Colonial transition and development

Explore the relationship of the Section 2 documents to the week’s theme of colonial transition and development: what do the sources reveal about the role of women, slaves, and the changing nature of colonial America in the period between 1650 and 1700? As you answer the above also consider and answer:

1  Who came to the English colonies in America in the earliest years of settlement? Why did they come?

2  In what ways did hierarchy, whether because of gender, race, or economics play in the position in society? To what extent were their lives controlled or circumscribed by their position?

3  What do their lives reveal about the colonial legal system (in Virginia) and the attitudes of colonists about women and slaves?

4  How can we explain the growing stability and success of the colonies (especially Virginia) and what role did women and slaves play in that stability, if any?

From these answers develop a thesis that explains the evolution of and the role of women and slaves in colonial America between 1650 and 1700. At home use the group work and the thesis you drafted to write a 2 – 3 page history essay that explores these issues.

What is the source?

1) Identify the source (type of source, title, who produced it, when, where…) and briefly describe it.

2) Identify the source’s potential biases and point of view using (a) knowledge about the person or persons who produced it, (b) the intended audience, and (c) reason it was produced.  If there are gaps in what you know, address what you would need to find out, if you were using this as a research source.

Interpret the source:

Describe the most important information it provides.  If relevant, identify its thesis or central message.

What questions for further research does the evidence in this source suggest?

Evaluate the source:

What (if any) legitimate historical questions can this source (fully or partially) answer?  What additional types of primary and secondary sources would you need to consult in order to balance the biases and fill in the gaps that you have identified?

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