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The Failures of Jamestown - Case Study Example

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The Jamestoune Setlyement which is now referred to as Jamestown Settlement was the foremost "permanent English settlement in North America."1 In the late 1606's, English capitalists set sail with a granted right from the Virginia Company of London to establish a colony in the New World which eventually led to its discovery in May 14, 1607 in the colony of Virginia and was named after King James I of England…
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The Failures of Jamestown
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Download file to see previous pages Its discovery established a permanent foothold for England to North America and concurrent to this, for purposes of a quick profit for investors from gold mining exploits.
There have been noted ignominies and failures at Jamestown. It was evident from several accounts that seemingly the Englishmen were unwilling or incapacitated to feed themselves.
Mostly, Jamestown suffered from poor and corrupt leadership and a population of men that were almost unfit for life in the wasteland. Moreover, explanations were provided as to why they destroyed the corn that might have fed them and committed atrocities upon the people who grew it. What are the reasons behind these mishaps' One thing that can be accounted for was the colony's poor organization and direction. The government approved by the charter places full powers in a council appointed by the king, with a president voted upon by the other members. The president had virtually no authority of his own; and while the council lasted, the members spent most of their time dealing with internal strife and intriguing against each other and especially against the one man who had the experience and the assurance to take command.

Another explanation, for Jamestown's early troubles, and especially for its failure to feed itself, is the collective organization of labor in the colony. All the early settlers were expected to work together in a single society effort, to produce both their food and the exports that would make the company flourish. Those who held shares would eventually get a share of the profits, but for the time being the inducements of private enterprise were deficient. The work one man did is not commensurate to his reward. The slacker would get a large share in the end compared to the man who worked harder.

Still another explanation for the squandering of Virginia's pioneers is one that John Smith often laid emphasis on, and that is the character of the immigrants. They were certainly an odd group of people, for the most noticeable group among them was unusual number of gentlemen. Virginia, as a patriotic enterprise, had stimulated the imagination of England's nobility and gentry. Gentlemen, by definition, had no manual skill; neither could they be expected to work at normal labor. They were expected to be useful for the force of knowledge, the exercise of counsel; but to have ninety-peculiar wise men offering advice while a couple of hundred did the work was discouraging, especially when the wise men included many unruly individuals joined with the friends to merely escape their ill destinies in England. John Smith complained that he could never get any real work from more than thirty out of two hundred, and he later disputed that of all who were sent to Virginia, a hundred good laborers would been beneficial than most of those who went. Furthermore, if the company had succeeded in filling the early ships with a great diversity of specialized craftsmen as what was hoped for, the result might possibly have been worse than they were. The first settlers in 1608 had six tailors, two goldsmiths, two apothecaries, a blacksmith, two refiners, a gunner, a cooper, a jeweler, a tobacco pipe maker, and a perfumer. Without a doubt, being skilled would mean they greatly expected to be paid and be fed for doing the work for which they are hired for. Some may have been useful but others found themselves without means to use their special talents. They did not also intend to use their hands for any other tasks.

In addition to this, the men devoted more time to rest during pastimes and merry making. None among the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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