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Treaty of Tordesillas

June 7, 1494 divided the newly discovered lands between Portugal and Spain → all land west of a certain line was Spanish and all land east of the line is East. This is the reason why Brazilians are the only Latin American country that speaks Portuguese.

Age of Discovery

The period is characterized as a time when Europeans began exploring the world by sea in search of trading partners, new goods, and new trade routes. In addition, some explorers set sail to simply learn more about the world.
the information gained significantly helped in the advancement of geographic knowledge.

Christopher Columbus

Italian explorer who claimed the island of San Salvador in the Bahamas for the king and queen of Spain.

Amerigo Vespucci

[sails for Spain in 1499] [sails for Portugal in 1501]
Writes vivid accounts of the East coast of north & South America
Mapmakers base their maps on his accounts-hence-"America"

Jacques Cartier

[sails for France in 1534]
explores parts of Canada and claims areas for France

Robert LaSalle

(November 21, 1643 - March 19, 1687) was a French explorer. He explored the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada, the Mississippi River, and the Gulf of Mexico.

John Cabot

[sails for England in 1497]
Italian - explores the East coast of New England
Basis for English claims in the Americas

Henry Hudson

[sails for the Dutch in 1608?]
Hudson Bay & Hudson River
Claims Manhattan for the Dutch

St. Augustine

Founded in 1565, it's the oldest continually inhabited European settlement in US territory
FIrst permanent Spanish settlement in N.A.


First permanent French settlement in North America, founded by Samuel de Champlain


a village in E Virginia: first permanent English settlement in North America 1607

Joint Stock company

group of people invest that money together

headright system

The Virginia Company's system in which settlers and the family members who came with them each received 50 acres of land

John Smith

Colonial leader of Jamestown who established order, good relations with Indians.

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.


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


The primary staple crop of early Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina


the condition of being owned by another person and being made to work without wages

House of Burgesses

First elected representative legislature in the New World that first met in 1619.

Bacon's Rebellion

Uprising that resulted from many conflicts, among them mounting land shortage and settlers' desires for Indian lands.


established by religious seperatists seeking a free place from the Church of England; sailed on the Mayflower in 1620 after getting a charter from the Virginia Company; by the end of the century, Plymouth had become the colony of Massachusetts

Church of England

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

Mayflower Compact

Agreement signed by Mayflower passengers to establish order in their new settlement.

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.


Colony established by Pilgrims in Massachusetts.


wanted to make changes to the church of England; non-Separatists


People who wanted to have a separate, or different church. Also known as Pilgrims.


Those like the Puritans who believed that the Church of England could be purified through reforms.

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.

Puritan migration

Many Puritans emigrated from England to America in the 1630s and 1640s. During this time, the population of the Massachusetts Bay colony grew to ten times its earlier population.

John Winthrop

Governor of Massachusetts Bay colony who wrote "A Model of Christian Charity".


the theological system of John Calvin and his followers emphasizing omnipotence of God and salvation by grace alone

Congregational Church

a Protestant denomination holding that each individual congregation should be self-governing

Anne Hutchinson

Dissenter feared not only for her theology but also because she challenged gender roles; banished from Massachusetts.

Roger Williams

A minister who advocated complete separation of church and state and religious toleration.

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 up a larger portion of Puritan congregations.

Thomas Hooker

A Puritan minister who led about 100 settlers out of Massachusetts Bay to Connecticut because he believed that the governor and other officials had too much power. He wanted to set up a colony in Connecticut with strict limits on government.

Fundamental Orders of Connecticut

Set up a unified government for the towns of the Connecticut area (Windsor, Hartford, and Wethersfield). First constitution written in America.


American philanthropist who left his library and half his estate to the Massachusetts college that now bears his name (1607-1638)

New England Confederation

1643 - Formed to provide for the defense of the four New England colonies, and also acted as a court in disputes between colonies.

King Philip's War

Major war between Indians and New England settlers.

Dominion of New England

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

Sir Edmond Andros

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

James Oglethorpe

Founder of Georgia colony.


1665 - Charles II granted this land to pay off a debt to some supporters. They instituted headrights and a representative government to attract colonists. The southern region of the Carolinas grew rich off its ties to the sugar islands, while the poorer northern region was composed mainly of farmers. The conflicts between the regions eventually led to the colony being split into North and South Carolina.

John Locke

British philosopher and major Enlightenment thinker; known for his emphasis on the power of human reasoning.


1690 - The first permanent settlement in the Carolinas, named in honor of King Charles II. Much of the population were Huguenot (French Protestant) refugees.


in 1681, Charles II awarded the land of PA to William Penn, in order to pay off a debt to his father. He established Pennsylvania as a refuge for Quakers

William Penn

The proprietor of the last unallocated tract of American territory at the king's disposal, which would become Pennsylvania.

New York

colony the English peaceably took back from the Dutch, then given to James II, duke of York and Albany (not yet king), who held almost unlimited power of the colony. Religious tolerance and property protection were promised to the people

Peter Stuyvesant

The governor of the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, hated by the colonists. They surrendered the colony to the English on Sept. 8, 1664.

Five Nations

a league of Iroquois tribes including originally the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca (the Five Nations)

Pequot Wars

Clash in 1637 that resulted as English colonists moved to settle in the Connecticut Valley on land inhabited by the Pequot Indians. The colonists were victorious and took over the Indians' land.

Great Awakening (1739-1744)

Protestant revival movement that emphasized each person's urgent need for salvation by God.

Jonathan Edwards

American theologian whose sermons and writings stimulated a period of renewed interest in religion in America (1703-1758)

George Whitefield

English preacher who toured the colonies and played a major role in the Great Awakening.

Old Lights, New Lights

The "New Lights" were new religious movements formed during the Great Awakening and broke away from the congregational church in New England. The "Old Lights" were the established congregational church.

Lord Baltimore

1694- He was the founder of Maryland, a colony which offered religious freedom, and a refuge for the persecuted Roman Catholics.

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.


the form of theological rationalism that believes in God on the basis of reason without reference to revelation


French Calvinist dissenters from that country's dominant Catholicism.


a nation's power depends on its wealth

Navigation Act of 1650,1660, 1663, 1696

Goods traded to and from the colonies could only be carried by British ships

Admiralty courts

British courts originally established to try cases involving smuggling or violations of the Navigation Acts which the British government sometimes used to try American criminals in the colonies. Trials were heard by judges without a jury.

Triangular trade

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

Salem witch trials

Several accusations of witchcraft led to sensational trials in Salem, Massachusetts at which Cotton Mather presided as the chief judge. 18 people were hanged as witches. Afterwards, most of the people involved admitted that the trials and executions had been a terrible mistake.


seniority by birth; state of being the first-born child; right of the eldest child (to inherit the entire property of one or both parents)

Indentured servants

colonists who received free passage to North America in exchange for working without pay for a certain number of years

Poor RIchard's Almanack

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. Was well known in Europe and was more widely read in America than anything except the Bible.

Salutary neglect

An English policy of not strictly enforcing laws in its colonies

The Enlightenment

Intellectual revolution that elevated reason, science, and logic.

Proprietary Colony

king/queen picks a rep (friend/trusted) to run the colony
that rep picks a governor and sets up laws


a document incorporating an institution and specifying its rights

Royal Colonies

Colonies controlled by the British king through governors appointed by him and through the king's veto power over colonial laws.

Berkley and Carteret

friends of the Duke of York who gained New Jersey and gave settlers freedom of religion

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