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Ch 1: McDougal Littell The Americans Chapter 1: Exploration and the Colonial Era

About This Chapter

The Exploration and the Colonial Era chapter of this McDougal Littell The Americans textbook companion course helps students learn the essential American history lessons of exploration and the Colonial Era. Each of these simple and fun video lessons is about five minutes long and is sequenced to align with the Exploration and the Colonial Era textbook 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

McDougal Littell The Americans is a registered trademark of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which is not affiliated with Study.com.

15 Lessons in Chapter 1: McDougal Littell The Americans Chapter 1: Exploration and the Colonial Era
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Native American History: Origins of Early People in the Americas

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.

Mesoamerican Civilizations: The Olmecs to Cortes

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.

The Inca Civilization and Pizarro: Pre-Columbian South America

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.

Pre-Columbian Civilization: North American Indians Before Europeans

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.

New Spain: Spanish Explorers and Spanish Colonies

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.

Las Casas, Valladolid Debate & Converting the New World

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.

Effects of European Colonization: Christopher Columbus and Native Americans

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.

The Settlement of Jamestown Colony

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.

The Mayflower and the Plymouth Rock Settlement

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.

The Puritans and the Founding of the New England Colonies

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.

The 13 Colonies: Life in Early America

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.

Rise of Slave Trade: Black History in Colonial America

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.

The American Enlightenment: Intellectual and Social Revolution

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.

The First Great Awakening: Religious Revival and American Independence

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.

The French and Indian War: Causes, Effects & Summary

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.

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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