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Lesson 1 Early American History Timeline

· What is a timeline?

· Who was Christopher Columbus?

· What is a colony?

· Who colonized America?

· What was the American Revolutionary War?

· Who was the first president of the United States?

· What do you know about him?

Read the timeline of early American history.

  • 1492 – Christopher Columbus sails from Spain and discovers the New World.

  • 1607 - The English settle Jamestown, Virginia.

· 1619 - A Dutch ship transports 20 Africans to Jamestown. From here, African slavery would eventually spread in the Southern colonies.

  • 1620 - English citizens, searching for religious freedom and reform, leave England and settle at the Plymouth colony in Massachusetts.

  • 1765 - The first direct tax, the Stamp Act, is imposed on the colonists by the British government.

  • 1770 - The Boston Massacre occurs on March 5th.

  • 1773 - The Sons of Liberty carry out the Boston Tea Party on December 16th.

  • 1775 - The American Revolutionary War begins.

  • 1776 - The thirteen colonies declare independence from Britain. Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Ben Franklin write a draft for a Declaration of Independence.

  • 1776 - George Washington is placed in command of the Continental Army.

  • 1781 – The final battle of the Revolutionary War is fought at Yorktown, Virginia. The British army surrenders and the Revolutionary War ends.

  • 1783 - The Peace of Paris officially ends the Revolutionary War. The U.S. is officially recognized as a free and independent country around the world.

  • 1788 - The Constitution becomes law in the United States and creates a new form of government, based on individual rights and representation.

  • 1789 - George Washington is sworn in as the first president of the United States.

Comprehension Questions:

1. What did Christopher Columbus discover?

2. Who settled Jamestown, Virginia?

3. What early event eventually led to slavery and to the Civil War?

4. Who settled the Plymouth colony?

5. What were they seeking?

6. What was the first direct tax passed on the colonists?

7. When did the Boston Massacre occur?

8. When did the American Revolution begin?

9. Who worked on a draft for the Declaration of Independence?

10. Who was placed in command of the Continental Army?

11. When was the final battle of the Revolutionary War?

12. Who surrendered?

13. What officially ended the Revolutionary War?

14. What also happened at The Peace of Paris?

15. When did The Constitution become law in the United States?

16. Who was the first president of the United States?

17. When was he sworn in?

Discussion Questions:

1. Why did people leave their home and sail to the New World?

2. Why do you think so many people choose to move to America?

3. Would you want to move to America? Why?

4. If you immigrated to another country what things would you probably miss about your home country? What things would you take with you?

5. What kinds of crops are grown in your country?

6. What kinds of things are imported into your country?

7. What kinds of things are exported from your country?

8. Why are imported items usually more expensive than domestic items?

9. What imported things do you like to buy?

10. What is religious freedom? What religions exist in your country?

11. What is your religion? Are you a religious person?

12. Do you think it is interesting to talk about religion and politics? Why?

13. What is a revolution? Do you know about any famous revolutions?

14. What is colonization? Which countries have been colonized?

15. What kind of government exists in your country? What are the political parties?

16. Do you vote? Do you think your vote really matters? Why?

17. If you could be the president of your country, what is the first thing you would do?

Complete this sentence:

If I were president I would _______________________________________.

18. What other changes would you make if you were president of your country?

19. If you could meet anyone from the past, whom would you choose? Why?


Lesson 2 American History Timeline II

· Are you interested in history? Why?

· What do you know about American history?

· Name some famous explorers. Where did they go? What did they do?

· What do you know about World War II?

· Do you know anyone who was alive during World War II? Who?

· Do you have any stocks? Which ones?

· Are stocks a good investment? Why?

Read the timeline of American history.

· 1800 - Thomas Jefferson is elected president.

· 1803 - Jefferson negotiates the Louisiana Purchase with Napoleon from France.

· 1804- 1806 - The Lewis and Clark expedition across the new Louisiana lands is a success.

· 1849 - Gold is discovered in California.

· 1860 – Abraham Lincoln is elected president.

· 1861 – The American Civil War begins.

· 1863 – The Emancipation Proclamation becomes law. Slavery is abolished and slaves are legally declared free.

· 1865 – The American Civil War ends and the Union is preserved.

· 1917 – The United States joins Britain and France in World War I.

· 1929 – The stock market crashes and Great Depression begins.

· 1941 – Japan attacks Pearl Harbor and the United States enters World War II.

· 1948 – The Cold War begins.

· 1950 – The United States enters the Korean War.

· 1961 – The United States officially commits to the Vietnam War.

· 1963 – President John F. Kennedy is assassinated.

· 1979 – The Iran hostage crisis begins.

· 1991 – The Cold War officially ends as the Soviet Union breaks apart.

Comprehension Questions:

1. Who was elected president in 1800?

2. Who did Jefferson negotiate the Louisiana Purchase with?

3. Who were Lewis and Clark?

4. What happened in California in 1849?

5. When was Lincoln elected president?

6. What happened in 1861?

7. When did slaves become legally free?

8. When did the Civil War end?

9. When did the US enter World War One?

10. What happened after the stock market crash of 1929?

11. Why did the US enter World War Two?

12. When did the Cold War begin?

13. What happened in 1950?

14. What happened in 1961?

15. What happened to President Kennedy?

16. When did the Iran hostage crisis begin?

17. When did the Cold War officially end?

18. Why did it end at this time?

Discussion Questions:

1. How many leaders has your country had? Which ones did you like? Dislike?

2. What responsibilities do presidents have? What problems do they have to face?

3. Has gold or silver ever been discovered in your country?

4. Would you like to be a gold miner? Why?

5. Do you like to wear gold? Do you have any diamonds?

6. Have you ever been to the United States? Where?

7. Why do people want to immigrate to America?

8. Would you like to move to America? Why?

9. What was the Cold War about? Who was involved?

10. What is communism? Which countries are communist today?

11. Do you think communism works better than democracy? Why or why not?

12. Can you name some well-known communist leaders?

13. What is the voting age in your country? Are you old enough to vote?

14. Do you ever vote in elections? Why?

15. How do you feel about the United States getting involved in foreign wars?

16. If your country went to war, which other countries would help you? Why?

17. For what reasons would your country fight a war?


Timeline: Draw a timeline of some important events in your country’s history.

1600 1700 1800 1900


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