SOCIAL STUDIES 8- AMERICAN HISTORY FROM EXPLORATION THROUGH RECONSTRUCTION (1492-1877)


Class Announcements: Beginning our Thirteen Colonies Unit


Early Settlements summatives will be returned later this week after all have been completed and scored. This week we are diving into our Thirteen Colonies Unit. We'll finish up the English Roots of Democracy Lesson and apply the colonists sense of "English Rights" to an analysis of the dramatic Bacon's Rebellion that shook Colonial Virginia to its foundations in 1676 and brought about a Royal Inquiry. After that we'll explore the rest of the Southern Colonies, then the New England Colonies, then the Middle Colonies that emerged over the subsequent decades until there were 13 very unique British Colonies on the eve of the final French and Indian War in 1750. We will take a regional geographic and economic approach. Students will work with ABC-CLIO, the Nystrom Atlas of American History, and Colonial Williamsburg activities buildt around many primary source documents. See the BIG Picture summary below- and the Guiding Questions and Identifications that you will be provided on Monday.

This unit will also feature a good deal of mapping, a culminating project (rather than a summative), and a NEW "lock box" challenge activity that will test your research / investigative skills.

Extra Credit Wiki Discussions: NEW Discussion: Can North Korea Be Stopped (Scholastic Article Discussion)

Washington D.C. Update: Fee Slips were sent home with students on Friday, September 15. All students have been paired into their roommate groups and we will be working on bus assignments this week. THE DC PARENT MEETING IS THIS THURSDAY EVENING AT 7PM IN THE HARMON COMMONS. WE HOPE EVERY STUDENT WILL BE REPRESENTED BY A PARENT.

THIRTEEN COLONIES UNIT BIG PICTURE SUMMARY

After Spain enjoyed a monopoly on settlements in the Americans for over 100 years, it grew to become the richest kingdom in Europe. (Portugal had claims on and started settling in what is now Brazil by a treaty with Spain that was brokered by the pope to divide the world between them in the name of Christianity.) Old World diseases that Native Americans had no resistance to advanced ahead of the conquistadors and wiped out whole civilizations. Spaniards found the gold and glory they came in pursuit of, and Catholic missionaries spread their faith through a combination of pressure and good works. Aztec gold and Inca silver was shipped home from the "Spanish Main" in vast treasure fleets... that were harassed and plundered on occasion by Pirates and Privateers from other countries.

The other great source of wealth for Spain and each subsequent country to establish a presence in the Caribbean will be sugar- produced by African slaves who are brought over to replace the Native populations decimated by disease.

Still looking for the original goal of an all water route for Asia, English, French, Dutch, and Swedish explorers sailed up every inlet north of Spanish territory and laid claim for their nations. They sought the "Northwest Passage" and settled for settling land... the French in the St. Lawrence and Mississippi valleys as well as the Great Lakes... and the Dutch in the Hudson Valley of what will become New Amsterdam and then New York, and the Swedes in what are now Delaware and New Jersey. All make their profits through the fur trade with Native Americans.

The English... the most democratically governed of the lot (except maybe for the Dutch), allow a corporation- the Virginia Company of London, to found a settlement at Jamestown Virginia which struggles for over a decade until it finds profit in growing and exporting Tobacco. As of 1619, African slaves will begin working the tobacco fields of Virginia. A 2nd English colony will be established by the Pilgrims at Plymouth in what becomes Massachusetts for the purpose of securing religious freedom, and the twin lures of economic opportunity and religious freedom will entice 10's of thousands more settlers from many nations to make the crossing and settle in English America.

England will establish 11 other colonies on the Atlantic coast. Geography will dictate economic differences. Economic differences will lead to different laws... and entice different types of immigrants. Regions will emerge: New England (Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire), Middle (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware), and Southern (Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia). Frontiers will expand. Natives will be pushed Westward... and fight back. Spanish, Dutch, French, and English colonial frontiers will expand into each other and result in wars that go global. Likewise, wars that begin in Europe will also be fought in the colonies. Some will in part be wars of religion.

Over time, colonies meant to enrich their mother countries will pursue the business of enriching themselves. 3000 miles away from Europe, they'll become self-sufficient and mostly-self governing. A new mix of peoples: European, Africa, and Native American at this time, will evolve into new nations well before any declare for independence.

Our present still reflects this past.


SOCIAL STUDIES 8 WIKISPACE COURSE WEBSITE: This course wiki-space has been built to be your gateway to all things Social Studies in support of what we do in class and beyond. During our opening unit you'll join the site and be given a guided tour before being sent off on your own explorations. You should visit this site regularly as part of your academic routine and we hope you will help us build this site further through your participation in discussions and by suggesting websites, videos, documents and more to add to our collection of online resources. This site complements the assignments and activities that will be shared with you through your Social Studies 8 Google Classroom.

Students will be assigned articles to read and videos to view in their online textbook: the ABC-CLIO online American History encyclopedia that is linked to the Menu. These resources offer outlines of key ideas, and all of the articles may be read to the students by clicking on the audio button. Our resources link also connects to pages packed with online resources to enrich and expand all of our units of study. To review- the American Nation text site provides practice chapter tests, and the Class Zone Activities site provides many interactive review activities. Both of these will be again demonstrated to students in class.

Every link in the menu leads to amazing Social Studies resources that will be worked with in this course.

Check Assignments in the menu to get to day by day HW assignments and class activity plans. This Wiki will always have more detailed information than the HW Hotline


More information about using this wiki follows below...

Getting Started
  • Check the Navigation Menu to the Right to access the different features of our Course Site
  • Once you have created a Wikispaces account, or sign in to wikispaces through this site you must request to join this site.
  • Once your request to join this site is approved, you will be able to participate in discussions... and eventually interact with your teachers and peers through a number of activities and projects that will be run through or linked to this site.
  • As a member of this site you will be able to edit any page. But please, edit and add only to those pages that are created for you or that you are given permission to create. This site is meant to be a great, friendly place for all 270 Harmon 8th graders to interact with their teachers and their peers. All changes are recorded and identified by author. Please help us keep this site friendly and working by reporting any postings that you find objectionable or any links or features that appear broken.

We're looking forward to a great year!
Mr. Paul Frankmann and Mrs. Nancy Tyrrell

Need Help?

  • Click on the help link above in the top right hand corner to learn more about how to use this wiki.