Points for Understanding

CHAPTER 3

1 Why is America’s Independence Day celebrated on the 4th of July?

This is the day when the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776.

2 What do Americans eat on Thanksgiving Day?

They eat turkey with stuffing, cranberry sauce and native vegetables like sweet potato, corn or squash. The dessert is pumpkin pie with cream (or other seasonal pie).

3 How do Americans celebrate Christmas?

It is celebrated on December 25th . They decorate a Christmas tree and give presents. Some people go to church on the night of December 24th and open their presents. Others open them on December 25th . Homes and gardens are also decorated with lights, wreaths and ornaments.

4 What do Americans do on Memorial Day?

They go to parades all over the country.

5 What do American kids receive on Halloween?

They usually get candy.

6 How is Marin Luther King, Jr Day different from other holidays?

On this day, Americans celebrate with work – however, it is done free called community work. They clean the public places, parks, paint homes or plant trees or bushes in the area where they live.

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CHAPTER 1

1 Why did Christopher Columbus call the native people “Indians”?

Because he thought he reached India. They were continued to be called “Indians” for over four hundred years. Today we call them Native Americans or Amerindians.

2 Why did European ship Africans to North and South America?

Europeans went to Africa and bought people there. They were carried on ships to North and South America and sold to farmers as slaves. They got no money for work and had to do as they were told. They worked on coffee, tobacco, cotton and sugar plantations (= very large farms).

3 Who went to North America on The Mayflower? Why?

They were the Pilgrims from England in 1620. They wanted religious freedom.

4 Why did New Amsterdam become New York?

The Dutch settled there in 1624 and called the land New Amsterdam. In 1664, King Charles II gave orders to his men to capture the territory from the Dutch. The Dutch did not fight very hard with the King’s soldiers led by his brother, the Duke of York because they didn’t like the Dutch government. So the English easily took the land from the Dutch and named it New York.

5 What happened at the Boston Tea Party?

In 1763, King George III of England ordered the American colonists to host the British soldiers and give them food as well. The British government also highly taxed tea, wine, coffee and sugar. The Colonists were unhappy about the laws and the high taxes. On the night of December 16, 1773, one hundred colonists dressed as Native Americans went to Boston Harbor and threw all the boxes of tea from the English ships into the sea. In reply, the King closed Boston Harbor.

6 What was the Declaration of Independence and why was it important?

It was a document signed on July 4, 1776. In the Declaration of Independence, the colonies were a new and independent country. It gave the man’s right to life, liberty and happiness.