Early British America

By Dr Sarah Pearsall, published 1st September 2020

Following on from the complementary podcast on the sailing of the Mayflower, this podcast with Dr Sarah Pearsall of the University of Cambridge explores the early British Settlements in America and their development into a new society moving towards statehood. It looks at who the settlers were and their relationships with the Native Americans already living in the territories that were colonised, as well as how trade within the Americas was established as well as that between the colonies and Europe. The podcast also addresses how the settlements were built and developed using the introduction of enslaved people from Africa. This podcast was recorded in March 2017.

The podcasts will assist any listeners to understand the manner in British American colonies began wish for independence as their new identity in the Americas was established. 

1. Who were the first settlers?
2. What did these settlers know about America before leaving?
3. How did the colonies develop over the 16th/17th centuries?
4. Are there non-British settlers coming to the British colonies?
5. What was the relationship like between Britain, the colonists and Native Americans?
6. What was the position of women in this period?
7. How much oversight was there from the British government?
8. What was the significance of Britain’s Caribbean colonies? How did they develop?
9. How does Britain encourage commerce and trade?
10. What were the origins of the Slave Trade and how important was it for the development of British America?
11. What was the significance of the first British Empire?
12. How did the rivalry between Britain, the Netherlands and France manifest in North America?
13. When do we start to see an emergence of an American colonial identity?
14. What developments lead the Thirteen Colonies to seek independence?

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