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02 - England's First Colonies.doc

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Erin Black

ENGLAND’S FIRST COLONIES: VIRGINIA VS. MASSACHUSETTS BAY (Sept. 18) I. Motives for Colonization - Nationalistic Rivalries • Early period of exploration: eng. And spain were allies… therefore England did not want to get into that mess • Following the war, England was all FAIR GAME SUCKAHS. It would also weaken spain in order to attack them from other fronts - Religion • English colonization: early modern period: era of the post protestant reformation  who’s church was more important. I’m cooler than you – in a nutshell. • Compete with others to see who can convert more ppl to their faith. Aka native American populations • Some people settling are running away from prosecution based on their religious beliefs - Economics • General economic desire… • England: new source of economic structure for the country o Main source collapsed in the mid 1500s… prior was selling cloth etc. in Holland. This market collapses • They’re going to need new means of importation and exportation - Population Pressures • Crazy population boom in England! • Yo, where is this money coming from? Contract out colonization by issuing licenses and charters to private groups, and establish colonies in England’s name… but use their own personal funds. o First go: 1580s. epic failure. People are dying, natives are hostile, etc. • II. Jamestown (Virginia & the Chesapeake) - Origins and Settlement • 1607! Swamp land… malaria! First group of people start popping off. • Virginia company – private investors granted ability to establish colony in her name. Queen Elizabeth I = Virgin Queen, therefore Virginia Company • Capitalist ideologies root all the way back from this period! • Why else did they all start popping off? Most of the people were of higher class, so they refused to do any manual labor. EPIC FAIL. Starving themselves out, disease • So how do they survive? Offered aid by Powhatan (Algonquian) o Rather than fight and drive them away, the settlers could be turned to his own advantage, especially against fights against his enemies - The Real Story of Pocahontas (Powhatan; John Smith; John Rolfe; wereowance; Opechancanough) • When the initial amount of aid is seen as not being enough, they send an embassary to “negotiate” aka Cpt. John Smith • Obviously not impressed. Takes him captive, beats him up, and is about to execute, when his daughter asks to spare his life. She then returns as an embassary. o John Smith was a derp because he thought he was way more good looking than he actually was… she was also 12. o Actually the enactment of a ceremony – werowance. Designed to express a chiefs supremacy and adoption of a subordinate.  Was never going to execute. Showing not only dominance but willingness to adopt them into the tribe as subordinates o Pocahontas was actually kidnapped, Cpt Wolfe decided he would marry her. NOT ENOUGH WOMEN. Also political motives.  first to marry under the banner of Christianity. Forcibly baptized against her will. • Without powhatan’s aid, they would not have survived. • When he dies, his brother hated the English, so he decides to evict the settlers o Launches a war party raid. • Ongoing series of Algo-Powhatan war… colonists develop strategy – wait until before corn harvest, then attack. • Still unable to uproot the colonists. Why? TOBACCO! - Tobacco • Grew wild in that area of the world. Discovered that they could grow and tend it. o Becomes a fad in Europe, therefore sells at a crazy fast rate. • 1620, fewer than 1000 colonists, shipped crazy amount! • Becomes the first official royal colony in north America. 1644 o Royal colonies were created only when they became successful. Most were proprietary colonies – private interests • Wealthy members refused to pay taxes unless they were to people they had elected in their own colonial governments – shared authority was unique. • Inequality within the colony. Thus, development of slavery. IV. The Origins of Slavery - A Servant Society (at first) (indentured servants) • Labour intensive crop. 9 months of the year from start to finish. o Initially not enough labour to do the work, although slavery is not the first thing to come to mind. • Britain in the west indies, borrows the idea of slavery. 1620s, few slaves imported into Virginia. Most did not think slavery was viable for them – too expensive to buy a slave that would probably die o What they pererred were servants. To encourage them to go over, anyone who could afford their own land and passage free 50 acres of land. This appeals to a lot of the serf class. o Wealthier ppl would pay the passage of the poor people, in return = indenture. In exchange for paying for passage, will work for as long as the indenture states. o Agree to this because it is a contract – will not end. Clause states that they will get own land if your indenture is up. • Servants died from combination of disease, mistreated. No control over their lives. Could be sold to someone
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