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The Jamestown Fiasco - Essay Example

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17 September 2011. The Jamestown Fiasco Englishmen came to Virginia in 1607 in search of precious things, but they faced basic challenges of survival because of their failure to grow corn almost throughout their stay in Virginia for numerous reasons…
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The Jamestown Fiasco
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Download file to see previous pages Following the way the Spanish had dealt with the Indians, Smith used force to make Powhatan leave the lands, and he actually achieved that. Smith saw Indians in the English Virginia as slaves. Smith tried his best to encourage the English settlers to grow their own, but the settlers fancied the way Indians lived without much work, and many escaped to join the Indians. Smith had limited authority until the end of 1608 when most of the influential council members had either resumed for England or had died. Using the added authority that he gained after that, he forced the settlers to work by proposing that those of them that only those of them would get food that worked. Smith continued assaults on the Indians, but did not feel like killing them. Smith’s treatment of Indians was not consistent with the type of relationship the Virginia Company had aspired to develop with them, so the returning council members claimed that Smith had been unnecessarily rude towards the Indians. The council members were also granted a charter because the conciliar government had not been able to adequately control the settlers. Therefore, the company chose a governor that gained advice from the council but made independent decision. This improved the government in Virginia and the laws for all kinds of corruption were well-defined. The military discipline made the colonists work in an organized manner. The Lawes also formulated special rules that defined how the Indians were to be dealt with. The company aspired to make certain Indians part of the company, though they had generally even become more ruthless towards the Indians than Smith had been. Despite that, the colonists were short of corn and continued to retrieve it from the Indians even after ten years of military government. Lack of equal distribution of profits among the shareholders and private enterprises generated a disincentive for the colonists to work hard enough to grow the corn. The trend of independent farming surfaced between 1609 and 1614. Meanwhile, Gates and Dale proceeded to develop the land all through James up to Henrico. Virginia was being rapidly developed. Gentlemen in Virgina became six times as many as they were in England. Gentlemen were knowledgeable people meant for strategic planning, not for menial jobs. Gentlemen were much more in number than the laborers, due to which the productivity suffered. Virginia needed more craftsmen than gentlemen. The company thought that there was a lot of steel, gold and silver to be found in Virginia, so it demanded workers skilled in their exploration. But the author thinks that the settlers would have faced an increasingly challenging time had the company received workers belonging to diverse vocations as it aspired. Having little to do in their respective professions in Virginia, many would resort to becoming gentlemen rather than joining the laborers in the fields. The company wanted the colonists not to spend their whole effort and time on farming, because it wanted precious things like silk, sugar and wine to be sent to England rather than grains, but there were hardly any riches to be transported to England in the early years. This discouraged both the leaders and the workers. Finally, the Virginia Company was able to cultivate tobacco and send it to England, but the original goal remained unachieved. I was convinced by the author’s arguments since most of them are supported with the original pieces of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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