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Early Colonization

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Ryan Reese

on 4 October 2013

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Transcript of Early Colonization

Jamestown, Plymouth & Massachusetts Bay
Early Colonization
Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Humphrey Gilbert - pioneers in English Colonization and close friends with Elizabeth I
Looked at the colonization of America as an opportunity to increase dominance over Spanish empire
Raleigh made several exploratory missions and came back with tales of an island named Roanoke
He named this region "Virginia" - in honor of Elizabeth I, the "Virgin Queen"
1587 - group of settlers left England to form settlement on Roanoke under the control of John White
White left, was unable to secure supplies and funding, returned three YEARS later
Colony was deserted - only evidence was a tree carving that read, "CROATOAN"
Big Picture
Raleigh falls out of favor with the crown for the enormous loss of money
Crown privatized exploration efforts with CHARTER SYSTEM
1606 - London Company and Plymouth Company
What was the character of English colonies?
Business enterprises - colonists were tasked with making a profit for their private investors
English colonies were seen as "transplants" of English city structure (e.g. - New York, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New England)
Not directly related to the British government and crown - colonies began to develop their own governmental and societal structures
Jamestown, 1607
144 MEN, under the leadership of Christopher Newport, set out for the American continent aboard three ships (Godspeed, Discovery and Susan Constant)
40 men die on the voyage (mainly from disease)
Site selection - low ground, swampy, hot and humid, surrounded by woods, peninsula
Powhatan Indians - powerful tribe in the area
The problem with "Gentlemen Adventurers"
Jamestown, 1608-beyond
Captain John Smith - appointment as governor, "no work, no food" policy
Led multiple antagonistic raids against Powhatan tribe - led to decline in relationship between colonists and natives
1609-1610 - "Starving Time:" following poor crop returns from the autumn, only 60 of the original 500 settlers remained alive and new evidence points to the presence of cannibalism
Lord De La Warr - took over the colony, restored order and productivity through the privatization of land ownership and other incentive programs
John Rolfe - introduced harsher strain of tobacco in 1612 that was preferred and more profitable
Success of the crop led to need for expansion into Indian territory
1619, House of Burgesses is formed, marking the first representative government in colonies
1619, first slave ship arrives in Virginia colony
Jamestown skull
De La Warr
Opecancanough's Rebellion
1618 Upon the death of Chief Powhatan, his younger brother, Opecancanough, assumed control of the tribe
1622 Opecancanough, upon his neighbor's murder at the hands of a colonist, launches a coordinated attack on at least 31 Virginia settlements, killing 347 English men and women (1/3 of the total population).
"The houses were generally set open to the Savages, who were alwaies friendly entertained at the tables of the English, and commonly lodged in their bed-chambers."

- Edward Waterhouse, Sec. of VA Company

"We, who hitherto have had possession of no more ground than their waste and our purchase at a valuable consideration to their own contentment. . . may now by right of war, and law of nations, invade the country, and those who sought to destroy us: whereby we shall enjoy their cultivated places."

- Unnamed Virginia settler
Plymouth, beginnings
Land originally explored by John Smith and named "New England"
John Cabot followed and laid extensive land claims in name of England; however, Samuel de Champlain occupied the region and set up a trading post named Port St. Louis
Port St. Louis hit its peak between 1617-1619 as a crossroads among French and English fur traders, as well as the Patuxet Indians
Because of the spread of communicable disease, 90% of the Patuxet died within five years of first contact - leading to a lack of native resistance in further colonization
Land would become the site of Plymouth colony in 1620
Plymouth settled by a group of Separatists, later called Pilgrims
Who are the Pilgrims?
Separatists - people wishing to separate themselves from the official Church of England in order to practice a more pure form of worship focused on reform, simplicity and lack of ritualistic idolatry
1607 - Archbishop of York begins raids of Separatist congregations, leading to arrests and imprisonment
Led by John Robinson and, more important, William Bradford, the congregation from Scrooby, England, leaves for the Netherlands to escape religious persecution
Being a farming people from a rural area, they were unable to adapt to urban life in Amsterdam and the children of the congregation began adapting to Dutch culture, while speaking the Dutch language
Leaders decide to embark on a voyage for the American continent
Scrooby Manor - the original meeting place of Brewster and Bradford''s Separatist Church
The Mayflower
The group obtained a land patent from the Virginia Company and planned to set sail on two ships: Mayflower and Speedwell
Upon embarking, the Pilgrims found that "Strangers" were also using the ship to go to the American continent
"The Strangers" were massively important to the success of the colony - Miles Standish (military), Christopher Martin (governor), Stephen Hopkins (The Tempest)
Major leaks aboard Speedwell forced voyage to stall; more leaks occur during second attempt (thought to be sabotaged by captain who did not want to make the journey)
Some passengers decided to remain in England while still others overcrowded the Mayflower
Sighted land off present-day Cape Cod on November 9, 1620, but remained on the ship for weeks while searching for ideal spot for settlement
"Next to the fugitives whom Moses led out of Egypt, the little shipload of outcasts who landed at Plymouth are destined to influence the future of the world."
- James Russell Lowell
The Mayflower Compact
William Formsby Halsall, 1882
Mayflower Compact, written in Bradford''s hand
Drafted by William Bradford, who would later become governor of the colony for 30 years, and signed by 101 Pilgrims before setting foot on the American continent
Covenant - an agreement among people and a higher power that speaks of mutual understanding and responsibility
The document outlines the idea that all settlers will follow and obey laws passed by the government in order to live peacefully together
Massively important - moving away from the Crown, establishing local government, writing and passing laws
Seen as one of the most influential documents used by founders of United States in drafting the U.S. Constitution and early structures of government
First Contact
Expeditions led by Miles Standish eventually uncovered former Patuxet burial grounds, including hidden caches of corn and other seeds
Chose this site to form permanent settlement - trees were already cleared, near fresh water and devoid of native populations
Plymouth Rock and John Aldon
Edward Percy Moran, early 1900s
Tough times, Squanto and Samoset
45 people died during the first winter in Plymouth
Come spring, only 53 settlers remained, including only four women
Samoset, a Patuxet indian, came across the settlement, walked through and simply said, "Hello, Englishmen."
Squanto (Tisquantum) - captured by John Smith during original exploration of land, taken to England, learned English language and culture, traveled back to America to find his people dead and gone, joined Pilgrims and taught them survival skills and farming techniques
Squanto later arranged peace treaty, lasting over 50 years, between Pilgrims and the Massasoit indians, never fully trusted and was seen as an outsider in both cultures
Sir Walter Raleigh
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