When Queen Elizabeth died (1603), she left no heir. Therefore, the throne fell to the Stuart family, and James VI of Scotland, who in England would be crowned James I (1603—25). In 1606, James established a joint stock company that allowed members to buy shares and receive a return on the profits. This allowed the Virginia Company to finance settlements in the New World while at the same time spreading the risk so that should it fail, they would be financially safe.By settling along the Atlantic seaboard, the English chose a place already sparse in Native American settlements. There existed nothing similar to the advanced civilizations that the Spanish subjugated in Central America, when they conquered the Inca and Aztec Empires and incorporated them into their own. The English had to start anew, with very little help from Native Americans to guide them in their attempts to colonize.
The Virginia Colony would be established in 1607, when settlers traveled up the James River (which they named) and settled inland to hide their colony from the sea. This settlement they named Jamestown. Virginia Company was expected to turn a profit for their investors, the majority of settlers were more interested in discovering gold than in planting. This led to hard times the first winter. The Indians of the area were led by Chief Powhatan. He established trade with Jamestown and helped keep the Europeans alive the first winter. The Jamestown settlement was also aided by John Smith, who would rise in leadership in the colony and eventually enact a policy that dictated that only those who worked would be provided food. Jamestown would be sent more settlers in 1609, including several women. Over the next several years, a series of revisions would be made to the charter to make the colony more effective and as it grew. Finally in 1612, tobacco was discovered to be a profitable export, and the colony began to experience a dramatic rise in its fortunes.
John Rolfe had made a name for himself in growing tobacco. He would further establish himself in Jamestown by marrying Powhatan’s daughter, Pocahontas.
William Berkeley, governor of Virginia, was not well liked because he used his authority to help the rich at the expense of the poor. After a battle between natives and colonists in which Nathaniel Bacon’s overseer was killed, Berkeley ruled that no more land would be open to settlement. Bacon led a group of vigilantes against the Indians, ordered Berkeley arrested, and burned Jamestown. Bacon died of an illness soon after, and Berkeley regained control of the colony.
Founded in 1634, Maryland was the first colony owned by one family and not a joint stock company. The owners were the Lords Baltimore, who created it as a safe haven for Catholics. The actual colony was established by the second Lord Baltimore, and the established government system had a two-chambered legislature and a separate governor and council.
New England colonies were founded mostly by settlers who paid their own way to establish themselves in the New World. Very few were indentured servants. Most of the early settlers left their homes for purely religious reasons. They wished to worship how and when they pleased, and they usually settled with liked minded individuals. The soil in New England was not as conducive to cultivation, nor was the growing season.Plymouth Colony was settled by the Pilgrims, who were the most radical of the Puritans. They believed that the Church of England retained too many Catholic institutions, and they needed to be purified. They would cross the Atlantic to escape persecution in 1620. William Bradford was their charismatic leader. On the voyage, they crafted the Mayflower Compact to govern their lives and their settlement. They arrived in the middle of winter and by spring were reduced to half their number. They soon met Squanto, an Indian who showed them how to plant and fish.
The Puritans believed that the Church of England needed to be purified of any Catholic remnants left over from the Reformation. In 1629, Charles I granted a charter to the Massachusetts Bay Company to allow Puritans led by John Winthrop to settle in the New World. Winthrop headquartered the company in the colony itself, a revolutionary idea at the time.
The Massachusetts Bay Colony’s strict adherence to their Puritan beliefs left no room for those who disagreed. As a result, disgruntled former residences began forming their own colonies. Rhode Island was one such settlement. Roger Williams and John Winthrop did not get along. Winthrop cherished his authority over the land and the people as granted him by the king’s royal charter. Williams believed in the liberty of man and his ability to commune with God directly. Obviously this did not go over well with Winthrop, and Williams was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Williams established his own colony at the mouth of Narragansett Bay, south of Massachusetts, and it soon became known to all for allowing freedom of worship. Perhaps Rhode Island’s most famous resident was Anne Hutchinson who, although a woman, taught that God saved individuals through a covenant of grace, in which a person obtains salvation through the grace of God, not through doing good deeds, known as a covenant of works. She was banished from Massachusetts Bay and took up residence in Rhode Island.
The colony of Connecticut was originally created as a overflow colony of Massachusetts Bay. It was led by Thomas Hooker, and in 1639, the citizens of the colony established their government through the Fundamental Orders of Commonwealth. Near the colony, another settlement was established, that of New Haven. It was originally founded as a place of commerce for Puritans from Massachusetts Bay, but in 1662 it was absorbed into Connecticut.
In 1622, Sir Ferdinando Gorges and John Mason were granted land that is today Maine and New Hampshire. Gorges took New Hampshire, and Mason took Maine. Due to an overlap of boundaries between Maine and Massachusetts, eventually all of Maine would be given to Massachusetts.
Because the settlers of New England were principally fundamental Christians who viewed it as their duty to settle the land and convert its people to Christianity, they did not have ethical dilemmas in taking territory from the original inhabitants. In many of these areas, as the Anglo settlers moved in, the natives were forced out, fought back, or died of diseases unknown to them before the Europeans’ arrival. Initially the natives helped the English settlers on the coast, but once the settlements began to flourish, they found themselves unable to stop encroachment on their lands. In 1636, a Pequot was accused of murdering a colonist in Massachusetts. For revenge, the colonists set fire to a Pequot village and killed its inhabitants. The Pequots in turn fought back, and by 1638, what few Pequots still survived signed the Treaty of Hartford, and the Pequot nation ceased to exist.
Charles II granted the area that is now North and South Carolina to eight lord proprietors. North Carolina was first settled by people of Virginia who had drifted south. The colony, named Albemarle, was established in the 1650s. It gained a governor in 1664 and an assembly in 1665. South Carolina was the focus of the lord proprietors. There they established the colony of Charles Town (Charleston).
In an effort to bolster the Carolinas’ agricultural economy, the lord proprietors promoted trade with the local Indians. This increased the native peoples’ exposure to deadly diseases and made southern tribes dependent on British trade goods, like guns and rum.
Although the Dutch colony of New Netherland (present-day New York) was older than the settlements of New England, the Dutch were slowly losing their grip on their empire. King James II realized that the Dutch were too weak to stop a takeover, ordered New Netherland captured, and added to his colonies. The first settlers of Jewish descent arrived in 1654 and were almost thrown out of New York. They were forced to be accepted when the Dutch West India Company ordered that they be allowed to stay. Although Jews were allowed to remain, they were not granted the same rights as the other citizens. The Iroquois League forced the colonists to work with them in the beaver trade. It was by far the largest Native American organization, at one point numbering over 12,000 members.
New Jersey was formed in 1702 from parts of New York that separated and created their own royal colony.Pennsylvania was formed by William Penn and his Quaker followers. Unlike Winthrop, Penn encouraged members of all denominations to move to his colony. Delaware was also given to Penn, who was to create another colony. In 1704, Delaware chose its own assembly but shared a governor with Pennsylvania. Georgia was created as a buffer state between the colonies and the lawless lands of Spanish-controlled Florida. It was led by James Ogelthrope. In 1754, control of Georgia reverted back to the crown.
His 121 chapter 2
CHAPTER 2BRITAIN AND ITS COLONIES
SETTLING THE CHESAPEAKE• James I• The Virginia Company• Differences between English and Spanish colonization attempts
SETTLING THE CHESAPEAKE• The Virginia Colony • Jamestown settlement • Chief Powhatan • John Smith • Reinforcement attempts • Discovery of tobacco as revenue