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American History 1--HIST 2111 (OER): Chapter 4: Colonial Society

American Yawp Chapter Summary

Eighteenth century American culture moved in competing directions. Commercial, military and cultural ties between Great Britain and the North American colonies tightened while a new distinctly American culture began to form and bind together colonists from New Hampshire to Georgia. Immigrants from other European nations meanwhile combined with Native Americans and enslaved Africans to create an increasingly diverse colonial population. All–men and women, European, Native American, and African–led distinct lives and wrought new distinct societies. While life in the thirteen colonies was shaped in part by English practices and participation in the larger Atlantic World, emerging cultural patterns increasingly transformed North America into something wholly different. Read more from Chapter 4 of the American Yawp.

Things to Consider

Questions to be thinking about as you move through the content of this chapter

  1. Describe the “consumer revolution.” How did it change the lives of American colonists? What were some of the positive and negative results of the “consumer revolution”?
  2. What ways did colonists pay for goods during the “consumer revolution”? Why did they have problems with currency?
  3. How was the “consumer revolution” linked to the growth of port cities in the American colonies? What role did slavery play in the economies of these cities, including northern cities?
  4. Compare and contrast the gang system of labor and task system of labor used for slaves.
  5. Describe politics and civic life in the American colonies. What ways did free men participate in civic and political life?
  6. What was the place of women in colonial society? How did expectations for marriages change in the American colonies during the late eighteenth century?
  7. Describe the development of the printing industry and print culture in colonial America.
  8. How did the Great Awakening change religious life in the American colonies? Who were some of the major figures involved in this religious revival?
  9. How did the Great Awakening contribute to the growth of individualism in the American colonies?
  10. How did the Seven Year’s War (also known as the French and Indian War) play out in North
    America? How did the British ultimately win the war?
  11. What was the cause of Pontiac’s War? How did Pontiac’s War and the Seven Year’s War led to changes in British policy towards the American colonies?

Learning Objectives and Assessment

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate their ability to read, analyze, and comprehend college level written texts.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of diversity among cultures.
  • Students will be able to recognize differing perspectives and points of view.

Course Objectives

  • Students will understand the centrality of slavery to the emerging Atlantic economy.
  • Students will be able to explain the causes & consequences of exploration & colonization including issues of trade, cultural diversity, & the origins of the American Revolution.
  • Students will be able to understand the consequences of the cultural collision among Europeans & Indian Nations, from New England to New Spain, from the initial colonial encounter through the policy of removal.
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