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Lecture 2

HIS250Y1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: New England Colonies, Opchanacanough, Indentured Servant


Department
History
Course Code
HIS250Y1
Professor
Erin Black
Lecture
2

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LECTURE 2
ENGLAND’S FIRST COLONIES: VIRGINIA VS. MASSACHUSETTS BAY
What changed for England? They weren’t interested in settling up permanent settlements, but now they
do? Why is that?
I. Motives for Colonization
- Nationalistic Rivalries
England and Spain had been allied up to the 1500’s (Spain was the first explorer to move
westward and they had come to the new world first, therefore England didn’t feel the
need to make settlements)
In the 16th century, England and Spain become enemies, therefore the competition for the
colonies occurred and England didn’t want Spain to achieve more settlements
- Religion
Catholics and Protestants were attempting to convert them to their religion, and England
wanted to get in on this too
There are groups of people that were not welcome and for the English this was the
Puritans; so the Puritans left England in hopes of being allowed to practice their religion
more freely and not be persecuted
- Economics
Antwerp market collapsed which led to the English to look for new revenue and new
markets
Therefore England came to the new world to find new revenue and trade etc.
- Population Pressures
Pop. Grew by 2 ½ million people in England and Whales
Therefore a lot of people moved and set up somewhere else in hopes of creating a better
life
*The English crown lacked financial resources to create a new colony
*Coloners had to come up with their own finances to make the expeditions
II. Jamestown (Virginia & the Chesapeake) *first successful colony
- Origins and Settlement
Virginia Company sought out and received a royal charter from Queen Elizabeth to find a
colony. The first years of the colony were very rocky; lots of deaths because English
bodies had to become accustomed to new diseases and climate changes (i.e. malaria). The
people who came over are wealthy people; they’re not the type to want to start farming to
feed themselves. They thought they can feed off from the N.A, but if not they could not
get any food. They are saved by the generosity of Powhatan. Powhatan didn’t trust the
English, however he didn’t fight them; he used them as a tool against the Algonquian
people.
- The Real Story of Pocahontas (Powhatan; John Smith; John Rolfe; wereowance;
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Opechancanough)
Powhatan tries to kill Smith and Pocahontas stops it
Pocahontas was 12 not 18; her intervention was meant to happen; it wasn’t about her
being in love with John Smith
Werowance: express Powhatan supremacy over someone, in saving Smith’s life,
Powhatan was showing his mercy and his willingness to adopt this man as a subordinate
Pocahontas was kidnapped, and killed when brought back to England. Ralfe married her
only because his wife died on their way to America and he didn’t have a choice but to
marry a N.A woman
The colony survives because of Powhatan’s people; he offered food to people who
couldn’t get food; he did this out of good will.
1619: Powhatan died and his brother replaced him; he had very different views in
comparison to Powhatan; he viewed them as threats whereas Powhatan viewed them as
subordinates. He tried to assault some people of Jamestown in order to get them to leave;
however it failed to dislodge the colony even though he managed to kill 300 people.
- Tobacco
The colonists in Jamestown hit upon a solution that allowed their colony to thrive which
was tobacco.
Natives had been using it for thousands of years because it grew wild, however
Europeans realized that if you cultivate it and grow it on your own, it grows even better
The colonists thus did this and sent it back to England; they soon realized how rapidly
and expensively tobacco grew and found their new source of revenue
Virginia shipped 60,000 pounds of tobacco to England they then exported 35 million
pounds of tobacco a year
The English crown in 1644 and revoked the charter and renamed Virginia a royal colony
so they could give their money to the crown
The distant crown or lord proprietors had to share power with the wealthiest and most
ambitious colonists
The reliance on tobacco lead to inequality in the colony. Picking tobacco is very labor
intensive; in order to be successful they needed a lot of people to help
IV. The Origins of Slavery
- A Servant Society (at first) (indentured servants)
At first the tobacco labor wasn’t considered slavery, more for servants because the cost of
slaves were too high
To get people to come to the Chesapeake, the crown offered 50 acres of free land to
anybody that could pay for their own passage from England to Virginia. Most poor
people who really wanted to leave, couldn’t really do that, so instead people who can,
offered a contract to people who couldn’t and wanted to leave to work for them for 4-7
years (indentured servants). At the end they can pay them back whatever it took to get
them to come to Virginia and then they can keep the land. You basically pay yourself off
by doing work. These people who brought over these indentured servants were giving an
extra 50 acres of land.
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