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John Fea, Associate Professor of History, Messiah College


This seminar will examine the founding, settlement, and development of the thirteen British colonies from 1607 to 1763. Rather than thinking about colonial America as a necessary forerunner to the American Revolution or the birth of the United States, we will make an effort to understand British colonial life on its own terms. Through lectures, readings, discussions, and other activities will we examine how the colonies developed from remote seventeenth-century English outposts  to well-connected eighteenth-century provinces of the British Empire. In the process we will critique the so-called Whig interpretation of the colonies and think together about how this particular period in the American past provides a laboratory for teaching historical-thinking skills in the K–8 classroom.


Readings are sent by the Institute to seminar participants. Readings may include:

Alan Taylor, Colonial America: A Very Short Introduction

John Fea, The Way of Improvement Leads Home:  Philip Vickers Fithian and the Rural Enlightenment in America

Travel & Accommodations

Participants will be staying at Princeton University in Princeton, NJ. Princeton is equidistant from New York City and Philadelphia and is easily accessible by train. The nearest airport is Newark Liberty International Airport. For more information on travel to Princeton, please click here.

Workshop participants will be housed in on-campus residence halls.They will have their own room but share bathrooms and common space on each floor. The university provides basic bedding and towels only. Please note that participants should plan to bring alarm clocks, shower shoes, hangers, irons, and hair dryers. Participants should plan to bring laptops as computer access on campus will be limited.


Meals will be served in a university cafeteria in space shared by other programs. All on-campus meals will be paid for by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

Travel Reimbursement

Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to and from the seminar. Each seminar participant will receive reimbursement of travel expenses up to $400. Please read our complete travel reimbursement policy before applying.

Graduate Credit

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is proud to announce its agreement with Adams State University to offer three hours of graduate credit in American history to participating seminar teachers. For more information, please click here.


Email the Teacher Seminars department or call 646-366-9666.

July 27th, 2014 5:00 PM   through   August 2nd, 2014 5:00 PM
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ
United States
Event Fee(s)
Seminar Fee
Attending $50.00
Not Attending $0.00

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