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Skills available for New York seventh-grade social studies standards

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7.1 The physical environment and natural resources of North America influenced the development of the first human settlements and the culture of Native Americans. Native American societies varied across North America.

  • 7.1a Geography and climate influenced the migration and cultural development of Native Americans. Native Americans in North America settled into different regions and developed distinct cultures.

    • Students will examine theories of human settlement of the Americas.

    • Students will compare and contrast different Native American culture groups, with a focus on the influence geographic factors had on their development, including Sioux and Anasazi.

    • Students will examine the various Native American culture groups located within what became New York State including Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), and the influence geographic factors had on their development.

7.2 European exploration of the New World resulted in various interactions with Native Americans and in colonization. The American colonies were established for a variety of reasons and developed differently based on economic, social, and geographic factors. Colonial America had a variety of social structures under which not all people were treated equally.

  • 7.2a Social, economic, and scientific improvements helped European nations launch an Age of Exploration.

  • 7.2b Different European groups had varied interactions and relationships with the Native American societies they encountered. Native American societies suffered from losses of life and land due to the Encounter with Europeans justified by the "Doctrine of Discovery."

    • Students will compare and contrast British interactions with the Wampanoag, Dutch interactions with the Mahican, Mohawk or Munsee, French interactions with the Algonquin, and Spanish interactions with the Muscogee.

    • Students will investigate other Native American societies found in their locality and their interactions with European groups.

    • Students will examine the major reasons Native American societies declined in population and lost land to the Europeans.

  • 7.2c European nations established colonies in North America for economic, religious, and political reasons. Differences in climate, physical features, access to water, and sources of labor contributed to the development of different economies in the New England, Middle, and Southern Colonies.

  • 7.2d In New York, the Dutch established settlements along the Hudson River and the French established settlements in the Champlain Valley. Dutch contributions to American society were long-lasting.

    • Students will compare and contrast the early Dutch settlements with French settlements and with those in the subsequent British colony of New York in terms of political, economic, and social characteristics, including an examination of the patroon system.

    • Students will examine the changing status and role of African Americans under the Dutch and English colonial systems.

    • Student will examine Dutch contributions to American society, including acceptance of a diverse population, a degree of religious toleration and right to petition. Students will examine Dutch relations with Native Americans.

  • 7.2e Over the course of the 17th and 18th centuries, slavery grew in the colonies. Enslaved Africans utilized a variety of strategies to both survive and resist their conditions.

7.3 Growing tensions over political power and economic issues sparked a movement for independence from Great Britain. New York played a critical role in the course and outcome of the American Revolution.

7.4 The newly independent states faced political and economic struggles under the Articles of Confederation. These challenges resulted in a Constitutional Convention, a debate over ratification, and the eventual adoption of the Bill of Rights.

  • 7.4a Throughout the American Revolution, the colonies struggled to address their differing social, political, and economic interests and to establish unity. The Articles of Confederation created a form of government that loosely united the states, but allowed states to maintain a large degree of sovereignty.

  • 7.4b The lack of a strong central government under the Articles of Confederation presented numerous challenges. A convention was held to revise the Articles, the result of which was the Constitution. The Constitution established a democratic republic with a stronger central government.

    • Students will investigate the successes and failures of the Articles of Confederation, determine why many felt a new plan of government was needed, and explain how the United States Constitution attempted to address the weaknesses of the Articles.

    • Students will examine the New York State Constitution, its main ideas and provisions, and its influence on the formation of the United States Constitution.

  • 7.4c Advocates for and against a strong central government were divided on issues of States rights, role/limits of federal power, and guarantees of individual freedoms. Compromises were needed between the states in order to ratify the Constitution.

    • Students will examine from multiple perspectives arguments regarding the balance of power between the federal and state governments, the power of government, and the rights of individuals.

    • Students will examine how key issues were resolved during the Constitutional Convention, including:

    • Students will examine the role of New York residents Alexander Hamilton and John Jay as leading advocates for the new Constitution.

7.5 The United States Constitution serves as the foundation of the United States government and outlines the rights of citizens. The Constitution is considered a living document that can respond to political and social changes. The New York State Constitution also has been changed over time.

  • 7.5a The Constitution outlined a federalist system of government that shares powers among the federal, state, and local governments.

  • 7.5b The Constitution established three branches of government as well as a system of checks and balances that guides the relationship between the branches. Individual rights of citizens are addressed in the Bill of Rights.

  • 7.5c While the Constitution provides a formal process for change through amendments, the Constitution can respond to change in other ways. The New York State Constitution changed over time, with changes in the early 19th century that made it more democratic.

    • Students will examine the process for amending the constitution.

    • Students will examine the evolution of the unwritten constitution, such as Washington's creation of the presidential cabinet and the development of political parties.

    • Students will examine the changes to the New York State Constitution and how they were made during the 19th century.

  • 7.5d Foreign and domestic disputes tested the strength of the Constitution, particularly the separation of powers, the system of checks and balances, and the issue of States rights. The United States sought to implement isolationism while protecting the Western Hemisphere from European interference.

    • Students will examine events of the early nation including Hamilton's economic plan, the Louisiana Purchase, the Supreme Court decision in Marbury v. Madison, and the War of 1812 in terms of testing the strength of the Constitution.

    • Students will examine the Monroe Doctrine and its effects on foreign policy.

7.6 Driven by political and economic motives, the United States expanded its physical boundaries to the Pacific Ocean between 1800 and 1860. This settlement displaced Native Americans as the frontier was pushed westward.

  • 7.6a Conflict and compromise with foreign nations occurred regarding the physical expansion of the United States during the 19th century. American values and beliefs, such as Manifest Destiny and the need for resources, increased westward expansion and settlement.

  • 7.6b Westward expansion provided opportunities for some groups while harming others.

    • Students will examine the Erie Canal as a gateway to westward expansion that resulted in economic growth for New York State, economic opportunities for Irish immigrants working on its construction, and its use by religious groups, such as the Mormons, to move westward.

    • Students will examine the growth of suffrage for white men during Andrew Jackson's administration.

    • Students will examine the conditions faced on the Trail of Tears by the Cherokee and the effect that the removal had on their people and culture.

    • Students will examine examples of Native American resistance to western encroachment, including the Seminole Wars and Cherokee judicial efforts.

    • Students will examine the ways westward movement affected the lives of women and African Americans.

    • Students will examine the policies of New York State toward Native Americans at this time.

7.7 Social, political, and economic inequalities sparked various reform movements and resistance efforts. Influenced by the Second Great Awakening, New York State played a key role in major reform efforts.

  • 7.7a The Second Great Awakening, which had a strong showing in New York State, inspired reform movements.

    • Students will investigate examples of early 19th-century reform movements, such as education, prisons, temperance, and mental health care, and examine the circumstances that led to the need for reform.

  • 7.7b Enslaved African Americans resisted slavery in various ways in the 19th century. The abolitionist movement also worked to raise awareness and generate resistance to the institution of slavery.

    • Students will examine ways in which enslaved Africans organized and resisted their conditions.

    • Students will explore efforts of William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, and Harriet Tubman to abolish slavery.

    • Students will examine the effects of Uncle Tom's Cabin on the public perception of slavery.

    • Students will investigate New York State and its role in the abolition movement, including the locations of Underground Railroad stations.

  • 7.7c Women joined the movements for abolition and temperance and organized to advocate for women's property rights, fair wages, education, and political equality.

    • Students will examine the efforts of women to acquire more rights. These women include Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Matilda Joslyn Gage, and Susan B. Anthony.

    • Students will explain the significance of the Seneca Falls Convention and the Declaration of Sentiments.

  • 7.7d The Anti-Rent movement in New York State was an attempt by tenant farmers to the protest the landownership system.

    • Students will trace the Anti-Rent movement in New York State.

7.8 Westward expansion, the industrialization of the North, and the increase of slavery in the South contributed to the growth of sectionalism. Constitutional conflicts between advocates of states' rights and supporters of federal power increased tensions in the nation; attempts to compromise ultimately failed to keep the nation together, leading to the Civil War.