When did the first Africans come to America? How did the first settlers make their laws? Why did people from Europe come Here Why do we speak English? Was Pocahontas a real person? All these questions will be answered, so pay attention!
The First British Colonies in the Americas The English hoped that colonies would serve as a source of raw materials and as a market for English exports. Early English colonists had many reasons for going to America. A lack of economic opportunities in England, stories of gold mines and to escape religious persecution helped push the citizens of England to the Americas. But first, the English had to stop the Spanish from ruling the seas. With the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, England could sail freely to the Americas.
England Experiments with Colonizing the New World
Queen Elizabeth I granted Sir Walter Raleigh the first parcel of land to be settled, Roanoke Island.
By 1585 Roanoke was settled. There the first English child was born in America, her name was Virginia Dare.
Her Father, Captain White left the colony and his granddaughter there to go get more supplies. He was supposed to be back within the year but got caught up in the war against the Spanish.
Upon his return in 1590 all the colonists had disappeared. Only the letters CRO were left carved in a tree.
FAILS England's First Permanent Settlement Sir Walter Raleigh lost all of his investment and the Queen refused to spend her money on any more failed colonies. If England wanted to have colonies in the Americas private business men would have to take the risk. Several wealthy men asked for a charter(land grant) and formed joint-stock companies with large sums of money to create lasting colonies. Two companies were formed in 1606: The Virginia Company of London The Virginia Company of Plymouth Remember this point, companies are formed to make stock holders (owners) money.
How to Make Money from a Colony First, tell people that by going to America they will become rich. Second, get them there and then leave really fast. Third, don’t return until it’s safe. Fourth, steal as much as you can from the Natives. Fifth, once they realize there isn’t any gold , make them work really hard, take their goods and make the colonists pay high taxes. Jolly Good Idea, PIP PIP!
Mercantilism In the economic theory of Mercantilism, the mother country benefits from the raw materials of the colony. Trade is regulated so that the mother country reaps most of the profits. Raw Materials Manufactured goods
England's First Permanent Settlement Bring me fame and gold! The new King of England, King James I, gave permission for the Virginia Company of London to settle in the Americas. More than 100 colonists sailed across the Atlantic and up the James river until they found a spot to settle.
Why do these men want to colonize the New world?
England's First Permanent Settlement 1607 Jamestown was founded in the area that today we call Virginia. The fort was created in the middle of a swampy area with little fresh water nearby and lots of mosquitoes from the swamp. but they could reach their ships quickly for safety if needed. http://www.virtualjamestown.org/jqtvr.html
Off to a Bad Start By 1608, most of the original settlers had died due to the harsh conditions and a disease called malaria. The colonists spent most of their time looking for gold instead of creating the supplies and shelters needed to survive. Moreover, most of the settlers were unskilled adventurers and unable to build a strong settlement. They spent most of their time looking for gold. Captain Newton returned to England for more supplies leaving the settlers to take care of themselves.
Jamestown Legend What do you know about Pocahontas?
Smith Succeeds, Sort of John Smith takes control of the colony and forces the colonists to work together to gather food and build proper shelters. He establishes martial law and any colonist that doesn’t work can be whipped. By 1609,with Smith’s leadership the colony gets organized. Smith suddenly gets hurt and has to head back to England on the next ship. The colonists are leaderless and their troubles are starting to mount.
The Starving Time In 1610 a harsh winter hits Jamestown Only 60 people survive the “Starving Time.” Colonists were forced to eat rats and snakes. The first recorded execution occurred when it was found that one man had survived the winter by eating his dead wife.
We’re Saved Just when most wanted to return to England 800 more settlers show up with with supplies and a new governor Lord De La Warr. Some settlers who had survived the winter went back to England never to return to Jamestown. We’re Here!
So, far so bad huh? Then you may ask how did they become successful enough to help create the country we have today? I know what your thinking. Aliens, came down from outer space to help. Nope. The miracle that saved Jamestown was….. Drum roll please…….
Tobacco! 1610 Around the same time that everyone wants to leave Jamestown a man arrives named John Rolf. He brings with him some seeds to grow a sweet tasting tobacco. Soon everyone in Jamestown is growing tobacco and selling it to the rest of the world.
How does John Rolfe become England's first successful businessman in the American Colonies?
Slavery Comes to Jamestown In1619 a Dutch sailing ship sold four Caribbean slaves to the settlers of Jamestown. The servants that came to Jamestown were both African and English. Some were called indentured servants, because, as soon as they worked off the money they owed they could buy their own land and live free.
I I I I Representative Government The people of Jamestown were sick of military rule (started by John Smith) so they decided to set up a new government. They created the House of Burgesses 1619, important leaders from each section of Jamestown could go to the House and voice their opinions. I hereby declare that we take all the available lands away from the Native population at once! All in favor say I! The honorable man from West Jamestown has the floor. The House of Burgesses was the first Representative assembly in the Americas.
More about Pocahontas! The legend is that Pocahontas saved John Smith from being killed by her father's tribe the Powhatans. But in actuality it was more of a welcoming ceremony. She was about 12 years old when that occurred and looked at John Smith as a father figure. Her real claim to fame is when she worked to create peace between the English settlers and her tribe.
Marry my daughter and we’ll have peace! A Deal is Made The local natives known as the Powhatans grew angry as Jamestown settlers started to claim natives lands. To settle the problems a marriage took place Pocahontas married the tobacco guy, John Rolfe and the dispute over land was put off; at least for a while.
How did Pocahontas bring peace between the Settlers and the Natives?
The Natives Help Jamestown For a time, the natives and the settlers got along. The natives even showed the people of Jamestown where to fish and how to grow corn. In fact, without the help from the natives, the Jamestown settlement would have failed. Let me show you how to grow corn and fish this area.
The Peace Ends But as in life, all good things come to an end 1623. The settlers grew to greedy for Native lands and the Powhatan grew angrier. Jamestown was attacked and almost burned to the ground. Hundreds of settlers were killed.
Internal Unrest We’ll see who runs this place! 1676 A Jamestown settler by the name of Nathaniel Bacon thought that taking land from the natives was the best way to become rich. He could grow more tobacco and sell more land to newcomers. The governor Lord Berkeley, disagreed, Bacon reacted by leading a revolt against Jamestown and ran the governor off. Unfortunately for Bacon, he soon died from disease and Jamestown was returned to the governor. The Natives, and Jamestown would survive for a little while longer.
What can we learn from Jamestown? They came to seek their fortune and to make money for their home country England. Their colony almost failed due to malaria and starvation. They created the first representative democracy in the New World Called the House of Burgesses. They brought the first slaves to the English Colonies. They became wealthy from growing tobacco They are one of the reasons we speak English and not Spanish or French.