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Enrichment Materials: Exploration & Colonization

These enrichment materials build upon concepts introduced in US History and Advanced US History courses. They incorporate and link perspectives from a wide array of peoples during this time period.

The period of exploration and colonization marked the beginnings of written documents pertaining to American history. European countries, motivated by mercantilism and desire to conquer, began exploring and migrating to the Americans during this time. They sought riches, new lives, and adventure.


Most primary sources from this time hone in on the European side of negotiations and agreements. However, it is important to remember that the Europeans were invading a land that belonged to native peoples. Thus, in order to gain a complete understanding of this time period, we must also look into native perspectives on European contact.


Aztec Account on the Massacre of the Temple


Spanish Conquistador’s account on Native conquest


Link to an anthology containing Native American perspectives on history ranging from European contact to modern day


A list of transcripts from modern-day Native Americans detailing their peoples’ history

John Smith writing about Pocahontas

Native American perspective on Thanksgiving, an event greatly misconstrued by modern media as a “peaceful feast between pilgrims and Native-Americans”

An account by Powhatan, Virginia's leading chief, on English invasion

"The Pilgrims from Indian Perspective"

A Naragansett Plea for Unity against the English

"A Critique of the Slave Trade"

"Immigration and Ethnic Diversity"

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