Recreating the “Old” in the “New World”
Wednesday, September 22 / 2010
North Atlantic Trade Routes (16 c.)
Mercantilism = fixed amount of wealth in the world (wealth as in gold and silver)
To achieve economic success you had to sell as much as you could while limiting the
amount of a specific product you needed to buy
Self-stuffiness = power
Owning a colony made sense because you would end up having a market where you could
Mercantilism dominated the thinking of most empires/rulers
16 century, both the French and English monarchies financed explorers in hopes of
Sir Walter Raleigh said, “Whosoever commands the sea commands the trade; whosoever
commands the trade of the world commands the riches of the world, and consequently the
In trading with Native American communities, factories in Europe began
producing/manufacturing products to meet the needs of these native Americans.
Another example is imposing ones faith on other people/groups of people/other nations
(Europeans were trying to convert some indigenous populations) in the end, both sides
Funded by the Dutch West Indian Company
They quickly became immersed in the fur trade, and created some outposts like the
The Dutch offered land, governing power, etc to people who could bring more than 50
There was a great desire within England to expand into America.
England in the World
Sir Walter Raleigh received a 6-year charter from Queen Elizabeth allowing him to explore
the eastern coast of North America.
Raleigh found an island, called Roanoke Island (right off the coast of North Carolina).
By the time the ship arrived in Roanoke, there was only 100 people left they also did
not want to work on sustaining a proper life there, which created a great deal of tension
between the people on the ship and the people of Roanoke.
The journey cost about 30,000 pounds, and there was little to no gain.
He sent a 2 expedition to try and settle Roanoke one again.
The Lost Colony
The new group off 100 people failed miserably, so White returned to England to try and
gather some much needed supplies. When White returned, nobody could be found; except for a sign, which led historians to
believe, the 100 people went to the place written on the note left on a tree.
Why did Roanoke fail?
Nobody was prepared (thought they could live off the land/little money)
Thought they could depend on the native Americans
Couldn’t find an easy way to coexist with people already living on the land.
The goal here was settlement and speedy reward.
What lessons can be learned from Roanoke?
Expeditions were not large/organized enough to sustain an establishment in Roanoke
Jamestown was founded by private interests Virginia Company of London (they were
looking for riches silver and gold).
Seemed doomed from the start.
In 1606, hopes were high for the people that set sail, but many died along the way.
Virginia in the summer = EXTREMELY HOT & HUMID people were catching Malaria.
Most of the people were searching for Gold instead of preparing shelters and looking over
Another important fact is that it was all men in Jamestown (not a lot of reproduction)
Ads were created promising land, transport to Virginia in exchange for a 7 year period of
By the fall of 1609, 500 people were living in the colony.
After several passenger/supply ships failed to reach Virginia, disaster occurred.
The Starving Time
Some people ate other people (had to kill each other)
Sometimes, people dug up bodies for food
By the time food came, 60 people out of 500 were still living
John Smith said this happened due to laziness
But it mostly occurred because of illness, difficulties, etc.
Virginia succeeded because of tobacco
In 1616, it was introduced
Jamestown expanded to supply more land to grow the crop
Also needed more labor
Encouraged migration by offering land to them
Now, more families were coming to Virginia because the more people you brought, the
more land you received.
Men outnumbered women 6:1
1619-1624 = more than 500 migrants had settled into the economy
We can see growing families, creation of churches, and the creation of a government The House of Burgesses
Created a link between the colonists and the land
Marks a shift away from an economic venture, to a transplantation society.
Europeans tried to recreate some of their old world into this new one.
Even though settlers tried hard to recreate this, certain limitations arose.
In 1619, a Dutch ship arrived, and traded African slaves for food.
Captain John Smith
Story of Pocahontas demonstrated the fragile nature of these colonies
Pocahontas was the daughter of John Smith.
Pocahontas (11-12 years old at the time), saved Smith from his death
In time, Pocahontas learnt English.
As the colony grew, they took up more land.
Pocahontas was captured by the English, and was married by John Ralph (also her tutor).
In 1616, Pocahontas visited England.
Pocahontas died in 1617 in England of natural causes, though her son, Thomas, survived.
Another war broke out in Virginia.
The Second Anglo-Powhatan War
“The massacre will be good for the Plantation, because now we have just cause to destroy
them by all means possible” – John Smith
When the Powhatan’s were uncooperative, they were destroyed.