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Page history last edited by Mr. Hengsterman 9 years, 11 months ago

The Evolution of the American Character

Settlement of Jamestown 1607





English Settlement of the New World


England joins the European pattern of extraction and settlement a little later than their Spanish and French counterparts WHY?


Districted by Civil War and religious instability in early 1500


English ventured into the Atlantic only as a means of preying on Spanish Shipping


Early interest shown by wealthy individuals like Sir Walter Raleigh to establish based along the coast to ambush Spanish trade



1. Luck
2. New business practices
3. Culture of technological inquisitiveness

4. Climate receptive to political and economic risk tasking





Lesson from the lost colony of Roanoke ?


The first American history mystery 1590 – Two years after leaving Roanoke Island is deserted and “Croatan” carved into the forts gateway


Sir Walter Raleigh loses interest in expensive and risky new world settlement. Leads to a new Idea – if individual entrepreneurs could not or would not finance settlements, pooling resources became a viable option.



 A Joint Stock Company (Virginia Company) pursues the settlement of Jamestown. 


Even with corporate backing the settlers nearly made no money


Freedom to experiment with government


England sent the unemployable and unwanted to the new world





Jamestown – marshy and fever ridden. No clear focus on the purpose of the colony


104 settlers over ½ are considered Gentlemen


Translation- they were semi-aristocrats who were there to serve as Garrisons at a military outposts designed to launch raids on the Spanish –


Consequence – Gentlemen preferred loafing, prospecting for gold and dreaming of a Northwest Passage to grubbing the earth to feed themselves. This almost killed the colony





John Smith – the right man at the right time


Failure of Commercial Interests = stranded settlers


Antagonism with Powhatans leads to attacks on Jamestown in 1622


King James revokes the Virginia Companies Charter in 1624 and declares the settlement under direct royal control


Leads to the establishment of “benign neglect”


This means that Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay turned out to be an unplanned for attraction for a number of English Catholics  KEY


England was a Protestant Nation under Elizabeth


English Catholics refused to abandon their old faith and were persecuted for it.  Communism connection?




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