Comparing the Settlers of Jamestown, Virginia and the Pilgrims Settlers in New England

comparative Essay
1315 words
1315 words

There were vast differences between the difficulties experienced by the first settlers of Jamestown, Virginia and the Pilgrims who settled in New England in more ways than one. While the Pilgrims fled Europe because of religious persecution, the Jamestown colony was established solely as a business venture. While life was difficult for both groups of settlers upon reaching the new world, the Jamestown venture was doomed to fail from the beginning; but where the Jamestown settlers failed, the Pilgrims succeeded. The motives for traveling to America were different for each group but were instrumental in their eventual success or failure. The Virginia Company was granted a charter by King James the 1st to travel to North America mainly to find gold; but also to engage in “glassblowing, silk raising, winemaking and exploring the rivers” (C&G 28) in addition to trying to find a water route to the Orient ("History of Jamestown"). The company neglected to take into account that farming would be a necessary requirement. In choosing who to send on the expedition, gentlemen from the upper class were selected along with a small group of artisans, craftsmen and laborers (C&G 27). This was one of many mistakes that paved the road on the way to the eventual failure of the venture; the people selected were ill-equipped to deal with the elements and hardships they faced upon their arrival. The leaders were unaccustomed to hard work and lacked the organizational skills required to survive and thrive in the new environment. They also lacked the diplomatic skills required to deal with the Powhatan Native American’s they encountered. Faced with the very real possibility of losing their lands and facing the potential extinction of their peo... ... middle of paper ... .... New York: Longman, 2006. Print. "History of Jamestown." Historic Jamestowne. Preservation Virginia. Web. 3 Feb 2014. . "Mayflower and the Mayflower Compact." Plymouth Plantation. ©2003-2014 Plimoth Plantation. Web. 9 Feb 2014. . "The House of Burgesses." U.S. History: Britain in the New World. Independence Hall Association in Philadelphia. Web. 9 Feb 2014. . "Religion in Early Virginia." Colonial Williamstown. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Web. 11 Feb 2014. . "Research Starters: Plymouth Colony." 2014 Scholastic Inc. Grolier Incorporated, n.d. Web. 9 Feb 2014. .

In this essay, the author

  • Compares the difficulties experienced by the first settlers of jamestown, virginia and the pilgrims who settled in new england. the motives for traveling to america were different for each group.
  • Explains that the virginia company was granted a charter by king james the 1st to travel to north america mainly to find gold, but also to engage in "glassblowing, silk raising, winemaking and exploring the rivers."
  • Explains that the warm climate was a blessing for the native americans until the settler's showed up. they lived in tight knit farming communities and were experienced in growing crops, hunting, and fishing.
  • Explains how captain john smith's leadership helped the colony survive the "starving time" when he was injured by a gunpowder explosion. rolfe married pocahontas, the daughter of the algonquian chief.
  • Describes how governor yeardley traveled to virginia from england to notify the settlers that the virginia company had voted to abolish martial law and create a legislative assembly.
  • Compares the 102 pilgrims who arrived in massachusetts aboard the mayflower with the jamestown colonists, who were motivated by greed.
  • Explains that the pilgrims established a self-governing agreement of their own called the "mayflower compact." it was signed by the male passengers in 1620.
  • Explains that both colonies were instrumental in the formation of america. one succeeded through passionate religious beliefs and a fierce determination to succeed while the other failed because their motives were founded on greed, lack of commitment, dedication and the passion required to make the venture successful.
  • Cites carnes, mark c., and john a. garraty. american destiny: narrative of a nation.
  • Explains that "the house of burgesses." u.s. history: britain in the new world. independence hall association in philadelphia.
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