HIS2300: America’s Colonial Foundations

05/01/2024 to 05/30/2025 • Modified 04/23/2024

Course Description

This semester-long course provides an introduction to the major topics of the establishment of British colonies in North America, including their political, economic, and social structures; religious and intellectual characteristics; and the transition from distant citizens of Great Britain to a new American identity. Students will examine changing relationships with Native Americans, the development of racial slavery as a labor source, and European cultural influences on the various colonial regions. In addition, students will explore a variety of primary sources from the colonial era and study biographies of important historical figures such as William Bradford, John Smith, and Peter Minuit.




Module 1: Colonizing the New World

  • Week 1: Exploration & First Contact
  • Week 2: New England
  • Week 3: Maryland and the “News”
  • Week 4: The Middle and Southern Colonies
  • Week 5: Assessments: Colonizing the New World

Module 2: Colonial American Economy & Labor

  • Week 6: Land, Industry, and Trade
  • Week 7: Immigration, Servitude, and Slavery
  • Week 8: Biographical Paper
  • Week 9: Test: Colonial American Economy & Labor

Module 3: Colonial Society, Law, and Religion

  • Week 10: Colonial Society
  • Week 11: Law & Order in Colonial America
  • Week 12: Colonial Religion
  • Week 13: Assessments: Colonial Society, Law, and Religion

Module 4: Becoming Americans

  • Week 14: The Great Awakening & Colonial Education
  • Week 15: Great Awakening Quiz & the Backcountry
  • Week 16: Colonial Transformation
  • Week 17: Assessments: Becoming Americans
  • Week 18: Final Exam

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