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Colonial America
Where did our democratic traditions come from?
Common Law - the English legal system which is based on precedents (legal decisions being based on past legal decisions, for example the Miranda vs. Arizona 1966 setting a precedent for the rights of the accused)

New England Colonies


New Hampshire

  1. long winters and rocky soil.

  2. Most farmers practiced subsistence farming.

  3. Have Cattle and timber.


  1. Have fishing, whaling and shipbuilding.

  2. Got rich from fishing, whaling, trade and shipbuilding.

  3. Has largest body of water.

Rhode Island

  1. Smallest colony.

  2. Rocky soil made farming difficult.


  1. Has cattle.

  2. Baptist and Anglicans established churches in Connecticut.

  3. Growing season was short.

Middle Colonies


New York

  1. Was called New Netherland before New York.

  2. Dutch ruled New Netherland before the Duke of York.

  3. Located between New England to the north of the Chesapeake region to the south.


  1. Founded by William Penn.

  2. Was a colony that respected Native American’s and other religions.

  3. One of the wealthiest American colonies


  1. Part of the Middle colonies

  2. Main settlement was fort Christina and later named it Wilmington, Delaware.

  3. Founded by Swedish.

New Jersey

  1. Had long growing seasons.

  2. Most immigrants that came to the colony were Dutch and German farmers.

  3. Used mills for their crops like corn, wheat, rice and grain.

Southern Colonies



  1. Established by Lord Baltimore in 1632

  2. Based its economy on tobacco.


  1.  First 1600s, few Africans, enslaved or free, were in Virginia

  2. William Byrd the second, best known South planter in Virginia.

  3. Eventually, all labor was slave labor.

North Carolina

  1. Founded around 1725.

  2. Grew Indigo.

  3. Grew Tobacco.

South Carolina

  1. Slave labor expanded in South Carolina.

  2. Slaves were in groups of 20-25, with super vision of overseers.

  3. Large cities were rare because plantations were self-sufficient, Charlestown, a port city, was an early exception.


  1. Growth of slavery allowed farming to expand.

  2. Enslaved workers drained swamps, racked fields, burned stubble and broke ground for planting.

  3. Cultivated rice, grow Indigo.



Albany Plan of Union


Drafted by Benjamin Franklin, the plan provided that a president appointed by the King act with a

                           grand council of delegates chosen by the assemblies, each

                           colony to be represented in proportion to its financial

                           contributions to the general treasury. The government was to

                           have charge of all British interests in the west - Indian treaties,

                           trade, defense, and settlement.

What were the causes of the French and Indian War?
How and why did British policies in the colonies change after 1763?
What were the causes and effects of the Stamp Act?
How did rising tensions in the colonies lead to fighting at Lexington and Concord?
Colonial Era

Practice Regents Questions

1. In the Colonial Era, developments such as the New England town meetings

    and the establishment of the Virginia House of Burgesses represented

a.     colonial attempts to build a strong national government

b.    efforts by the British to strengthen their control over the colonies

c.     steps in the growth of representative democracy

d.    early social reform movements


Aug. ’09

2. The Mayflower Compact, New England town meetings, and the Virginia

    House of Burgesses are examples of

a.     early colonial efforts in self-government

b.    colonial protests against British taxation

c.     governments imposed by Parliament

d.    attempts to limit democracy


Aug. ’10

3. What was the main cause of the French and Indian War (1754–1763)?

a.     disputed land claims in the Ohio River valley between the French and the British

b.    conflicts between American colonists and the French over control of the Great Plains

c.     taxation of American colonists without representation in Parliament

d.    violation of trade agreements between European nations and Native American



June ’10

4. This map shows the western limit on colonial settlement that resulted from


a.     founding of Jamestown

b.    Proclamation of 1763

c.     Monroe Doctrine

d.    Compromise of 1850


June ’10

5 Which heading best completes the partial outline below?

I. __________________________

1.    Magna Carta

2.    House of Burgesses

3.    Town meetings

4.    John Locke

a.     Ideas of Social Darwinism

b.    Basis of British Mercantilism

c.     Contributions to American Literature

d.    Influences on United States Constitutional Government


6. The Virginia House of Burgesses was important to the development of

    democracy in the thirteen colonies because it

a.     provided an example of a representative form of government

b.    created the first written constitution in America

c.     provided for direct election of senators

d.    began the practice of legislative override of executive vetoes


7. The Mayflower Compact and the House of Burgesses were important to the

    development of democracy in colonial America because they

a.     expanded freedom of religion

b.    promoted self-government

c.     protected private ownership of property

d.    granted voting rights to all white males


Jan. ’10

9. The Mayflower Compact and the Virginia House of Burgesses are most

    closely associated with

a.     abuses by absolute monarchs

b.    establishment of religious toleration

c.     steps toward colonial self-government

d.    adoption of universal suffrage


In the American colonies, boycotts were an effective way of protesting British policies mainly because the boycotts June ’06

(1) ended trade within the colonies

(2) forced Britain to remove most troops

(3) kept out products from other European nations

(4) caused economic hardships for British merchants

Base your answers to questions 12 and 13 on the  illustration below


12 The main goal of most of the policies shown in the illustration was to June ’06

(1) allow American colonists greater self-government

(2) enable Great Britain to raise revenues and control trade

(3) encourage immigration to the colonies

(4) encourage Americans to trade with other European countries


13 The policies shown in the illustration led to the June ’06

(1) outbreak of the French and Indian War

(2) expansion of British trade with the thirteen colonies

(3) start of the American Revolution

(4) passage of the Northwest Ordinance


9 The major reason the British government issued the Proclamation of 1763, which banned colonial settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains, was to June ’07

(1) avoid conflicts with Native American Indians

(2) reduce casualties during the French and Indian War

(3) maintain markets for British manufactured goods

(4) promote easy collection of new taxes