Social Studies - 2017-18

VS.4b - Culture of Colonial Virginia

The student will demonstrate knowledge of life in the Virginia colony by

b)  describing how the culture of colonial Virginia reflected the origins of European (English, Scots-Irish, German) immigrants, Africans, and American Indians.

Bloom's Level: Understand

Adopted: 2008


Different people groups can bring different ideas, resources, and cultures to a society.

Culture refers to the behaviors, beliefs, values, traditions, institutions and ways of living together of a group of people.

A culture can influence how individuals and societies address their needs and concerns.


The culture of colonial Virginia reflected the beliefs, customs, and architecture of the Europeans, Africans, and American Indians living there.

Although it was a colony of England, Virginia developed a unique culture different from that of England.

How did the culture of colonial Virginia reflect beliefs, customs, and architecture of Europeans, Africans, and American Indians?

Where did the various cultural groups settle?


Determine cause-and-effect relationships. (VS.1b)

Compare and contrast historical events. (VS.1c)

Draw conclusions and make generalizations. (VS.1d)

Interpret ideas and events from different historical perspectives. (VS.1g)

Analyze and interpret maps to explain relationships among landforms, water features, and historical events. (VS.1i)

Culture of colonial Virginia
Whenever people settle an area, they change the culture and landscape to reflect their beliefs, customs, and architecture. Examples of architecture that reflect different cultures include

  • barns
  • homes
  • places of worship (e.g., churches).

Place names reflecting culture

  • English – Richmond
  • American Indian – Roanoke

Settlement areas

  • English and other Europeans settled primarily in the Coastal Plain (Tidewater) and the Piedmont regions.
  • Germans and Scots-Irish settled primarily in the Shenandoah Valley, which was along the migration route.
  • Africans were settled primarily in the Coastal Plain (Tidewater) and the Piedmont regions, where tobacco agriculture required a great deal of labor.
  • Prior to the arrival of the settlers, American Indians lived throughout Virginia. After the settlers arrived, most were forced inland.

Migration and living in new areas caused people to adapt old customs to their new environments.


Updated: Mar 09, 2018