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Ben and Christine Mello-Hemsley

on 19 October 2015

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Transcript of #1 - VIRGINIA

Chapter 1-5
New World Encounters
In this chapter...
In this chapter we discuss the reasons for travel, handling of the land and co-existing (or not) with the natives for the English, Spanish and French with regards to North America
(aka your summer assignment!)
What are some reasons for wanting to leave one's homeland for a strange land?
European Colonists leave for all sorts of reasons

*my favorite

but this, of course, is different over time.

A colonist who left England in 1680 for Pennsylvania, left an England unlike the Virginians who left in 1607 or a Massachusetts Bay colonist in the 1630s. Things had vastly changed.

There was social unrest, a pesky civil war...
Virginia Colony
Charter issued by James I in 1606 authorizes the
London Company
to establish plantations in Virginia
(London Company later became the Virginia Company)

The LC was a joint-stock company where different stakes can be bought by shareholders (people who own stock in a company)
Created by King James 1 in 1606
Its purpose was to create colonies in America from Cape Fear to Long Island South.
Three ships sailed in December 1606 and the men and boys on the ship were instructed to establish a fortified outpost some hundred miles up a navigable river.

on April 26, 1607, they made landfall at the southern edge of the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, which they named Cape Henry, near present day Virginia Beach
Previous Colonies in the Area
Roanoke Colony aka "Lost Colony"
How did that turn out?
117 people mysteriously vanished.
In a span of three years
leaving no trace
Virginia is different
Virginia might have gone the way of the Roanoke colony if it was not for Captain John Smith who instituted a tough military discipline.

This John Smith.
Think again...
Virginia Colony
part of the Chesapeake Colonies which are the Southern Colonies
1609-Virginia Company directors obtained a new charter from the king which completely reorganized the government in the Virginia colony.
joint-stock company
opened to the public
-company attempted to promote the colony in pamphlets

Up for an adventure?
From 1609 to 1610—the colony did not prosper due to a lack of leadership and food.
Colonists had no real plans to farm. They expected to trade for food with the Powhatan and supplies from England
A Hurricane caused the Shipment from England to be late, and on top of that, it had less food than expected.
Colonists drank the water in Jamestown, which is salty.
A particularly difficult winter

all but 60 of 500 colonists died.
1609-1610 "The Starving Time"
Cannibalism? You bet.
June 1610 - Settlers abandon Virginia
Those who survive abandon Virginia in June 1610, but encounter Lord De La Warr (English Colonial Governor) along the way.
Reorganizes and rules by
martial law
. Which saves the colony, but does not generate capital.
They needed a way to generate money, fast.
John Rolfe, an English Settler, is the first to successfully cultivate this plant for export to European smokers
it was easy to grow, and a great
way to make money. Soon
everyone had a patch of tobacco
Virginia becomes one hot ticket
In 1618, a group of stockholders in the Virginia Company led by Sir Edward Sandys took control of the company. Sandys wanted private investors to develop estates in Virginia.

How did he do it?
by relaxing martial law, and creating a House of Burgesses, which is the first
legislative Body in English
America and grew to
a position of primary
importance in Virginia by the
time of the American

People, therefore, wanted in.
House of Burgesses, Williamsburg
Sandys' distribution of the land...
HEADRIGHT-colonists who covered their own transportation cost to America were guaranteed a headright----a 50 acre lot for which they paid a small annual rent. Additional headrights were granted for each servant they brought to the colony. The procedure allowed prosperous planters to build up huge estates while they acquired dependent laborers.
-this system continued even after the collapse of the Virginia Company.

He creates a
Population BOOM!
Between 1619 and 1622 colonists arrived in record numbers---3, 570 individuals.

But let's talk about servants...
Indentured Servants
Initially migrant workers came to the Virginia Colony, without families
Soon, the majority of newcomers to the Virginia colony were young males, teens to twenties, coming as
Indentured Servants

In exchange for transportation the servant agreed to serve a master for a stated period of time at the end of which the master promised to provide them with tools and clothes according to “the custom of the country.”
Not a good deal...

Could be bought, sold or traded away, considered property.
Indentured servants were promised land at the moment of freedom, but freedom often never came. If it did, the land certainly didn't.
This created a new, elderly landless lower class
The Male : Female ratio is so low, most indentured servants, once free, couldn't start families.
But it's all cool, most people died young anyway.
Virginia Colony
Contagious diseases
Salt in the water
Here lies ye ol
3,000 dead in 3 years
due to
Who to blame? Is the Virginia Company to Blame? Sandys and his profit making adventure with headrights?
The King had enough, dissolved the Virginia Co
and turned it into a Royal Colony.
I win.
The King sets a governor in place, and removes the House of Burgesses, but Virginians protested and it was restored by 1629.

Ooohh American Rebels!
They make up most of the boom
1. Depression: After 1660, the Virginia economy suffered from poor tobacco returns.


2. Yet thousands of indentured servants continue to flow into the colony.


3. A hurricane destroys one entire crop


4. in 1667 Dutch warships captured the tobacco fleet just as it set sail for England


and more changes...
“[....] a People where six parts of
seven at least are Poor, Indebted, Discontented, and Armed [would be hard to rule]"

Sir William Berkeley
Governor of Virgina
What is he talking about?
In 1670, Berkeley and the House of Burgesses disfranchised all landless freemen (persons they regarded as troublemakers)

The threat of violence remains
That's a recipe for rebellion.
Nathaniel Bacon

From a respectable English family, arrived in Virginia in 1674 and set himself up as a substantial planter
Bacon envied the government patronage monopolized by Berkeley’s cronies—a group known locally as the “
Green Spring Faction
-the licenses for the lucrative fur trade was reserved for the governor’s friends.
If Bacon had waited, he too, might have become one of the governor’s friends.

Green Spring Faction
Comprised of the younger sons of Western English and Southern Gentry and uniquely understood the power of
and favoritism. Gone are the crude houses of their fathers, earlier settlers, in place are 2 story mansions, 8 rooms

They are an emerging class of elite citizens.
Governor Berkeley was one of them.
In 1675-Indians reacting to white encroachment, attacked several outlying plantations, killing a few colonists.

Virginians expected the governor to send an army to retaliate, however in 1676-Berkeley called for the construction of a line of defensive forts, a plan that seemed to the settlers both expensive and ineffective.

Was Berkeley protecting his own fur monopoly?
-Was he planning to reward his friends with contracts to build useless forts?

Enter Bacon (again)
Bacon stepped forward and offered to lead a volunteer army against the Indians at no cost to the Virginia taxpayers.

all Bacon demanded was an official commission giving him a military command and the right to attack other Indian tribes.

The governor refused to give him a commission and saw no point in attacking peaceful tribes...

Bacon and his followers were not happy...
They March on Berkeley's estate, and fail.
They kill some innocent native americans...
Then they burn Jamestown.
Bacon and his people chase the governor across the Chesapeake only to be caught themselves...
It was clear that Bacon and his followers had no idea what they were really fighting about.
Meanwhile, there are REAL problems in Virgina that need addressing:
The members of the planter elite never fully appreciated that the rank and file soldiers, often black slaves and poor white servants had serious, legitimate grievances against the colonial government and wanted reforms.

When King Charles II learned of the fighting in Virginia, he dispatched a thousand regular British soldiers to Jamestown.
By the time the soldiers arrive, Berkeley had regained full control over the colony’s government.
In October, 1676. Bacon died after a brief illness and within a few months his followers dispersed.
Berkeley was recalled to England in 1877.


SO let's review (because it's on the APUSH test!)
Full transcript