American Colonial History

Mission US: A free online role-playing game about american history

Educator Resources

African Americans in the Revolutionary WaryAfrican Americans in the Revolutionary War
This National Park Service site recounts, in more general terms, the experience of African Americans who fought in the Revolutionary War.
Background on Revere's Boston Massacre EngravingBackground on Revere’s Boston Massacre Engraving
Interesting background on the engraving and on the impact that it had on revolutionary sentiment in the northern colonies.
Boston Massacre Historical SocietyBoston Massacre Historical Society
You can find pictures, documents, a timeline and location, and trial information about the Boston Massacre.
Colonial Homes and BuildingsColonial Homes and Buildings
Colonial Williamsburg shows us what architecture and interior design looked like during the Colonial period.
Colonial OccupationsColonial Occupations
A list of colonial occupations, with a brief description of what each was.
The Economy of the Colonial PeriodThe Economy of the Colonial Period
Carole Scott’s summary of the colonial economy.
Illustrated Colonial TradesIllustrated Colonial Trades
Description, with photographs of re-enactors, that describe various common trades of the Colonial era.
Life During the Colonial PeriodLife during the Colonial Period
Detailed background information on all aspects of culture and society during the colonial period for each of the three major regions.
Life in Colonial WilliamsburgLife in Colonial Williamsburg
An excellent source that includes background and images, showing life in Colonial period.
Loyalist Songs of the RevolutionLoyalist Songs of the Revolution
A collection of song lyrics that the loyalists were singing at the time of the revolution. Popular music makes it clear to see what this group of people were thinking at the time.
Smithsonian's History ExplorerSmithsonian's History Explorer
Your gateway to innovative, standards-based online resources for teaching and learning American history.
Society, Schools and CultureSociety, Schools, and Culture
Background information, primarily for the teacher, about society during the colonial era.
UEN Themepark: American RevolutionUEN Themepark: American Revolution
Places To Go • People To See • Things To Do • and Teacher Resources for the topic "American Revolution".
UEN Themepark: Colonial HistoryUEN Themepark: Colonial History
Web sites and resources to help you learn about Colonial History.
Women during the American RevolutionWomen during the American Revolution
Light information about many individual women who were involved in the Revolution.

Primary Sources

Documents from the Massachusetts Historial SocietyDocuments from the Massachusetts Historical Society
Collections of primary source documents addressing topics from the time period before the Revolutionary War. Documents include newspaper articles, journal entries, letters, and handbills.
Account of the Boston MassacreAn Account of the Boston Massacre
An anonymous account of the Boston Massacre, that tends to be pro-revolutionary.
The Boston Non-Importation DecreeThe Boston Non-Importation Decree
Text of the Boston decree that sought to replace the reliance on British goods with a home-spun economy.
Captain Preston's Account of the Bostom MassacreCaptain Preston’s Account of the Boston Massacre
A description of the events surrounding the Boston Massacre from the British officer.
The Charleston Non-Importation DecreeThe Charleston Non-Importation Decree
Text of the Charleston decree encouraging the use of homemade goods rather than British imports.
Common Sense, by Thomas PaineCommon Sense, by Thomas Paine
The text of the influential book that encouraged a break with British rule.
The Death of SeiderThe Death of Seider
Article from the Boston Gazette discussing the death of Seider that sparks violence in Boston.
Declaration of the Second Continental CongressDeclaration of the Second Continental Congress
Official declaration calling for armed defense of liberty.
Library of Congress: Colonial and Early AmericaLibrary of Congress: Colonial and Early America
Learn about colonization and the colonial experience by examining maps, letters and other primary documents.
The Maryland Gazette - 1765-1775The Maryland Gazette – 1765 – 1775
Sixteen editions from this time period, presented as pdf documents, that report the loyalist view of the events of the revolutionary period.
The Massachusetts Body of Liberties, 1641The Massachusetts Body of Liberties, 1641
One of the early documents that influenced revolutionary thought later in the Colonial period.
Plain Truth - A Response to Common SensePlain Truth – A Response to Common Sense
Under the Pseudonym of Candidus, loyalists give the reasons for remaining loyal to the British crown.
Religion and the Revolutionary WarReligion and the Revolutionary War
A collection of primary source documents that show how religious conflict was a factor in the decision for independence and war.
Report of the Committee of Correspondence, 1772Report of the Committee of Correspondence, 1772
The report to the city of Boston on activities in the Colonies leading up to conflict with Great Britain.
The Sons of Liberty Organize in New YorkThe Sons of Liberty Organize in New York
The 1773 document that brings the revolutionary group to New York.
Summary of the Rights of British AmericaSummary of the Rights of British American
Thomas Jefferson’s pamphlet from 1774 encouraging a reevaluation of the relationship with Great Britain.
The Townshend ActsThe Townshend Acts
Text of the Townshend Acts, describing the specific duties to be charged, and how those monies were to be spent.
William Pitt's Speech in Support of the ColoniesWilliam Pitt's Speech in Support of the Colonies
The text of William Pitt’s speech in the House of Commons supporting the colonial resistance to the Stamp Act.

Unit and Lesson Plans

The African and the Pequot in Colonial AmericaThe African and the Pequot in Colonial America
Maxine Richardson has put together a detailed unit plan, with great resources, that explores the intricacies of both Africans and Pequot societies in Colonial America.
Clues to Colonial LifeClues to Colonial Life
A webquest that allows students to examine artifacts and draw conclusions about life during the colonial era.
Colonial Broadsides and the American RevolutionColonial Broadsides and the American Revolution
Students become familiar with broadsides from the American Revolution. Broadsides were notices written on single sheets of paper intended to have an immediate impact on readers.
Revolutionary WarRevolutionary War
After researching the time period around the Revolutionary War, students should understand the how's and why's behind the Revolution.
Taxatopm without RepresentationTaxation without Representation
Students will learn about the Boston Tea Party, how taxes impact people's lives and where tax money goes.

Student Web sites

Colonial GardenerColonial Gardener
Water and weed the flowers so they can grow. The more flowers you can keep alive, the more your points will also thrive.
Colonial Word SearchColonial Word Search
See if you can solve our colonial word searches, available in three levels: Apprentice (easy), Journeyman (medium), and Master (difficult).
Dress the PartDress the Part
Dress a colonial person from head to toe.
(Also check out the Anatomy of a Gown, Anatomy of a Suit and Shoes and Accessories.)
Go Back in TimeGo Back in Time
Travel back in time to visit five of the families who lived at 16 Elm Street in Ipswich, Massachusetts over the past 200 years.
Heads up for the ColonistsHeads up for the Colonists
Help the colonists find the proper headpiece to wear.
Midnight MessengerMidnight Messenger
Help Li Ming deliver the silver tea pot to the ship.
Name that Founding FatherName that Founding Father
Identify four famous founding fathers based on clues from history.
Pardon or PilloryPardon or Pillory
Guess the letters in the words to save the colonist from the pillory.
The Patriot SpyThe Patriot Spy
Help sneak past the enemy to deliver a letter to Paul Revere.
Powder MonkeyPowder Monkey
Find the different parts of the U.S.S. Constitution and help deliver gun powder to the cannon during a battle.
The Revolutionary Fireworks FrenzyThe Revolutionary Fireworks Frenzy
Set off fireworks of different sizes and colors. The higher the score the happier the crowd.


Utah educators and students can download the following videos from UEN’s eMedia  

A Day in the LifeA Day in the Life
"A Day in the Life" presents eight stories of Williamsburg residents on one day in late May of 1774. While these programs were designed for classroom use, anyone interested in discovering what life was like in the eighteenth century. (~18min)


Africans in AmericaAfricans in America - Part 02-Revolution
The second part of the PBS series covers the years 1750 – 1805 and focuses on the varied experiences of Black individuals, both slave and free, in the years preceding and during the Revolutionary War. Grades 9-12+ (1hr 26min 48sec) PBS Africans in America website.


American HIstory for KidsAmerican History for Kids: The Revolutionary War - Segment 01
A description of pre-revolutionary colonial times. (5min 20sec)


Field Trips to Yesterday: Colonial TimesField Trips to Yesterday. Colonial Times
Learn how the people in the American colonies lived, including what they ate, what they did for fun, and what it was like to be a child in Colonial times. (20min 51sec)


Field Trip to Yesterday: Historic PhiladelphiaField Trips to Yesterday. Historic Philadelphia
Viewers will get an entertaining and accurate glimpse of the events leading to revolution that occurred in Philadelphia. (19min 05sec)


Field Trip to Yesterday: The Road to RevolutionField Trips to Yesterday. The Road to Revolution
Viewers will learn the significance of the Stamp Act, the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, the Battle of Bunker Hill, and other events that all led up to the Revolutionary War. (24min 39sec)


Freedom: A History to USFreedom: A History of US
"Freedom" is the overarching theme of this sixteen-part series. This is a history of the United States as the unfolding, inspiring story of human liberties aspired to and won. (~26min)


Liberty's KidsLiberty's Kids - 44 Episodes
This animated series teaches young people about the major events that occurred during the Revolutionary War days. Grades 3-9 (~ 28min)


The Road to Revolution 1763-1774
Examines the events that lead up to the Revolutionary War. (15min 17sec)