Empire and Identity in the American Colonies

The American Revolution was born out of a European conflict that spilled over into North America—and the documents prove it! Using primary sources from the era of the French and Indian War, including British plans to try to unite its colonists against a common foe, young historians trace how this global conflict galvanized colonial identity and eventually led to a new nation. Other primary sources include a speech from a Native American group affected by European machinations of power and colonial maps.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Use the resources to create a class definition of colonies and empire
  • Offer document sets and prompts as a capstone activity for coverage of the Seven Years War 
Classroom Considerations
  • Some missing documents may need to be supplemented by the teacher
  • Activities allow for a deep dive into an event leading up to the American Revolution that is often neglected
  • Supporting materials make using the resource simple
  • Some links are no longer active