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In the Classroom > Unit Overview
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Lesson 5: Queen Anne's War and Its Impact on Deerfield

Unit Central Question:

In This Lesson:

How did the cultural characteristics, beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, and economic conditions of the French, English, and Indians contribute to the growth of inter-group hostilities, fighting, and attacks in the late 17th and early 18th centuries?

Lesson Length
Key Ideas
Activity 1
Activity 2
Lesson Length

Activity 1: 2 hours
Activity 2: 1 hour

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Key Content Ideas Taught in this Lesson and Teacher Background
  • In 1701, the king of France secured the throne of Spain for his son, altering the balance of power in Europe and precipitating the outbreak of war in Europe. England entered the conflict in 1702, declaring war on both France and Spain. This war, known as the War of Spanish Succession in Europe and Queen Anne's War in the colonies, came upon the heels of earlier wars and conflicts between the English and French.
  • The war, fought in the colonies as well as in Europe, had an important impact on the relations between the French and English in the colonies. These old enemies, already competing and fighting over land and access to natural resources in North America, had even more incentive to fight one another. The English and the French each formed alliances with different groups of Native Americans who brought their own intra-national disagreements to the conflict. Consequently, the war significantly and adversely affected the relationships between the Europeans and Native Americans and the relationships among Native American nations.
  • The French shared the English concept of individual rights to land ownership, but their use of land was different from the English. They used the land to promote commerce and establish business partnerships as a means of gaining wealth.
  • The contrast in religious beliefs between the French and the English contributed in part to the attack on Deerfield in 1704. The beliefs held by the English Puritans and French Catholics were in direct conflict with each other. One of the reasons the French came to America was to establish missions. Many French were Catholics and served as missionaries to the Indians. The French Catholics, especially the missionaries and their agents, were motivated to convert non-Catholics to their faith.
  • The introduction of European disease such as measles and smallpox, attacks by the Mohawks, and the English occupation of their land all contributed to the weakening and eventual displacement of the Pocumtucks.

For more information, read:
Teacher Background essay Queen Anne's War

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Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will understand that:

1. the nature and details (the "who, where, what, when, why, and how") of The War of Spanish Succession (Queen Anne's War).
2. the ways this European war affected events in North America and in Deerfield.
3. that rather than establish settlements and farms like the English, French men used the land to become trappers and traders, and they established business relationships with the Indians. They also served as soldiers and priests on the land they called New France.
4. that a variety of factors influenced the weakening and displacement of the Pocumtucks. These factors included death by diseases such as measles and smallpox, attacks by the Mohawks, and English acquisition of Pocumtuck lands.
5. why the Pocumtucks no longer had access to their land and what happened to them as a result.

Students will:

1. learn to do research on the internet using search engines.

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In Preparation for Teaching

1. Copy and distribute key words for web site research, or copy materials from web sites (if students do not have access to computers), the excerpt from The History of Deerfield, Nuthatch's Dilemma and the Queen Anne's War Graphic Organizer Part 1 and Part 2.

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Primary and Secondary Sources:

1. Web sites found using relevant key words (e.g. Queen Anne's War; War of Spanish Succession; Canada History; Habitant; New France; Virtual Museum of New France.)
2. Excerpts from History of Deerfield, Vol. 1, by George Sheldon.


1. Nuthatch's Dilemma
2. Student notebooks
3. Queen Anne's War graphic organizers:Part 1 and Part 2

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Activities Materials in Context

Activity 1
Queen Anne's War and life in New France

A. Ask students to research Queen Anne's War and life in New France on the web using the key words listed on the materials list and the excerpt from the History of Deerfield. They should take notes on who, where, what, when, why and how. They should also take note of how it relates to New England and especially Deerfield. Discuss.

B. Work with the class to complete the graphic organizer to help students develop the understandings listed in Intended Learning Outcomes (understandings), above.

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Excerpt from History of Deerfield


Queen Anne's War graphic organizers:
Part 1
Part 2

Activity 2
Nuthatch's Dilemma

A. Distribute Nuthatch's Dilemma. Have students read it and answer the following questions:

  • What do you do on Sundays (the Sabbath)? In the early 18th C. (early 1700s), why might it be considered wrong to travel, work, or shoot a gun on Sunday?
  • Was it fair to fine the Pocumtucks for traveling on the Sabbath or for getting drunk? Why? What is wrong with getting drunk?
  • What does Queen Anne's War have to do with Nuthatch?
  • Do you know what beliefs Nuthatch was talking about taking on? Should she do it? Why or why not?
  • Rather than leave the area, what else might the Pocumtucks have done? What might have happened in each case?

B. Ask students to write a letter to Nuthatch giving her advice about her dilemmas.



Nuthatch's Dilemma

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Use students' graphic organizer and advice letters to Nuthatch to assess the degree to which students achieved the intended learning outcomes for this lesson.

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