A merchant from the Venetian Republic. He introduced the Europeans to Central Asia and China. Marco Polo's journeys inspired Columbus, and may have been one of the factors which led him to discover the "new world." Marco Polo also influenced the development of European cartography, ultimately leading to the European voyages of exploration a century later.
In 1524, Francisco Pizarro led a Spanish military expedition toward Peru, home of the Inca Empire. The Inca nobility was easily conquered by Pizarro because of the spread of European diseases earlier on by European traders.
An English colonist of the Jamestown settlement who married Pocahontas, the daughter of Powhatan, chief of the Algonquian-speaking people. John and Rolfe developed a new variety of tobacco which became very popular in Europe and brought financial prosperity to Jamestown.
Vasco de Gama
De Gama was a Portuguese sea captain who discovered an ocean route to Asia by going south along the West African Coast in 1498. He arrived in India and brought back spices. De Gama later returned to India in 1502 with twenty-one fighting vessels which outgunned the Arab fleets. The Portuguese government later set up trading posts around that area.
A country in which the majority of people share both a common culture and common political loyalties toward a central government.
A financial organization devised by English merchants around 1550 that facilitated the colonization in North America. In joint-stock companies, a number of investors pooled their capital and, in return, received shares of stock in the enterprise in proportion to their share of the total investment.
A system in which people are the property of others. Slavery occurred in many different forms for different purposes and in different ways depending on the context of the time period. (ie: indentured servants, slavery of Africans in plantations, etc.)
The fencing of open fields that surround many peasant villages for the purpose of allowing sheep to graze on that land. This worsened the conditions of peasants and forced them to work for those of a higher class if they were not doing so already.
In Europe, there occurred a rebirth of classical learning and an outburst of artistic and scientific activity. The height of the creativity of the era was during the late 1400s and early 1500s.
A person of mixed blood; specifically, the child of a European and a Native American.
House of Burgesses
The first representative assembly in America, organized by Virginia colonists in 1619.
Calvin was a French theologian in Switzerland who established the most rigorous Protestant regime, even more so then Luther's regime. Calvin stressed human weakness and God's omnipotence. Calvin also preached the idea of predestination.
A dissident who questioned the doctrines of the Puritan authorities. She believed in antinomianism, the idea that faith alone, not deeds, is necessary for salvation. She was later banished from Massachusetts Bay and founded the colony of Portsmouth in 1638 with likeminded followers.
The minister of the Puritan church in Salem who endorsed the Pilgrim's separation of church and state in Plymouth, condemning the legal establishment of congregationalism in Massachusetts Bay. Williams questioned the Puritans' seizure of Indian lands. He was then banished from the colony in 1636 for being a dissident.
An experienced English seaman who was hired by the Dutch government to locate a new source of supply of furs in North America. In 1609, Hudson sailed up a broad river (later called the Hudson River), an expedition that established Dutch claims to the surrounding area that would become New Amsterdam, and later New York.
Bradford was an English leader of the settlers of the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts.
The proprietor of Maryland. Baltimore wanted Maryland to become a refuge for Catholics, who were subject to persecution in England.
A mariner from Genoa who misinterpreted the findings of Italian geographers and believed that the Atlantic Ocean was a narrow channel of water separating Europe from Asia. Columbus set sail in three small ships in August 1492 and landed on the Bahamas, essentially unveiling the "new world" to the western hemisphere.
Gilbert was the discoverer of Newfoundland but his settlement later collapsed for lack of financing.
An English military and political leader. Cromwell led the English Parliamentary forces when England was in a religious war against Presbyterian Scotts.
Essentially a constitution.
Laws which each colony or US state enacted which defined the status of slaves and the rights of masters. Such codes could give slave-owners absolute power over their human property.
The Spanish fleet that sailed against England in 1588 with the intention of overthrowing Elizabeth I of England. The mission failed.
The Restoration of the monarchy began in 1660 when the English, Scottish, and Irish monarchies were all restored under Charles II.
A term coined by Julián Juderías in reference to the world's Hispanophobia resulting in the perception of Spain and Spaniards as cruel and intolerant.
The Dutch governor who rejected the demands of English Puritan settlers on Long Island for a representative system of government and alienated the colony's increasingly diverse population of Dutch, English, and Swedish immigrants. It is because of him and his policies that residents of New Amsterdam offered little resistance to English invaders in 1664.
The Archbishop whom Charles chose to be the head of the Church of England. Laud dismissed hundreds of Puritan ministers; thousands of Puritans proceeded to flee to America.
He led a large group of Boston Puritans into the fertile Connecticut River Valley and founded the colony of Hartford in 1636. The Hartford settlers drew up the first written constitution in American History.
Penn was a young convert to the Quaker faith. His father had been a victorious admiral in the service of the king. The royal family owed William's father a large dept, which was paid to William in 1681 in the form of a grant of land in the Americas for a colony which he called Pennsylvania.
Puritans who had left the Church of England.
Raleigh attempted to establish a settlement at Roanoke Island off the North Carolina coast in 1587, but the venture failed.
Given a royal charter for a propriety colony, a group of philanthropists led by Oglethorpe founded Georgia's first settlement, Savannah, in 1733. Oglethorpe was the colony's first governor and put strict regulations to ensure the colony would thrive such as an absolute ban on slavery and drinking rum. The colony never prospered because of the constant threat of Spanish attack.
John Smith established the first permanent English settlement in North America at Jamestown, Virginia.
Someone who settles lawfully on government land with the intent to acquire title to it.
the first born son's right to inherit his parents' property.
Dominion of New England
In 1686 James II combined New York, New Jersey, and several other colonies and created the Dominion of New England. The king hoped to increase royal control by combining the smaller colonies into large administrative units and doing away with their representative assemblies. When James II fell from power (by means of the Glorious Revolution) the Dominion collapsed.
Spanish explorers or conquerors whom Spain owed its power in the New World to.
The Virginia Company was made up of a pair of English joint stock companies charted by James I on April 10 1606 with the purposes of establishing settlements on the coast of North America. The two companies, operating with identical charters but with different territories, were the London Company and the Plymouth Company.
Maryland Act of Toleration
An act enacted by Lord Baltimore to protect his coreligionists who were a part of the minority. The act provided a form of religious freedom.
Treaty of Tordesillas
This treaty divided the newly discovered land outside Europe between Span and Portugal along the meridian west of the Cape Verde islands. The lands to the east would belong to Portugal and the lands to the west were to belong to Spain. The treaty was signed at Tordesillas Spain.
In England, the persecution of Puritans increased as a result of the policies of Charles I. In 1630, John Winthrop led about one thousand Puritans to Massachusetts shore and founded Boston and several other towns.
The name given to the chief of the Wampanoags whose real name was Metacom. He started King Philip's War in which he united many tribes in southern New England against the English settlers who were constantly encroaching on the Native Americans' lands. The war lasted from 1675-1676 and many people died. The colonists won the war and virtually ended the Native American resistance in New England.
A principal among the New England Puritan ministers.
Sir Edmund Andros
Sir Edmund Andros was sent from England to serve as governor of the Dominion of New England. He was extremely unpopular because he levied taxes, limited town meetings, and revoked land titles.
Elect puritans are puritans who have been predetermined by god to be saved. Puritans believed that their destination was predetermined by god and that the elect or saints were to be saved and they were granted church membership meaning they had the right to vote on church issues including things like hiring and firing ministers deciding a ministers pay.
This is a term used generally as an English or American Colonial expression in Puritan times, which referred to those person who were not under legal restraint, usually for the payment of an outstanding debt, because they had located recently.
The right to vote.
A landholder with manorial rights to large tracts of land.
The idea that God chooses certain people for salvation even before they are born. Sixteenth-century theologian John Calvin was the main proponent of this doctrine, which became a fundamental tenant of Puritan theology.
A Christian theocratic political economy such as those of the Puritan of Massachusetts Bay and New Haven, Connecticut. There, laws intended for the common good were based on the Bible and the right to vote was limited to church members.
Religious separatists who left the Church of England and settled in Plymouth.
Members of the Religious Society of Friends. These people believed in the equality of all men and women, nonviolence, and resistance to military service. They further believed that religious authority was found within each person's private soul and not in the Bible or any outside source.
The theological system of John Calvin and his followers emphasizing the omnipotence of God and salvation by grace alone.
The General Court served as the central governing body of Massachusetts Bay from the colony's inception.
The Great Awakening
A religious revival in American religious history. There was a sharp increase in interest in religion and an increase in the number of movements and denominations.
He was the governor of Virginia, appointed by King Charles I. Berkley enacted friendly policies toward the Native Americans that led to the revolt by some planters in 1676 which became known as Bacon's Rebellion.
A form of apprenticeship or bonded (contract) labor. It provided a way for Europeans who could not afford to pay their own passage to get to America. In return for payment of their transportation, servants agreed to work for several years.
A preacher, theologian, and missionary to Native Americans. He is the author of "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God."
One of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was a leading printer, satirist, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientists, inventor, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientists, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and he discovered many theories regarding electricity.
A vigilante group that murdered twenty Native Americans in events sometimes called the Conestoga Massacre. They were Presbyterian Scots-Irish frontiersmen from central Pennsylvania. This vigilante group was formed in response to fear and hatred of the American Indians caused largely by the French and Indian War and also by Pontiac's Rebellion.
Samuel de Champlain
Often called the "Father of New France", he was a navigator, cartographer, soldier, explorer, geographer, diplomat, and also the founder of Quebec City in 1608.
He was the "architect" of the British Seven Years' War.
Doctrine of a calling
A doctrine believed by John Winthrop and many Puritans instructing them to do God's work.
People who appeared to be godly Christian people who would go to heaven when they died.
A change of religion.
The Christian reform movement that established Protestantism as a constituent branch of contemporary Christianity. It began in 1517 when Martin Luther published his "The Ninety-Five Theses" and ended in 1648 with the Treat of Westphalia.
The first governing document of the Plymouth Colony of Pilgrims.
Great Puritan Migration
The migration of Puritans to Massachusetts in 1630-1640.
The ship that transported the English Separatists, the Pilgrims from England to Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Radical English Protestants.
A lesser freeholder of England, below the landed gentry but with political rights.
A meeting of representatives of seven of the British North American colonies in 1754. Representatives of those seven colonies met daily at Albany, New York to discuss better relations with the Indian tribes and common defensive measures against the French.
A wealthy colonist of the Virginia Colony, but more notably, the famous instigator of Bacon's Rebellion of 1676.
A legal grant of land to settlers.
An uprising in 1676 in the Virginia Colony, led by Nathaniel Bacon, a wealthy planter. It was the first rebellion in the American colonies in which discontented frontiersmen took part.
An Anglican Protestant minister who helped spread the Great Awakening in Great Britain and the British North American colonies. He was one of the founders of Methodism in America.
John Peter Zenger
A German-born American printer, publisher, editor, and journalist in New York City. He was a defendant in a landmark legal case in American.
A North Carolina uprising, lasting fro 1764 to 1771 where citizens took up arms against corrupt colonial officials.
Robert de la Salle
A French explorer. He explored the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada, the Mississippi River, and the Gulf of Mexico. He claimed the entire Mississippi River basin for France.
A British Army officer, known for his training reforms but remember chiefly for his victory over the French in Canada.
Proclamation of 1763
Issued by King George III following Great Britain's acquisition of French territory in North America after the end of the French and Indian War, the purpose of the proclamation was to organize Great Britain's new North American empire and to stabilize relations with Native North Americans through regulation of trade, settlement, and land purchases on the western frontier.
These orders, adopted by the Connecticut Colony, describe the government set up by the Connecticut River towns. It has the features of a written constitution and is considered by some as the first written Constitution in the Western tradition.
A signed written agreement between two or more parties to perform some action.
The theological doctrine that by faith alone, not obedience to religious law, is necessary for salvation.
A series of laws which restricted the use of foreign shipping for trade between England and its colonies.
Dutch West India Company
A chartered company of Dutch merchants.
The revolution against James II; with very little bloodshed.
New England Confederation
The United Colonies of New England, commonly known as New England.
A concept in sociology, economics, and history, attributable to the work of Max Weber. It is based upon the notion that the Calvinist emphasis on the necessity for hard work as a component of a person's calling and worldly success and as a sign of personal salvation.
Massachusetts Bay Company
An English settlement on the east coast of North America in the 17th century in New England, centered around the present-day cities of Salam and Boston.
Institutes of the Christian Religion
John Calvin's seminal work on Protestant systematic theology. It was highly influential in the western world.
A form of partial church membership created by New England in 1662. It was made because first-generation settlers were beginning to die out, while their children and grandchildren often expressed less religious piety, and more desire for material wealth. The Half-Way Covenant provided a partial church membership for the children and grandchildren of church members.
The forcible passage of African people from Africa to the New World, as part of the Atlantic slave trade.
The first notable African poet in America and the first African-American woman whose writing were published.
Old and new lights
Terms used to distinguish between two groups who were initially the same, but have come to a disagreement. Those who changed during the First Great Awakening were called the new lights.
An act of the Parliament of Great Britain which imposed a tax of six pence per gallon on molasses from non-British colonies. The act was not passed to regulate trade by making British producers cheaper than those from the French West Indies.
A British soldier and commander-in-chief for North America during the actions at the start of the French and Indian War.
An Ottawa leader who became famous for his role in Pontiac's Rebellion. He was the mastermind and leader of the revolt.