Colonial America Study Guide


Your test on Colonial America will be Friday, September 6. It will consist of approximately 45 multiple choice/matching questions and two identification paragraphs. You will be given four terms from which you will choose your two paragraphs to write. ID paragraphs require you to write about the who or what, when, where, and the significance of a term. Below are a series of thought questions and terms that are meant to help you prepare for the exam. ID paragraph terms will likely come from the list of terms. Textbook chapters for this unit are 1-4. Refer to Mayflower (1-2) and your class notes as well.


Early Exploration: Mid 1400s - 1607   

  • Why were Europeans exploring in the 15th and 16th centuries? What did they hope to gain from this costly exploration and what made it possible?
  • What were the social, political, and economic consequences of this exploration for the major nations? (Spain, England, Portugal, France, The Netherlands)


English Colonization of North America: 1607 – 1763

  • What were the motivations for the colonization of the different colonies? When and how were they established? What immigrant groups settled there? What are the significant fact related to each colony below?
    • Jamestown, Plymouth, Massachusetts Bay, Maryland, Rhode Island, Connecticut, The Carolinas, New York (New Netherlands/Amsterdam), Pennsylvania, and Georgia
  • How did the various religious sects and their practices influence settlement and politics in the British colonies? How did religion change over time?
  • How did the main colonial regions (New England, Middle, Chesapeake, and Southern) differ socially, politically, and economically? What role did geography play in the development of their economies?
  • Who were the settlers/immigrants to the British colonies? Why did they come and where did they settle?
  • How did intellectual movements, political events, and economic policies in England impact colonial life?
  • What led to the shift in labor force in the colonies from indentured servitude to race-based slavery?
  • What were relations like between the colonists and the various American Indian tribes?
  • What events in America led to the creation of a unique American society?


Terms and People

MesoAmerican Pre-Columbian Societies

North American Regional Pre-Columbian Societies

The Columbian Exchange

Treaty of Tordesillas

Protestant Reformation

Martin Luther

John Calvin

Queen Elizabeth

Elizabethan Compromise

Walter Raleigh

Roanoke Colony

John Smith

Richard Haklyut

William Bradford

John Winthrop


William Penn


Pilgrims (Separatists)


Joint Stock Companies

Proprietary Colonies

Royal Colonies

George Calvert (Lord Baltimore)

John Rolfe




Virginia Company

Massachusetts Bay Company


“Starving Time”

Pequot War

Ghana, Mali, Songhai and African Societies

Town Meetings

Glorious Revolution

Jacob Leisler

Edmund Andros

Magna Carta

Colonial Assemblies

Mayflower Compact

James Oglethorpe

King Philip's War

Bacon's Rebellion


Navigation Acts

Enumerated Goods

Salutary Neglect

The Middle Passage

The Great Awakening

George Whitefield

Jonathan Edwards

Roger Williams

Anne Hutchinson

Indentured Servitude


Royal Governors