"British imperial attempts to reassert control over its colonies and the colonial reaction to these attempts produced a new American republic, along with struggles over the new nation's social, political, and economic identity."

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Unit Overview:

Key Concepts:

  • 3.1 Britain's victory over France in the imperial struggle for North America led to new conflicts among the British government, the North American colonists, and American Indians, culminating in the creation of a new nation, the United States.
    • I. Throughout the second half of the 18th century, various American Indian groups repeatedly evaluated and adjusted their alliances with Europeans, other tribes, and the new U.S. government.
    • II. During and after the imperial struggles of the mid 18th century, new pressures began to unite the British colonies against perceived and real constraints on their economic activities and political rights, sparking a colonial independence movement and war with Britain.
    • III. In response to domestic and international tensions, the new United States debated and formulated foreign policy initiatives and asserted an international presence.
  • 3.2. In the late 18th century, new experiments with democratic ideas and the republican forms of government, as well as other new religious, economic , and cultural ideas, challenged traditional imperial systems across the Atlantic World.
    • I. During the 18th Century, new ideas about politics and society led to debates about religion and governance and ultimately inspired experiments with new governmental structures.
    • II. After experiencing the limitations of the Articles of Confederation, American political leaders wrote a new Constitution based on the principles of federalism and separation of powers, crafted a Bill of Rights, and continued their debates about the proper balance between liberty and order.
    • III. While the new governments continued to limit rights of some groups, ideas promoting self-government and personal liberty reverberated around the world.
  • 3.3. Migration within North America, cooperative interaction, and competition for resources raised questions about boundaries and policies, intensified conflicts among peoples and nations, and led to contests over the creation of a multiethnic, multiracial national identity.
    • I. As migrants streamed westward from the British colonies along the Atlantic seaboard, interactions among different groups that continue under an independent United States resulted in competition for resources, shifting alliances, and cultural blending.
    • II. The policy of the United States that encouraged western migration and the orderly incorporation of new territories into the nation both extended republican institutions and intensified conflicts among American Indians and Europeans in the trans-Appalachian West.
    • III. New voices for national identity challenged tendencies to cling to regional identities, contributing to the emergence of distinctly American cultural expressions.

Introductory Lectures:









Activities and Exercises:

Virtual Guest Lectures:



Supporting Links:


Video Review Links: