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16th and 17th Century Turning Points In U.S. History

To the south, Spain occupied Florida and the desert southwest; to the north, France took hold along the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River; and England settled along the eastern seaboard of the Atlantic. Names come alive from America's past. Some are well known, like Ponce de Leon, John Smith, Pocahontas, Father Jacques Marquette and William Penn; some are lesser known, such as Pedro Menendez, John Winthrop, Anne Hutchinson, Peter Stuyvesant, Metacom and Robert La Salle. All will become instantly recognizable to students.
  • Title ID 4-16TH
  • History, American History
  • 4 Programs
  • 8 Supplemental Files
  • 10th Grade through Post Secondary
  • Published by Ambrose Video Publishing Inc./Centre Communications
Included Programs
Supplemental Files
Related Titles

Included Programs

1500 - 1585Running time is 27 minutes

American History, 16th and 17th Century American History, United States History, and 16th and 17th Century United States History begin in this first 16th and 17th Century Turning Points Program.

Chapter List
1502 -Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus, with the backing of Queen Isabella, uses his fleet - the Santa Maria, Nina and the Pinta - to discover America and establish Spanish colonies.
1513 -Ponce de Leon Discovers Florida
Ponce de Leon discovers Florida as one of Spain's leading Conquistadors while looking for the Fountain of Youth.
1539 -Hernando De Soto Explores Southern U.S.
Hernando De Soto traveled to the Spanish Colonies, where he joined the ranks of the Conquistadors like Francisco Pizzaro and became a legend by exploring the southern region of North America.
1540 - Francisco Vasques de Coronado Maps America's Southwest
Francisco Vasques de Coronado, one of Spain's greatest Conquistadors in her North American Spanish Colonies, explored the desert southwest, looking for the seven cities of Cibola.
1565 - Spanish Found First American City: St. Augustine
St. Augustine, founded by Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles as the only American Spanish Colony in Florida, utterly destroyed France's St. Caroline colony to establish Spanish supremacy in Florida.
1585 - Sir Walter Raleigh and the Roanoke Colony
Sir Walter Raleigh founded Roanoke Colony, the first of the English colonies, in North Carolina, but it failed and all colonists disappeared with only this puzzling word left behind, Croatoan.

1586 - 1619Running time is 27 minutes

American History, 16th and 17th Century American History, United States History, and 16th and 17th Century United States History begin in this second 16th and 17th Century Turning Points Program.

Chapter List
1607 - Jamestown, England's First Successful American Colony
Jamestown in Virginia, the site of the Jamestown colony and the first of England's successful colonies in North America, was made successful by the leadership of Captain John Smith and the entrepreneurial spirit of John Rolfe, who brought tobacco to the colony, making a profit for the London based Joint Stock Company that funded the colony.
1608 - Spanish Found Santa Fe in America's Southwest
Santa Fe, established by Juan De Onate and Juan Martinez de Montoya after the conquistadors' Francisco Coronado, explored the southwest, was the capital of New Mexico, one of the Spanish colonies, and later the central place of an Indian uprising, led by Pope', and later put down by Diego de Vargas.
1614 - Pocahontas Marries John Rolfe
Pocahontas married Jon Rolfe and because she was the daughter of Powhatan, leader of the Powhatan Confederacy, Jamestown Colony was successful.
1614 - The Dutch Claim New York and Name It New Netherlands
Originally called New Netherlands, New York, was first established by the Dutch West India Company, which bought Manhattan Island while under the leadership of Peter Minuit, who later helped found a Swedish Colony in Delaware, and later New Netherlands under Peter Stuyvesant was lost to England in 1664.
1619 - The Virginia House of Burgesses Holds Its First Democratic Meeting
Virginia Colonists created the colonies' first Representative Assembly, the House of Burgesses, while in New England, the leaders of Puritanism, like Thomas Hooker, believed the free consent of the governed gave government its authority and Carolina wrote its own Fundamental Constitution.

1619 - 1650Running time is 28 minutes

American History, 16th and 17th Century American History, United States History, and 16th and 17th Century United States History begin in this third 16th and 17th Century Turning Points Program.

Chapter List
1619 - Blacks Arrive at Jamestown
In the English Colonies, Jamestown was the first to bring in black slaves, but slave could earn his freedom, as Anthony Johnson did and get out of slavery.
1621 - The Role of Women in the English Colonies
Women pioneers in the English Colonies of Jamestown and Plymouth Plantation, made the colonies successful, and began creating an American woman persona, especially among the Puritan women.
1621 - Squanto and Massasoit Help Pilgrims Survive
The Pilgrims were aided by New England Indians, Massasoit and Squanto, such that the Plymouth Plantation succeeded and the Puritans gave thanks through the first Thanksgiving.
1629 - John Winthrop is Elected Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony
John Winthrop, a leader of the Puritans in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, helped create the Massachusetts Commonwealth.
1650 - Anne Hutchinson and Anne Bradstreet Use Newfound American Independence to Express Themselves
Anne Hutchinson and Anne Bradstreet were women leaders in the Massachusetts Bay Colony; Bradstreet the first of America's many women writers, and Hutchinson who was responsible for the Rhode Island founding, while later, women were found killed in Salem for practicing witchcraft.

1651 - 1699Running time is 27 minutes

American History, 16th and 17th Century American History, United States History, and 16th and 17th Century United States History begin in this fourth 16th and 17th Century Turning Points Program.

Chapter List
1673 - Marquette and Joliet Explore Great Lakes and Mississippi River
Missionary Father Jacques Marquette and French trappers Louis Joliet and Jean Nicolet explored the interior of North America for the French colonies.
1675 - Metacom Leads "King Philip's War"
King Philip's War, led by Metacom, the Wampanoag chief also known as King Philip, was one of many wars by the English colonies at Jamestown and Plymouth Plantation against Native Americans, including the Pequot War in 1636.
1680 - Pope' Drives Spanish from Santa Fe
Plains Indians' horse culture was created when horses released by the Pueblo Indian Revolt led by Pope', against the Spanish in Santa Fe, led to the creation of the warrior horse culture of the Crow, Cheyenne, Kiowa and Lakota.
1681 - William Penn Founds Pennsylvania Colony
William Penn and the Quakers, Pennsylvania in the English colonies and based the colony on religious tolerance.
1682 - LaSalle Claims Louisiana Territory for France
LaSalle, or Robert LaSalle, who helped found France's Louisiana Territory, was the visionary for the colonial seaport of New Orleans in the French colonies, and his vision of Louisiana ultimately led to the Louisiana Purchase by the United States.
1699 - England's 12 Colonies Become Self Sufficient
The English colonies were the most important part of founding America.

Supplemental Files

MARC Records for 16TH
MARC records for the series 16th and 17th Century Turning Points In U.S. History
Teachers Guide for 16th and 17th Century T.P. in U.S. History
Timeline for 16th and 17th Century Turning Points
Blackline Master Quizzes for 16th and 17th Century Turning Points
1500 - 1585
1586 - 1619
1619 - 1650
1651 - 1699


Moving chronologically from Columbus voyages through the emergence of 12 independent colonies, this concise, well-structured survey chronicles critical events that helped shape U.S. history during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Important explorers such as Christopher Columbus, Hernando de Soto, and Francisco Vásquez de Coronado are profiled in Program 1: 1502-1585, with the founding of Jamestown covered in Program 2: 1586-1619. The role of women, the arrival of blacks, and the first governor are among the topics in Program 3: 1619-1650, and Program 4: 1651-1699 tackles westward expansion and self-sufficiency of the colonies. Each program features maps, paintings, film clips, on location footage, reenactments, and dramatic readings to highlight key figures and events. Care is taken to include contributions from women and minorities, painting a sympathetic portrait of Native Americans. The DVD format allows viewers to zero in on appropriate sections. Like 20th Century Turning Points in U.S. History (2004), this is a useful teaching tool.


This set chronicles decisive events in the crucial colonial period that would lead to the founding of the United States of America by presenting brief, high interest introductions to various events. The four segments chronicle the initial European exploration and settlement of our country from Columbuss first voyage to the Western Hemisphere in 1502 to the British establishment of the colonies at the end of the 17th century. Each section is composed of five or six brief episodes focusing on a significant individual or group. Among the topics covered are Ponce de Leon Discovers Florida, The Dutch Claim New York and Name It New Netherlands, Blacks Arrive in Jamestown, The Role of Women in the English Colonies, John Winthrop Is Elected Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, LaSalle Claims Louisiana Territory for France, and others. The series features a wide variety of presentation techniques, such as video re-creations, vintage artwork, sparkling contemporary footage, and crisp graphics which complement the professional narration and pleasing background music. The information provided about these events will pique viewers curiosity to learn more. While well-known explorers and early leaders are included, the accomplishments of lesser-known individuals are also detailed. This captivating program will be used over and over again by media specialists and classroom teachers and will be a favorite with students.

School Library Journal

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