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Virginia 1570-1650. Queen Elizabeth Queen Elizabeth lacked the means to finance or govern an overseas colony Lacked men and ships for risky ventures.

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Presentation on theme: "Virginia 1570-1650. Queen Elizabeth Queen Elizabeth lacked the means to finance or govern an overseas colony Lacked men and ships for risky ventures."— Presentation transcript:

1 Virginia

2 Queen Elizabeth

3 Queen Elizabeth lacked the means to finance or govern an overseas colony Lacked men and ships for risky ventures far from England Crown subcontracted colonization by issuing licenses and monopolies to private adventurers The earliest English colonial promoters were dreamers & gamblers, driven by their visionary imaginations

4 Sir Francis Drake and Sir Richard Greenville

5 Sir John Hawkins & Sir Walter Ralegh

6 Sir Humphrey Gilbert

7 West Country Men Zealous English patriots Devout Protestants Wanted to advance their fortunes & consolidate their political influence at Court They regarded colonial trade as the key to imperial power

8 Sir Walter Ralegh said: he that commands the sea, commands the trade, and he that is Lord of the Trade of the world is lord of the wealth of the world

9 Richard Hakluyt Goals: To plant Christian religion To traffic To conquer

10 West Country Men Pitched a radical program of overseas colonization by appealing to a conservative fear: the hierarchical society of England was eroding Wealth & power were at the narrow top of a steep social pyramid—consisting of less than 5% of the population

11 Queen Elizabeth shared national power with aristocracy & gentry, composing the bicameral national legislature. Aristocracy by right of birth filled the House of Lords Gentry dominated the House of Commons by winning elections to represent middling sort of men

12 Enclosure Movement Displacement of rural people by aristocratic landlords by fencing in large tracts of land It was meant to increase profits On enclosed estates, flocks of sheep, teams of hired laborers, and a few tenants replaced a larger number of peasant smallholders Landlords also enclosed common lands

13 Sturdy Beggars

14 Newly poor gravitated to the market towns and seaport cities, especially London London grew from 120,000 in 1550 to 200,000 in 1600 to 375,000 in 1650 London became notorious for filth, poverty, plagues, fires, crimes, and executions Growing numbers of poor reduced wages and increased costs of food and housing

15 Colonial Promoters Solution to problem: a new colony in Virginia where the idle and larcenous poor could be put to work raising commodities to be sold back in England Colonial plantations could improve England’s balance of trade with other nations Promoters allayed fears of Indian resistance by saying: The Indians of Virginia would welcome the English as their liberators! (sound familiar?) They could not conceive that the native peoples might prefer no colonial masters and no new system of labor

16 Roanoke Island

17 Small island on the coast of what is now North Carolina but was then Virginia Sir Walter Ralegh sent about 100 men to colonize the island While the location protected them from the Spanish, it was surrounded by dangerous shoals and long sandbanks

18 Roanoke Colony

19 The sandy infertile soil produced scanty crops The poor location doomed the settlement from the start Ralph Lane, veteran of the wars in Ireland was the commander Colonists behaved no better than the Spanish in regards to the Indians Lane killed Chief Wingina when he refused to give the colonists food

20 Chief Wingina

21 2 nd Settlement of Roanoke 1587—John White, civilian, tried again to settle a colony in Virginia; originally wanted to settle at Chesapeake Bay, but mariners dropped them at Roanoke There were 94 colonists, including 17 women and 9 children—the first English families to settle in the Americas Needing supplies, White returned home and was stuck there until the Spanish Armada was defeated

22 Missing Colonists

23 What happened? After retreating to Croatoan and failing to contact a passing ship, they probably headed north towards Chesapeake Bay They probably found haven in an Indian village In 1607, when English colonists reached Chesapeake Bay some Indians reported some white people had recently lived nearby by had been killed by Powhatan

24 Chesapeake Bay Area offered better harbors, navigable rivers, and a more fertile land 200 miles long and 20 wide, it was a complex system of waterways, an meeting place of tidewater, estuaries, and freshwater rivers Four rivers: the James, York, Potomoc, and Rappahannocks; offered ready navigation for about 100 miles upstream

25 Powhatan

26 Powhatan Village

27 24,000 Indians divided into 30 tribes with one language and one chief—Powhaten Lived on a mix of horticulture, fishing, hunting, and gathering Winter—dwelled in many villages in groups of , occupying houses Spring—smaller encampments to fish and gather shellfish Summer—back to villages to plant fields of beans, maize, and squash Fall—scattered to hunt while women and children gathered edible nuts, roots, and berries

28 Tasks were divided by gender: women cultivated crops, gathered nuts & fruits, tended the village or camp putting up lodgers and preparing skins to make clothing; men hunted, fished, cleared land for crops, and made dugout canoes Shamans combined roles of healer, priest, and conjurer; tended temples which housed the bones of dead chiefs, the tribute paid to the living chief, and a statue of Okeus

29 The English were not prepared to understand or accept a culture so different from their own Because the English expected men to cultivate crops and women to tend permanent homes, they regarded the Indian men as lazy and the women as drudges Because the natives wore little clothes, they were thought to be savages Because they did not worship one God, they were thought of as pagans or devil-worshipers

30 Jamestown

31 Peace treaty with Spain in 1604 reduced the danger of a Spanish attack on the new colony The great merchants and lawyers of London took an interest in colonizing Virginia. They supplants the West County men who had lost their power at the court of the new King James I London Company was incorporated in 1606, and they were given a royal charter to colonize and govern Virginia

32 Colonists died in droves from disease and hunger Only 38 of the original 104 colonists were still alive nine months later The Virginia Company sent hundreds of reinforcements, but they barely kept up with the deaths at Jamestown One starving colonist killed and ate his wife, for which he was tried, convicted, and burned at the state

33 Wife-eater

34 June 1610—survivors abandoned Jamestown, but were intercepted by 3 ships at the mouth of the river They returned to Jamestown, but continued to die by the hundreds Between 1607 & 1622, the Virginia Company sent some 10,000 people to the colony; only 20% were still alive in 1622

35 Problems with Jamestown Location was beside a swamp—good for defense, bad for health Summer—millions of mosquitoes carrying malaria would swarm the town Shallow wells had brackish water which caused salt poisoning Stagnant river waters in summer and early fall retained garbage and excrement generated by the colonists promoting dysentery and typhoid fever

36 Healthy males refused to work at raising corn because they wanted to search for gold Colonists expected the Indians to feed them and did not understand that the Indians had scant surplus to share When pushed too hard, natives killed 17 colonists and stuffed their mouths with maize and left the corpses for the English to find John Smith tried to trick Powhatan into coming to Jamestown to kill him

37 John Smith

38 Capture of John Smith John Smith was captured after stumbling into an ambush Powhatan seized the opportunity to ritually adopt Smith as a subordinate chief by staging a mock executive that would be interrupted by Powhatan’s daughter, Pocahantas The ritual was supposed to render Smith’s people as tributaries to Powhatan

39 Powhatan misunderstood Smith’s gratitude at survival for consent to his terms Smith misunderstood the ritual as no ore than an execution stopped by Powhatan’s daughter Upon his release, Smith returned to Jamestown and resumed bullying the Indians to obtain corn

40 Pocahontas & John Smith

41 Historically inaccurate!

42 Paspahegh Indians

43 English and Resisting Enemies August 1610 Capt. George Percy attacked a Paspahegh village, killing 65 inhabitants, burning the homes and fields of corn He took the chief’s wife and children as captives; enroute back to Jamestown, they threw the children into the river and shot them as they swam for shore The Governor rebuked Percy—for not killing the woman; he executed her on the spot

44 Leaders believed they would get more corn by making one horrific examples of what can happen to those who fail to obey English orders They applied the same logic to their own colonists: a laborer convicted of stealing 2 pints of oatmeal had a long needle thrust through his tongue to keep him from ever eating again; chained to a tree, the convict slowly starved to death

45 Several dozens colonists ran away to join the Indians; those who brought metal weapons were welcomed, those who brought nothing were killed In the spring of 1612, the governor recaptured most of the fugitives and made examples of them: the lucky ones were hanged or shot, the unlucky were burned at the stake or had their backs broken on the wheel

46 Rebecca Wolfe


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