Age of Exploration

  • For the link to the Trail of Tears video,Click Here 


    Age of Exploration Vocabulary


    this is when separate items join together or when small things join to become a larger thing.
    something that tastes good enough to eat.
    Spice Islands
    also known as the East Indies.  It is an area south of China that was known to produce the spices wanted in Europe
    the social structure in Europe during the Dark Ages.  At the top was royalty, then priests/ and knights, next was merchants and traders, the bottom were peasants.  *See the image below this table to get an illustration of the social structure of Feudalism in the Middle Ages
    the leader of the Roman Catholic church
    Ottoman Empire
    a large area of land in North Africa, the Middle East and South West Asia controlled by Muslim rulers
    the money you earn AFTER you pay for what the item costs you
    determining where you are and where you are going
    Astrolabe/ Sextant
    an instrument used to navigate by measuring the location of the stars
    a group traveling, often by camel
    a fast, large, light and strong ship made for trade
    Dark Ages a war like time between 400AD and 1000AD in Europe
    a period of time beginning about the year 1200AD when Europe began to civilize again after the Dark Ages.
    Age of Exploration A period of about 300 years where Europeans searched around the world mostly looking for ways to Asia and then for things in the New World.
    AD or CE

    ADAnno Domini (years of God in Latin) 

    CECommon Era

    This is the time after the Catholic calendar began to be used.  Modern time.

    BC or BCE BC= Before Christ/  BCEBefore the Common Era The time before the Catholic calendar began to be used.
    New World This refers to North America and South America.  Europeans called them this because it was an entirely new place to them and was filled with things they had never seen before.


    The image below might assist you in understanding the social structure in the Middle Ages.

    Social Structure in the Middle Ages

    Pyramid / hierarchy of medieval society

    Here is the image we were using in class to describe the locations of some of the places we discussed.  Use it to assist you on coloring your map.

    Asia, Europe, Africa and East Indies map




    Important Events

    Date (about)


    50 BC 
    Roman Empire Begins
    Birth of Christ/ Catholic Calendar begins
    400 CE
    End of Roman Empire- Beginning of the Dark Ages
    1200 CE
    End of the Dark Ages- Renaissance begins
    1300 CE
    Marco Polo travels to China- Age of Exploration begins
    Columbus reaches the New World


     Here are the links for the 4 short videos we saw over the last few days in class.

    Video 1

    Video 2

    Video 3

    Video 4

    These next three videos are more from the collection above but we will not be watching them in class.  If you are interested though... have a look.

    Video 5

    Video 6

    Video 7

    Age of Exploration Quizlet

    Age of Colonization

    Here is the map we will use as a reference for the next few weeks.

    British, French, Russian, and Spanish claimed territory in North America 


    Spanish Colonies Vocabulary



     Give or donate something to someone        
    Circle the earth
    Spanish conqueror
    Northwest Passage
    a way to get through North America to the Spice Islands
    land that is ruled by a country far away
    a country that controls many colonies
    land that separated two other lands
    a Spanish ranch
    self sufficient
    able to take care of your own issues
    mission/ missionary a person who travels to spread religion

    French Colonies Vocabulary

    civil war
     A fight between two sides within the same country                                                            
    royal colony
    A colony owned by the king
    proprietary colony
    A colony owned by a person picked by the king
    A large farm usually to earn money
    fur trade
    The exchange of animal skins for other goods

    English Colonies Vocabulary Part I

    sea dog
    commander of an English ship that attacks Spanish or French ships                                                                
    private citizens hired to attack Spanish ships
    a thief on the sea or ocean
    raw material
    a resource that can be used to make a product
    natural resources
    something we can use found on earth
    man made resources
    something we can use made by humans
    labor resources
    capital resources
    armada A giant fleet of warships

    English Colonies Vocabulary Part II

    cash crop
     Things grown to be sold- tobacco, indigo, cotton, rice                                     
    Doing well-having what you want
    A group of people who make laws 
    A person who travels for religious reasons
    self rule
    control one's own government
    Church of England followers, believed that religion had to be "pure"
    Doing one particular job and doing it well
    land beyond settled areas
    product brought in
    export Product brought out

    The textbook links keep failing to work for some reason.  I'm working on them.Under Construction



    I.  Spanish Conquerors- Wanted to take $$$ and convert or kill natives.

    A. (Where) Florida, Mexico, Meso-America, Caribbean Islands, parts of South America

    B.(Built) Missions, forts, haciendas, mines

    C.(Treated Natives)slaves, murdered, died of many diseases

    D.(Resources) Gold, Silver, other treasures


    II. French Colonies-

    A. Central North America in what is not the United States and Canada.  Some Caribbean Islands

    B. Proprietary colonies and some royal colonies

    C. Trade partners (not BFFs)

    D. Beaver fur, fish

    III. English Colonies

    A. North Central Canada, some Caribbean Islands, small parts of Meso-America, the Atlantic Coast of what is now the United States

    B. Plantations for cash crops, small villages

    C. Friends when needed, slaves or worse when they aren't needed

    D. Tobacco, cotton, rice and indigo








    Click Here  for the link for the video about the conquistador Francisco Pizarro.


    The Road to Independence


    The Journey Begins...


    I. The French and Indian War (Seven Years War)

    A. Begins in 1754, ends in 1763

    B. French and their Indian allies fight against the English and their Indian allies.

    C. 1763, the French lose.  England takes over nearly all the French land in North America

    D. King George promises land to both the Indians and to the colonists to get them to fight.  At the end of the war he gives it to the Indians.  The Colonists are angry.

    II. After the War-

    A. King George and Parliament must get $$$$ to pay war debts

    B. They start with Sugar Act, then the Stamp Act- more to follow...

    C. The Townsend Acts are begun but most are repealed (Not tea though)

    III. Protests Begin-

    A. Tax protests are begun.  James Otis calls for citizens to not pay until they have representation in Parliament. 

    B. The Sons of Liberty begin to form.  Protests turn more violent. (Boston Massacre and Boston Tea Party)

    C. Parliament cracks down with the "Intolerable Acts

    1. More soldiers in the colonies

    2. Taking the guns from the militia and citizens

    3. Quartering soldiers in people's homes

    4. No more trial by jury

    5. Closes Boston Harbor

    IV. Lexington and Concord-

    A. British attempt to capture guns, ammunition from colonists. 

    B. British also want to capture the leadership of the Sons of Liberty.

    C. Colonial Militia stand up to the Redcoats after being warned they were coming.

    D. The War for Independence begins


    Next Stop...Taxes, taxes and more taxes- but there is a deeper problem.


    The chart below indicates some of the basic taxes that people in the US pay.  These are just basics and the mix and the amounts vary from community to community.


    • Property Tax - based on the value of your home, build and land. This is collected 1 or 2 times per years. You are usually sent a bill you must pay or risk losing your property.
    • Income Tax - based on the amount of money you earn. It is taken regularly from your paycheck. Once a year you must do paperwork to make sure you have paid the right amount. 
    • Sales Tax - based on the amount of money you spend. This tax is added to what you spend when buying a product at the store. The store collects the tax but does NOT keep it.
    • Miscellaneous taxes, fines, fees, licenses, registration, permits and tolls - these vary - e.g. sewer tax, streetlight taxes, hunting licenses, dog licenses, overdue book fines, traffic tickets, car registrations, gun registrations, building permits, highway tolls and bridge tolls.
    • "Sin" Tax - Examples include taxes on tobacco, liquor and gas. These taxes are used to control how much of something is used, or to pay for its effects such as healthcare, safety or pollution problems.

    Text version of this table can be found above  

    UH-OH, a nasty turn towards war....


    having someone to speak for you or stand up for you
    turning against your own country
    to protest by not buying a product
    a group of people who gather for a particular purpose
    a formal statement
    to take back or undo something
    the ability to make your own choices
    Sugar Act
    The first of the taxes used to pay back the $ owed for the French and Indian War
    Stamp Act
    The second tax to pay back for the French and Indian War.  It was a tax on paper.  The stamp just showed you paid it.
    Townshend Acts
    A tax on tea, glass, lead etc.  Mostly repealed except the tax on tea
    When there is only one owner controlling a product or service
    This is blocking off a port or harbor from ships
    to provide a place to live
    unbearable, you can't take it anymore
    a letter about fixing a problem, often signed by many people



    Here are the links to the "Liberty Kids" videos we watched in class.

    Boston Tea Party

    Intolerable Acts


    Powers of Government-


    • Government exists whenever a group of people begin to organize.  There are many ways to organize but all are forms of government.  The purpose of a government is to stop chaos or allow people to work together.

    To work, a government must be able to do three things or have three "powers".

    1. The power to make rules or laws.  This is known as the power to legislate or Legislative Power
    2. The power to enforce ( make people follow) laws.  This is known as the power to execute or Executive Power.
    3. The power to decide if things are good or not.  This is known as the power to judge or Judicial Power.

    Without all three powers a government cannot work.

    Forms of government-

    There are an almost infinite number of ways to make the powers happen.  The chart below will only show a few of the more common ones.

    Government Type


    (one ruler)


    (rule through religion)

    Pure Democracy

    (rule by ALL the people)

    Representative Democracy

    (rule by representatives of the people)


    (rule by each individual for him/herself)

    Who it benefits


    The religion

    The people

    The people


    **Who has Legislative Power


    Religious Leaders

    The people



     HoR       Senate



    **Who has Executive Power


    Religious Leaders

    The people



    **Who has Judicial Power


    Religious Leaders

    The people

    Supreme Court



    Very fast

    good if you are that religion

    Very fair





    not good if you are of any other belief Very, very slooooowwww

    Slow at times



    Declaration of Independence-


    Key Points:

    A. Declares (states) we want to be apart from England and start our own country.

    B. Declares that in this country all men will be treated equally and have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    C. Declares the reasons that we left England. (Intolerable Acts, unfair laws, no representation Parliament, taxes...)

    Constitution- the "rule book" for our government

    A. Broken up into 'articles'  Each one sets up a part of the government.

    1. Article 1 explains the "Legislative Branch"

    2. Article 2 explains the "Executive Branch"

    3. Article 3 explains the "Judicial Branch"

    4. More articles that cover miscellaneous things

    BILL OF RIGHTS: the first 10 Amendments (changes) to the Constitution

    1. Passed all together at the same time

    2. List the things that our government cannot take away from the people.  (Mostly a reaction to the Intolerable Acts)


    Declaration of Independence
    A document that tells the world we are no longer English  
    A written plan of government
    An idea for a new law
    rules by a government
    make laws
    enforce laws
    judge laws
    House of Representatives and the Senate
    Chief Executive (Chief "Enforcer")
    Supreme Court
    Judges 'constitutionality' of laws
    one of the two parts of our Congress.  It favors the small states
    House of Representatives
    The other part of Congress.  It favors the larger states
    The President's ability to refuse a bill
    Bill of Rights
    A list of the first 10 rights added to the Constitution
    skip over (go past or cancel) the president's veto
    Amendment A change or addition to the Constitution
    Checks and Balances
    a system of government that allows two of the branches authority over the other one

      Three branches of government in the United States