How much do you know about the Colonial Period in America? Quiz

By: Jaclyn Lavine
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Are an American history nerd just waiting to stretch your wings? Think you remembered what you learned way back when in grade school? Take this quiz and find out!

Why did people come to the colonies?

The Pilgrims and later the Puritans all came over from England seeking religious freedom. Many colonists sought to move to the South where cash crops provided an opportunity for economic advancement and prosperity. A majority of the southern colonies were inhabited by slaves. An estimated 6 to 7 million Africans were brought to America in the 18th century alone. ​

What was the first colonists drank in the morning?

Many of the colonists were European. In the old country, water was often contaminated and thought to be poisonous. On arriving in America, the belief that water was unsafe continued. John Adams began each day with a tankard of cider. Basically, American were always tipsy. They started their day with cider and ended their day with whiskey​.

What was the most popular book in colonial America?

Reading for leisure was not a common past time for the early colonists. Many people could not read and write and if they could was probably from the bible or some other religious book.

What nationality were the American settlers?

There were also French Huguenots, slaves from Africa​ and a few Spaniards, Italians, and Portuguese.

How many people were living in America in 1775?

By 1690, the population had risen to a quarter of million. After that, it doubled every 25 years until reaching 2.5 million in 1775.

What was the source of New England's economy?

The soil in New England and the long winters made farming nearly impossible.

What Northeast city was colonial America's greatest port?

Boston's port was filled with fish, ship's stores, wooden wares, and products from all over the water.

What was the "triangular-trade"?

The "triangular trade​" was greatly responsible for slavery in Southern America.

What were the Middle Colonies?

Society in the Middle Colonies was​ far more tolerant and cosmopolitan than New England.

Who was William Penn?

William​ Penn is also known for having had good relations with the Lenape Native Americans

What religion dominated Philadelphia?

William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, was a Quaker. The first Quakers lived in mid-17th century England. They left England after facing persecution and came to America. Unfortunately, the were imprisoned and banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Pennsylvania, as well as New Jersey and Rhode Island, ​were the only three colonies that tolerated Quakers at the time.

What Pennsylvania city was the heart of the colony?

By the end of the colonial period, 30,000 people lived in Philadelphia representing many different languages, creeds, and trades.

What colony was the most popular destination for the Scots-Irish?

The Scots-Irish who moved to PA hate the English and were suspicious of government. They were often referred​ to as "bold and indigent strangers."

What were the nationalities of the people living in New York ?

New York epitomized the polyglot (knowing or using several languages) nature of America.

What was the original name of New York?

The dutch bought Manhattan and named it after their home country.

How much did the Dutch spend on the purchase of Manhattan from the Native Americans?

The Dutch merchant Peter Schage bought Manhattan for 60 guiders (which would be $24 today) on November​ 5, 1626.

What were the southern colonies?

These colonies were rural, ​and their economic and social structure rested on the great planters and yeomen farmers.

Which colony was the leading port and trading center of the South?

Lumbar, tar, resin, longleaf pine, rice, and indigo were sold in Charleston. ​

In what year was Harvard College founded?

Harvard was founded in Cambridge, MA in 1635.

What was the "ye olde deluder Satan" Act of 1647?

The act demanded that any town having more than 50 families, must set up a grammar school for the children.

In what year did the colonies get their first printing press?

In 1638, Mrs. Glover set up America's first press at the Massachusetts Colony's new college, Harvard. Mrs. Glover and her husband, the Rev. Jose Glover, had sailed from England with five children, a few technicians, and a printing press.

In what year did the first school in Pennsylvania open their doors?

In 1638, Mrs. Glover set up America's first press at the Massachusetts Colony's new college, Harvard. Mrs. Glover and her husband, the Rev. Jose Glover, had sailed from England with five children, a few technicians, and a printing press.

What was taught there?

History and literature were considered advanced learning and was offered at the Friends Public School which is still operating in Philadelphia​ under the name of the William Penn Charter School.

What were wealthier girls instructed in?

Wealthy women weren't responsible for taking care of their children. Cleaning, cooking, etc. were activities done by servants.

In what year did the colonies launch a successful newspaper?

By 1745 there were 22 newspapers being circulated​ throughout the colonies.

What was the Great Awakening?

The First Great Awakening began in the 1730s. Its inspiration came from George Whitefield, a Wesleyan revivalist who arrived from England in 1739, and Jonathan Edwards, who originally served in the Congregational Church in Northampton, Massachusetts. The revival focussed on expressing emotions and having a​ personal relationship with God.

What was the Mayflower Compact?

The significance of the Mayflower Compact was that it illustrated the idea of self-governance and would impact the way the colonists viewed government as something different than what occurred​ back in Great Britain.

When was the Tolerance Act passed?

This act affirmed freedom of worship for Christians

What was the Seven Years War?

The war came to an with the Peace of Paris, signed in 1763. France was forced to relinquish all of Canada, the Great Lakes, and the upper Mississippi Valley.

When were the Salem Witch Trials?

In 1692 a group of girls in Salem, Massachusetts began to have strange fits after hearing stories from a West Indian slave. Town officials convened a court to hear the charges of witchcraft​ and the Salem Witch Trials began.

How many people were executed during the Witch Trials?

Within a span of a month, 6 women had been tried and executed but it wasn't over yet. By the fall of 1682, more than 20 victims, including some men, had been executed and more than 100 people were in jail.

When and where was the first American colony?

In August 1587, 115 English settlers arrived on Roanoke Island, off of the coast of North Carolina. John White was the governor of the island but had to sail back to England to collect supplies. Due to the war between England and Spain, the governor remained din England longer than he had planned. When he finally arrived back in Roanoke, three years later, there was no trace left of the colony and its people. The only clue White found was a single word, "Croatoan" carved into a wooden post. Croatoan was the name of an island south of Roanoke that was inhabited by a Native American tribe of the same name. There have been many hypotheses​ about what happened to the colony, but the fate of the first colonists remains a mystery.

When was the first Thanksgiving?

The first Thanksgiving was held in November 1621 between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians. ​

Were John Smith and Pocahontas real characters?

The story goes that 1609, Captain John Smith who was the newly appointed governor of Jamestown, was ambushed by a local tribe and kept hostage. They plan then, was to have Smith, and his other companions stoned to death. However, the chief's daughter, Pocahontas begs her father not to do it and let them return safely to Jamestown. There is no evidence to support this story other than the account written by Smith himself. ​

When did the colonial period begin and end?

Historians debate the real start and end date of the colonial period. Did it start in 1492 when Columbus landed or on 1607 when the first permanent English colony was founded in Jamestown Virginia? The colonial era is actually divided into the following periods:%0D%0DColonial America Time Period 1: 1607 to 1650 (Founding the first Colonies)%0DColonial America Time Period 2: 1650 to 1696 (Trade & History of the first colonists)%0DColonial America Time Period 3: 1702 to 1750 (French and Indian Wars)%0DColonial America Time Period 4: 1750 to 1775 (The Road to Revolution)%0DColonial America Time Period 5: 1775 to 1783 (The American Revolutionary War)%0DColonial America Time Period 6: 1775 to 1799 (Post Colonialism)

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