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Politics and Economics of Land Settlement in Colonial North Carolina

Using a primary source, students will examine the political nature of land settlement in North Carolina. The influence the economy had on land settlement will also be highlighted. Students will also learn about colonial industry in North Carolina.

Grade Level 8th grade

Learning outcomes

Students will:

Teacher Planning

45 minutes

NC Colonial records vol. 4 pg 156 (Heads of what is proposed by Henry McCulloh)



Anytime a person or group wanted to settle land in North Carolina they had to ask permission from a political entity. In order to get permission they had to convince them that it was necessary or somehow beneficial. This is considered a political process because a governing body is a part of the decision making process. In the case of colonies very little governing power is provided in the actual colony, decisions are made by the "Mother Country", in our case England.


Read the petition written by Henry McCulloh asking for permission to settle land in North Carolina. Encourage students to take notes about what they are reading or what they may not know. The teacher may also choose to write key parts of the letter on the board. The key parts are as follows...

Discuss the article. In the technology resources are links to information regarding Pott Ash, fur trading and hemp. Hemp could be considered controversial because it is the non-drug form of marijuana. Besides the industries mentioned what else is discussed that also benefits the colony economically? (Slaves and servants) What is the economy based on? (Trading) Do you think that Mr. McCulloh made a solid case for creating these two settlements? Why or why not?


Have students write what is the main argument that Henry McCulloh presents for creating these two settlements in colonial North Carolina? What evidence do you have from the primary source that supports your ideas?

Supplemental Information
The students can be divided into three groups. Each group could explore a form of colonial industry, such as Pott Ash, Hemp, and Fur trading. The groups could create a visual explaining and describing the uses for these items during colonial times

NC curriculum alignment

Social Studies
1.06 Identify geographic and political reasons for the creation of a distinct North Carolina colony and evaluate the effects on the government and economics of the colony.

Lesson plan created by Lara Willox