Showing posts from August, 2011

The Tessentass Arrive--The Chesapeake--The Founding of Jamestown, England's First Permanent Colony

The Chesapeake was a for-profit corporation headed un the Virginia Company founded to make money for English investors; however, the Crown would take over in the 1620s for reasons I will get to later on.

The Chesapeake was founded near a strong coastal empire controlled by the Powhatan Indians who had already acquired immunity to some European diseases. The Powhatan initially reach out to the settlers of the Chesapeake for trade and tribute, but the English are aggressive and are clumsy using diplomacy with people they feel are inferior to themselves.With the introduction of tobacco and livestock, competition for land increases and intercultural violence also increases. With the migration of strangers, mostly poor whites who had no other options, Jamestown was not a very socially cohesive or community-minded place. There was a short life expectancy, so Europeans introduced African slavery in 1619, although it was not dominant until the 1690s. Jamestown was a very unequal society.


Roanoke--the Lost Colony

When I first heard about the lost colony of Roanoke, Virginia (now a part of the Carolinas) I was in the fifth grade and I found it fascinating how a colony could just vanish and all that was left behind was the word "Croatoan" carved into the bark of a tree. Even today, it's unknown what happened to the colonists of Roanoke, but one thing is for certain and that is that colony of Roanoke is the first English colony established in North America.

Virginia Dare was born in the short-lived English colony of Roanoke on August 18, 1587. She was the first English person born in America.

Plans for America

And now we come to the bread and butter of this blog, the English colonization of North America, where the rest of the 'story' can now unfold from.

King James I came to the throne in 1603 and rules until 1625, not only was he the king of England, but he was also the king of Scotland, so he united the two--hence, the "United Kingdom" or "Great Britain".

King James wanted to raise revenues but didn't want to spend his own money to do so. So, he began to charge licensing fees for overseas companies and this looked like a good, low-risk bet. He began to allow various people to travel to the Americas so they could colonize them. Some of the early colonies, as you will see, will not be as successful as the ones made famous in this time period such as Jamestown and later Massachusetts Bay Colony and Plymouth.