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Exploration and Discovery

The encounter that began in 1492 among the peoples of the Eastern and Western Hemispheres was one of the truly epochal events in world history. This cultural collision not only produced an extraordinary transformation of the natural environment and human cultures in the New World, it also initiated far-reaching changes in the Old World as well.

The Significance of 1492
European Commercial and Financial Expansion
Slavery and Spanish Colonization
The Meaning of America
The Black Legend

17th Century

The economic, religious, and social developments that led Europeans to colonize new lands; the differences between Spanish, French, and English colonization; and the difficulties they encountered as a result of the varied climates and topographies.

European Colonization North of Mexico
Spanish Colonization
English Colonization Begins
Life in Early Virginia
Slavery Takes Root in Colonial Virginia
Founding New England
The Puritans
The Puritan Idea of the Covenant
Regional Contrasts
Dimensions of Change in Colonial New England
The Salem Witch Scare
Slavery in the Colonial North
Struggles for Power in Colonial America
Diversity in Colonial America
The Middle Colonies: New York
Slave Revolts
The Middle Colonies: William Penn’s Holy Commonwealth
The Southernmost Colonies: The Carolinas and Georgia

18th Century

England's efforts to create an empire based on mercantilist principles and the conflicts that these efforts to assert control produce. You will also learn about the forces that transformed colonial life, including an expanding population, economic stratification, the Enlightenment, and the Great Awakening.

The Emergence of New Ideas about Personal Liberties and Constitutional Rights
The Great Awakening
The Seven Years’ War
The Rise of Antislavery Sentiment
The Fate of Native Americans
The Road to Revolution