Hauger History Podcasts for Social Studies Students

Ep. 9 The Appeal of New England to Colonial Settlers

September 23, 2016

Ep. #9: Hello and a yankee welcome (sorry Red Sox fans) to an 8th grade edition of the Hauger History Podcast. In today’s episode, we explore the draw and appeal of New England to colonial settlers who came to the New World. We are covering California History Standard 5.3, aligning to many History Standards.


In 8th grade right now, our students are preparing a Colonial Sales Booth to draw potential settlers (5th graders) who will come and view their boards, hear their slogans, and attempt to persuade them to vote for their colony to settle in.


Students have been given groups and one of the 13 British Colonies to promote as ad men and women.

Today, we will offer some support to students covering New England teritory, and their appeal.


New England included:

  • Connecticut

  • Rhode Island

  • Massachusetts

  • New Hampshire


Why would you have chosen New England?


Well lets start with some of the tribulations and challenges of Merry Old England, before a lot of the modern day merryness.


In August of 1607 the Plymouth Company arrived after some failed attempts of France and England to settle the area had previously withered. Early efforts were challenging.


  • The Mayflower arrived in 1620, to establish colonies, buildings, and food supplies, and benefit from the knowledge of previous trials and failures. A foundational document, one that would influence and effect even our Americans and Democratic Socities today -  The Mayflower Compact

    • Signed on November 11th, the Mayflower COmpact was the first written framework of government established in what is now the United States. The compact was drafted to prevent dissent amongst Puritans and non-separatist Pilgrims who had landed at Plymouth a few days earlier.

      • In history we really like talking about “firsts”

      • IN The Name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honor of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first colony in the northern Parts of Virginia; Do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid; And by Virtue hereof do enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions, and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general Good of the Colony;

  • In 1663, Rhode Island’s charter was granted. According to Rollins College, Rhode Island was ahead of its time in democratic solutions during an era and place where everything ultimately resided with the decisions of the crown. The ideals of progressive thinking businessmen and plantation owners were able to instill a written constitution that would endure virtually unchanged for over a hundred years. These ideals regarding freedom and free trade would eventually reflect in the constitution of the United States. The momentous act of independence was the only thing that was able to make fundamental changes to the charter, and the new version would also remain unchanged for another half a century.

  • New England had colonial towns, were early masters of ship building, fishing, and community government.

  • The first houses in New England were simple wooden huts. They had timber frames covered in clapboard with thatched roofs. Rather than glass windows had sheets of paper soaked in oil. The first chimneys were of logs covered in plaster - an obvious fire hazard! The earliest houses were crowded, dark and drafty.

  • However people soon built more substantial houses. As they grew more prosperous they added new rooms. They also replaced oiled paper with glass windows.

  • In the late 17th century the main room in a prosperous New England home was called the keeping room. It was used as a living room and a dining room. In it carpets were placed on tables (they were too valuable to put on the floor!). Chairs were a luxury and often only dad had one. The rest of the family sat on benches. They used chests for storage.

  • In New Amsterdam buildings were, at first, made of wood but in time houses of stone or brick were erected. Thatched roofs were banned in 1657 (because of the risk of fire). Dutch settlers built houses in the same style as those at home.

  • Colonial Food and Drink

  • In the 17th century it was not safe to drink water, it was too dirty. At first colonists were forced to use corn to make an alcoholic drink. Later beer and cider were common. For the wealthy wine and brandy were imported. For ordinary people rum became a popular drink in the late 17th century. In the 18th century tea became popular.

  • In the early 17th century colonists relied mainly on corn for food. It was made into bread or mush or was eaten with beans in a meal called succotash. Later in the 17th century other grains like rye, wheat and barley were grown. Colonists also grew vegetable like onions, turnips, parsnips and carrots. If meat was available stew was a popular meal.

  • In the 17th century few people used forks although they became common in the 18th century. In the 17th century it was common for two or more people to share a wooden plate called a trencher.

  • Less than 5% slaves and more opportunities for diversified labor in cottage industries.

  • While it lacks the draw of big cities and southern wealth, New England had a lot to offer

Thanks for listening! If you enjoy this remember to subscribe, new episodes for 6th - 8th grade are posted weekly!

Produced by Danny Hauger at www.dannyhauger.com