Colonies continued!

image.jpg

As a provocation to an experience will be having later in the week, we played Settlers of Catan. This board game provides a bit of insight into the experience of fighting for and using resources when colonizing a new land. We added an additional twist: Christie was the King of England who imposed taxes for various behaviors during the game such as trying to trade resources out of turn or taking too long to complete your turn. The citizens became frustrated and demanded a vote to exercise their desired democratic power and right to alter or overthrow the government. Upon exploring the pros and cons of departing from the king, they realized that the tax and rules the king had imposed benefited everyone in the game (at least in our case!). This led us into some reading by Howard Zinn about the first rebellion by the colonists in Jamestown, Virginia. The rebellion was called Bacon's rebellion. As Zinn writes, the rebellion was the result of a chain of oppression. The Native Americans were frustrated that their land was being taken, the frontiersman were frustrated that the Native Americans were acting violently and that the government of the colonies wasn't doing anything to protect them, the white servants were frustrated that their indentures were not being honored, and the black slaves were frustrated because of their terrible living conditions and the lack of humanity they were shown. On top of this, the people in power in the colonies were frustrated by the unfair taxes and laws put in place by the monarchy in England, which the leaders had to enforce but could not benefit from. This rebellion took place 100 years before the American Revolution, and was the beginning of a long series of battles, fights and wars that led to the independence of the colonies from England.

image.jpg

Back at the library, we familiarized ourselves with the 13 colonies by sorting them into categories. First, we sorted them into 2, then 3 categories of our choice. The kids thought the most obvious first grouping should relate to population, while the next grouping would be climate. The goal here? Teams will pick colonies based on their benefits and attributes in an attempt to increase their population despite unknown events (real events from history) and choices they must make along the way. Who will survive and who will dwindle away??? Check back in next time...

image.jpg