Early Colonies Have Mixed Success Two early English colonies failed, but Jamestown survived- partly through individual effort and hard work.
The English Plan Colonies • As we learned earlier, religious and political rivalries increased between England and Spain in the late 1500’s. • Spain had many colonies in the Americas, but England had none. • After England defeated the Spanish Armada, they began to establish their own colonies in the Americas.
Why England Wanted Colonies • Raw materials • Increase trade • Mercantilism • Spread the protestant faith
Two Early Colonies Fail • Sir Walter Raleigh – Served under Queen Elizabeth I – she gave him permission to set up a colony in Roanoke. • He named the colony Virginia after the unmarried queen. • The colonist relied on the natives for food; when the natives realized that they also wanted their land, they cut off the food supply. • The colonist that survived returned to England in 1586.
The English Try Again in Roanoke • 1587- John White tries to settle in Roanoke again; we know what happens next.
Sagadahoc • 1607- the Plymouth company settled the Sagadahoc colony at the mouth of the Kennebec River in Maine. • Some of the English settlers were ex-convicts. • Within the first year, arguments among colonists, a harsh winter, fights with natives, and food shortages forced most of the colonists to return to England.
How to pay for a colony • To raise money to settle a colony the English turned to Joint-stock companies. • These companies were backed by investors, people who put money into projects to earn a profit. • Each investor received pieces of ownership of the company called “shares of stock” • In this way, the investors split any profits and divided and losses.
Jamestown is Founded in 1607 • 1607 The Virginia Company of London, financed an expedition to colonize in the Americas • Settlement was known as Jamestown, in honor of King James.
The Settlement did not Settle Well • “There was never Englishmen left in a foreign country in such misery as we were in this newly discovered Virginia” • Swampy land, malaria-carrying mosquitoes, and disease ridden water. • The company had told the settlers that the land was full of gold; they spent their time digging for gold, instead of building shelter and searching for food.
Jamestown Grows • January 1608, only 38 surviving colonists remained • John Smith came to the colony and took control – “He that will not work shall not eat” • 1609 Smith is injured and had to return to England. • That same year, 800 more English settlers arrived in Jamestown.
Conflicts with the Powhatan • Cultural differences put the Powhatan and the English on a collision course. • In order to smooth things over, John Rolfe married the daughter of the Powhatan chief – Pocahontas in 1614. • 1622 – The natives killed hundreds of Jamestown’s residence in response to the settlers steeling the native land.
Because of growing tensions between the settlers and natives, the Powhatan stopped trading food and attacked the settlers. • The settlers could not leave the fort to hunt for food, so they ate rats, snakes, and mice. This is known as the “starving time”. • 1610 – Lord De La Warr – was put in charge and restored order to the settlement.
John Rolfe • 1612 – John Rolfe developed a high grade of tobacco that became very popular in England. • The settlers agreed to harvest the tobacco if they could own the land they worked. • More laborers were needed and between 1619-1621 the population jumped from 600 – 2000! • Those who could not afford passage to Jamestown, would become “indentured servants”. • These men and woman would sell their labor to the person who paid their passage. Then after a number of years they would be free to make their own way.
Bacon’s Rebellion • The colonists not only fought the natives, they also fought each other. • By the 1670’s ¼ of all free white men were former indentured servants. They resented the more wealthy colonist. • Nathaniel Bacon and a group of landless frontier settlers opposed the governor and complained of his tax laws. • The disagreement led to Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676.
Bacon marched into Jamestown, took control of the House of Burgesses, and burned Jamestown to the ground. Bacon soon became ill and died. The governor hung Bacon’s followers. • The King was unhappy with the governor’s actions and recalled him. • New laws were passed to protect the colonists.