Colonial America

  • Homesteaders

    Homesteaders

    Western guidebooks described the plains area as a place with little water or firewood. But when the Homestead Act of 1862 was declared, even these dire descriptions couldn’t discourage settlers looking for a better way of life.

    Fun Facts

    • Anyone was allowed to claim a tract of 160...
  • Cowboys, Outlaws, and Heroes

    Cowboys, Outlaws, and Heroes

    The wide, open west meant acres and acres of land for ranching. Once the railway came, ranchers could make huge profits by shipping their cattle to large cities, such as Chicago. During cattle drives, cowboys drove cattle from Texas to cattle towns, which sprung up near the railways.

    These cattle towns were wild, lawless...

  • Conflict with the British

    Conflict with the British

    It wasn’t one incident or conflict that caused American colonists to rebel against the British government, but a long list of complaints. The French and Indian War left Great Britain with heavy debts. King George III and the British Parliament asked the colonists to...

  • Indian Wars

    Indian Wars

    Massasoit and his men taught the Puritans how to grow crops in the New World and generally enjoyed good relationships with these new settlers. But in most areas, the colonists and Indians maintained an uneasy coexistence. The...

  • The Rise of Slavery

    The Rise of Slavery

    Plantation owners in Virginia and other Southern states originally used indentured servants to work in the fields. After Bacon’s Uprising, plantation owners realized that freed indentured servants posed a risk. They began importing slaves from Africa to work on their plantations.

    The idea of slavery wasn’t new....

  • Early Expeditions to American

    Early Expeditions to American

    You probably have heard about Christopher Columbus’s voyages, but he certainly wasn’t the only explorer on the high seas. Many people went before him; most of them were seeking a faster and safer trade route to Asia and the Middle East. Their...

  • The First European Explorers to America

    The First European Explorers to America

    Was Christopher Columbus the first European to reach the American continents? His expedition was certainly well-documented, but it wasn’t the first. Around 1000 A.D., almost five hundred years before Columbus landed in the West Indies, Leif...

  • Christopher Columbus

    Christopher Columbus

    “Following the light of the sun, we left the Old World.”

    Was Christopher Columbus a hero? That depends on who you ask. He was a brave and skilled sailor and leader. Although he wasn’t the first to discover the Americas, his explorations opened the way for future

  • Life in the Colonies

    Life in the Colonies

    New England 

    The New England colonies, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, were among the earliest colonies settled but life there wasn’t easy. Even today, New Englanders are known for their tough, no-nonsense attitudes. If you were an early colonist in New...

  • Indian Relations During the Colonial Period

    Indian Relations During the Colonial Period

    We know that the Wampanoag Indians taught the early colonists how to grow food and survive in North America, but not all Indians welcomed the colonists. Many of them viewed the colonists with suspicion, rightfully so. European and Indian cultures were very...