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Introduction to 8th Grade U.S. History
Native Americans
• By 1400, between 1 and 2 million Native
Americans lived north of Mexico
• Culturally, Practically, and Spiritually Diverse
– Region
– Language
– Way of Life
– Religion
• Disease killed large populations of Native
How did geography influence the
culture of each tribe?
European Exploration
• Routes to China/East
– Overland
• Costly and long
– Around Africa
• Efficient, but still long
– Possible route across Atlantic
• Leads to interaction with Americas
– Trade in goods, ideas, and DISEASES
– Important themes: Gold, Slaves, land, and Missionaries
• Eventual forceful conquest of Americas
– Spain, England, France, and the Netherlands (short-lived)
establish colonies
Columbus and his Legacy
• Christopher Columbus was convinced that the
shortest route to Asia lay to the west of
– In 1492, he sailed the ocean blue!
• The Columbian Exchange
– Brought new crops like potatoes and corn to
– Brought disease, technology, and horses to North
European claims in North America
• North and South America were soon divided
between various competing European powers
• Interactive Map
Forms of Imperialism
• Colony
– A territory that an imperialist nation rules directly
• Protectorate
– A territory that has its own government, but that
government take orders from an imperialist nation
• Sphere of Influence
– A territory in which an imperialist nation has
exclusive investment or trading rights
Early English Settlement
• Jamestown (founded 1607)
– Unprepared for life in Americas
• Came to make money, not survive
– Semi-friendly relationship with local Natives
• Some trade for food occurred
– Incredibly high death rate
• Starvation and disease/sickness
Settling Jamestown
Pocahontas Saves John Smith
English Colonies
• By 1733 the 13 colonies we know were formed
– They were grouped into three regions
• They were formed for various reasons
– Business profit, religious freedom, refuge from debt
and oppression
• They were self-governing but supported by the
British government (Salutary Neglect)
– Colonists were English citizens who expected the
same rights as citizens living in England
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