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Development of a New Nation (1720-1787)


Students will understand the major events preceding the founding of the nation and relate their significance to the development of American Republic.



French & Indian War Map
French & Indian War Map

"A new and accurate map of the English empire in North America; Representing their rightful claim as confirmed by charters and the formal surrender of their Indian friends; likewise the encroachments of the French, with the several forts they have unjustly erected therein." It was made in 1755. Includes notes around the edge of the map, and inset notes.

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Revolutionary War Carolinas, 1775
Revolutionary War Carolinas, 1775

map of North and South Carolina, with their Indian frontier, shewing in a distinct manner all the mountains, rivers, swamps, marshes, bays, creeks, harbours, sandbanks and soundings on the coasts; with the roads and Indian paths; as well as the boundary or provincial lines, the several townships, and other divisions of the land in both the provinces; the whole from actual surveys by Henry Mouzon and others.

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Revolutionary British Fleet
Revolutionary British Fleet

An impressive chart of British Fleet in Revolutionary War; A sketch of the operations of His Majesty's fleet and army under the command of Vice Admiral the Rt. Hble. Lord Viscount Howe and Genl. Sr. Wm. Howe, K.B., in 1776. It was taken in 1777.

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French & Indian War Map
French & Indian War Map

"A new and accurate map of the English empire in North America; Representing their rightful claim as confirmed by charters and the formal surrender of their Indian friends; likewise the encroachments of the French, with the several forts they have unjustly erected therein." It was made in 1755. Includes notes around the edge of the map, and inset notes.

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  • What causes disagreements?

  • What events brought the colonies together as a nation?

  • Explain the role of events that led to declaring independence (e.g., French and Indian War, Stamp Act, Boston Tea Party).

  • Analyze arguments both for and against declaring independence using primary sources from Loyalist and patriot perspectives.

  • Explain the content and purpose for the Declaration of Independence.

  • Why is independence important to you?

  • What factors contribute to war?

  • Which side of the independence issue would you have been on if you had lived in the American colonies? Why?

  • How did the Revolutionary War impact the colonies ability to rule themselves?

  • Does change only come through compromise?

  • Can an individual person make a difference?

  • Did the movement toward revolution cause the Declaration of Independence to be written?

  • Did Great Britain lose more than it gained from its victory in the French and Indian War?

  • Were the colonists justified in resisting British policies after the French and Indian War?

  • Was the American War for Independence inevitable?

  • Would you have been a revolutionary in 1776?

  • Did the Declaration of Independence establish the foundation of American government?

  • Was the American Revolution a “radical” revolution?




  • Parliament:  Group of people that makes the laws in Great Britain

  • Repealed:  Threw out, cancelled

  • Boycott:  To stop buying or using something for political reasons

  • Import:  To use ships to bring goods into a country

  • Patriots:  People who lived in the colonies and fought against British rule

  • Militias:  Armies made up of ordinary people who are not paid to be soldiers.

  • Representatives:  Members of government, usually ones that were chosen by a vote, to act on behalf of others

  • Sons of Liberty:  Colonists who protested the actions of the British leaders

  • Redcoat:  A British soldier, so-called because of his red uniform

  • Protested:  Objected or fought against something

  • Delegates:  People who are sent to a meeting to speak for a larger group of people

  • Loyalists:  People who supported the British government during the American Revolution








by Geoge Washington


  • "Labour to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience." - 110 Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation, 1737

  • "Nothing is a greater stranger to my breast, or a sin that my soul more abhors, than that black and detestable one, ingratitude." - Letter to Governor Dinwiddie, May 29, 1754

  • "By the all-powerful dispensations of Providence, I have been protected beyond all human probability and expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat, and two horses shot under me, yet escaped unhurt, altho' death was levelling my companions on every side." - Letter to John A. Washington, July 18, 1755

  • "To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace." - First Annual Address to Congress, January 8, 1790

  • "All see, and most admire, the glare which hovers round the external trappings of elevated office. To me there is nothing in it, beyond the lustre which may be reflected from its connection with a power of promoting human felicity." - Letter to Catherine Macaulay Graham, January 9, 1790



  • The seat of power in a government must be balanced to insure that government is effective at managing the affairs of the country without being abusive.

  • In a democratic society, all citizens have rights and responsibilities.

  • Key events led to self-government in the colonies.

  • Change comes through revolution.

  • Progress often comes at a price – the extent of which allows history to judge its success.

  • Independence was important to the American colonies.

  • Individuals, even outside of the elected leaders can have a profound impact on history.

  • Students will understand the chronology and significance of key events leading to self-government.

  • Students will understand the causes, course, and consequences of the American Revolution. 




Conflict between the 13 colonies and Great Britain began after Britain defeated France and its Indian allies in the French and Indian War. Burdened with war debt, the British Parliament tried raising revenue by passing a number of acts imposing taxes on the 13 colonies. Angered by taxes, the colonists protested. Peaceful protest turned violent and the British government reacted by passing harsh laws and levying more taxes. Tensions increased until the colonists and the British engaged in battle at Lexington and Concord in 1775. These battles marked the start of the American Revolution. On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence.


The Declaration clearly spelled out the reasons the colonies wanted their freedom and independence. The document charged that King George III had violated the colonists' natural rights. The Revolutionary War became a war fought to protect and expand the ideas of natural rights and self-government that were drawn from Enlightenment thinkers. The American troops fought British troops for seven years. When the war ended in 1781, the victorious Americans had won their freedom and now faced the task of building a new nation.  Read more...

Development of American Law After the American Revolution....

8.15 Compare the government structures and economic base and cultural traditions of New France and the English colonies.


Singing History:  "American Revolution"....

Video by: Rebecca Sager and Chelsea Coulon
Song by: Tom Wolff

8.16 Explain how the practice of salutary neglect, experience with self-government, and wide spread ownership of land fostered individualism and contributed to the American Revolution.


Benjamin Franklin's Scientific contributions...."

8.17 Evaluate the contributions of Benjamin Franklin to American society in the areas of science, writing and literature, and politics, including analysis of excerpts from Poor Richard’s Almanack, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, the Albany Plan of Union and the Join or Die cartoon.


The French and Indian War..."

PBS The War that Made America...The French and Indian War.

8.19 Describe the causes, course, and outcome of the French and Indian War, including the massacre at Fort Loudoun.



How did the French and Indian War contribute to the American Revolution?


  • Among the many causes of the American Revolution was an unexpected outcome of the French and Indian war that led to British taxation of the colonies without representation. Along with that were the many stimulating political ideas that led people to desire freedom and change.

  • The French and Indian War (also known as The Seven Years’ War) occurred between 1754-1763 and became a large scale conflict involving most of the major European nations at the time. The war was fought over several reasons including desires by many sides, mainly the British and the French, to be a colonial superpower. In North America the French and British were battling in a part of this war that became known as the French and Indian War. France had a lot of settlements in North America and the British were using their American colonies along with any native allies they could find to try and keep the French out of North America and also put down any of France’s native allies. The British won the war and took control of France’s colonies effectively making them the sole major European influence in the area.



Stories of Enemy Atrocities, Letters From the Front and Battle-Field Reports Gave Readers a Running Account Of the Fight For a Continent.



The French and Indian War Explained:  U.S. History Review...

HipHughes strips down the French and Indian War to its bare bones exposing the foundations of the future United States of America. Learn how George Washington got his ass kicked twice, where the word cajun comes from and why Pittsburgh was once part of the French frontier.

"Unexpected Verdict:  The Trial of John Peter Zenger...."

North Carolina student Richard Hernasy of St. Dominic Savio Home School placed fifth in the nation at the National History Day 2013 competition for this junior individual documentary, "Unexpected Verdict: The Trial of John Peter Zenger."

8.18 Describe the impact of the John Peter Zenger trial on the development of the principle of a free press.


Daniel Boone's Wilderness Road...

Forbidding mountains were no match for Daniel Boone. When he was hired by a wealthy businessman to forge a trail through the Cumberland Gap, he emerged on the other side of the mountain two weeks later.

8.20 Explain the impact of individuals who created interest in the land west of the Appalachian Mountains, including:  




Crash Course:  Who Won the American Revolution?...

In which John Green teaches you about the American Revolution. And the Revolutionary War. I know we've labored the point here, but they weren't the same thing. In any case, John will teach you about the major battles of the war, and discuss the strategies on both sides. Everyone is familiar with how this war played out for the Founding Fathers; they got to become the Founding Fathers. But what did the revolution mean to the common people in the United States? For white, property-owning males, it was pretty sweet. They gained rights that were a definite step up from being British Colonial citizens.


For everyone else, the short-term gains were not clear. Women's rights were unaffected, and slaves remained in slavery. As for poor white folks, they remained poor and disenfranchised. The reality is it took a long time for this whole democracy thing to get underway, and the principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness weren't immediately available to all these newly minted Americans.

The Boston Tea Party...

Before the Revolutionary War, American colonists were taxed heavily for importing tea from Britain. The colonists, not fans of "taxation without representation", reacted by dumping tea into the Boston Harbor, a night now known as the Boston Tea Party. Ben Labaree gets into the nitty-gritty of that famous revolutionary act. Lesson ideas...


8.21 Summarize the major events of the Watauga Settlement, including:






Inventing the American Presidency...



"History Lives In The Persons Who Create It."  Read more of "the Last Men of the Revolution."



Every period in a country's history has its own popular music. It was no less true of America 250 years ago than it is today.




As reported in The London Chronicle of November 11-14, 1780


After Benedict Arnold betrayed his country and donned the uniform of a British officer, he wrote a letter in an attempt to vindicate his actions. In an address entitled A Letter To The Inhabitants of America, Arnold sought to defend his conduct, and urged others in America to follow his example.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​


When the founders of the United States gathered to create the foundations of the country, they decided on three branches of government, with a president central to the executive branch. Kenneth C. Davis explains why this decision was not necessarily inevitable and what variables were up for debate.  Lesson ideas...


An Idiot's Guide to the Declaration of Independence...

First, you are not an idiot. The biggest concept lecture ever in the history of simple explanations. HipHughes glides through a brief explanation of the Dec. of Independence so you can get through that next dinner party. 

8.23 Determine the central ideas expressed in the Declaration of Independence and write an expository piece in which the legacy of these ideas in today’s world is described and validated with supporting evidence from the text.





From Bunker Hill to Yorktown:  the American War of Independence...

8.25 Identify and explain the significance of the major battles, leaders, and events of the American Revolution, including:
Interactive on the American Revolution
Interactive on the Battle Tactics of the American Revolution
Interactive on the Timeline of the American Revolution
Interactive on Events Concerning the Birth of the United States of America





Experience the excitement and dangers of the Boston Massacre first hand.




Become a Historical Scene Investigator on this case...



Become a Historical Scene Investigator on this case...



How good are you at codes? This is one that Washington probably used during the American Revolution to safeguard his messages.



An interactive currency design activity.



Sneak past enemy soldiers and deliver a letter to Paul Revere..




Spend time exploring the beautiful grounds of Monticello and get an intimate look at Thomas Jefferson.



Each film in the 'Famous Moments' series highlights a true story of historical significance, providing 'students' of early America with a better understanding of the people, places and events of this important era.



King George III vs George Washington in a rap battle.

8.27 Compare the points of views of the Loyalists and Patriots by integrating visual information through charts, graphs, or images with print texts.


Lesson Plan:  Religion and the Argument for American Independence


Using primary documents, this lesson aims to introduce students to how the American revolutionaries employed religion in their arguments for independence.



Primary Documents and Supporting Texts to Read: excerpts from “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech, Patrick Henry; The Declaration of Independence; excerpts from “Common Sense” and “The Crisis,” Thomas Paine; Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Published in 1776, Common Sense challenged the authority of the British government and the royal monarchy. The plain language that Paine used spoke to the common people of America and was the first work to openly ask for independence from Great Britain.
Primary Documents and Supporting Texts to Consider: excerpts from Andrew Hamilton’s closing argument in the trial of John Peter Zenger; excerpts from John Donelson’s journal
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