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Lecture 2

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Erin Black

st Lecture 2: Wednesday September 21 , 2011 England’s First Colonies: Virginia VS. Massachusetts Bay 1. Motivations for Colonization o Nationalistic Rivalries  England and Spain were at war with each other so that is how they play into motives for colonization o Religion  Various crowns are trying to convert the native peoples of the Americas in order to add more power to their controlling religion o Economic Desire  Economic need from England’s standpoint  England needs to gain wealth for their crown and so begin to form trading companies (East India Trading Company) and tried to control the goods from certain geographic areas  This helped to further develop England’s seafaring abilities o Population Pressures  Population of England and Wales increased by 2.5 million people over a 150 year period of time  Pushed people to consider colonization – need more space  However, they lacked the ability to finance these aspects of colonization  So they issued subcontracts to individuals who would use their own money but the crowns blessings to colonize in the Americas  Roanoke  Failings of settlement because the people didn’t know how to farm and feed/take care of themselves 2. Jamestown (Virginia & the Chesapeake)  First successful settlement – 1607  Occupies the geographic area of the Chesapeake Bay  Origins and Settlement o A group of private investors known as the Virginia Company sought out Queen Elizabeth’s blessings to set up a colony/settlement o The first few years were rocky and almost failed o Only about 35 of the hundreds of people who sailed in 1607 were alive 9 months later – people were dying because it was a swampy area prone to Malaria and other diseases o Most of the people believed that manual labour was beneath them and so refused to do the work  Many assumed that the natives would feed them and do the work for them o Powhatan – Algonquin Chief – did end up deciding to help the English so that they would not all die  He thought that instead of fighting with the English, he would be able to get them to help protect the Algonquin from their enemies – allies  Wanted to make them subjects under him, use them for trade relations  The Real Story of Pocahontas o The colonists deemed Powhatan’s help insufficient o They sent Captain John Smith to get more help from Powhatan  He is captured, beaten, and about to be killed when Pocahontas stops her father which allows Smith to go free and Pocahontas continues to help the English settlers  Pocahontas saved Smith because it was all a ritual called a werowance – represents Powhatan’s power and his willingness to accept the English settlers o Pocahontas was held captive and held at ransom for 8 Englishmen and weapons. John Rolfe decided to marry her. Their marriage was strategic in that if their relationship improved the Chief would give them more aid. Rolfe was the first to marry a native and had her convert so he could marry her under Christian tradition o In 1619 when Powhatan dies, Opechancanough takes over  He has a different view of the settlers and thinks they are greedy. Come 1622 he decides to organize an uprising to try and kill off as many settlers as possible  He kills 347 colonists but fails to dislodge the colony at this point o Colonial leaders wanted to attack back and developed a strategy of waiting until just before the corn harvest to attack and destroy an Indian village without crop. This backfires on the colonists in terms of food that would have come to them o By 1644 the Virginian Colony had been established and wouldn’t be uprooted o The Virginia Company eventually hit upon a solution that did not only allow the colony to survive, but to thrive.  Tobacco o Is a wild plant o The early settlers realized that if you took care of the plant and cultivated it, it would grow better, faster, more and then could be grown and harvested regularly o Within 5 years the colonists put together one shipment to send back to England to show what they had found. That one ship of tobacco sold at an outstandingly high price o By 1620 with fewer than 1000 colonists, Virginia is able to ship 16,000 pounds of tobacco to England o After the 1622 massacre, the English crown decided to revoke the charter granted to private citizens. It is then made a royal/crown colony  Becomes the first crown colony of the British empire o Most colonies England starts off with as proprietary’s but then become crown colonies o The wealthy tobacco planters refused to pay taxes to England unless the taxes were decided upon by elected representatives of their own elected assembly  This is an example of the crown ultimately running everything, however, a local government holding some power o In the case of Virginia, reliance on tobacco not only makes it a successful crown colony, it leads to inequality throughout the colony. Over time that inequality turns into slavery 3. The Origins of Slavery  Tobacco requires attention and diligence for 9 months of the year – including growth and shipping for sale  Efforts to enslave natives failed because the natives escaped quickly and knew the territory much better and so were able to effectively run away  Beginning in 1619 a few planters used slaves that were brought from Africa  Slaves were too expensive to risk considering that few newcomers (both Black and White) were able to survive due to disease and starvation  A Servant Society (at first) o To get people to Chesapeake the crown offered a head right (50 acres of land went to every person who paid passage either for themselves or for someone else)  Wealthy people would pay for poorer people to come to Virginia and Maryland and they would use the poor people as servants o These servants would work until their passage was paid over (indentured) o The indentured servants would pay for themselves within the first year and so the wealthy people would continue to have this free work for the next 3-6 years (depending on the contract that had been agreed upon) o Lives of indentured servants were short, work was hard, and contracts were often negated by the owner making the term last longer  The main difference between indentured servants and slaves was that for indentured servants, there was a limit to their contract  Evolution of Chesapeake Society o After the 1640s and 1650s, life in the Chesapeake becomes healthier  English adapted to the environment and grew immunity to things like disease  Tobacco provided a good economy so there was more money in the colony  Indentured servants actually lived out their contract terms o Land pressure was created in the Virginia colony because the indentured servants were able to claim their land o 1660s-1670s, people had to start moving inland to claim land because the outskirts were no longer available o It became much more difficult to not only obtai
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