Introduction to

Year Three: Early Modern

U.S., World and Church History from 1600-1850

Year Three covers:
  • New World colonies in Virginia, New France, New England, New Netherland, New Sweden, Central America, South America and the West Indies.
  • The Dutch Revolt, the Thirty Years' War and the English Civil War.
  • King William's War, Queen Anne's War, King George's War and the Seven Years'/French and Indian War.
  • The rise of Prussia and Frederick the Great.
  • The American Revolution, the Founding Fathers and the Constitution of the United States.
  • The French Revolution, Napoleon and the First French Empire.
  • The rise of the British Empire, British India and the Opium Wars against China.
  • Manifest Destiny, the Texas Revolution, the Mexican-American War and the California Gold Rush.
  • American folk heroes like Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, Sam Houston and Kit Carson.
  • Scores of topics from Spain, Russia, China, Japan, India, Africa and more.

Year Three begins with a review of the vast Spanish Empire, which will begin to crumble in the 1600s. Students will watch bold explorers like Jacques Cartier and Henry Hudson search the waters above North America for the elusive Northwest Passage to the Far East. West of the Atlantic, settlers from England, France, the Netherlands and Sweden will struggle to establish permanent colonies in the New World. East of the Atlantic, conflicts between Protestants and Catholics will erupt into the Thirty Years' War and the English Civil War. Along the way, students will receive updates from faraway Russia, China, Japan, India, the Ottoman Empire and more.

In the Seven Years'/French and Indian War, students will watch Britain conquer New France, thus adding Canada to the Thirteen Colonies Britain already holds in North America. Twenty years later, France will help those Thirteen Colonies win independence from Britain, establishing the brand-new United States of America. The Founding Fathers will base the Constitution of the United States on the Enlightenment principles of liberty and equality for all. Seeking that same liberty and equality for themselves, the people of France will tear down their profligate monarchy in the terrible French Revolution.

Napoleon Bonaparte will reorganize broken France into the First French Empire, which will grow to dominate all of Europe. A few years later, Napoleon will throw away all of his gains on an overambitious campaign against Russia, after which one of the largest single armies ever assembled will retreat in frigid ruin and disgrace. With the fall of Napoleon, Britain will take France's place as the dominant power in Europe. The mercantilist British Empire will grow to dominate both India and China, all in the name of profit.

Back in the Western Hemisphere, the USA will explore North America west of the Mississippi, even as countries from Mexico to Argentina win independence from Spain. Next, Texas will win independence from Mexico, and the USA will fight off Mexico for control of the North American southwest. Year Three ends with the prospectors of the 1849 California Gold Rush.

Most weeks' lessons include Giants of the Faith-- brief, inspiring biographies of church fathers and missionaries of the gospel like:

  • John Bunyan
  • John Eliot
  • Adoniram Judson
  • Elizabeth Fry
  • George Whitefield
  • Dwight Moody
  • and many others

A Note on Scope and Sequence:

Year Three is divided into six units as follows:

  1. Unit One, The New World: 6 Weeks (1 – 6)
  2. Unit Two, Western Europe: 6 Weeks (7 – 12)
  3. Unit Three, Asia and Eastern Europe: 6 Weeks (13 – 18)
  4. Unit Four, The American Revolution: 5 Weeks (19 – 23)
  5. Unit Five, The Age of Napoleon: 5 Weeks (24 – 28)
  6. Unit Six, Rebellion and Repression: 6 Weeks (29 – 34)

A sampling of the age-appropriate literature selections outlined in the Family Guide for Year Three:

Stone Soup, an Old Tale (Brown)
Rikki-tikki-tavi (Pinkney)
A More Perfect Union (Maestro)
Buffalo Bill (D’Aulaire)
Hans Brinker: The Silver Skates (Dodge)
Imprisoned in the Golden City (Jackson)
Childhood of Famous Americans: Daniel Boone (Stevenson)
The Cabin Faced West (Fritz)
World of Columbus and Sons (Beautiful Feet, Foster)
Peter the Great (Stanley)
Johnny Tremain (Forbes)
Carry On, Mr. Bowditch (Latham)
Pilgrim’s Progress (Bunyan)v Moby Dick (Melville)
Family Read-Alouds
The Sign of the Beaver (Speare)
In Search of Honor (Hess)
Bold Journey: West with Lewis and Clark (Bohner)


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