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Roanoke Island - Research Paper Example

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The race for the newly discovered world, comprising of the modern day Americas, began in the later part of the 16th century. England had made numerous attempts to claim land across the Atlantic, long before it even won its conquest over Spain…
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Roanoke Island
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Roanoke Island

Download file to see previous pages... The race for the newly discovered world, comprising of the modern day Americas, began in the later part of the 16th century. England had made numerous attempts to claim land across the Atlantic, long before it even won its conquest over Spain. For instance, in the year 1583 Sir Humphrey Gilbert laid claim over Newfoundland on behalf of the reigning Queen Elizabeth I. However, Sir Gilbert died before he could establish a colony. In the subsequent year, the Queen commissioned Sir Walter Raleigh to arrogate land in newly discovered North America. Sir Raleigh’s expedition was intended to ensure that England had a colony that would enable it to have a grip on the Americas. The foothold would also make it possible for England to exploit available resources, convert pagans to Christianity, claim territory and institute a base from which to strategically attack Spanish ships. However, as a result of poor associations with the indigenous populace, improper geographical timing of colony establishment and inefficient links with the parent country due to foreign conflicts, the settlers of this original English-American colony were destined to fail.
The initiative of colonizing the North American coast was set in motion soon after Queen Elizabeth one gave an official charter to Sir Walter Raleigh to establish a colony in a suitable location. After acquiring formal approval from the Queen in 1584, Sir Raleigh created and funded a scouting expedition with the sole mandate of exploring the American coastline and finding a perfect spot to establish the proposed colony. The scout team, led by Captains Arthur Barlow and Phillip Amadas came back with a positive report of the location, that is, Roanoke Island; a land mass off the shore of contemporary North Carolina. The scouts described the Island with glowing terms, praising it for its fertility and pleasant nature. They also reported that Roanoke was occupied by friendly and loving people. Judging from the enthusiastic report, Raleigh and others decided that the Island’s sheltered and secure shores formed a perfect location to establish England’s maiden colony in this New World. In the year 1985, after receiving the Queen's financial support and blessing, the first boatload of colonists set sail for the North American coast (Clark n.pg). The initial 100 men, who went to Roanoke Island primarily comprised of soldiers. The men established a settlement on the northern side of Roanoke Island and immediately built a fort. Since they did not have sufficient supplies, these initial colonists exchanged trinkets and beads to the native populace for food and other basic necessities (Clark n.pg). As winter began and food increasingly became scarce, tension heightened between the locals and the English settlers. The expeditions also deteriorated the original kindness that the Native Americans felt toward the settlers. This is because the colonists regularly abducted tribal leaders with the intent of holding them in exchange for scarce supplies. The English settlers treated the locals with disrespect in spite of the fact that they relied on them for basic supplies. After suffering such a difficult winter, the supply ships still did not arrive as expected in spring. By this time there was actual conflict between the locals and the settlers. Following the constant war with Native Americans, deprivation of food and becoming impatient waiting for the overdue supplies fleet, the colonists decided to travel back home. The overdue supply ships arrived just two weeks later and found the colony abandoned. The fleet left about 15 men to take care of the English settlement in readiness for the next group or recruits (Kupperman 12-25). After the first failure, Sir Raleigh decided to take another attempt at English settlement in Roanoke. During this second attempt, which took place in 1587, Raleigh chose to mix up the prospective English settlement. The recruits comprised of ninety one men, seventeen women and nine children (Kupperman ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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