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Transcript of Chapter 2
The Planting of English America
David M. Kennedy et al.,
The American Pageant,
16 ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2015.
Several factors prompted England to establish colonies in America to include religious, economic, and political reasons.
Philip II, the King of Spain, the self-anointed foe of the Protestant Reformation, married Mary I, Queen of England and Ireland making him King of England and Ireland, a long as he remained married. Upon Mary's death, in 1558, he lost power over England. The throne went to Elizabeth I, who was Protestant.
What international events and domestic changes prompted England to begin colonization?
The showdown came in 1588, when the Spanish Armada sailed into the English Channel. The English fought back, inflicting heavy damage on the cumbersome Spanish ships
After its defeat, the Spanish fleet was devastated in a storm, scattering the crippled Spanish fleet.
England's victory helped establish British naval dominance in the North Atlantic.
Another reason that spurred England's colonial efforts in America was the Enclosure or Inclosure System.
In addition, Mercantilism in England was the country's main economic policy during the 16th century.
Spain's colonial efforts in the Americas netted great wealth for Spain in gold and silver.
In addition, the laws of primogeniture decreed that only eldest sons were eligible to inherit landed estates, forcing younger sons to seek their fortunes elsewhere.
Joint Stock companies, the forerunner of the modern corporation formed in the early 1600s, enabling a considerable number of investors to pool their capital. This provided many an economic opportunity to gain land and wealth, in America.
In 1606, one of these joint-stock companies, known as the Virginia Company of London received a charter from King James I of England, for a settlement in the New World.
Setting sail in late 1606, the Virginia Company's three ships landed near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.
The colonist chose a location on the wooded and malarial banks of the James River, named in honor of King James I.
What was it like for the early settlers of Jamestown?
The first couple of years were difficult for the Jamestown colonist. About 100 men, many of them self-styled "gentlemen", unaccustomed to fending for themselves, wasted valuable time searching for nonexistent gold when they should have been gathering provisions.
Known as James Forte, James Towne and James Cittie, the new settlement initially consisted of a wooden fort built in a triangle around a storehouse for weapons and other supplies.
When the English landed in 1607, the chieftain Powhatan dominated the native peoples living in the James River area.
The atmosphere grew worse after Lord De La Warr, the new governor who carried out orders that amounted to a declaration of war.
In 1644, the Indians made one last effort to dislodge the colonist. They were defeated in 1646, ending any hope of peaceful coexistence.
Why were Native Americans unable to repel the English colonization of North America?
The shock of large-scale European colonization disrupted Native American life on a vast scale, inducing unprecedented transformations.
Not all transformations of Native Americans were benign. The reintroduction of the horse, which originated in North America and migrated to Eurasian and died out in North America during the Ice Age.
Nor were the Native Americans completely unable to resist European incursions. The League of the Iroquois or Iroquois Confederacy joined together in 1570, to end inter-tribal warfare and protect themselves from European threats.
The League would remain a powerful force until the American Revolution.
What crops were important to English colonies in the south of North America?
How did cultivation of those crops shape those colonies?
In 1612, John Rolfe of Jamestown, Virginia developed a method of curing tobacco, making it palatable to English taste. Within a decade, of its introduction in London, in 1614, it became Virginia's chief income source.
The Southern Colonies, had hot humid summers and mild winters which made farming profitable through a variety of cash crops.
In order to prosper from these cash crops, such as tobacco, Southern Colonist relied on plantation farming.
Due to the lack of labor that was needed to successfully operate plantation, Southern Colonies depended heavily on slave labor from Africa.
Plantation life created class divisions in Southern colonial society, with few at the top of this society.
How did slavery develop in North America during colonization?
Slavery in America began in 1619, when the first African slaves were brought Jamestown, Virginia where the lucrative cash crop tobacco was planted.
The production of sugar, in the West Indies, was labor intensive and the planters relied initially on indentured servants.
By the mid 1600s, the slave population exceeded the slave owners. Slave Codes were developed that severely limited the rights of African slaves to include laws that held them in bondage for life.
By the 1700s, slavery became the heart of southern colonial society and its economy, evolving from a society with slaves into a slave society.
The first reason was the Protestant Reformation.
King Henry VIII broke away from the Catholic Church and formed the Church of England or Anglican Church, in 1536.
It relied on exporting goods as the main stimulus for economic growth, while discouraging imports.
The theory of mercantilism stated that gold and silver were the actual measure of the entire nation's wealth as a whole.
English privateers, quietly backed by Queen Elizabeth,
began to plunder Spanish merchant ships.
However, the influx of the precious metals combined with war expenditures, and a decreased population, caused inflation, eventually bankrupting the Spanish monarchy.
The most famous of these privateer, "sea dogs" was Captain Francis Drake. He captured a Spanish treasure ship and netted profits of about 4,600 percent for his financial backers.
An enclosure was the division or consolidation of communal fields, into the carefully delineated and individually owned and managed farms.
The resulting efficiency led to a surplus of farm laborers who were increasingly dependent on wages.
Another factor that contributed to England's colonial efforts in America was its growing population and lack of living space.
As more slaves were being brought into the North American colonies, the colonist would adopt similar slave codes.
Famine, disease, and conflict with the native tribes nearly brought the colony to the brink of failure, before more supplies and people arrived in 1610.
Relations between the Indians and English became tense, especially as the starving colonists took to raiding Indian food supplies.
Peace came when Pocahontas, the daughter of Powhatan, married John Rolphe, who had taken charge of the Jamestown colony, in 1614.
The peace treaty banished the Chesapeake Indians from their ancestral lands, separating Indians from White settlements.
By 1669, only 10% of the Indian population remained and by 1685, they were non-existent.
However, it was in the British West Indies, in the Caribbean, that slavery established itself.
However, planters quickly turned to African slaves purchased from Dutch slave traders.
Native American populations were decimated by European diseases.
In addition, Europeans had technological advantages over the Native Americans who did not possess the wheel, metal weapons, or large domesticated animals such as the horse, which would have a great impact.
The advantages the Europeans possessed made it impossible for Native American tribes to repel European efforts to colonize America.
The horse would transform Native American culture, which catalyzed a substantial Indian migration onto the Great Plains in the 18th Century.
Plantation farming was developed in the West Indies, in the farming of sugar cane, which required a large amount of land and labor.
A cash crop is an agricultural product grown primarily to be sold for profits. They included such products as tobacco, rice, and indigo, which was a plant used to produce a dark blue dye, for fabrics.
Plantation farming was a system of agriculture in which large farms used slave labor to plant and harvest cash crops, on a large scale.
Some of the British people saw the Anglican Church as still closely related to the Catholic Church and wanted to purify the church. These people were known as Puritans.
Despite the efforts of the Puritans to purify the Church, another group wanted to separate themselves even further. They would be known as Separatist and would later be called the "Pilgrims".
Most southern colonist were either poor farmers, indentured servants or slaves.