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Toolbox Library, primary resources thematically organized with notes and discussion questionsOnline Seminars, professional development seminars for history and literature teachersBecoming American: The British Atlantic Colonies, 1690-1763
Becoming American: The British Atlantic Colonies, 1690-1763
Theme: GrowthTheme: PeoplesTheme: EconomiesTheme: IdeasTheme: American
Theme: American


Framing Questions
  •  How did the political relationship between the colonies and Great Britain change in this period?
  •  How did individual colonies and colonists influence and respond to these changes?
  •  To what extent were the colonies and colonists "becoming American"?

1.  Empire» Text Links / Note / Discussion Questions

- "The continent is not wide enough for us both": On the European competition for North American territory, 1699-1763
- A Letter from Benjamin Jones, on the defense of the Pennsylvania frontier, 1754
- Benjamin Franklin: The Interest of Great Britain Considered, With Regard to Her Colonies, 1760, excerpts
- Maps

2.  Power» Text Links / Note / Discussion Questions

- "Liberty, once lost, is lost forever": a colonist's appeal to preserve colonial autonomy, 1721
- "They claim the right of directing themselves": a British official’s warning about managing the colonies, 1764

3.  Rights» Text Links / Note / Discussion Questions

- Religion: On preaching without a license, 1707
- Religion: On paying taxes for a minister, 1753
- Press: On printing "seditious libel" against the governor, 1738
- Press: On printing a "profane poem" against the legislature, 1751
- Women's Rights: Two poems, mid 1700s

4.  Union?» Text Links / Note / Discussion Questions

- "Not merely improbable, it is impossible": On the unlikely union of the colonies, 1722-1764
- "Join, or Die.": Illustration and editorial by Benjamin Franklin, 1754

5.  Independence?» Text Links / Note / Discussion Questions

- "It would be the height of madness for them to propose an Independency": on the colonies' rebelling from Great Britain; selections, 1705-1767
- "How far are we obliged to submit?": a clergyman's sermon on "unlimited submission," 1750, excerpts

- Mark Catesby, "Aquila Capite Albo: The White-Headed Eagle, or Bald Eagle," illustration in The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands (1731-1743), full and detail. University of Wisconsin Digital Collections. Permission pending.
- White-tailed sea eagle ("L'Aigle à Queuë blanche"), detail of illustration in Henry Ellis, Voyage de la baye de Hudson, fait en 1746 & 1747, pour la découverte du passage de nord-ouest [Voyage to Hudson Bay, made in 1746 & 1747, to discover a northwest passage], Paris, 1749. Courtesy of Library and Archives Canada, Rare Books Collection.
- Jan Velten, "American bald eagle," illustration in Wonderen der Natuur [Wonders of Nature], 1700. Courtesy of the Library of Congress and the National Library of The Netherlands (Repository: Plantage Library, Library of the University of Amsterdam), #ISBN 35401.

1. Empire   2. Power   3. Rights
4. Union?   5. Independence?

TOOLBOX: Becoming American: The British Atlantic Colonies, 1690-1763
Growth | Peoples | Economies | Ideas | American

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