Looking out for number one

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Looking Out for Number One:
Conflicting Cultural Values in Early Seventeenth-Century Virginia
By: T.H Breen

The main focus of Breen's essay the focus is on the fact that colonists in Virginia were driven and motivated to come to the New World, predominantly for monetary reasons. Virginia's soil was found to be unusually well suited for growing tobacco, which is why it drove such a variety of people to migrate there. The colonists, though said to be religious, were extremely individualistic, selfish, as well as primarily drawn in by the economic opportunity in Virginia. These attitudes and ideals are what consequently resulted in numerous military defeats and massacres. They avoided their military obligations, thus naming them the vulnerable “poorly defended white settlements.” These settlements were very easy for the Indians to take advantage of, as Breen writes.
Early Virginia's flourishing cultivation of tobacco drew a diversity of people, from fresh war veterans and former soldiers, to adventurers and ordinary people looking to recoup from former monetary losses. However the tobacco did not only alter the country culturally and economically, but it “ threw more wood into the fire.” It strengthened the infamous individualistic attitude the colonists had. The advent...

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