Colonial Period

  • 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 help pay for this war. They…


  • 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 colonists brought disease to the Indians and took their land. Colonists often saw…


  • 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. Egyptians, Greeks, and…


  • 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 England, you’d need such an attitude…


  • Jamestown, Virginia: Tobacco King

    Jamestown, Virginia: Tobacco King

    You probably know about the Mayflower Pilgrims, but they weren’t the first English colonists. Several years before the Pilgrims arrived, settlers arrived in Virginia. The Pilgrims came to America for religious reasons, but others came looking for opportunity. England was a crowded, dirty place and America seemed to hold the…


  • Religious Tolerance

    Religious Tolerance

    The Puritans who developed the Massachusetts Bay Colony followed their religion strictly. Although they came to America seeking freedom to worship their religion, they didn’t always give that freedom to others. Several people were banished from the Puritan community because they expressed their own ideas about religion.[caption id="attachment_376" align="aligncenter" width="232"]…


  • The Salem Witch Trials

    The Salem Witch Trials

    Have you ever gossiped with friends about someone? One person tells a story about someone and that story seems to grow, whether or not it’s true. Sometimes people are treated unkindly because others believe a story about them.In 1692, in Salem, Massachusetts, young girls suddenly developed odd symptoms. They had…


  • The First Thanksgiving

    The First Thanksgiving

    When the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth in November of 1620, they faced several months of work and hunger. During that winter, they lived on the Mayflower, which was anchored a mile or two out in  Plymouth Harbor. The men rowed inland in small boats every day to build houses, returning…


  • Profile: William Bradford

    Profile: William Bradford

    “Out of small beginnings have greater things been produced by His (God’s) hand that made all things of nothing, and gives being to all things that are are; and as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled has shone unto many.”Many of the early European…


  • In Search of Religious Freedom: Puritans and Pilgrims

    In Search of Religious Freedom: Puritans and Pilgrims

    Imagine leaving your home and setting out for a new, largely unknown world. Imagine taking only a few clothes and tools – no toys, no books, and certainly no video games. Now imagine traveling in the belly of a small boat with 100 other people. There is no privacy and…