Roanoke Colony Essay

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¬¬¬¬¬¬ Great Britain had economic interests in the Atlantic colonies since the 16th century. Through many laws, acts and conquests, Britain sought to control and influence the colonies. Britain ultimately failed in this endeavor. Though the British government could divide and allot the land as they pleased, they could not control it effectively. By the end of the French and Indian War, they had lost all of their ability to control the Atlantic colonies.
Before 1700, Great Britain had limited interest in American colonization. Virginia was the first territory in America to be claimed by the British. In the 1550’s, the island of Newfoundland was chartered as a colony. Sir Walter Raleigh founded the first settlement on Roanoke Island. He claimed in the queen’s honor the majority of North America, and named this region after Queen Elizabeth, “The Virgin Queen.” The queen considered the Roanoke colony largely a failure and refused to invest more into the colony. King James I, the successor to Queen Elizabeth, established two companies in in Virginia in 1607, each with large claims to the eastern coast. The Virginia Companies as they were called, were limited to the Atlantic coast and extended inland for 100 miles. “The Virginia Company of London was granted a southern tract from Cape Fear to Long Island Sound… The Virginia Company of Plymouth was granted a northern tract extending from Assateague Island to Passamaquoddy Bay, Maine”
The Virginia Company of London founded Jamestown and was slightly more successful than Popham Colony, founded by the Virginia Company of Plymouth. The Popham settlement was abandoned after a long, cold winter and the Plymouth Company was subsequently dissolved. Two years after King James ch...

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... last grasp at colonialism in America.
Though it seems that British policy may have stifled trade in the Atlantic colonies by regulating trade and dividing territories from Canada to the islands of the Caribbean, It is more likely that the policies helped more than hurt American trade. America directly benefited from the establishment of Jamestown, even though the Virginia Company was a near failure. The Massachusetts Bay colony provided a place for puritans to settle. When the Navigation Acts were imposed upon the early colonists, along with the writs of assistance and the various taxes that Great Britain thought were necessary, the colonists mostly ignored them. The Navigation Acts didn’t prevent smuggling, and was more likely a symbolic gesture. By the end of the French and Indian War, America was strong, even though the war cost over £2 million.

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