Jamestown and Plymouth Essay
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The English had two main colonies in the new world, Jamestown and Plymouth. The first colony was Jamestown, established in Virginia in 1607. Jamestown was settled by Captain John Smith, and was named after King James I. Tobacco was the main export of Jamestown, and became the basis of the Jamestown economy, sending more than 50,000 lbs of the plan back to Europe by 1618 (textbook 46). Jamestown had a very rocky start, many colonists dying in the first few years of the settlement, and the settlers had many problems with natives. Shortly after the arrival of English colonists the Natives attacked them, and were finally forced back by a canon from the English. A very uneasy truce was finally settled between the natives, called the Powhatans,…show more content…
The Salem Witch trials, of Salem Massachusetts are known for their hypocrisy and unfair rulings. The trials were the main conflict in the Plymouth colony, causing a scare between the colonists, making them fear each other. Plymouth was set in stone in their ways, and if there was any one doing something different they were persecuted because they didn’t belong. The citizens concerned themselves more with others than with the individual growth of themselves. The Jamestown Colony was founded for economic wealth, in comparison to the Plymouth colony, which was settled for religious freedom. Jamestown seemed to work as a single entity, expanding their tobacco trade and growing the economy. The self-interested colonists of Jamestown wanted land and money, which they were promised if they worked hard in the tobacco industry. Many people who came from England were indentured servants, promised food and sheltered during their seven years of work and a plot of 50 acres after their service. By working for the better of themselves it strengthened the work ethic of the Jamestown colonists. On the flip side, the Puritans were greedy, but did not wish to work, which we can see in the story “The Crucible” written by Arthur Miller. The Puritans killed off their neighbors by accusing them of witchcraft, and once executed their
Peace between the Powhatan Indians and the English, brought about by the conversion and marriage of Pocahontas (kidnapped by the English in 1613) and John Rolfe in 1614, ended in 1622. In March of that year the paramount chief, then Opechancanough, planned a coordinated attack against the English settlements. He was tired of the English encroachment on Powhatan lands. Jamestown escaped being attacked, due to a warning from a Powhatan boy living with the English. During the attack 350-400 of the 1,200 settlers were killed. After the attack, the Powhatan Indians withdrew, as was their way, and waited for the English to learn their lesson or pack up and leave. Once the English regrouped they retaliated and there was fighting between the two peoples for ten years, until a tenuous peace was reached in 1632.
On May 24, 1624, the Virginia Company's charter was revoked by King James I due to overwhelming financial problems and politics, and Virginia became a royal colony, which it remained until the Revolutionary War. This shift in control did not change the English policy towards the Powhatan Indians. Despite peace being declared in 1632, English encroachments on Powhatan lands continued undiminished as more settlers arrived in the Colony.
In April 1644, Opechancanough planned another coordinated attack, which resulted in the deaths of another 350-400 of the 8,000 settlers. The attack ended when Opechancanough was captured in 1646, taken to Jamestown, and shot in the back by a guard - against orders - and killed. His death brought an eventual death to the Powhatan Chiefdom; it was reduced to tributary status. His successor signed the first treaties with the English, which made the Powhatan Indians subjects of the English.