1. Explain why the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453 led to the European Age of Exploration. Be sure to make the historical connection as clear as possible.
2. Provide TWO solid reasons why Portugal launched the mid-15th century European Age of Exploration. Focus upon unique geographic or technological advantages Portugal possessed.
3. Describe why Spanish monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella agreed to sponsor Christopher Columbus’ historic 1492 voyage. You may look at economic, nationalistic and religious reasons.
4. Explain reasons why despite with small military forces, both Hernan Cortes and Francisco Pizarro successfully conquered the Aztec and Incan empires.
5. Describe what Ferdinand Magellan accomplished during the 1500s in the Age of Exploration AND how it inspired new goals for French and Dutch explorers.
6. Define and explain what was the Protestant Reformation in Europe during the 16th century. Note: frame your answer with explaining how the Reformation opposed Catholicism and NOT the story of how Henry VIII brought Protestantism to England.
7. Explain why Jamestown was founded on economic reasons and why religious reasons best explains the founding of Plymouth Colony.
8. Describe TWO core religious beliefs of PURITANISM. Note: be sure describe these core beliefs found within Puritanism not in Protestantism in general.
9. Identify the two sides and origins of KING PHILIP’S WAR (1675-76) in colonial New England. Note: do not describe the events and outcome of the war. Just who fought in the war and how it began.
10. Describe what caused the French and Indian War (1754-1763). How does the war serve as an example of the European Wars of Empire during the 17th and 18th centuries.
11. Briefly describe what happened during the Boston Massacre on the night of March 5, 1770.
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Topic#1 Study Guide Questions
1. What are some themes and historical perspectives, both national and world, in studying
early American history?
Some of the key themes and historical perspectives include the fact that American history is
based on ideals and principles which is based on a commonality, such as unwavering belief in a
popular Government and freedom, liberty, equality and justice. Secondly, American history is the
creation of modern times, given that it is the creation of the 18th century. Thirdly, America was
founded on a risky political experiment, which entailed the need to develop the first modern
republic capable of longevity and durability.
2. Briefly describe how the original Native Americans arrived in the Western Hemisphere.
The original Native Americans were from Africa, given DNA evidence which is the most
agreed-upon idea. These Native Americans went to North and South America, also known as
Western Hemisphere. The Native Americans landed in the Western Hemisphere through
migration from Asia to the Americas upon leaving Africa. During the ice age, sea levels dropped,
and ice sheets and glaciers were all over the place. Therefore, the people were not aware that
they were entering another continent, i.e. when leaving Asia to North America because they were
probably foraging for food; hence there was a formation of a natural land bridge known as
Beringia due to low sea levels and low ice. However, after the ice age, the level rose hence
recreating the barrier between Asia and North America.
3. Survey the diverse lifestyles, social organizations, and civilizations found among the
Native Americans within the Ancient Americas.
Native Americans were nomadic; they also hunted for food and were gatherers. The gathering
also entailed collecting plants. These Native Americans could place roots upon setting roots,
hence beginning agricultural activities and building homes for settlement. Furthermore, the
Native Americans also began to develop urban city life that could accommodate multiple people
in structures hence developing cities. Additionally, there was a creation of political empires,
science and technology over time. However, one cannot narrow down the Americas into one
person; for example, in 1492, it was determined that there were 350-500 major tribal groups, 160
linguistic groups and 15 major cultural groups.
4. Where did the Aztecs and Incas live in the Western Hemisphere? What kind of similar
political systems did they possess?
Aztecs established themselves in central Mexico. Incas was located in present-day Peru. The
similarity between the Aztecs and Incas is that both political systems are militaristic empires.
5. Describe a typical European view of the known world in 1450. What would such a map
The map would include Europe and its adjoining nations within it. Furthermore, the map would
include the Middle East due to trade connections, crusades and much more. The map would also
include India; South Asia due to connections with the Islamic empire, which became part of the
geographical knowledge of Europe. Additionally, China and Europe were known due to trade
routes, and Russia was known as well-being located directly on top of China. Therefore, the map
would include Europe, South Asia, the Middle East, South East Asia. However, the map would
not include Japan, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand and North Africa because no European had
not been there before; hence they would not know anything about the area. These areas were
known but not visited. Nonetheless, there was no known knowledge of North America, South
America, North and South Pole and complete, accurate knowledge of the Pacific. Therefore,
these areas were not available on the map.
6. Explain what precipitated the European Age of Exploration during the mid-15th
The main motivation for exploration was a basic human curiosity to see what was more in the
world in terms such as beyond the Atlantic Ocean. Still, more is needed than curiosity at the end
of the day. Nonetheless, multiple reasons have been developed explaining The reason for
European exploration. Still, the main agreed upon reason is looking for a sea route that connects
Europe with East Asia. Therefore, the main reason was significantly economical.
7. Offer reasons why Portugal launched the Age of Exploration and the key role of Prince
Henry the Navigator.
Portugal launched the age of exploration because it was located in a region that provided it with
the best geographical advantage to secure the sea route along with Africa that connects Europe
with East Asia. One of the reasons it was geographically advantageous was because it is located
the furthest country from Europe in the west into the Atlantic. Therefore, Portugal allowed
sailors to go around Africa as a launching point, providing a shorter route. Another reason is the
psychological worldview advantage of the Mediterranean Sea due to the geographical advantage.
Therefore, Portugal looked westward, outward to move along Africa. Finally, Portugal had more
knowledge of the Atlantic Ocean than other European nations, hence building the best boats,
winds, waves, and temperature features of the water. The role of Prince Henry the Navigator was
to sponsor and lead the exploration, such as encouraging his engineers and builders to build the
caravel, which was a great ship, set up a navigation school that would have the best maps.
8. Describe the accomplishments of Bartholomeu Dias and Vasco da Gama. What
territories did Portugal explore by 1500?
In 1488, Bartholomeu Dias got to the southern tip of Africa. On the other hand, Vasco da Gama
reached the western side of India in 1498 hence completing the direct sea route from Europe to
the Indian Ocean. Portugal’s areas explored by 1500 were Cape Verde Island, Cape of Good
Hope, Natal, Mozambique, Mombassa, Malindi and Goa.
9. Trace the background and rise of Christopher Columbus during the Age of Exploration.
Christopher Colombus was born in 1451 in Goa, Italy and was from a modest family.
Furthermore, during his mid-20s, he arrived in Portugal in 1476. While in Portugal, talks on
developing the best route from Portugal to connect Asia with Europe was the talk of the time. He
sets up his life in Portugal; he sells books and maps hence having access to map knowledge. He
wanted to discover the westward route to Asia and considered it his destiny.
10. Describe the role of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in Columbus’ venture to the
The role of King Ferdinand is that he and his wife were a monarch; hence for such a voyage as
that of Christopher Columbus taking place, there must be monarchical financial support.
Therefore, Columbus needed their financial support as the monarchs of Portugal but was denied.
11. Trace Columbus’s path, arrival, and Native American encounters into the Americas in
Columbus began his journey in Palos, Spain, moved south to the Canary Islands, and decided
that all he needed was to sail west. Therefore, the three ships are in the middle of the water;
hence, they travelled for three weeks without land sight. Finally, on October 12th, the crew found
land and landed on an island in the Bahamas, referred to as Salvadore. He then proceeded to the
present-day coast of Cuba, and on December 25th, Santa Maria was destroyed on a reef.
However, a forte was built, and men were asked to remain to guard the forte. Therefore, the ships
had to go back. Therefore, he never reached Asia. Furthermore, he never set foot on land that
would become part of the United States one day.
The Native Americas encounter seems as though the natives were hiding from him as though
scared because they could not make out who or what he was based on a painting. However,
Columbus holds that he found the people friendly and spread Catholicism without force. He
sought to trade with them with the native Americans. Columbus considered them poor people.
12. What significant historical and global effects of Columbus’ 1492 voyage?
Columbus’s historical and global effects were that Spain became the first European country to set
their presence in the new world. The rationale was based on the fact that Columbus sailed for
Spain. Furthermore, he led to the determination of perceptions of Columbus of good and bad
modern Americas. In the modern-day, Columbus is perceived as a symbol of all the bad things
that happened to the Americas, such as slave trade, disease and being an invader. However, he
was considered a hero for discovering new land in the past.
13. What were the provisions of the Treaty of Tordesillas (1494)
The provisions of the Treaty of Tordesillas held that Portugal and Spain’s land claims were
divided whereby a vertical line was drawn showing that Portugal was on the right side while
Spain was on the left.
14. Describe the goals and ambitions of the Spanish conquistadores.
The goals and ambitions of Spanish conquistadores were to gain more power from a political
perspective, furthering their wealth, such as in gold and silver. Finally, they wanted to spread
their Christianity, especially from the missionary perspective.
15. Identify the exploratory achievements or conquests of these men:
a) Juan Ponce de Leon
He contributed to the exploration of the peninsular of Florida.
b) Hernan Cortes
He was a conqueror of Aztech civilization hence ceasing to exist.
c) Vasco Nunez de Balboa
He was the first to reach the Pacific Ocean in 1513
d) Francisco Pizarro
He was the conqueror of the Incas
e) Hernando de Soto
He explored some areas of the present-day southeastern United States.
f) Francisco Coronado
He explored the present-day southwestern parts of the United States such as Arizona, Kansa etc.
16. What impact did the Spanish leave on the New World? What constitutes the Latin
The impact was that the Spanish were the first colonial empire in the New World. Therefore,
opening room for further colonization from other regions of the New World. Additionally, the
Spanish led to the future United States interaction/neighbours; once the United States landed in
North America, the Latin America World would be a neighbour to the United States. The Latin
American world is more than a geographical region but a language, i.e. Spanish, speaking world
of Latin America. Furthermore, it constitutes the region of the Roman Catholic World.
17. Describe the features and effects of the Columbian Exchange.
The features of the Columbian exchange entails the biological, plant/ animal exchange that
would take place between the old and the new world. Furthermore, these exchanges were
indigenous to both regions. The effects were that diseases would take place that was not
available before 1942, and the region would have no immunity of cure because the old and new
world is from two biospheres. For example, smallpox and malaria were not available in Europe
before 1942. Therefore, leading to a significant death rate.
18. Describe and recount the momentous exploratory accomplishment of Ferdinand
Ferdinand commenced the circumnavigation of the globe but did not complete it. During the
westward route heading to Asia, the voyage provided the physical evidence of the world being
19. What was the motivation behind French exploration?
Their motivation was the discovery of the Northwest Passage during the 1520s, which would
provide a connection between the northern water route linking the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans.
Therefore, cutting the distance to Asia.
20. Describe the exploratory accomplishments of:
a) Giovanni da Verrazzano
He went north along the coastline of North America to find an inlet to the continent’s interior that
would take him to the Pacific hence passing by modern-day New York. His exploratory
accomplishment was to inform other explorers to find an opening to reveal the northwest
passage. Therefore, showing that to find the passage, voyagers need to go further north.
Consequently serving as an elimination process in finding the passage.
b) Jacques Cartier
In 1534, he explored the Newfound Land region. He instead found a river that took him further
within the river that he named the St. Lawrence River. Additionally, there is a likelihood that he
names the land Canada.
c) Samuel Champlain
He was the first person who founded France’s settlement known as Quebec, which was in
Canada. Therefore, the French could establish cities on the settlement.
21. What were the results and overall accomplishments of French exploration?
The French exploration led to the establishment of a colony presence within Canada. The French
increased their wealth through trading which the Natives. The French were not exploiters or
subjugators of the Native American people and received furs and fishing in the trade. Therefore,
they sought to have the Native Americans are trading partners, which would help during side
selection during the war.
22. Describe the motivations for Dutch exploration and then trace the voyages and tragedy
of Henry Hudson.
The motivation for the Dutch exploration was to search for the Northwest Passage hence having
a shortcut route to Asia. The tragedy was that Henry Hudson, his son and men were on a lifeboat
drifting away on Hudson Bay. One of the voyages that Henry Hudson would explore is the 1609
voyage known as the Hudson Bay. Another voyage was the Hudson Straight of 1610 and 1611.
Therefore, the mutineers abandoned Hudson and the rest, which led to their eventual death.
Furthermore, these mutineers were not held accountable for their actions.
Topic#2 Study Guide Questions
1. Explain why England was a latecomer in the Age of Exploration. Trace how Henry
VII founded the Tudor Dynasty.
England was a latecomer in the age of exploration because at other nations were acquiring
colonies and exploring, England was experiencing misunderstandings between the Catholics and
protestants. King Henry Tudor the seventh founded the Tudor dynasty by the process of
inheritance by the judgement of God in the war. The event occurred when Henry vii killed
Richard iii at the war at Bosworth in 1485.Henry vii was crowned and secured a parliamentary
acknowledgement on 30th of October.
1. What was the purpose and result of the 1497-98 John Cabot voyage?
John Cabot was an Italian seafarer who visited England during the regime of king Henry vii.
John Cabot was seeking to find a shorter route to Asia a region believed to be rich in minerals
and resources. The purpose resulted to the discovery of a shorter route across the Northern
1. What was the European Protestant Reformation?
European protestant reformation was a reform movement that happened in Europe in 1500.It
led to the formation of a religious sub branch called Protestantism. The name resulted to a group
of religious affiliations that separated for the Roman catholic due to doctrine differences.
Describe how the English throne passed to Henry VIII upon the death of his
Arthur was a well-educated and in good health state. He decided to marry Catherine in
1501.The couple moved to Ludlow Castle where Arthur passed on from sweating sickness. After
the death of Arthur, Henry viii assumed the throne.
1. Because of the circumstances of his first marriage, explain why Henry VIII brought
Protestantism to England
In 1532, Henry viii wanted his marriage to be annulled. Pope clement refused to consent the
annulment. Henry viii decided to separate the entire nation of England from the Roman Catholic.
1. Who were the children from Henry VIII’s first three marriages? Describe also their
Henry’s first child was Mary Tudor. She was a roman catholic. Mary attempted to restore
catholism through persecution of the protestants. Mary Tudor was Catherine’s daughter. Henry’s
second wife bore Elizabeth. Although Elizabeth was raised as a catholic, she was a protestant
and worshiped at the church of England. Henry’s third child from his third marriage was Edward.
Edward was a protestant. He was the first English monarch to be raised as a protestant.
7.Describe the personal and leadership traits of England’s Queen Elizabeth I
Queen Elizabeth I was a clever queen. She was however a short-tempered queen a trait she
inherited from her mother and father. She was educated and intelligent queen.
8.Explain the conflict between Queen Elizabeth I and Spanish King Philip II
England had become a protestant country under the reign of queen Elizabeth I. King Philip
was a catholic. Philip wanted to reinstate England to be a catholic nation but queen Elizabeth
was against the idea. Queen Elizabeth was also aiding the rebels to fight king Philip ii thus
leading to the conflict the existed between the two.
9. Who were the “sea dogs” like Sir Francis Drake? Describe Drake’s exploration
The sea dogs were the privateers who used to attack the Spanish settlements in the 16th
century. The sea dogs were sponsored by queen Elizabeth I. Francis Drake is known for his
accomplishment in circumnavigating the world in an expedition and also capturing the
Cacafuego vessel treasure.
10. Describe the early English exploration effort of Sir Humphrey Gilbert
Gilbert started the English settlement in Ireland and moved to North American to identify the
North west passage. Humphrey identified settlements in Newfoundland.
11.Trace the background and events of the ill-fated Roanoke Colony. Discuss the roles of
Sir Walter Raleigh and John White.
The development of the Roanoke colony was an attempt by Sir Walter Raleigh to locate the
first permanent English settlement in the Northern part of America. John White was the governor
of the second failed mission. Sir Walter Raleigh was the captain of the guard of army of queen
12.Describe the impact of the Spanish Armada on the future of the New World
Queen Elizabeth defeat to Armada made England to be recognized as a world class power
nation. It also introduced long range weapons in the world.
13. Describe the hisstory and development of the Jamestown colony. List some
disadvantages the colonists faced that could have prevented colonial success.
Jamestown colony was the first English colony in Northern America. The English men arrived
in 1607 and chose Jamestown colony in Virginia. They believed that a colony would enrich
them. It is currently known as Williamsburg. The colonies faced disasters such as drought,
diseases and threat of attack.
14.Discuss the background, role, and efforts of John Smith within the Jamestown colony
John Smith was born in 1580 in the United Kingdom at a place known as Lincolnshire. He was
an English soldier and explorer. John Smith instilled discipline among the settlers. He guided the
settlers during planting seasons and led the reconstruction of the fort that had been destroyed
15. Discuss the background and contributions of Pocahontas and her father Chief
Pocahontas was the daughter of chief Powhatan. Pocahontas was born in 1596. The Powhatan
chiefdom had a population of around twenty-five thousand residents. Powhatan was a leader of
more than thirty tribes and controlled the Jamestown settlement in 1607.Pocahontas helped to
feed the hungry settlers and helped in the negotiation of the release of Powhatan prisoners in
16. Trace the events in Jamestown from 1609-1614. Look at warfare between the
Jamestown settlers and the Powhatan Indians and the relationship between Pocahontas
and John Rolfe
In 1609, Jamestown experienced a food shortage and leadership crisis. The Powhatan warriors
killed many Colonists at James Fort. The war between the English settlers and Powhatan was as
a result of land. The English settlers wanted the land while the Powhatan resisted the move.
Pocahontas later married the tobacco planter John Rolfe.
17.Describe and explain the significance of two major events in Jamestown in 1619
In 1619, enslaved African Americans arrived in Jamestown and that set the arrival of slave
trade in North America. The first democratic assembly convened in Jamestown in 1619.It also
marked the arrival of first Africans in North America.
18. Define and describe the core religious beliefs of Puritanism.
The puritans believed that it was necessary for one to have a covenant relationship with God
for one to redeem his sinful condition. Puritans also believed that the holy spirit was the
emerging instrument for salvation.
19. Differentiate the beliefs and goals between the mainstream Puritans and the
The separatists believed that the only way to live according to the Biblical precepts was to
avoid the church of England. The puritans believed that they could transform the church for the
20. Trace the 1620-21 voyage of the Pilgrims from Holland to Plymouth Colony in
The pilgrims were the English settlers who arrived in North America and established the
Plymouth colony. They migrated from Netherlands due to their rising numbers. They believed
that the protestant environment was affecting the belief of their children.
21. Within the Plymouth Colony, describe and explain the importance of:
a. Mayflower compact –
Established the first self-government in the world.
a. William Bradford –
Aided in the stabilization and shaping of the political institutions in the first colony in
a. Samoset –
He was the pioneer native American to make contact with the pilgrims of Plymouth
● Aided in the establishment of a treaty between Wampanoag and the colonists.
● He was the leader of Wampanoag. During the disease outbreak, he collaborated with the
colonists to save his people.
22. What was the Great Puritan migration (1630s and 1640s)
Refers to the migration of Puritans to Massachusetts. The puritans came with family groups
rather than individually. They were mainly encouraged for freedom to embrace their beliefs.
23. What was the importance of John Winthrop in the Massachusetts Bay Colony? Explain
the meaning behind the phrase “city upon a hill.”
John Winthrop was the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay colony. He was an educated
governor thus provided good leadership skills. The phrase ‘city upon a hill’ described how
Massachusetts would shine for the world.
24. Describe the New England Puritan views of society, law and governance
The Puritans believed that the church of England had similarity with the Roman Catholics and
should do away with ceremonies that are not found in the Bible. They believed that no single
group should be trusted to run the government. They put emphasis on the education system
which led to the American education system. They emphasized equality under the regulation for
the male citizens and also insisted on the work ethic and maritime economy.
25. Trace the history of Roger Williams, his beliefs and how he founded Rhode Island
Ruger Williams was a puritan minister born in 1603 in the United Kingdom. Williams founded
a Baptist church in the United States of America. Roger Williams campaigned for the separation
of the state and the church in the United States of America. In 1636, Williams moved to
Narragansett Bay on the land acquired from the Indians of Narragansett. He discovered the town
of Providence and the colony of Rhode Island.
26. Trace the origins, events and significance in New England history of King Philip’s
Was regarded as the first Indian war. It was the first British American war. It involved war
between the American natives and the English settlers. Its cause was the Plymouth’s colony in
1675 by the Philip’s warriors who were found guilty of murdering John Sassamon.King Philip
war is considered as the bloodiest war in the United States of America on per capita basis.
27. Trace the origins, events and aftermath of the Salem Witchcraft Trials (1692). What
are some theories why this event occurred?
Encompassed of a series of prosecutions on individuals who were accused of witchcraft in the
region of Massachusetts between 1692 and 1693.More than two hundred people were accused.30
individuals were found guilty. Nineteen individuals were executed by hunging. They campaigned
against Puritanism and made people to develop distrust on the government.
28. Give brief histories on the founding of these English colonies. Look at specific
founders, economic or social motivations or actual takeovers
Was found in 1632 after the approval by King Charles I. It was the colony of Cecil
Calvert. In 1684, when Baltimore moved to England due to the disputes with Penn.Lord
Baltimore’s failure to return to Maryland made Protestantism to take the control of the colony in
In 1663, King Charles II granted a huge piece of land to eight noblemen to the south of the
Virginia region. The brand colony was renamed “Carolina,” which is the Latin form of the name
Charles. The settlement’s individuals developed a legislative structure known as “the
Fundamental Constitution of the Carolinas.”
March 4th, 1681, Charles II of England accorded William Penn the Province of Pennsylvania
in exchange for a £ sixteen thousand debts owing to Penn’s father by the head (about £two
million one hundred thousand in 2008, adjusted for retail inflation). Penn developed a
proprietary colony for Quakers to conduct their faith in harmony.
d) New York and New Jersey
History of New Jersey began with the conclusion of the Younger Dryas, around 15,000 years
ago, and continues to the present. They divided into loosely structured bands that moved from
place to place on a seasonal basis in the beginning. As a result, extended family groupings started
to settle in certain places for longer periods of time about the year 500 A.D., when the bow and
arrow and pottery were invented. The Dutch explored Manhattan Island and founded the colony
of New Amsterdam 1624, two years after their initial settlement along the Hudson River. The
region was nicknamed New York when the English acquired possession of it in 1664.
The state of Delaware was founded by Christopher Columbus in 1607. During the Dutch
colonization of Delaware, the town of Lewes became the first European colony. In a short period
of time, they established a trade between them and Americans, who, after a dispute between the
two groups, attacked and completely destroyed the colony.
Georgia was finally formed in 1732 to safeguard South provinces and Carolina against
Spanish invasion via Florida, which had occurred at the time. Georgia established a slave colony
in 1749, despite widespread resistance to slavery, especially among religious immigrants.
However, they were the minority, and slavery was abolished in the state. Georgia was officially
recognized as a royal colony in 1752. Although they attempted, the trustees were unsuccessful in
establishing self-government, and they gave up before the 21-year charter had expired.
a. Connecticut and New Hampshire
The Massachusetts Bay Connecticut’s Governor John Haynes and Colony’s Thomas Hooker
were the colony’s founding fathers. Haynes and Thomas led a group of 100 individuals to
Hartford in 1636. The “Fundamental Orders of Connecticut” were enacted by the settlers due
citations from Hooker, a Puritan clergyman. The colony of New Hampshire was the first of the
original 13 colonies to proclaim independence from the United Kingdom in 1776. Born in 1623,
the state of New Hampshire was one of the thirteen founding colonies of the United States of
America. Captain John Mason was awarded property in the New World, and he called the new
colony after his hometown in Hampshire County, England, which is where he was born. Mason
sent immigrants to the newly discovered land in order to establish a fishing colony.
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