In keeping with the historical perspective of the Coastal
Semester Program we will experience the story of America's beginnings at
Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center. We will use Chippokes
Plantation State Park, one of the oldest working farms in the United States, as
our base of operations. A living historical exhibit located in a rural
agricultural area along the James River, Chippokes State Park offers easy
access to both Jamestowne and Colonial Williamsburg.
Through film, artifact-filled galleries and outdoor living history, we will
engage in nearly two centuries of our nation's history from the founding of
America's first permanent English settlement in 1607 to the decisive
Revolutionary War victory in 1781 and implementation of the Constitution and
Bill of Rights. At Jamestown Settlement, you'll learn about the people of 17th-century Virginia Powhatan
Indians and European and African immigrants. At the Yorktown Victory Center,
you'll discover the lives of men and women who witnessed the American
Revolution and the formation of the new nation.
Another stop on our historical journey to coastal settlements will be Colonial Williamsburg, the thriving capital
of Virginia when the dream of American freedom and independence was taking
shape and the colony was a rich and powerful land stretching west to the
Mississippi River and north to the Great Lakes. For 81 formative years, from
1699 to 1780, Williamsburg was the political, cultural and educational center
of what was then the largest, most populous and most influential of the
American colonies. It was here that the fundamental concepts of our republic responsible
leadership, a sense of public service, self-government and individual
liberty were nurtured under the leadership of patriots such as George
Washington, Thomas Jefferson, George Mason and Peyton Randolph.
In Colonial Williamsburg’s 301-acre historic area stand hundreds of restored,
reconstructed and historically furnished buildings. Costumed interpreters tell
the stories of the men and women of the 18th-century city black, white, and
native American, slave, indentured and free and the challenges they faced.
Coastal students re-create life in 17th century Virginia.
Working with archeologists at the Jamestown excavation site, students watch
environmental history unfold.
Students learn about historic breeds of domesticated animals used by the early
Zoo-archeologists at Williamsburg uncover the details of farming practices and
colonial diet in the New World.
Comparing Native American and European cultures helps to gain insight into
early environmental changes in the region.