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Instructional Resources

Series Info

Episodes: 4

Length: 30 min.

Grade Levels:
7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Adult Learning

Social Studies

Web Resources
Teacher's Guide


16th & 17th Century Turning Points in US History

The 16th and 17th Century Turning Points in U.S. History series chronicles decisive events – chaptered into individual segments – in the crucial colonial period that would lead to the founding of the United States of America. To the south, Spain occupied Florida and the desert southwest; to the north, France took hold along the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River; and England settled along the eastern seaboard of the Atlantic. Names come alive from America’s past. Some are well known, like Ponce de Leon, John Smith, Pocahontas, Father Jacques Marquette and William Penn; some are lesser known, such as Pedro Menendez, John Winthrop, Anne Hutchinson, Peter Stuyvesant, Metacom and Robert La Salle. All will become instantly recognizable to students.

The 16th and 17th centuries were the formative 200 years leading to the creation of the United States of America. They started with Spanish conquistadors exploring the southeastern United States and ended with 12 English colonies firmly in place along the Atlantic seaboard with well established ideals of self governance, democracy and religious tolerance.

Web resources include downloadable documents:

* Teacher’s Guide
* Primary Source Documents
* Maps
* Tests
* Timelines

Episode Guide

1. 1500 – 1585 1502 – Christopher Columbus 1513 – Ponce de Leon Discovers Florida 1539 – Hernando De Soto Explores Southern U.S. 1540 – Francisco Vasques de Coronado Maps America’s Southwest 1565 – Spanish Found First American City: St. Augustine 1585 – Sir Walter Raleigh and the Roanoke Colony

2. 1586 – 1619 1607 – Jamestown, England’s First Successful American Colony 1608 – Spanish Found Santa Fe in America’s Southwest 1614 – Pocahontas Marries John Rolfe 1614 – The Dutch Claim New York and Name It New Netherlands 1619 – The Virginia House of Burgesses Holds Its First Democratic Meeting

3. 1619 – 1650 1619 – Blacks Arrive at Jamestown 1621 – The Role of Women in the English Colonies 1621 – Squanto and Massasoit Help Pilgrims Survive 1629 – John Winthrop is Elected Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony 1650 – Anne Hutchinson and Anne Bradstreet Use Newfound American Independence to Express Themselves

4. 1651 – 1699 1673 – Marquette and Joliet Explore Great Lakes and Mississippi River 1675 – Metacom Leads “King Philip’s War” 1680 – PopĂ© Drives Spanish from Santa Fe 1681 – William Penn Founds Pennsylvania Colony 1682 – LaSalle Claims Louisiana Territory for France 1699 – England’s 12 Colonies Become Self Sufficient

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