“The Social Development of Early Modern British Colonies and the Formation of American Culture.” “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with the New England Way and the word became ‘America’(p. 213).” Pursuits of Happiness, written by Jack P. Greene, scrutinizes the early American social history, and draws on virtually all the recent social-history literature produced in the early modern British colonies. It presents a summary of recent books and journal articles, as well as providing new interpretations of colonial society. It reinterprets what American social developments once meant in a spectacularly illustrative way.
England began colonizing the Americas in the early 1600’s, the first step in creating the United States we know today. The development of these colonies, historians argue, was most greatly affected by environmental and geographic variations. I support, yet modify, this statement to be that the individual culture of each colony was shaped by the area’s geographical features and surroundings. It was not the people that determined the culture, but the peoples reaction to their geography that molded the culture. Therefore, the main influencer was the geography and natural features of the land.
Indians were governed by a Sachem “who upheld the law, negotiated treaties, controlled foreign contacts, collected tribute, declares war, provided for widows and orphans and collected farmlands which had cause disputes.” (Mann 29) Roger Williams states that the Indian political system was “very exact and punctual”. However, in England they had bigger populated areas which used more resources and constantly had changing agriculture in which “political tensions were constant”. (Mann 30) The archeologist Peter Thomas stated that the politics of New England were “an ever-changing collage of personalities, alliances, plots, raids and encounters” which lead their government into more turmoil than the Indians.
Pilgrims landed in Jamestown in 1607 with aspirations to discover new land as well as to teach their religious beliefs. Jamestown was also viewed as major profit enterprise for food and material which could be sent back to the motherland, Britain. Upon their arrival, they discovered the land had already been occupied by Native Americans, which would allow for trade between the two settlements: Jamestown and Powhatan Confederacy. Tobacco also helped the growing of Jamestown not only in trade but in export which helped the prosperity of the new colony.
There are three different models of colonial governance that are widely discussed during this time period. These colonies are Royal, Proprietary, and Charter Colonies. The royal colonies were directly controlled by the crown meanwhile, the proprietary was an individual or group essentially owned and controlled the colony, and finally the charter was largely self-governing.
Throughout the book, Changes in the Land, by William Cronon, ecological changes in colonial England are discussed, analyzed, and elaborated. The first part of the book, Looking Backward, talks of many comparisons between Henry David Thoreau and his outlook on his Concord home to William Wood’s perspective of New England. Through these comparisons, the ecosystem of New England is described, along with how the Europeans and the Indians interact with each other, which in turn affected the eventual outcomes of the ecosystem. The second part of the book, The Ecological Transformation of New England, speaks of how the Indians were reserved with their land and resources, never using more than they needed nor more than they knew they had. However,
Changes in Land Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England deeply examine several changes that occurred in the new land after invasion made by colonists. Thus, changes affected not only the people but also the environment. The shift of dominance from Indian dominance to European dominance stated in the book. Moreover, the effect of this dominance on the environment and culture of the original inhabitants and most of them coming from Indian origin is stated by Cronon. There were fundamental notable reorganizations in how things were generally done after an invasion by settlers.
On May 14, 1607, there are 105 colonists arrived at Jamestown who were support by the Virginia company. There didn’t have a government to limit them so they do something very bad such as fight with each other and eat them when food is really absent. Because of unlimited, colonists want to be rich fast so they often attack the Indians. It will never have a good end because the hostility has been provoked.
The first village built by the English was named “James Fort” in honor of their monarch. Within two weeks the Indians, known as the Powhatan’s, found out from the Secotans (North Carolina Native Americans), where most of the recent settlements got “lost”, so they attacked the village. The attack was a failure because the British drew out the Indians with cannons and muskets. After the British drove the Indians away showing more power they also had disadvantages, most of the settlers were trained soldiers and gentries which means they didn’t have enough farmers and farm land to feed all 150 colonists. By the first half of September more than half of the James Fort city (later Jamestown) colonists died, taking the Powhatan’s to pity.
The London Company had great influence on the Jamestown settlement in Virginia. Settlers were promised land if they give 7 years of work and survive. (C&G 28). Initially, the colonists were coerced into tasks for The London Company. About
When King James I granted a joint-stock company, he started the adventure in America. In 1607, there were three ships with 104 men arrived in Jamestown, Virginia. Because of the lack of the central authority, men rejected to do manual labor. This movement caused lawlessness, sickness, and food shortages. However, when the new governor, Lord De La Warr established Jamestown, he brought in his central
One of the more well-known and documented acts of political violence started in the colonial era when “Nathaniel Bacon and a sizable number of Virginians rose up in armed rebellion against the royal governor of the colony in 1676.” (Britanica) It was the result of Bacon and the then Gov. Berkeley having two different viewpoints about Indians and colony expansion. Berkeley did not want to remove the Indians for fear of war with the Indians as well as trade being interrupted. Berkeley eventually “launched military expeditions against Bacon” (Britanica) and his colonialists.
On April 27, 1584 Raleigh sent an expedition led by Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe to search the east coast of North America. The expedition reached Roanoke on July 4th and and began to befriend the local natives, the Secotans and Croatoans. Barlowe and two Croatoans, named Manteo and Wanchese, returned to England where they informed Raleigh about the politics and geography of their land. After this Raleigh organized a second expedition that would be lead by Sir Richard Grenville. On April 9, 1585 Grenville 's fleet departed with five main ships: the Tiger, the
The original colonists that arrived at Jamestowne forged a wreck in the society and a collapse in the economy. Rather than aiming their intention at actually forming a state, they hunted for wealth that was nowhere.Their misguided assumptions held on as they bounced into la la land. However, the economic boom that Virginia later experienced didn’t occur because of gold. As a result, Jamestowne settlers experimented with cultivation, vineyard, silkworms and even glassblowing. Despite their numerous attempts to establish a reliable and diverse economy, only one crop was going to build Virginia 's economy ; tobacco. John Rolfe introduced tobacco to Jamestowne, which took over the colony, immediately changing the economy, which molded the growth of the society. Nonetheless, tobacco farming was harsh to the soil, it exhausted all its source of nourishment.Thus leaving the soil impoverished, which made it unfit to sustain any crops for three years. The effort for tobacco was intensive, so indentured workers was a means to complete the task. In order for them to receive voyage to the country of boom, Virginia, the servants worked for four to seven years in fields before granting their
There were many key events and people in the founding and success of Jamestown but the most important people and events, to me, were Captain Smith, Pocahontas, and the ritual of death and rebirth. Jamestown revolved around Captain Smith, Pocahontas, and the ritual of death and rebirth. Captain Smith had valuable knowledge about survival. He knew the Algonquian language to trade with the native tribes that were already at Virginia. Captain Smith has good leadership skill and is sometimes able to command the gentlemen to work alongside commoners, even though he is a commoner.