In this unit you will learn how European nations colonized North America, and the impact this colonization would
have on both indigenous and European populations. The colonies developed into distinct regions that reflected the
culture of the people who lived there. Eventually, conflict between the European nations and the Native Americans
erupted into the French and Indian War.
By the end of the unit, you should know.
The first inhabitants of North America were the Paleo-Indians, who migrated to North America from
Siberia. These nomadic cultures were hunters and gatherers.
The Southwestern Indians (Anasazi, Mogollon, Hohokam) relied on hunting, gathering and farming, and
lived in multistoried buildings.
European exploration of North and South America had a reciprocal impact in terms of social, cultural, and
Reasons for European colonization of the Americas were religious freedom, a desire for land, economic
opportunity, and a desire for a new life.
Key colonial figures were Captain John Smith, William Penn, Roger Williams, Anne Hutchinson, John
Winthrop, and Thomas Hooker.
The colonies developed into three distinct regions based on their culture and geography: New England,
Middle, and Southern.
The New England colonies were formed by Puritans looking for religious freedom, leading to a uniform
culture based on Puritan philosophy. The economy of the New England colonies was based on
subsistence farming, fishing, whaling, shipbuilding, and trade.
The Middle colonies were known for religious tolerance and diversity. The Middle colonies were known
as the "Bread Basket," with an economy based on agricultural products.
The culture and economy of the Southern colonies were based on the the planation lifestyle and slavery.
In this lesson, the student will describe prehistoric cultures of the North American Continent.
Sometime around 100,000 years ago, modern human beings began spreading across the globe, and some of
these people came to North America. It is believed that these prehistoric people crossed to North America from
Siberia along the Beringia land bridge. During the last ice age, a land bridge or isthmus connected northeastern
Asia to northwestern North America. The land bridge is known as Beringia because it formed along the present-
day Bering Strait.
The people who moved into Beringia from Asia relied on hunting and gathering for subsistence and traveled in