Virginia Colony Essay

1343 words - 6 pages

The Development of the Virginia Colony
Under the influence of the “London Company”, the English settlers arrived in Virginia in 1607 with the intent of finding gold and wealth, but eventually ended up establishing the first English permanent settlement in the “New World”. The increasing number of deaths due to disease, and the unavailability of supplies which led to starvation during the cold season, compelled the settlers to abandon the search of gold. This prompted the settlers to provide for their sustenance in terms of growing produce and trading with the Native Indians for food in order to sustain the Virginia Colony. During the establishment of the Virginia Colony the English and ...view middle of the document...

Since the English were from upper class, they lacked the necessary survival skills in the wild. They couldn’t farm or hunt to produce for themselves. This led to “starving time” which took lives of many settlers. Eventually only 65 settlers remained and tried to flee back to their motherland, but were persuaded to return to Virginia with additional colonist and a new governor. (Ref: Give me Liberty). The English Leader John Smith established a “no work- no food” policy. This policy demanded that all men should work and gather as much food as he could each day or would face exile from the colony. Smith’s previous experience enabled him to form a trading relationship with the Indians. His disciplinary strategy and expertise saved the colony and brought success to the remaining colonist,
The Virginia Company came into realization that in order for the colony to survive they had to give up the search for gold and find a way to build a functioning society. They needed to maneuver a plan that would attract more settlers to the colony. They establish the “headright system”. This meant that instead of retaining all the land for itself, the company chose to award fifty acres of land to any colonist who paid for his or another’s passage. (Ref: Give me Liberty). They also announced that anyone who brought vast amount of slaves will acquire large amount of estate. In 1619 the “house of burgesses” was formed and this granted all the inhabitants liberties. Providing the colonist with better deals and policies played a crucial part in shaping the “Virginia Colony.”
The English were aware that in their quest to build the Virginia Colony they would encounter obstacles with the Indians. The English certainly did not want warrant this. The English settlers were ordered by the Virginia Company to build a friendly relationship with the Indians since they were counting on the Indians for food and supplies. (Ref: Give me Liberty). Their strategy to establish a friendly relationship with the Indians brought agreement of the trade for food and supplies for a short period of time.
John Smith’s return to England brought hostilities between the English and the Indians. The increase in the English settler’s population and the lack of surviving skills required more food and supplies from the Indians. The English started demanding food and supplies from the Indians but the Indians did not want to feed the English anymore and decided to starve the English. This led the English to retaliate against the Indians. The English forced the Indians for food, attacking their villagers and destroying their crops. Finally in 1614 Pocahontas converted to Christianity and married the English colonist John Rolfe. The inter-marriage strategy used by both cultures restored peace between the English and the Indians.
.The relationship between the Indians and the English took a toll when the Indians came to realize that the English were planning to establish a permanent and...

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