Friday, March 14, 2008

The First English Colony in America

Ever Heard of Jamestown?
by Jennifer Zhang

Jamestown was the first English colony that first settled four hundred years ago. It was established on the North America continent that we see today. This was a really big event in history. When Jamestown was finally created, it affected a lot of people other than the English like the Native American population. The English started to take over the place and of America's east coast. Jamestown was a really new and special place, so a lot of stories were created there to explain the live of the people like Captain John Smith, Pocahontas, and Powhatan.

One of the first things that happened in Jamestown was when tobacco growth started. When the town was created, the people had to also create their first representative of 1619. They needed people and helpers, so slaves were transported there from Africa. There was also the first Anglican Church. The times were also tough for the people since they were not that familiar with everything. They only, just started a new place after all. They had problems with health and disease, hunger, and death. In the year 1609 was of the winters that the people of Jamestown had to endure. 70% of the settlers died because of this. Jamestown did survive through all of this because the English really wanted an empire and wanted to explore and kept the colony going because they were in a competition with Spain.

The expansion continued on May 1607 when Englishmen dropped their anchor in Virginia and built a fort on the peninsula of the James River and named it James Fort. James was the King in London that granted for the Englishmen to go there and named them the Virginia Company. After that day, they made a new settlement and invest in money from the colonization. The company had all the power to provide all the essential needs. They also wanted to open more new land and had the hope of finding gold. To make more profits, they had to build industries and they wanted to get lumber as their resources. They wanted to make a profit by sending things like lumber to England. To do this, they needed to discover a quick and safe route to the Orient to England.

Jamestown was actually a bad investment for the Virginia Company because the early people were not willing to do work for themselves and just wanted to make a profit. There was also a lot of disease with the marshy and swamp area that they were at and the fort that they build was not even that old. Jamestown was really unstable with all of these self factor, but they also have to deal with the warfare with the Indians and many other disputes. They were losing and was about to have a shortage of supplies.

Something that saved both settlements was new settles that came in at June 1611. A year later, tobacco was planted and profits were finally coming in from the exports. The Virginia Company organized all of the new families. Virginia Company got a royal control after that.

Jamestown was destroyed in 1676 at the Bacon's Rebellion and then was taken over by Williamsburg, which was the new capital in 1699. James Rive r is still shown as a historic place and is being preserved where people can see it and remind the old Jamestown history.

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