On April 26, 1607, three small ships carrying English people sailed out of the morning mist into the mouth of the bay.
They chose a site sixty miles inland on the James River, hoping to protect themselves from Spanish warships.
The capital of the colony of Virginia was named after Elizabeth I, the "virgin queen".
The voyage was sponsored by members of Parliament and the queen gave her blessing before she died.
104 settlers remained in Virginia after the three ships returned home.
The Virginia Company had more interest in exploiting the area's natural resources than in establishing a functioning society.
The United States is the first permanent English settlement in the area.
Tens of thousands of Europeans crossed the Atlantic during the 17th century to live and work in North America.
The way for new empires that mobilized labor and economic resources, reshaped societies throughout the Atlantic world, and shifted the balance of power from Spain and Portugal to the nations of northwestern Europe was led by them.
At a time of increased European involvement in North America, the founding of Jamestown took place.
The growth of a merchant class eager to invest in overseas expansion and to seize for themselves a greater share of world trade spurred interest in colonization.
The founding of Quebec by France in 1608 was followed by Henry Hudson's exploration in 1609 of the river that today bears his name, leading to the founding of the Dutch colony of New Netherland.
Santa Fe was established in 1610 by the Spanish.
After the voyages of Columbus, the European penetration of North America began.
It happened from east to west at the Atlantic coast, north to south along the St. Lawrence and Mississippi rivers, and south to north in what is now the American Southwest.
English North America in the 17th century was a place where entrepreneurs wanted to make fortunes, religious minorities wanted to worship without government interference, and aristocracy wanted to recreate a world of feudalism.
Those who drew up blueprints for settlement were expected to reproduce the social structure with which they were familiar.
The lower orders would be subject to laws regulating their labor and deprived of a role in politics, just like in England.
Ordinary men and women were able to escape from deprivation with emigration.
John Smith wrote that no man would leave England to have less freedom in America.
The settlers of English America had more rights than the other people in the empire, including the right to trial by jury and access to land.
Colonies with more religious freedom than Europe.
The slave, stripped completely of liberty, was one of many degrees of freedom that existed in seventeenth-century North America.
A person may occupy more than one place on this spectrum.
Native Americans were deprived of their land and large numbers of African slaves were imported to work for the settlers.
In the 17th century America, freedom and lack of freedom expanded together.
King James I established a joint-stock enterprise in 1606.
The company wanted to spread Christianity in the New World as well as find ways to make a profit.
The first European since the Vikings to visit the North American continent was John Cabot, who sailed from England in 1497, but English exploration and colonization would take many years.
The consolidation of national power in Europe is what led to the early empire building in Spain.
England was a secondrate power due to internal disunity.
After a long period of civil war, Henry VII had to unify the kingdom.
Henry VIII launched the Reformation in England.
Henry severed the nation from the Catholic Church after the pope refused to cancel his marriage to Catherine of Aragon.
He established the Church of England with himself at the head.
The years of religious conflict followed.
Edward VI, Henry's son who became king at the age of ten in 1547, was responsible for the persecution of Catholics.
Mary became queen when Edward died.
Mary put a number of Protestants to death.
Reconciliation with Rome became impossible because of her unpopular rule.
Mary's successor, Elizabeth I, restored the Anglican ascendancy and executed more than 100 priests.
Money and energy may have been directed toward the New World during England's long struggle to conquer Ireland.
In subduing Ireland, whose Catholic population was considered a threat to the stability of Protestant rule in England, the government employed a variety of approaches, including military conquest, the slaughter of civilians, the seizure of land and introduction of English economic practices.
The English excluded the native population from the Pale in order to create their own social order.
The "reconquest" of Spain from the Moors established patterns that would be repeated in Spanish New World colonization.
The "wild Irish" were compared to American Indians by some English writers.
The Irish are confused about liberty and license.
They resisted conversion to English Protestantism.
The early English colonies in North America and the West Indies were known as "plantations", and the term was originally used to describe Protestant settlements in Ireland.
The English turned their attention to North America after Elizabeth I, despite the fact that sailors and explorers still wanted to raid Spanish cities and treasure fleets in the Caribbean.
Sir Humphrey Gilbert and Sir Walter Raleigh were granted charters by the government to establish colonies in North America at their own expense.
Both ventures failed because of little or no support from the crown.
Gilbert established a settlement on Newfoundland in 1582.
Raleigh dispatched a fleet of five ships with 100 colonists to set up a base off the North Carolina coast to facilitate raids on Spanish shipping.
The young men under military leadership abandoned the venture in 1586 and returned to England.
The second group of 100 settlers were composed of families who wanted to establish a permanent colony.
Their fate is a mystery.
The inhabitants of the abandoned Roanoke colony moved to live among the Indians when a ship carrying supplies arrived in 1590.
The Indian name for a nearby island or tribe was carved on a tree.
Raleigh lost his enthusiasm for colonization.
It was clear that a successful colony would require more planning and economic resources than any individual could provide.
In the case of Spain, national glory, profit, and religious mission merged in early English thinking about the New World.
The English government believed that Catholic Spain was its mortal enemy after the Spanish naval armada tried to invade the British Isles.
England expressed its imperial ambitions in order to liberate the New World from the tyranny of the pope, just as Spain justified its empire in part by claiming to convert Indians to Catholicism.
Anti-Catholicism was ingrained in English popular culture by the late 16th century.
During Elizabeth's reign, English translations of Bartolome de Las Casas's writings appeared.
The English were able to describe their own imperial ambitions in the language of freedom because of the idea that the empire of Catholic Spain was so brutal.
English settlements would strike a blow against Spain's empire and form part of a divine mission to rescue the New World and its inhabitants from the influence of Catholicism and tyranny.
The Indians of the New World were "crying out to us" because they were "tied as slaves" under Spanish rule.
Spain's behavior in the New World would be repeated by England.
The English believed that they were unique.
Empire and freedom would go hand in hand.
The navy of England is visible through the window, while the queen rests her hand on a globe and points to the coast of North America.
Hakluyt marshaled other arguments as England prepared to step onto the world stage.
The propagandists of empire were always focused on national power and glory.
Hakluyt and other writers argued that England, a relatively minor power in Europe at the end of the 16th century, could come to compete with Spain and France.
America could be a refuge for England's "surplus" population.
The late 16th century was a time of social crisis in England, with economic growth unable to keep up with the needs of a population that grew from 3 million in 1550 to 4 million in 1600.
English peasants had a hold on their land for a long time.
Farming practices such as crop rotation and raising sheep for wool trade were introduced in the 16th and 17th century.
Small farmers were evicted and the commons were fenced off.
Many landlords, farmers, and town merchants benefited from the enclosure movement, but thousands of people were uprooted from the land.
Wages fell dramatically when many flooded into England's cities.
Others, denounced by authorities as rogues, vagabonds, and vagrants, wander the roads in search of work.
Their situation became worse as the prices of gold and silver went up throughout Europe.
Half of the English population lived below the poverty line according to a study done at the end of the 17th century.
Local communities had the lowest cost of poor relief.
The government had a hard time dealing with the social crisis.
Those without jobs could be branded, forced into the army or hanged.
Justices of the peace were given the power to regulate hours and wages during Elizabeth's reign.
"Vagrants" were required to accept any job offered to them and could be punished if they tried to change jobs.
The unruly poor were encouraged to leave for the New World.
Richard Hakluyt wrote about the advantages of living in America for needy people.
They could become productive citizens and contribute to the nation's wealth.
The goals of ordinary Englishmen were related to this ideal.
Although authorities saw wandering or unemployed "masterless men" as a danger to society and tried to force them to accept jobs, popular attitudes viewed economic dependence as lack of freedom.
Only those who were in control of their own labor could be considered free.
Despite their poverty, the vagabonds, highwaymen, and even beggars were romanticized by popular tales and ballads.
The image of the New World as a unique place of opportunity, where the English laboring classes could regain economic independence by acquiring land and where even criminals would enjoy a second chance, was derived from the earliest days of settlement.
In 1623, the royal letter approving the recruitment of emigrants to New England promised that anyone could become the "lord of 200 acres of land" far beyond the reach of most Englishmen.
Independence that followed from owning land was the main lure for emigrants from England to the New World.
English people were attracted to economic freedom and the chance to pass it on to their children.
Henry VIII formed the state church of England after the Pope refused to cancel his marriage to Catherine of Aragon.
The first English child born in the New World, Virginia Dare, was part of an English expedition that left the Outer Banks in 1587.
A legal process divided large farm fields in England that were previously collectively owned by groups of peasants into smaller, individually owned plots.
Many peasants were evicted due to the enclosure movement.
The environment of English Emigrants in North America was dangerous.
The Indian and settler populations were decimated by diseases.
Colonies were drawn into imperial wars and conflict with Indians due to religious, political, and economic tensions.
They were dependent on the mother country for protection.
Most settlements would have collapsed without immigration.
England has a population of between 4 million and 5 million, which is half that of Spain and a quarter of France.
The economic conditions in England were so bad.
emigration to Virginia was promoted in a pamphlet.
The majority of these emigrants went to Europe.
About 180,000 people settled in Ireland and about the same number migrated to the West Indies, where the introduction of sugar gave people a lot of money.
The population of England's mainland colonies was larger than that of their rivals.
Most of the settlers who came to the area before 1660 were from Virginia and Maryland, where there was a constant demand for cheap labor.
Almost all of the immigrants arriving in New England before 1640 were from New England.
The Middle Colonies attracted about 23,000 settlers in the second part of the 17th century.
The majority of newcomers to New England and the Middle Colonies were young, single men from the bottom rungs of English society, who had little to lose by emigrating.
Many people have already moved to England.
The migration at home of an increasingly mobile English population was an extension of the colonial settlement.
Government officials, clergymen, merchants, artisans, landowning farmers, and members of the lesser nobility arrived in America as free persons.
Most of the land was quickly acquired.
In exchange for passage to America, nearly two-thirds of English settlers came as indentured servants, who surrendered their freedom for a specified period of time.
Like slaves, servants could be bought and sold, could not marry without the permission of their owner, and saw their obligation to labor enforced by the courts.
If female servants became pregnant, the term of their indenture was extended.
Elizabeth Sprigs, an indentured servant in Maryland, said that many Negroes are better used.
servants could look forward to a release from bondage If servants survived their labor, they would receive a payment known as "freedom dues" and become free members of society.
Indentured servitude was not a guaranteed route to economic independence for most of the 17th century.
Many servants didn't live to the end of their terms because of the high death rate.
Freedom dues weren't always enough to allow recipients to acquire land.
The reality of life in the New World did not appeal to many servants.
English settlers believed that the basis of liberty was Land and Liberty Land.
In most colonies, men have the right to vote if they own land.
The promise of immediate access to land lured free settlers, and freedom dues that included land persuaded potential immigrants to sign contracts as indentured servants.
Land in America was used by the king to reward his relatives and allies.
Each colony was launched with a huge grant of land from the crown, either to a company or a private individual.
Some grants stretched from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific.
Land was a source of wealth and power for colonial officials.
Land has little value without labor.
Since immigrants did not come to America intending to work the land of others, the very abundance of "free" land eventually led many property owners to turn to slaves as a workforce.
Englishmen and Indians Land in North America were already occupied.
The arrival of English settlers presented the native inhabitants of eastern North America with the greatest crisis in their history.
The English wanted land, not the population.
The Chesapeake and New England attracted more settlers than New Mexico, Florida, and New France combined, thus placing greater pressure on Indian landholdings.
The English were not interested in making the Indians subjects of the crown, but in moving the Indians to their land.
The marriage of John Rolfe and Pocahontas, the daughter of Virginia's leading chief, is well known but almost unique.
In the 17th century Massachusetts and Virginia had only two mixed marriages before the practice was banned in 1691.
Indians traveled through colonial settlements while the English exchanged goods.
Fur traders on the frontiers of settlement married Indian women in order to gain access to native societies and the kin networks essential to economic relationships.
English settlers remained separate from their Indian neighbors.
A drawing by the artist John White shows seventeen male and female Secotan Indians dancing around a circle of posts in a religious ritual.
White was a careful observer of their clothing and body markings.
Despite their insistence that Indians had no claim to the land since they did not cultivate or improve it, most colonial authorities in practice recognized Indians' title.
They acquired land through treaties after they had suffered a military defeat.
Many sales of Indian land were recorded by the colonial courts.
To keep the peace, some colonial governments tried to prevent the private seizure or purchase of Indian lands.
These measures proved to be useless.
New settlers and freed servants wanted land for themselves, while those who established families in America needed land for their children.
The war between Indians and colonists continued in the 17th century.
The conflicts gave the colonists a strong feeling of superiority and left them intent on maintaining the real and imagined boundaries between the two peoples.
In the initial stages of settlement, English settlers often established towns on sites Indians had cleared, planted Indian crops, and used Indian technology such as snowshoes and canoes, which were useful for travel in the American wilderness.
The English displaced the original inhabitants more thoroughly than any other empire.
Ninigret II, a leader of the Narragansetts of Rhode Island, was thought to be depicted in the only known contemporary portrait of a New England Indian.
The painting was originally owned by John Winthrop II, a governor of colonial Connecticut, and now it has been identified as being owned by an influential Pequot leader.
Everything the Indian wears is made in England.
Many eastern Indians welcomed the newcomers with open arms because of their practical advantages.
Woven cloth, metal kettles, iron axes, fishhooks, hoes, and guns were quickly integrated into Indian life.
Indians wanted colorful glass beads and copper ornaments in their religious ceremonies.
Changes took place in Indian life as Indians became integrated into the Atlantic economy.
The farming, hunting, and cooking practices of European metal goods have changed.
Men hunted for fur more often.
As the use of European products expanded, older skills deteriorated.
Indians were able to supply items that Europeans wanted.
The trade in furs and animal skins was described as one in which Indians traded valuable commodities for worthless European trinkets.
Europeans and Indians gave up goods they had in abundance in exchange for items that were in short supply in their own society.
The profits of trade flowed mostly to European merchants as the colonists achieved military superiority over the Indians.
Growing connections with Europeans stimulated warfare among Indian tribes, and the overhunting of deer forced some groups to take over territory claimed by others.
Epidemics decimated Indian populations when newcomers from Europe arrived.
Land traders, religious missionaries, and colonial authorities all sought to change Indian society and culture.
Indians' ways of life were more threatened by settlers than any group of soldiers or bureaucrats.
The natural environment changed in ways that undermined traditional Indian agriculture and hunting as settlers fenced in more and more land.
The Indian cornfields and gardens were trampled by pigs and cattle.
The need for wood to build and heat homes depletes forests where Indians used to hunt.
The fur trade diminished the population of animals.
The Indians were the most affected by the changes set in motion in 1607.
The English Settlement in the CheapEAKE is SETTLING.
Tobacco planters sought fertile land near waterways as English settlement in the Chesapeake spread.
The early history of Jamestown was not promising.
The colony's leadership changed multiple times, its inhabitants had a high death rate, and the company wanted a quick profit.
The Spanish had found a lot of money in Mexico.
They included many sons of English gentry and high-status craftsmen who preferred to prospect for gold rather than farm.
John Smith, one of the colony's first leaders, said that they would rather starve than work.
Garbage settlers dumped into the local river bred germs that caused diseases such as typhoid and dysentery.
Lack of food and disease took a heavy toll.
The original population had fallen by half by the end of the first year.
New arrivals brought the number up to 400 in 1609, but by 1610 only 65 settlers remained after a winter long remembered as the "starving time."
At one point, the survivors abandoned Jamestown and sailed for England, only to be stopped and persuaded to return to Virginia by ships carrying a new governor and supplies.
Most of the immigrants who arrived in the first decade were dead by 1616.
The colony was held together by military discipline.
John Smith's career before coming to America included fighting the Turks in Hungary, where he was captured and enslaved.
Forced labor was imposed on company lands.
Smith said that he would not eat.
Many of the colonists were upset by Smith's autocratic style of governing.
He was forced to return to England after being injured in a gunpowder explosion.
His successors continued his iron rule.
The Virginia Company realized that it would have to abandon its search for gold, grow its own food, and find a commodity in order to survive.
It would have to attract more people.
In 1618, it announced new policies that shaped Virginia's development as a functioning society rather than an outpost of London-based investors.
The company gave fifty acres of land to anyone who paid for their own or another's passage, instead of retaining all the land for itself.
A large estate would be acquired by anyone who brought in a large number of servants.
The governor's militaristic regime was replaced by a "charter of grants and liberties".
The first elected assembly in colonial America was convened in 1619.
The company and its governor retained the right to nullify any measure adopted by the body, even though freemen could vote.
It established a political precedent that would be followed by all English colonies.
The first twenty Africans arrived in Virginia in 1619 on a Dutch vessel.
The significance of the two events would not be known until years later.
They laid the groundwork for a society that would one day be dominated by slaveowning planters.
The rule of Wahunsonacock, a leader who had recently consolidated his authority over the region, was acknowledged by most.
He realized the advantages of trade with the newcomers after being called Powhatan by the settlers.
The Virginia Company was aware of Las Casas's condemnation of Spanish behavior and was instructed to treat local Indians kindly and try to convert them to Christianity.
John Smith tried to stop settlers from taking produce from nearby villages in order to keep the Indians from cutting off trade.
Simon van de Passe engraved a portrait of Pocahontas in England in 1616.
This is a later copy.
She took the name Rebecca after converting to Christianity.
In the first two years of Jamestown's existence, relations with Indians were mostly peaceful and based on a fairly equal give-and-take.
At one point, Smith was captured by the Indians and threatened with execution by Powhatan, only to be rescued by Pocahontas, the favorite among his many children by dozens of wives.
The legend says that the incident was an example of a lovestruck teenager disobeying her father.
Powhatan designed an elaborate ceremony to demonstrate his power over the colonists and incorporate them into his realm.
The two peoples brought food and messages to the other.
The English massacring villagers indiscriminately and destroying Indian crops began in 1610 after John Smith's return to England.
In 1613, she was held as a hostage by the settlers.
She converted to Christianity while in confinement.
She married the English colonist John Rolfe as part of the restoration of peace.
She caused a sensation in the court of James I when she accompanied her husband to England.
Her father passed away the next year.
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