American History

17th and 18th Century

Englischsprachige Module für den bilingualen Geschichtsunterricht


Today, the United States of America belong to the most influential nations of the world – politically, economically and culturally. While Native Americans have lived on its territory for millennia, the political predecessors of the U.S. are not much older than 400 years. It may be hard to believe, but it was not before 1607 that the Virginia Company of London established Jamestown, the first successfull British colony on the North American mainland. In the following one and a half centuries, different nations competed for the continent, while the new settlers pushed back the native population, referred to as ‚Indians‘.

American HistoryJohn Trumbull: Declaration of Independence 1776, Gemälde von 1819 | Vollständiges Bild und Bildnachweis (Public Domain, Wikimedia)

The British possessions in America were organized in several colonies, small political units with administrative and legislative institutions. Within a relatively short period, they grew substantially in size, number and importance. After several conflicts, England was able to claim the eastern coast of the continent.

The main goal of the British government was to gain profits from their colonies, and one way to do so was to raise taxes. From 1763 onwards, the settlers increasingly protested against the British government and tax policy, that they had no influenco on. In 1775, this conflict escalated into the Revolutionary War between Britain and the so-called ‘Thirteen Colonies’ which united to fight for their independence.

After winning the war against the British in 1783, the revolutionaries attempted to form a new political union, independent from their former colonial rulers. In 1789, the United States Constitution went into effect, soon followed by ten additional amendments in the Bill of Rights. This constitution is still in effect as the supreme law of the U.S. (though 17 more amandments were passed) and provides the framework for its politics today.



1 Freiheitsstatue


Do you know the U.S.?


  leicht | ca. 20 min

English Settlers in North America

2 Mayflower


Colonizing the New World

Wissen | Migration

◼ ◼ mittel | ca. 30 min | optionale Aufgabe: 20 min




Verstehen und urteilen | Migration

◼ ◼ mittel | ca. 20 min | optionale Aufgabe: 20 min

4 Thanksgiving


Picturing Thanksgiving

Quellen untersuchen: Gemälde | „Wir“ und „Fremde“

◼ ◼ mittel | ca. 20 min | optionale Aufgabe: 10 min

5 New York Manhattan


The Thirteen Colonies

Wissen | Kolonialismus

◼ leicht | ca. 20 min

The American Revolution

6 Boston Tea Party


Conflict with Britain

Wissen | Proteste und Aufstände

◼ ◼ mittel | ca. 30 min | optionale Aufgabe: 10 min

7 Boston Tea Party Karikatur


Depicting the conflict – a British perspective

Quelle untersuchen: Karikatur | Proteste und Aufstände

◼ ◼ mittel | ca. 30 min

8 Washington


Revolutionary War

Klassenmodul | Krieg

◼ ◼ mittel | ca. 90 min

The United States Constitution



Declaration of Independence

Gegenwartsbezug | Mediengeschichte

◼ ◼ ◼ schwer | ca. 40 min | optionale Aufgabe: 20 min



„A more perfect union“?

Schaubild | Demokratie

◼ ◼ mittel | ca. 30 min



Becoming the U.S. President

Verstehen und urteilen | Demokratie

◼ ◼ ◼ schwer | ca. 30 min | optionale Aufgabe: 20 min

Minorities in the American colonies

 12 Native Americans


Trail of Tears | Native Americans

Verstehen und urteilen | Ausgrenzung und Verfolgung

◼ ◼ mittel | ca. 30 min

 13 Sklaven


Atlantic Slave Trade | Video

Verstehen und urteilen | Brutalität und Menschenrechtsverletzung

◼ ◼ mittel | ca. 30 min

Nach Abschluss einer Modulserie sollst du hier deine Ergebnisse und deinen Lernerfolg selbst evaluieren (das heißt: kritisch beurteilen)

Die Zeitangaben geben eine Orientierung für die Bearbeitungsdauer der Module

Bildnachweise zu den Vorschaubildern in den Lernmodulen

Methode | Thema | Schwierigkeitsgrade:  ◼ leicht    ◼ ◼ mittel   ◼ ◼ ◼ schwer (auch Oberstufe)

Autoren dieser Modulserie: Astrid Wegner, Simon Grigo, Köln

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