From the time Columbus first set foot in the New World, Europeans were fascinated with this new land. In this American colonization lesson, students learn about the “Three Gs” that drove them here—gold, God, and glory—and find out how these settlers gave America its start, developed the land economically, and impacted Native Americans and Africans. 

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  • Explain the three main reasons behind European exploration/colonization in North America: economics, religion, and glory.
  • Explain the impact of European colonization on Native Americans.
  • Describe the source of labor for the development of the colonial settlements.
  • Analyze a map of the triangle trade route.


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