: North American Indians Before Europeans
Watch this video for an overview of the cultural groups of Native Americans as they lived at the time of first contact with Europeans. Some of these groupings, like the tribes of the plains, changed so much due to the addition of European influences, such as horses, that there is only conjecture as to how exactly they lived before European contact.
5. 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.
6. Las Casas, Valladolid Debate & Converting the New World
This lesson will focus on Las Casas, a Spanish priest who fought for the rights of the native inhabitants of the Americas. It will also highlight the New Laws of 1542 as well as the Valladolid debates.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. The First Great Awakening: Religious Revival and American Independence
While the Enlightenment was shaping the minds of 18th-century colonists, another movement, the First Great Awakening, was shaping their hearts. With freedom of conscience at its core, the Awakening led Americans to break with religious traditions and seek out their own beliefs while sharing common values.
15. 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.
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Other chapters within the McDougal Littell The Americans: Online Textbook Help course
- McDougal Littell The Americans Chapter 2: Revolution and Early Republic
- McDougal Littell The Americans Chapter 3: Growth of A Young Nation
- McDougal Littell The Americans Chapter 4: The Union in Peril
- McDougal Littell The Americans Chapter 5: Changes on the Western Frontier
- McDougal Littell The Americans Chapter 6: A New Industrial Age
- McDougal Littell The Americans Chapter 7: Immigrants and Urbanization
- McDougal Littell The Americans Chapter 8: Life at the Turn of the Century
- McDougal Littell The Americans Chapter 9: Progressive Era
- McDougal Littell The Americans Chapter 10: America Claims an Empire
- McDougal Littell The Americans Chapter 11: The First World War
- McDougal Littell The Americans Chapter 12: Politics of the Roaring 20s
- McDougal Littell The Americans Chapter 13: The Roaring Life of the 20s
- McDougal Littell The Americans Chapter 14: The Great Depression Begins
- McDougal Littell The Americans Chapter 15: The New Deal
- McDougal Littell The Americans Chapter 16: World War Looms
- McDougal Littell The Americans Chapter 17: The United States in WWII
- McDougal Littell The Americans Chapter 18: Cold War Conflicts
- McDougal Littell The Americans Chapter 19: The Post War Booms
- McDougal Littell The Americans Chapter 20: The New Frontier and the Great Society
- McDougal Littell The Americans Chapter 21: Civil Rights
- McDougal Littell The Americans Chapter 22: The Vietnam Years
- McDougal Littell The Americans Chapter 23: An Era of Social Change
- McDougal Littell The Americans Chapter 24: An Age of Limits
- McDougal Littell The Americans Chapter 25: The Conservative Tide
- McDougal Littell The Americans Chapter 26: The United States in the World Today