The Northeast Region

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The Northeast Region

Travel back to a time when only the Iroquois inhabited the Northeast United States. Discover how Europeans came to inhabit this area and the role the people here played in forming the United States. Learn about immigration and its effect on cities and how people in this region live today.

Discover the history of the land and of the people who settled the Northeast Region of the United States.

  1. Students will recognize that the Northeast region includes the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
  2. Students will realize that for hundreds of years, many Native American groups lived in the Northeast Region including the Sauk, the Wampanoag, and the Iroquois. The land that would become New York State was home to many Iroquois villages. These villages were usually settled near a lake or a river so the tribe could take advantage of the rich natural materials that came from the earth. These natural resources provided food, clothing, and shelter.
  3. Students will know about the colonies that were founded in the Northeast region. In 1620 a group of people, called the Pilgrims, arrived at Plymouth Bay in the "New World." It became the first settlement in the colony of Massachusetts. Colonists came to America in search of freedom from religious persecution; they also came to find land for farming, timber for building homes, and fresh water. As the Plymouth colony was flourishing, more colonies were established along the east coast of America. Soon, many of the settlements became centers for trade. Products made in Europe were traded or sold for goods from America, namely from New England. Massachusetts was an especially popular trading center in New England. Boston, in the Massachusetts colony, was one of the busiest cities. By the mid-1700s, the streets of Boston were lined with houses and shops, and the harbor was filled with ships carrying goods. As a whole, the East Coast was a major trading center, and England was collecting taxes on every item that was traded or sold. The colonies had become a success.
  4. Students will recognize that the colonists had to form local governments. As more people moved to the colonies, it became even more important for them to make decisions as a community. The colonists held meetings to discuss and make decisions about their towns. Town meetings were often held in a church or meetinghouse located on the common.
  5. Students will understand the importance Native Americans played in the success of the colonies. When the Plymouth colony began, the colonists needed help to succeed. The Wampanoag helped the colonists through their first year by showing them how to make better use of the vast resources that surrounded them.
  6. Students will know about the Revolutionary war and the conflicts that caused it. In the 1760s colonists began to resent heavy taxes placed upon them by the British rulers, so they boycotted British goods. Eventually, the British King sent an army to the Colonies to collect taxes and protect England's interests in the colonies. In 1770 colonists, called patriots, clashed with British soldiers, and five unarmed patriots were killed. This incident became known as the Boston Massacre. In 1773, colonists protested the British tax on tea by dressing up as Indians and dumping 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbor. The Boston Tea party united the colonists, but the British responded with more laws restricting the rights of the colonists and by closing the trading ports in Boston. The Patriots countered the British response by preparing for battle. In 1775, the British army was on the way to Concord, Massachusetts to capture a patriot leader and destroy military supplies. Three patriots, including Paul Revere, rode on horseback throughout the countryside to warn the colonists of the approaching British army. When the army reached Lexington, they found Minutemen ready to fight. During the battle that continued on in Concord, there were 90 Patriot casualties, but there were 250 British casualties. The battle at Lexington and Concord marked the beginning of the Revolutionary War. In 1783, the Treaty of Paris was signed, and England recognized that the United States was an independent country. The Patriots had triumphed.
  7. Students will understand that the Northeast Region became a haven for African-Americans. During the Great Migration, between 1910 and 1930, many African-Americans moved to the Northeast in search of more freedom and opportunities.
  8. Students will realize the boom of new jobs in the Northeast was due to the Industrial Revolution. During this era, machines were developed to increase transportation and manufacturing. The Northeast was the first region to experience the Industrial Revolution

  1. Ask students to choose one person or group of people in the history of the Northeast region that he/she believes made a significant impact on the region. Encourage students to use the video, textbook, and library resources to support their argument. Have each person present his or her argument to the class. If students have opposing views, encourage them to support their views, debate style.
  2. Have students pick one period in the history of the northeast. Ask them to prepare a journal of the day-to-day activities of someone their age during that period. Include information about school, chores, food, clothing, etc.

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