Joint Stock Company ◦ Several investors pool their wealth to support a colony to gain a PROFIT $$. King James I granted charter to V.C. to found a colony in America. (April 1607) Named the colony Jamestown ◦ First colony of Great Britain in the New World. ◦ People in search of gold and silver.
Powhatan Tribe lived on frontier of Virginia colony. ◦ John Smith negotiated to get food from natives for colonists. Tensions increase with Powhatans ◦ 1609: 600 more colonists arrive. ◦ Powhatans alarmed and began destroying livestock and farms in the colony.
Powhatans no longer helping colonists. Few crops led to famine. ◦ People eat rats, snakes, pets, even resort to eating dead folks. Why not just leave? ◦ Winter ◦ Hostile Natives
John Rolfe: introduces tobacco to Virginia in 1612. ◦ Major cash crop: pulls Jamestown out of starving time. Creates a need for workers: ◦ Headright system: British citizens who could pay their own way- got land in Virginia. If you pay for someone else’s way you also get that land. ◦ Indentured servants: People who could not pay their own way could ask a wealthy landowner to pay for their passage to the colony. In exchange, they would have to work off the debt for a period of time. Leads to a class system in the Virginia colony
First Representative Government in Colonies. People had a say in the laws- not just one person controlling everything. House can make laws and raise taxes ◦ Power of the Purse Voting: white males with property creates elite ruling class.
Small land owners- former indentured servants unhappy. They were not being protected from Native American attacks on the frontier by the Virginia government. Nathanial Bacon raised an army of landless settlers. ◦ Marched on Jamestown and set fire to the town. No immediate results, but would contribute to the use of slaves.