Three Theories of Migration: The three theories of migration relate to how humans moved from the Eurasian land mass to North America and South America around 10,000 years ago. The first theory, often referred to as "Beringia," states that humans traveled over a land bridge that is now covered by the Bering Strait. The second theory is that humans traveled in small boats from Eastern Asia and landed in Peru. The last theory rests on humans "island-hopping" from Europe and landing in eastern America.
Common Sense: Written by Thomas Paine, Common Sense is a pamphlet that advocated independence from Great Britain for the thirteen colonies. Published in January of 1776, the pamphlet made a highly persuasive case for independence that had previously not been considered seriously.
Bacon’s Rebellion: Bacon's Rebellion took place in Virginia in 1676. Led by Nathaniel Bacon, settlers in Virginia rose up against the colony's governor, William Berkeley. The immediate cause was the governor's refusal to retaliate against a series of Native American attacks on the frontiers. Bacon's Rebellion represents the first rebellion in the American colonies.
Salem Witch Trials:The Salem Witch Trials took place in and around the village of Salem, Massachusetts (though most activity occurred in the neighboring village of Danvers). In 1692, the trials represented a local hysteria in which people accused their neighbors of witchcraft, and these "witches" were subsequently hanged. The trials relied on Puritan religious ideals, but the targets were often societal outcasts and teenage girls.
Battle of Saratoga: The Battle of Saratoga, taking place from September 19th to October 7th of 1777, was the final battle of the Saratoga campaign in which the colonies won a decisive victory against the British.
Jean Ribault and Fort Caroline: Jean Ribault was a French naval officer and explorer who established a French Colony in the modern-day southeastern United States in 1562. He was a major player in the French attempt at colonizing Florida. He took over the colony of Fort Caroline in modern-day Jacksonville in 1564.
Mercantilism: Mercantilism is the implementation of national policy to maximize trade. It was prominent in Europe (at least in modernized countries) from the sixteenth to the eighteenth-century. Mercantilism promotes the increase of a nation's economic power at the expense of rival powers and was a major factor in the rise of colonialism.
Great Awakening: The Great Awakening was a Protestant Revival that moved through England and its colonies in the 1730s and 1740s. The movement placed a renewed emphasis on individual piety and religious devotion. Major leaders included John Edwards, George Whitefield, and John Wesley.
Olive Branch Petition: The Olive Branch petition was the last attempt by American colonists to avoid a war with Britain. The petition was adopted by the Second Continental Congress on July 5, 1775, and signed three days later. It affirmed the colonies' loyalty to Great Britain and implored King George III to prevent more conflict.
Coercive Acts: The Coercive Acts describe a series of acts imposed by Great Britain against the American colonies, in response to the events of the Boston Tea Party passed in 1774. The acts were intended to quell the colonial resistance but ultimately incited further uprising.
Boston Massacre: The Boston Massacre took place on March 5, 1770. British soldiers stationed in Boston, Massachusetts, shot and killed five people during a mob attack. Patriots at the time, such as Samuel Adams and Paul Revere, used the massacre to incite rebellion against Great Britain.
Salutary Neglect: Salutary neglect, a term coined by Edmund Burke, refers to the British policy during the seventeeth and eighteenth-century of being lax on the enforcement of trade laws in the North American colonies.
Treaty of Paris, 1783: The Treaty of Paris, signed in Paris on September 3, 1783, officially ended the American Revolutionary War. The Treaty set the boundary between United States and British territory in North America and is part of what is broadly known as the "Peace of Paris."
Lord Dunmore’s Proclamation: Signed on November 7, 1775, Dunmore's proclamation declared martial law in the American Colonies. The proclamation offered freedom to slaves of revolutionaries who left their owners and joined the British forces.
Indentured Servants: Indentured servants were brought to the colonies (usually from Europe) on contracts to serve for a set number of years. In exchange for their servitude, they were provided transportation to the colonies. The majority were brought to the Virginia colony.