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Hello, and welcome back to History at the Oak National Academy.

My name is Mr. Arscott.

And today is our third lesson looking into our inquiry in whether the Enlightenment caused a revolution in America.

And today we're going to look at what was happening in America itself.

Now, for today's lesson, you're going to need a piece of paper and a pen, and I'm going to ask you to start by writing out today's title, "The 13 Colonies." Now I'll get my head out of the way, so you can see that now.

So our title today is "The 13 Colonies," so please make sure you've got that written down now and if you need to pause the video whilst doing that, then do that, then un-pause it when you're done.

So, what we started looking at in the last few lessons is the Enlightenment.

This painting that you can see on the left gives you a bit of an idea about what the Enlightenment was all about.

People were getting excited about new ideas and new knowledge.

Now, our question is, did the Enlightenment fuel revolution? So, that's a really important question to try to work out whether we know the answer.

We know there were revolutions which happened at the end of the 18th century.

We're going to look at them in the next few lessons.

But the question is, was it the Enlightenment that made these revolutions happen? So was it powerful new ideas about how people should be ruled and how people should live? Were these ideas the things which made a revolution happen? Now if it is, that's an amazing thing to find out Because it means some ideas are so powerful, They can make governments for a new country to be created.

Now, before we start looking at all of that, I want you to focus on this painting here.

I just want you to think about one question.

What can you see? Now, if you look at this one, you might say something like, I can see a grand room.

So let's zoom in a bit.

So you can now see, there are lots and lots of different people in this painting.

I want you to study it quite carefully.

So I'm going to ask you to pause the video for about 30 seconds and look at what you think is going on.

Who do you think these people are? What can you see? So just pause the video whilst you're looking at.

Try to spot some details.

Welcome back.

I've been really interested to know what you saw.

Now, definitely you'll have seen, there are some different people and they're wearing different styles of dress.

Now you might notice in the far end of the painting, there's someone sat on a throne, and that was the Queen of England at the start of the 18th century.

She's called Queen Anne.

So who are the other people around? Well, the other people are actually members of parliament.

So parliament was the group of people that help to advise the British monarch on how to rule the country.

And the British monarch, in fact, couldn't rule the country without them.

Parliament were necessary to help the monarch pass new laws and raise taxes.

So why are people dressed in such different clothes? Well, let's break this down a tiny bit.

So as I said at the far end, we can see the monarch.

Put her in a circle.

That was Queen Anne at the start of the 18th century.

Then the people in the red robes are, I've labelled them as members of the House of Lords.

Now these were Britain's upper class.

So they were the wealthiest people, or sometimes known as the nobility or the aristocracy.

And these are people that inherited their wealth.

And they got to sit in parliament and advise the king or queen how to rule.

Now there's a group of people that sat with the nobility and they were the archbishops who I've circled on the left.

These were the most senior members of the church in the country.

So those two groups together were in the House of Lords and that was part of parliament.

And at the bottom, we can see a small number of members of the House of Commons.

And this was another part of parliament.

And this part was elected by wealthy Britons.

And so together, all these people in the room helped to rule Britain, the monarch was the head of state, but the other people involved, they were all members of parliament that helped Britain to be ruled.

And because the monarch needed to work with parliament, Britain at this time was called a constitutional monarchy.

There wasn't one person had all power.

Now the Enlightenment thinkers that we were looking at in the last few lessons really liked this.

They liked the fact that in Britain, power was shared.

So what I want you to have a go at doing now is trying to answer this question for yourself.

What can you see? I put a sentence starter there to help you and I just want you to finish that sentence off.

It doesn't need to be long, but it's your one sentence summarising what you can see in this picture.

So pause the video for one minute now.

I want you to finish that sentence and then un-pause it when you're done.

Welcome back.

So this is what I wrote: In this image, I can see the British parliament at the start of the 18th century.

Now you might've written something completely different.

You might have talked about the style of the room, some of the different people in there.

You might have talked about the members of the House of Commons, the members of the House of Lords, you might have even named Queen Anne.

So whatever you put, as long as something we've just talked about, excellent! That's all things that we can see in this painting from the start of the 18th century.

Now this system of government, the monarch ruling with parliament, actually meant that Britain was a very stable country in the 18th century.

It was seen as a country, at least by Enlightenment thinkers, it was seen as a country that was well-ruled.

But this had not always been the case as we'll find out later on.

So, what period are we looking at? So the last few lessons, we've been looking at the Enlightenment and I put a little box showing where the Enlightenment happened.

And if you remember, it happened during the 18th century, and the very, and also the very end of the 17th century.

Now what we're going to start looking at in today's lesson and in the next few lessons is an event known as the American Revolution.

And that happens near the end of the 18th century.

Arguably, it was inspired by Enlightenment ideas, but you're going to work that out for yourself and see whether you agree or disagree.

So when we're talking about the American Revolution, what are we talking about? So Britain, which is the place with that parliament we just saw, is circled and roughly in the middle of the map.

Now, when we're talking about the American Revolution, we're talking about something that happened on the East coast of the Americas or North America.

And I've layered it there on that, and as we're going to find out, it was known at the time as the 13 Colonies.

And in the 13 Colonies, there were lots of people from Britain who lived there.

So let's find out why.

Why were some British people living in the Americas? Well, one of the most famous stories is about some people who lived in Britain in the 17th century, who were very religious.

But they didn't feel that the British government at the time was respecting their religion.

This was a time before the British monarch and the British parliament worked so closely together.

And these people felt they were being persecuted because of their religion.

So they left Britain and they went on the dangerous journey across the Atlantic ocean.

At the time, it would have taken over a month to travel from Britain to the Americas.

They didn't know what they were going to find in the Americas.

And they decided to go live there in order to be free of religious persecution.

And because they were making a religious journey, there's sometimes referred to as the pilgrims. So they went to the Americas in order to practise their religion freely.

They also, once they were there, decided to set up farms. Now because these are some of the earliest people that went to the Americas, and because when they were in the Americas, they set up colonies for Britain, they became known as American colonists.

Now over time, more and more people from Britain and other parts of Europe travelled to the Americas and Britain eventually developed 13 successful colonies in North America.

Now in these successful colonies, there were lots of people that were practising their religion freely, but there were also people that were trading freely.

And these colonies, as you can see on the map, are all hugging the coast of the Americas.

And that's because on the coast, they could easily trade back with people in Europe.

So the people in the Americas were free to practise their religion how they wanted, and also to trade how they wanted.

And some of the people in the Americas moved there in order to make lots of money from being able to trade things you could grow in the Americas back with people in Britain.

So two key features of the 13 Colonies by the 18th century were that they were coastal and that they were agricultural, where things would grow.

Now there's a few exceptions.

Now in the Northern States of the Americas, some towns were developing.

So you might have heard of some of these towns before.

Boston and New York were two towns that were developing near the end of or the middle of the 18th century to the end of the 18th century, And they were getting towards the size of some smaller European towns.

This picture on the right shows an example of what Boston would have looked like in the middle of the 18th century.

Now in a second, I'm going to ask you to have a think about what Enlightenment thinkers might think about the Americas and the 13 Colonies.

But before we do that, it's worth just quickly reminding ourselves, what were some of the Enlightenment ideas? So if you can remember, pause the video for a second and see if you can remember what any of these Enlightenment thinkers thought, and un-pause the video once you've written a couple of notes.

Okay, amazing.

Whatever you managed to remember there.

So I'll just briefly remind you.

So Locke was the Enlightenment thinker who was particularly concerned with the individual liberty and natural rights.

Montesquieu was the thinker who was very interested in the idea of separation of powers.

Not one person becoming too powerful.

Montesquieu would have liked that image of the British parliament we saw earlier where the queen shared power with the parliament.

Voltaire was very interested in freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

And Rousseau was this radical Enlightenment thinker who was interested in democracy.

So here's the question I want you to think about.

What influence do you think Enlightenment ideas would have in the 13 Colonies? Now I want you to pause the video, read through the four options and then make your choice.

Un-pause the video when you're done.

Welcome back.

Now, I'm not actually going to tell you whether one answer is correct or whether one answer is wrong.

I'm now going to tell you, give you a bit more information.

And I want you to think about whether that changes your mind on the answer that you chose.

So let's find out a bit more about the 13 Colonies.

Now, some of the colonies in the South did things in a very different way from some of the colonies in the North.

And on a screen now we can see some very shocking images of things that took place in the Southern American colonies, particularly the colony of Virginia.

Now, these images were actually adverts produced in the 18th century and they were advertising tobacco.

Now the shocking thing about these images is that the adverts are proudly celebrating the fact that enslaved people were being used in order to produce this tobacco.

Now, what would happen in Virginia is that enslaved people were forced to work on large farms and huge plantations.

And then the things that were produced or the crops that were produced would then be sold back to Europe.

And these adverts were used in order to try to sell tobacco back in Europe.

So this is something that some Enlightenment thinkers would have been very unhappy about.

They wouldn't have liked the idea of people being enslaved and their liberty being taken away.

So there's definitely some features of the 13 Colonies, the Enlightenment thinkers would not like.

However, there were some, there were some people that lived in the 13 Colonies who were very interested in Enlightenment ideas.

Now, even though the Americas were very far away from Europe where the Enlightenment was mainly taking place, it was possible to communicate across the Atlantic.

And some Americans did travel between the 13 Colonies and Europe in order to meet people that lived in Europe.

Now two particularly important examples are Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson.

And these were two Americans who lived in 13 Colonies, who were very interested in Enlightenment ideas and communicated with Enlightenment thinkers.

And here we can see a painting of Benjamin Franklin and he was studying some Enlightenment papers in this image, in this painting.

Now you might notice something in this painting, which is actually very similar to one of the pictures we've looked at before.

Now the statue that's overlooking Franklin in this painting is a statue of Sir Isaac Newton.

And if you remember, Enlightenment thinkers really liked the fact that scientists had proved you could get new knowledge.

And so Franklin is being inspired by Sir Isaac Newton in the same way that in an earlier image, we saw Sir Isaac Newton was inspiring Voltaire.

So, what influence do you think the Enlightenment had on the 13 Colonies? Well, there's one more thing I want you to think about before we can come back to that question fully.

And to understand this idea properly, we've got to understand the idea of sovereignty.

Now sovereignty means having supreme power or authority.

Now we're going to talk a bit about what that means in a second, but first of all, I just want you to pause the video and copy that down.

And then un-pause it when you're done.

Welcome back.

So what does sovereignty actually mean? Well, a really nice way to understand sovereignty is to return to this image that we saw in Lesson One.

So if you remember, this was a pre-Enlightenment idea about what political power should look like, and this shows a monarch or a ruler having total power over their kingdom.

Now that suggests that the monarch has complete sovereignty over their lands.

That's the way we'd use the word.

So if they have complete power, they have complete sovereignty.

Now, a question then rises about who had sovereignty over the 13 Colonies.

Now in the individual 13 Colonies, there were small mini-parliaments or assemblies, which helped the people rule themselves in those places.

But ultimately they were British colonies.

So the ultimate authority, the people that could decide exactly what happened to the 13 colonies, weren't based in the colonies themselves, but instead were based in London.

So it was the British parliament and the British monarch that we saw earlier that had official sovereignty over the 13 Colonies.

Now this is something that might worry some Enlightenment thinkers, especially thinkers like Rousseau, who thought that the people themselves should be able to choose their own laws.

Because if people in London, the British parliament and the British monarch, can choose what's happening in the 13 Colonies, then people might worry that the 13, the people in the 13 Colonies do not have sovereignty themselves.


You're now in a really good position to have a go at trying to answer these comprehension questions.

So I'm going to read through them now, and then I'm going to give you your next instruction.

You don't need to answer them until I've given you your next instruction.

Question one: what powers of the British monarch were limited by parliament? Two: why did colonists moved the Americas? Three: in which part of the Americas were the 13 Colonies located? Four: Describe a difference between two of the 13 colonies and five, this is the challenge question so it's a bit harder, but you can definitely still have a go at it.

Do you think the colonists living in America felt they had sovereignty? Right.

So what I need you to do now is I want you to pause the video, then go to the next page and read through the worksheet slides.

Then use that information to have a go at answering those questions.

Now those questions will also be on the worksheet slides so don't worry.

You don't need to remember them.

Now once you've had a go at answering those questions I want you to come back to the video and we'll go through the answers.

Now, one more thing before you pause the video, try to write your answers in full, meaningful sentences, cause that will make sure they are much better answers.


Please pause the video now and un-pause it once you've answered the questions.

Welcome back.

Right, let's go through some of these answers.

So question one, what powers of the British monarch were limited by parliament? So an acceptable answer would be to raise taxes and pass new laws.

But a good answer, which puts that in a set of full, meaningful sentences, parliament limited the power of 18th century monarchs because the king or queen could not raise new taxes or pass new laws without the agreement of parliament.

Now, if at any point you want to pause me, you want to copy something down, you want to change something, then do do that.

This is something that's really useful about having an online lesson is if ever I'm talking too fast, just pause me, go back and then you can listen to it again or pause the screen and copy something down.


Question two.

Why did colonists move to the Americas? An acceptable answer: To make money or to escape religious persecution A good answer, which puts it into full, meaningful sentences: There are different reasons why colonists settled in the Americas.

Some colonists moved to escape religious persecution back in Europe whereas others were motivated by the potential to make money from the slave trade or farming large areas of land.

Question three: In which part of the Americas were the 13 Colonies located? An acceptable answer: In North America.

A good answer in a full sentence: The 13 Colonies were located on the north eastern coast of North America.

Question four: Describe a difference between two of the 13 Colonies.

An acceptable answer: Virginia had slaves, but Massachusetts did not.

A good answer putting that in a set of full sentences: Although there was, excuse me, although there were similarities between the 13 colonies, there were also differences.

For example, Massachusetts included large towns like Boston, whereas Virginia was more rural.

Additionally, southern colonies like Virginia contained large numbers of enslaved people, but northern colonies like Massachusetts did not.

Then question five, the challenge question.

Do you think the colonists living in America felt they had sovereignty? An acceptable answer or set of answers, could be yes, they had their own mini-parliaments or no, they were ruled by the British monarch.

A good answer: To some extent, the Colonists did have sovereignty.

Each colony had their own mini-parliaments which would decide how that colony should be governed.

However, the colonies were also British, so would have been expected to obey the British monarch and parliament.


Really well done having a go at answering those questions.

They definitely weren't easy.

And if you got any of them right, give yourself a big tick, cause that's an amazing piece of work.

If there's any notes you want to add, just add them to your answers now to make them even better.

Now, the final thing I want us to have a go at doing is thinking about an extension activity question.

So here's the question I want you to have a go at thinking about.

Would Enlightenment thinkers have liked how the 13 Colonies were ruled? So I want you to remember some things we learned in Lesson One about the Enlightenment ideas from Voltaire, from Locke, Rousseau and Montesquieu, and have a think about whether they would have approved about how the 13 colonies were ruled.

Now I put a couple of sentence starters there to help you and I have some key words for you to use in your answer.

Now having a go at these difficult, challenging historical questions is a really good way to develop your knowledge.

So I want you to have a go at doing that now, and then once you've finished, un-pause the video.

Right, so let's think about some things you might have put in your answer.

I can't give you a complete answer because we'll have written it in completely different styles, but you might have thought, yes, because there was religious toleration.

In the Americas, people were free to worship Christianity in the way they wanted.

There were local assemblies, so these were like mini-parliaments, and the, and the Enlightenment thinkers would have liked the fact they had parliaments, and there were liberties.

People were free to trade how they wanted, to worship how they wanted.

However, there's some things that Enlightenment thinkers would not have liked.

So they wouldn't have liked the fact that Britain had sovereignty over the 13 Colonies.

That the British monarch was the ultimate authority.

And they're unlikely to have liked the fact that there were enslaved people living in the Americas.

They would have thought it wrong that anyone should be enslaved.

Well done! We had really, really hard work today.

We've learned really fascinating things about what was going on in America and how it was influenced by the Enlightenment.

And next lesson, we're going to see the start of our first revolution.

So look forward to seeing you then.

And now, if you could just finish the lesson by doing the end-of-lesson quiz, that'd be excellent.

Well done.