Significance of Jamestown

2621 words 11 pages
What is the significance of Jamestown? “Jamestown introduced slavery into English speaking North America; it became the first of England’s colonies to adopt a representative government; and it was the site of the first clashes between whites and Indians over territorial expansion. Jamestown began the tenuous, often violent, mingling of different peoples that came to embody the American experience.” Dr. James Horn A Land As God Made It.
In the 1400’s Europe had very little land for agriculture and settlement. The Europeans desired riches such as gold, luxury food items, land, and timber. None of these products could be produced in Europe so they had to find these resources elsewhere. This led to a lot of importing and trading with
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It reached the Chesapeake Bay area in May of 1607 and founded Jamestown, the first permanent English Colony in the New World.
The Settlement of Jamestown was far from easy. The immigrants first tried to establish in a mosquito ridden swamp area because they thought it would be easily defensible against Indian attack. They did not get a crop going in time and were almost out of food. More than a third of the settlers were gentlemen never having done manual labor. During the first winter more than half of the settlers died. People skilled in agriculture and building were needed but because all the land was owned by the company, most of the settlers were hired laborers only contracted to work for seven years.
One settler, Captain John Smith could see how foolish the company was being in settling in Virginia. He realized that building houses and growing crops were more important than searching for gold and riches. “John Smith was in favor of dominating the Indians but not killing them, and he learned how to be a master trader. He tried to convince the company leaders to send more people who were use to working with their hands such as farmers, fishermen, carpenters and mason’s”. Carnes, Mark C and John Garraty The American Nation. Even though John Smith only stayed for two years without his influence the entire colony would have perished.
The Jamestown settlers failed to develop a common sense of purpose. Each year


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