Chapter 3: Creating New Social Orders: Colonial Societies, 1500–1700

Key Terms

headright system
a system in which parcels of land were granted to settlers who could pay their own way to Virginia
a labor contract that promised young men, and sometimes women, money and land after they worked for a set period of years
members of the Society of Jesus, an elite Catholic religious order founded in the 1540s to spread Catholicism and to combat the spread of Protestantism
maroon communities
groups of escaped enslaved people who resisted recapture and eked a living from the land
Middle Passage
the perilous, often deadly transatlantic crossing of ships carrying captured Africans from the African coast to the New World
a light, long-barreled European gun
large tracts of land and governing rights granted to merchants by the Dutch West India Company in order to encourage colonization
a Spanish colonial system requiring Native American towns to supply workers for the colonizers
the native people of Florida, whom the Spanish displaced with the founding of St. Augustine, the first Spanish settlement in North America
shell beads used in ceremonies and as jewelry and currency


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