Presentation on theme: "OUR FIRST DATE!!!! 1607 (burn this date in your brain!!!)"— Presentation transcript:
OUR FIRST DATE!!!! 1607 (burn this date in your brain!!!)
Jamestown In the spring of 1606, a group of English investors formed a joint stock company called the London Company. A joint stock company is formed when people invest money in a business hoping to make a profit. The English investors hoped to make money by trading with a new colony they planned to establish in North America. They thought there would be gold and silver here.
Before the investors could start their colony, they had to get a charter from the king granting them permission to colonize. King James I granted the charter that allowed them to start their colony-Virginia. The investors spent $10,000 each to organize the expedition. They sent 3 ships with 140 men and 4 boys to North America. The 4 month voyage was difficult and claimed the lives of 40 people.
The colonists reached Virginia in April 1607. In order to find a decent place to settle, they had to sail 60 miles up the James River. Here they found a small peninsula to settle on. They called their settlement Jamestown (why?).
Location, Location, Location Unfortunately for the colonists, the area they chose was horrible. It was swampy which caused the drinking water to be impure. Swamps also breed disease… Most of the men were well educated and had never had to do hard work. They spent much of their time looking for gold and silver instead of planting crops. They chose to live in tents instead of building houses. Because of these choices, the men ate poorly and grew weak. Over ½ of them died from malnutrition, malaria, pneumonia, and dysentery. By January 1608, only 39 were still alive!!!
The London Company sent more settlers to Jamestown in 1608. Captain John Smith became the leader of the settlement. He implemented the “work or starve” rule. Smith saved Jamestown. Unfortunately, he was injured in a gunpowder explosion he caused and was forced to return to England. When he did, he told elaborate tales of his life and death experiences. He told a story of how he was once captured by Indians and condemned to death. Just before being killed, he was saved by Pocahontas, the daughter of the man who was to kill him. He said she laid her head down and begged her father to spare his life…It was all a lie.
Once John Smith had left Jamestown, the settlers fell on hard times. Fire, drought, Indian attacks, disease, and starvation took a heavy toll. Hundreds died during the winter of 1609-1610. This period became known as the “starving time.” Settlers were forced to eat the dead bodies (yuck)! Just as the remaining 60 settlers were about to pack up and go back to England, ships with supplies and more colonists arrived. Spirits lifted and Jamestown grew stronger.
The first profitable farm products were hogs and Indian corn. Early industries included glass blowing, iron smelting, and shipbuilding. In 1612, a settler named John Rolfe began growing a new type of tobacco using seed from the West Indies. The soil in Virginia was perfect for this seed and smoking became very popular not only in the colony, but also in England. The colonists found growing this tobacco to be very profitable, but very hard work. They started using more indentured servants to work the tobacco fields. In 1619, a Dutch ship arrived from Africa with Africans on board. These Africans were used to work the plantations as slaves.
The population of Jamestown reached about 1000 in 1619. In that year, the London Company sent a number of young women (finally!) to the colony to become wives. They hoped the men in Jamestown would marry and settle permanently in Virginia. In that same year, the first representative assembly was established. It was called the Virginia House of Burgesses. The people of Virginia could now elect representatives to help make laws for the colony. This idea later spread to all of the English colonies in America.