AP U.S. History: Unit One: Colonial America

Queen Elizabeth I

This "virgin" queen ruled England for 50 years and was one of the most successful monarchs in English History. She supported the arts, increased the treasury, supported the exploration of the New World, built up the military, and established the Church of

Sir Francis Drake

English explorer and admiral who was the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe and who helped to defeat the Spanish Armada (1540-1596)

Sir Walter Raleigh

(1552?-1618) English courtier, navigator, colonizer, and writer. A favorite of Elizabeth I, he introduced tobacco and the potato to Europe. Convicted of treason by James I, he was released for another expedition to Guiana and executed after its failure.

Philip II/Spanish Armada (1588)

fleet sent by Philip II of Spain against England, In his mind a religious crusade against Protestantism. Weather and the English fleet defeated it.

English "enclosure" of cropland

Landlords would fence off land for sheep, forcing farmers to be tenants or leave. This is significant because it caused an "economic depression in wool trade", and forced many farmers out onto the streets.

Laws of "primogeniture

laws that said that only eldest sons were eligible to inherit landed estates from their fathers. This was mainly because most landowners simply did not have enough to split between many sons. This led to younger sons seeking fortune elsewhere. Second and

Joint-stock companies

These were developed to gather the savings from the middle class to support finance colonies. Ex. London Company and Plymouth Company.

Virginia Company of London

The Virginia Company of London was a joint stock company that recieved a charter from King James I to create a settlement in America. They provided the funding for the development of the Jamestown colony.

Charter" of the Virginia Company

signed by King James I in 1606, guaranteed overseas settlers same rights as people in England, motivated by the promise of gold and finding the western route to the Indies

Jamestown, Virginia (1607)

Colony founded in the Chesapeake Bay; filled with gentlemen unwilling to do labor or work so people were dying because of lack of initiative. The colony would have died if it weren't for John Smith. John Rolfe later introduced tobacco to the colony.

Captain John Smith

English explorer who helped found the colony at Jamestown, Virginia


a Powhatan woman (the daughter of Powhatan) who befriended the English at Jamestown and is said to have saved Captain John Smith's life. She married John Rolfe. (1595-1617)

John Rolfe

He was one of the English settlers at Jamestown (and he married Pocahontas). He discovered how to successfully grow tobacco in Virginia and cure it for export, which made Virginia an economically successful colony.

Lord De La Warr

New governor of Jamestown who arrived in 1610, immediately imposing a military regime in Jamestown and declaring war against the Powhatan Confederacy. Employed "Irish tactics" in which his troops burned houses and cornfields.

Anglo-Powhatan Wars (1614, 1644)

First war fought in 1614, ended with peace settlement by the mairrage of Pochahantas to John Rolfe. In 1622 the Indians attack leaving 347 settlers dead including John Rolfe. Raids drove the Indians farther west. The second war was fought in 1644, was a l

House of Burgesses (1619)

This was a representative assembly in Virginia where election to a seat was limited to voting members of the charter colony, which at first was all free men; later rules required that a man own at least 50 acres of land to vote. It was the 1st representat

Lord Baltimore (1634)

Formed Maryland in 1634 for Catholics to escape the wrath of Protestant English government.

Maryland "Act of Toleration

1649 - Ordered by Lord Baltimore after a Protestant was made governor of Maryland at the demand of the colony's large Protestant population. The act guaranteed religious freedom to all Christians.

Barbados Slave Code

Established in 1661, it gave masters virtually complete control over their slaves including the right to inflict vicious punishments for even slight infractions.

Charles II/Restoration (1660)

Son of Charles I. Monarchy was reestablished. Restricted by Parliament and the law, increased colonial expansion. Royal Africa Company�granted monopoly in the slave trade. Anglo-Dutch War�mostly naval battles. 1664�New Netherland seized by the English. Ne

South Carolina

They had large plantations, which grew cotton, indigo, and rice. Most wanted to keep strong ties with England and followed England's customs.

North Carolina

Founded by Virginian Squatters (Poor Whites w/ No Land) It became a royal colony.

Georgia/James Oglethorpe (1733)

James was interested in prison reform and helping prison debtors and created the colony Georgia to help Britain's poor debtors in the New World. Few wanted to live their because slavery (and all Africans, for that matter) was unallowed. Oglethorpe later c

Iroquois Confederacy

a powerful group of Native Americans in the eastern part of the United States made up of five nations: the Mohawk, Seneca, Cayuga, Onondoga, and Oneida

Protestant Reformation

a religious movement of the 16th century that began as an attempt to reform the Roman Catholic Church and resulted in the creation of Protestant churches. Puritans and Calvinism were created from this movement.

John Calvin

This was another leader in the Reformation who believed in a simple faith and a simple method of worship. Calvinism also included predestination, where a person was either condemned to hell or known to be going to heaven. Calvinism caused much stress amon

Church of England (1530s)

Church created in England as a result of a political dispute between Henry VIII and the Pope. Pope would not let Henry divorce his wife. It outlawed all other forms of Christianity in the country.


Protestant sect in England hoping to "purify" the Anglican church of Roman Catholic traces in practice and organization. When they couldn't do so in England, they came to America to try purifying religion.


Group of English Protestant dissenters who established Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts in 1620 to seek religious freedom after having lived briefly in the Netherlands. They came in the Mayflower.

Plymouth Colony

colony formed by the Pilgrims when they arrived at Plymouth Rock in 1620.

Captain Myles Standish

He was the captain of the Mayflower, described as a peppery and stocky soldier. He influenced the Pilgrim's decision of a settling spot, as they claimed to have gotten lost and colonized far more north than instructed. He led the Pilgrim troops in battle

Mayflower Compact

This document was drafted in 1620 prior to settlement by the Pilgrims at Plymouth Bay in Massachusetts. It declared that the 41 males who signed it agreed to accept majority rule and participate in a government in the best interest of all members of the c

William Bradford

A Pilgrim, the second governor of the Plymouth colony, 1621-1657. He developed private land ownership and helped colonists get out of debt. He helped the colony survive droughts, crop failures, and Indian attacks.

Massachusetts Bay Colony (1629)

King Charles gave the Puritans a right to settle and govern a colony in the Massachusetts Bay area. The colony established political freedom and a representative government.

Great Migration" (1630s)

70,000 refugees left England for America. Most of them were attracted to the warm and fertile West Indies, especially the sugar-rich island of Barbados. Some came to New England and other English colonies.

John Winthrop

As governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, Winthrop (1588-1649) was instrumental in forming the colony's government and shaping its legislative policy. He envisioned the colony, centered in present-day Boston, as a "city upon a hill" from which Puritans wou


It is a term used to describe indentured servants who had finished their terms of indenture and could live freely on their own land.

Congregational Church

A church grown out of the Puritan church, was established in all New England colonies but Rhode Island. It was based on the belief that individual churches should govern themselves.

John Cotton

John Cotton, a puritan who was a fiery early clergy educated at Cambridge University, emigrated to Massachusetts to avoid persecution by the church of England. He defended the government's duty to enforce religious rules. He preached and prayed up to six

Anne Hutchinson (1638)

She preached the idea that God communicated directly to individuals instead of through the church elders. She was banished from Massachusetts in 1637. She was later killed in Rhode Island, along with all but one member of her family, by Indians.

Roger Williams

He founded Rhode Island for separation of Church and State. He believed that the Puritans were too powerful and was ordered to leave the Massachusetts Bay Colony for his religious beliefs.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island was formed by Roger Williams when he was exiled from Massachusetts. It became known as the "Sewer" of America. They offered complete religious freedom, so many exiles fled there.

Pequot War (1637)

It was an armed conflict in 1634-1638 between an alliance of Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth colonies with Native American allies (the Narragansett and Mohegan tribes) against the Pequot tribe. The result was the virtual elimination of the Pequot tribe.

King Philip's War (1675-1676)

1675 - A series of battles in New Hampshire between the colonists and the Wompanoag tribe, led by a chief known as King Philip. The war was started when the Massachusetts government tried to assert court jurisdiction over the local Indians. The colonists

New England Confederation (1643)

a political and military alliance of the British colonies of Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven. Established May 19, 1643, its primary purpose was to unite the Puritan colonies against the Indians. It bonded colonies together.

English "Restoration" (1660)

Restoration of the monarchy in England, marked the return of Charles II as king after the period of Oliver Cromwell's Commonwealth, bishops were restored to Parliament, expansion of colonial trade

Bay Colony Charter Revocation (1684)

In 1684, after the colonists had ignored Charles II's laws from England, their charter was revoked and they became a royal colony.

Dominion of New England (1686)

1686-The British government combined the colonies of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Connecticut into a single province headed by a royal governor (Andros). Ended in 1692, when the colonists revolted and drove out Governor Andros, who was

Navigation Laws

Promoted English shipping and control colonial trade; made Americans ship all non-British items to England before going to America

Sir Edmund Andros

Governor of the Dominion of New England from 1686 until 1692, when the colonists rebelled and forced him to return to England.

Glorious" Revolution/William and Mary (1688-1689)

Protestants were invited to be the king and queen- joint rulers. The Catholic King James was overthrown and the Protestants, William and Mary, took over.

Dutch East India Company

A company founded by the Dutch in the early 17th century to establish and direct trade throughout Asia. Richer and more powerful than England's company, they drove out the English and established dominance over the region. It ended up going bankrupt and b

Henry Hudson

Discovered what today is known as the Hudson River. Sailed for the Dutch even though he was originally from England. He was looking for a northwest passage through North America.

New Netherland (1623-1624)

a Dutch colony in North America along the Hudson and lower Delaware rivers although the colony centered in New Amsterdam. It became New York.

New Amsterdam

a settlement established by the Dutch near the mouth of Hudson River and the southern end of Manhattan Island. The English took over and renamed it New York after the Duke of York.

Peter Stuyvesant (1655)

the last Dutch colonial administrator of New Netherland. He was forced to surrender to the English.

New York (1664)

Established by Dutch in 1609; taken by England and was named after the Duke of York. Dutch permitted to retain their land, religion, and language.

Society of Friends/Quakers

church founded by George Fox which believed in "The Inner Light"-a direct, individualist experience with God; the church was strongly opposed to the Anglican Church in England and the Congregationalist Church in America. In 1681, William Penn established

William Penn

Penn, an English Quaker, founded Pennsylvania in 1682, after receiving a charter from King Charles II the year before. He launched the colony as a "holy experiment" based on religious tolerance.

Pennsylvania (1681)

Founded by William Penn for Quakers. "Holy Experiment". It was very carefully planned and Penn was honest in his real estate sales.

the middle or "bread" colonies

The Middle Colonies were New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. The soil was perfect for planting and agriculture blossomed. The Middle Colonies then became known for grain. Shipbuilding and lumbering were manufacturing bonuses in the middle co

Benjamin Franklin

Printer, author, inventor, diplomat, statesman, and Founding Father. One of the few Americans who was highly respected in Europe, primarily due to his discoveries in the field of electricity.

indentured servants

colonists who received free passage to North America in exchange for working without pay for a certain number of years(5-7). Only one out of ten survived their service.

Freedom dues

The dues of a master to his indentured servant after the servant's period of indentured servitude. They included simple clothing, tools, and sometimes a parcel of land

headright system

Headrights were parcels of land consisting of about 50 acres which were given to colonists who brought indentured servants into America. They were used by the Virginia Company to attract more colonists. By bringing people to America, the wealthy could cre

William Berkeley

a Governor of Virginia, appointed by King Charles I, of whom he was a favorite. He was governor from 1641-1652 and 1660-1677. Berkeley enacted friendly policies towards the Indians that led to Bacon's Rebellion in 1676.

Bacon's Rebellion (1676)

When Bacon was arrested, Bacon's men threatend to use force to get him out, Berkeley gave landless freemen a vote to mantain peace, Bacon's men still burned Jamestown and issued a "Manifesto and Declaration of the People" to end the rule of the wealthy, r

Middle Passage

the route in between the western ports of Africa to the Caribbean and southern U.S. that carried the slave trade. Many died en route.

slave codes

Slave codes were laws passed by southern slaves to keep slaves from either running away or rebelling. These laws forbade slaves to gather in groups of three of more. They couldn't leave their owner's land without a written pass. Slaves were not allowed to

First Families of Virginia

Wealthy extended clans like the Fitzhughs, Lees, and Washingtons that dominated politics in the most populous colony. They had large plantations.

Congregational Church

A church grown out of the Puritan church, was established in all New England colonies but Rhode Island. It was based on the belief that individual churches should govern themselves.

Half-Way Covenant

A Puritan church document; In 1662, the Halfway Covenant allowed partial membership rights to persons not yet converted into the Puritan church; It lessened the difference between the "elect" members of the church from the regular members; Women soon made

Salem Witch Trials (1692)

Accusation from girls in Salem, Massachusetts witchcraft against other women. The trials by the Puritan Church ended with the execution of 20. It showed the flaws of the judicial system of the time and weakened Puritan power.

Leisler's Rebellion (1689-1691)

Armed conflict between aspiring merchants led by Jacob Leisler and the ruling elite of New York. One of many uprisings that erupted across the colonies when wealthy colonists attempted to recreate European social structures in the New World.

Pennsylvania "Dutch

Known as large numbers of German speaking Protestants. They were called this because people coundn't pronounce the word Deutsch, which means German. They include the Mennonites and the Amish.


A group of restless people who fled their home in Scotland in the 1600s to escape poverty and religious oppression. They first relocated to Ireland and then to America in the 1700s. They mainly lived in Virginia, Georgia, and the Carolinas.

Michel-Guillaume de Crevecoeur

a Frenchman who settled in New York territory in 1759; he wrote a book called Letters of an American Farmer that established a new standard for writing about America.

Bread" colonies

Produced massive amounts of grain. Included New York, New Jersey, New England, and Pennsylvania. A nickname for the middle colonies because their main export was grain.

Triangular Trade

A three way system of trade during 1600-1800s Aferica sent slaves to America, America sent Raw Materials to Europe, and Europe sent Guns and Rum to Africa

Molasses Act (1733)

British legislation which had taxed all molasses, rum, and sugar which the colonies imported from countries other than Britain and her colonies. The act angered the New England colonies, which imported a lot of molasses from the Caribbean as part of the T

Established" religions

tax-supported churches, in 1775 the two conspicuous ones were the Anglican and the Congregational

Anglicans (Church of England)

Anglicans were worshippers of the religion started by Henry VIII because of marital disputes with the Pope. Henry VIII established a church almost indentical to the Roman Catholic Church, but the King of England, not the Pope, was the head of the church.

Congregational Church

A church grown out of the Puritan church, was established in all New England colonies but Rhode Island. It was based on the belief that individual churches should govern themselves.

Presbyterian Church

John Knox took ideas similar to those of Luther's and Calvin's and started a reformation in Scotland, beginning the Presbyterian Church. It is a Protestant denomination.

Great Awakening" (1730s-1740s)

Religious revival in the American colonies of the eighteenth century during which a number of new Protestant churches were established.

Jonathan Edwards

The most outstanding preacher of the Great Awakening. He was a New England Congregationalist and preached in Northampton, MA, he attacked the new doctrines of easy salvation for all. He preached anew the traditional ideas of Puritanism related to sovereig

George Whitefield

He succeeded John Wesley as leader of Calvinist Methodists in Oxford, England, and was a major force in revivalism in England and America. He journey to colonies sparked Great Awakening


It is any of various evangelical Protestant churches that believe in the baptism of voluntary believers. It was created in the Great Awakening and relies on a personal decision of acceptance.

Harvard College (1636)

The first college founded in America, founded to train young men for the ministry

John Trumbull

He was an American artist during the period of the American Revolutionary War famous for his historical paintings including his Declaration of Independence, which appears on the reverse of the $2 dollar bill.

Charles Willson Peale

He was a painter from Maryland who painted about 60 portraits of Washington, who patiently sat for about 14 of them.

Benjamin West

., Benjamin West was an Anglo-American painter of historical scenes around and after the time of the American War of Independence. He became the second president of the Royal Academy (1738-1820)

John Singleton Copley

He was an American painter who did portraits of Paul Revere and John Hancock before fleeing to England to avoid the American Revolution. (1738-1815)

Poetry (Phillis Wheatley)

First African American female writer to be published in the United States. Her book Poems on Various Subjects was published in 1773, pioneered African-American literature. One of the most well- known poets in America during her day; first African American

Benjamin Franklin

American public official, writer, scientist, and printer. After the success of his Poor Richard's Almanac (1732-1757), he entered politics and played a major part in the American Revolution. Franklin negotiated French support for the colonists, signed the

Poor Richard's Almanack

It was wrote by Benjamin Franklin. (1732-1758) It contained many sayings called from the thinkers of the ages, emphazised such homespun virtues as thrift, industry, morality and common sense. It was well known in Europe and was more widely read in America

John Peter Zenger

Journalist who questioned the policies of the governor of New York in the 1700's. He was jailed; he sued, and this court case was the basis for our freedom of speech and press. He was found not guilty.