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Joint-Stock Company

A new method of financing voyages, when private investors pooled their money as capital. The largest one in England was the British East India Company, est. in the early 1600's

Virginia Company

This was designed to be a temporary company, whose owners had the intention of getting some quick cash in the New World, and after 5-10 years, dissolve the company and everyone would return to England


The first permanent colony for the British, original settlers suffered from disease, economy stabled after tobacco was cultivated; this colony was burnt to the ground twice

John Rolfe

Considered the father of the tobacco industry in the New World

Labor Intensive Crop

A crop that requires constant care and a large work force

Indentured Servants

Individuals who agreed to work for a period of time in exchange for free passage from Europe


Small landowning farmers

House of Burgesses

The first colonial assembly, which begins the idea of representative government in the New World

Lord Baltimore

Founded the colony of Maryland and offered religious freedom to all Christian colonists. He did so because he knew that members of his own religion (Catholicism) would be a minority in the colony.

Act of Toleration

An act passed in Maryland 1649 that granted freedom of worship to all Christians; although it was enacted to protect the Catholic minority in Maryland, it was a benchmark of religious freedom in all the colonies. It did not extend to non-Christians, however.

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.


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)


Indian chief and founder of the Powhatan confederacy of tribes in eastern Virginia

Handsome Lake

A Seneca Iroquois prophet. Preached against alcoholism by appealing to religious traditions. Had Quaker missionaries teach agricultural methods to the Iroquois men.

Walter Raleigh

Inspired by half brother Sir Humphrey Gilbert, he gathered a group of settlers who landed on Roanoke Island in 1585, they vanished later on.

James Oglethorpe

Founder and governor of the Georgia colony. He ran a tightly-disciplined, military-like colony. Slaves, alcohol, and Catholicism were forbidden in his colony. Many colonists felt that Oglethorpe was a dictator, and that (along with the colonist's dissatisfaction over not being allowed to own slaves) caused the colony to break down and for this person to lose his position as governor.

Humphrey Gilbert

an English courtier whose interest in a Northwest Passage through North America to the Orient led him to an unsuccessful attempt to found an English colony in Newfoundland in the early 1580s. He was lost at sea on the return voyage.

Oliver Cromwell

English military, political, and religious figure who led the Parliamentarian victory in the English Civil War (1642-1649) and called for the execution of Charles I. As lord protector of England (1653-1658) he ruled as a virtual dictator.

John Smith

Helped found and govern Jamestown. His leadership and strict discipline helped the Virginia colony get through the difficult first winter. "He who shall not work shall not eat"


A state whose territory corresponds to that occupied by a particular ethnicity that has been transformed into a nationality


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


One of the fenced-in or hedged-in fields created by wealthy British landowners on land that was formerly worked by village farmers

Royal Charter

Royal document granting a specified group the right to form a colony and guaranteeing settlers their rights as English citizens

Slave Codes

laws in the southern states that controlled enslaved people

Barbados Slave Code

A particularly cruel slave code which made slaves subject to extremely harsh life conditions. This became the model for Southern State slave codes


One who is granted a license by the Crown to take control of a colony

Proprietor Colony

A colony set up by proprietors


Houses made of cedar that were used by coastal tribes that could house several families. They were permanent dwellings.


Someone who settles on land without right or title


Right of inheritance belongs exclusively to the eldest son

Starving time

The winter of 1609 to 1610 was known as this to the colonists of Virginia. Only sixty members of the original four-hundred colonists survived. The rest died of starvation because they did not possess the skills that were necessary to obtain food in the new world.

First Anglo-Powhatan War

declared by Lord De La Warr when he took over Jamestown; marriage of Pocahontas and John Rolfe (first interracial union in Virginia) ended war in 1614

Second Anglo-Powhatan War

aka King Philip's War


The return of a constitutional monarchy to Great Britain in 1660 under Charles II

Savannah Indians

tribe who had helped English settlers in Carolinas with Indian slave trade, but were later annihilated by the colonists when they tried to leave

Iroquois Confederacy

An alliance of five northeastern Amerindian peoples (after 1722 six) that made decisions on military and diplomatic issues through a council of representatives. Allied first with the Dutch and later with the English, it dominated W. New England. (488)

Episcopalian Church

The Anglican Church as known as in the US

Congregationalist Church

The Calvinist Church as known as in New England


Religious reformers who wanted to purify the Anglican church of all Catholic remnants


The doctrine that God has decided all things beforehand, including which people will be eternally saved

The "elect"

the name for the people who are the ones who God has chosen to save in predestination. This is the belief of the Calvinist religion and that only these people can be saved and ordinary people cannot earn salvation.


Puritans that were worried that James I would Catholic-ize England and would thus leave the country


Puritans that stay in England and resist James I with the power of the purse


A Native American that would teach the Pilgrims how to farm in New England

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 colony. This agreement set the precedent for later documents outlining commonwealth rule.

John Calvin

Swiss theologian (born in France) whose tenets were predestination and the irresistibility of grace and justification by faith

Town Hall Democracy

A form of representative government when members of a town would convene in a hall to vote on decisions made concerning the town


A false sense of goodness, often demonstrated by colonists in the New World

Anne Hutchinson

She preached the idea that God communicated directly to individuals instead of through the church elders. She was forced to leave Massachusetts in 1637. Her followers (the Antinomianists) founded the colony of New Hampshire in 1639.

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.

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.

Southern Colonies/Plantation Colonies

Maryland, Virginia, N. Carolina, S. Carolina, Georgia

Middle Colonies/"Bread Colonies"

New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware

New England Colonies

New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island

Self-sufficient Farmers

Farmers that grew enough food to feed themselves; built their own houses and furniture

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.

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.

William Laud

Archbishop of Canterbury under Charles I in England. He tried to force the Scottish to use the English Book of Common Prayer. He was later executed by Parliament during the English Civil War.

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.

William Penn

A Quaker that founded Pennsylvania to establish a place where his people and others could live in peace and be free from persecution.

John Winthrop

As governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, Whe 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 would spread religious righteousness throughout the world.


Of German origin, these people were originally Anabaptist and would settle in Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio. Many today live the same way their ancestors did 200-300 years ago.

King Philip

English name for Metacon who forged an alliance among Indians to try to end the spread of English settlement

John Cotton

prominent Mass minister, believed that only the spiritual "elect" should have any authority, to become "elect" they have a conversion experience, caused dissension in colony and would eventually lead to the founding of new colonies

Edmund Andros

He was the royal governor of the Dominion of New England. Colonists resented his enforcement of the Navigation Acts and the attempt to abolish the colonial assembly.


a statutory right or privilege granted to a person or group by a government (especially the rights of citizenship and the right to vote)


A vast Dutch feudal estates fronting the Hudson River in early 1600s. They were granted to promoters who agreed to settle 50 people on them.


Farmers that had served their period of indentured servitude and were no longer under contract

Visible saints

in Calvinism, those who publicly proclaimed their experience of conversion and were expected to lead godly lives.

Marco Polo

Venetian merchant and traveler. His accounts of his travels to China offered Europeans a firsthand view of Asian lands and stimulated interest in Asian trade.

Francisco Pizarro

Spanish explorer who conquered the Incas in what is now Peru and founded the city of Lima

doctrine of a calling

A doctrine believed by John Winthrop and many Puritans instructing them to do God's work.


A radical reorientation of one's whole life away from sin and evil and toward God. This is a central element of Christ's preaching, of the Church's ministry of evangelization, and of the Sacrament of Penance.


A promise between one and God


it claimed that a holy life was no sure sign of salvation and the truly saved need not obey the laws of God or man

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


Group of English Protestant dissenters (separatists) who established Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts in 1620 to seek religious freedom after having lived briefly in the Netherlands.

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.


Protestant sect, emphasizing a strong moral code and belief in predestination

Massachusetts Bay Company

joint-stock company chartered by Charles I in 1629. It was controlled by Non-Separatists who took the charter with them to New England and, in effect, converted it into a written constitution for the colony.

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

Navigation Laws

series of strict trade rules designed to promote English shipping and control colonial trade

Institutes of the Christian Religion

John Calvin's major work that established the theology and doctrine of the Calvinist churches; first published in 1536

Great Puritan Migration

Many Puritans migrated from England to North America during the 1620s to the 1640s due to belief that the Church of England was beyond reform. Ended in 1642 when King Charles I effectively shut off emigration to the colonies with the start of the English Civil War.

Glorious Revolution

When James II abdicated his throne and was replaced by his daughter Mary and her husband, Prince William of Orange.

General Court

a Puritan representative assembly elected by the freemen; they assisted the governor; this was the early form of Puritan democracy in the 1600's

Dutch West India Company

Trading company chartered by the Dutch government to conduct its merchants' trade in the Americas and Africa.

Bible Commonwealth

name for the Massachusetts Bay colony that refers to its tax supported churches and visible saints.


English dissenters who broke from Church of England, preache a doctrine of pacificism, inner divinity, and social equity, under William Penn they founded Pennsylvania

Fundamental Orders

The constitution of the Connecticut River colony drawn up in 1639, it established a government controlled in democratic style by the "substantial" citizens.

Juan Ponce de Leon

Spanish Explorer who discovered and named Florida while searching for the "Fountian of Youth"

Hernando de Soto

Spanish explorer who discovered and claimed the Mississippi River for Spain


This man was the last emperor of the Aztecs

Theory of Asiatic Migration

The theory that the first North Americans had crossed over the Bering Land Bridge from Asia

Christopher Columbus

Italian navigator who discovered the New World in the service of Spain while looking for a route to China

Hernan Cortes

Spanish conquistador who defeated the Aztecs and conquered Mexico

Francisco Coronado

A Spanish soldier and commander; in 1540, he led an expedition north from Mexico into Arizona; he was searching for the legendary Seven Cities of Gold, but only found Adobe pueblos.


A grant of authority over a population of Amerindians in the Spanish colonies. It provided the grant holder with a supply of cheap labor and periodic payments of goods by the Amerindians. It obliged the grant holder to Christianize the Amerindians.


3rd or 4th sons that sought land of their own


Spanish New World settlers born on the Iberian Peninsula


People born in the New World but of Spanish ancestry


A person of mixed Native American and European ancestry


religious settlements run by Catholic Priests and friars.

Father Serra

Franciscan friar who established 21 missions along the coast of California

El Camino Real

The Royal Road connecting the 21 California coast missions. Each mission was spaced one day's walk apart

Thomas Starr King

A man instrumental to the prevention of California from joining the confederacy

Treaty of Tordesillas

Set the Line of Demarcation which was a boundary established in 1493 to define Spanish and Portuguese possessions in the Americas.

Three sister farming

beans growing on the trellis of the cornstalks and squash covering the plants mounds to retain moisture in the soil.

Spanish Armada

the great fleet sent from Spain against England by Philip II in 1588

Black Legend

Concept that Spanish conquerors merely tortured and murdered Indians, stole gold and infected them with smallpox, leaving nothing of benefit


1300, they settled in the valley of Mexico. Grew corn. Engaged in frequent warfare to conquer others of the region. Worshipped many gods (polytheistic). Believed the sun god needed human blood to continue his journeys across the sky. Practiced human sacrifices and those sacrificed were captured warriors from other tribes and those who volunteered for the honor.

Great Ice Age

extended period when glaciers covered most of the North American continent

Canadian Shield

a huge, rocky region that curves around Hudson Bay like a giant horseshoe. The Shield covers half the land area of Canada.

Mound Builders

native american civilizations of the eastern region of north america that created distinctive earthen works that served as elaborate burial places

Pope's Rebellion

An Indian uprising in 1680 where pueblo rebels in an attempt to resist catholicism and Europeans all together destroyed every catholic church in the province and killed scores of priests and hundreds of spanish settlers.

Pueblo Indians

These natives lived in the Southwestern United States. They built extensive irrigation systems to water their primary crop, which was corn. Their houses were multi-storied buildings made of adobe.

Planter Aristocracy

was the head of the southern society. they determined the political, economic, and even the social life of their region. the wealthiest had home in towns or cities as well as summer homes, and they traveled widely, especially to europe. they were defined as the cotton magnates, the sugar, rice, and tobacco nabobs, the whites who owned at least 40 or 50 slaves and 800 or more acres


First Families of Virginia. 70% of House of Burgesses was composed of these people


Daughters/Sons of American Revolution

Merchant Princes

new elite of New England society controlling major trade businesses

"Boston Brahmans"

The top class in Boston, much like the FFV's

Protestant work ethic

"Do God's work, avoid the devil's";"Hard work will be rewarded, for idle hands are the Devil's workshop"

Upward social mobility

Everyone has the chance to be economically successful w/ hard work

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.

Nathaniel Bacon

Planter who led a rebellion in 1676 against the governor of the Virginia Colony

Headright system

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


New form of sermon at Puritan pulpit that scolded parishioners from their waning piety.

Middle passage

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

Bacon's Rebellion

an uprising in 1676 in the Virginia Colony, led by Nathaniel Bacon. It was the first rebellion in the American colonies in which discontented frontiersmen took part; a similar uprising in Maryland occurred later that year. The uprising was a protest against the governor of Virginia, William Berkeley.

Leisler's Rebellion

1689 - When King James II was dethroned and replaced by King William of the Netherlands, the colonists of New York rebelled and made Jacob Leisler, a militia officer, governor of New York. Leisler was hanged for treason when royal authority was reinstated in 1691, but the representative assembly which he founded remained part of the government of New York.

Half-way Covenant

A Puritan church document; In 1662, 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.


Being close-minded; unflexible

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