The leadership strengths and weaknesses of John Smith evoked a profound effect on the Jamestown colony. The fact that Smith actually arrived in the colony as a common prisoner and was able to achieve the leadership role that he gained is amazing. His creativity and knowledge in certain areas actually saved the colonists from attack and starvation in the early days. Some of the rules he enforced as a leader were actually instrumental in saving the colony. His skill in dealing with the natives allowed him to gain their support and continue trade that resulted in the survival of the colony.
Christopher Newport, the admiral that transported John Smith and many of the colonists from England, left the Jamestown colony in the fall of 1607. Immediately all work in the settlement ceased to exist. The colonists had decided to wait on Newport to return with new workers. The plan was for the natives to provide food for them while they waited. When the natives never came with food, Ratcliffe, the current president of the colony, ordered John Smith to visit the neighboring natives and trade tools and metals for corn. The natives had noticed how the English were unable to feed themselves by planting their own crops. The natives refused to trade more than a few handfuls of corn and bread for the hatchets and iron that were offered. Smith realized the reason why the Kecoughtans were not trading more than just those small amounts and created a way to solve the problem. To prove to the natives that the English were not poor, Smith gave free beads and trinkets to the children. This was to show the Kecoughtans that the English were economically strong and possessed more valuable items. Smith used the mentality of “weakness in appearance…was weakness in reality” (Price 57) to justify his travels from village to village, collecting a large of amount of corn, bread, and other foods for the Jamestown colonists. Smith thought the natives would trade more food if they did not realize what a small amount of food stores that the English had actually acquired. If the natives had known what large quantities of food Smith had actually traded for, they would have realized how desperate the state of the colonists. Smith performed his trading sessions this way “’least they should perceive my too great want.’” (Price 57) In this manner, John Smith saved the ent...
... middle of paper ...
...into believing the English had enough stores of food actually help protect the colonists from attack. It also allowed Smith and the colonists to continue to bring back enough food and supplies to last the settlement through the first winter. By the second winter, John Smith had taken the position of President of the settlement. This put him in a position of power where he could invoke some rules among the colonists. Invoking the “he that will not work shall not eat” rule was a key factor in surviving this winter. During the same season the food supply again became dangerously low. Rats had again infested the main food supply. John cleverly divided the colonists into three groups. Despite the risk of having the settlement devastated by the division, Smith pulled it off and saved the colonists again. John Smith remained committed to the interests of the common man throughout his efforts in Jamestown. This character trait and well as his impulsiveness and temper outbursts weakened him in the eyes of the Virginia Company. Unfortunately, this shortened his time as a leader for the settlers. Despite his flaws, John Smith was a critical player in the success of the Jamestown settlement.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The New World: A John Smith Story Review On August, 28 2016 I watched “The New World: A John Smith Story” on Amazon Prime with my mother. Since I love history, I had no problem watching a History Channel movie. I sat from eight to nearly twelve o’clock at night watching this movie. This is my account and opinion of this film featuring the New World. The movie itself was about John Smith. It began with the colonists landing in what was soon to be Jamestown, Virginia. John Smith was to be hanged when they reached shore but their leader gave him a pardon as long as he gave up any mutinous actions.... [tags: Pocahontas, John Rolfe, Jamestown, Virginia]
926 words (2.6 pages)
- The New World is a film based on the Virginia Company and John Smith, British explorer, founding Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in North America and the Powhatan Indians. European nations came to America to increase their wealth and expand their trade routes; many of the settlers came to escape religious persecution. The chance meeting between John Smith and Pocahontas is how two cultures forever became intertwined. In the movie John Smith said, “Two no more, one I am” (The New World).... [tags: Pocahontas, John Rolfe, Powhatan, Jamestown]
1340 words (3.8 pages)
- The most important question when regarding the settling of Jamestown and its early years is whether Captain John Smith, world renowned hero of the Jamestown colony, is in fact a liar, as most of what we know about him comes from his own works of novelistic intent about his experiences in the new world. We can analyze other first-hand records and other historical writings and weigh these accounts against Smith’s writings to decide if his are in fact accurate. In his own writings, John Smith, described his early adventures, which took place in Europe before his journey to the new world, in a very dramatic fashion.... [tags: indians, pocahontas, jamestown colony]
888 words (2.5 pages)
- The historical-drama film, “The New World” portrays the establishment of the Jamestown, Virginia, settlement. The film also showcases the historical figures Captain John Smith, the Englishman John Rolfe, and Pocahontas of the Powatan Native American tribe. The movie has portrayed some well-known myths such as the romantic relationship between Pocahontas and John Smith, Pocahontas’ name, and her age when she first met Captain Smith. Films tend to distort historical accuracy in order to make history “entertaining”, which does more harm than good since people don’t tend to research historical events.... [tags: Pocahontas, John Rolfe, Chief Powhatan, Jamestown]
854 words (2.4 pages)
- Love And Hate In Jamestown by David A. Price David A. Price, Love and Hate in Jamestown: John Smith, Pocahontas, and the Heart of a New Nation (New York: Alfred A. Knopf) As a young child many of us are raised to be familiar with the Pocahontas and John Smith story. Whether it was in a Disney movie or at a school play that one first learned of Jamestown, students want to believe that this romantic relationship really did occur.... [tags: History Jamestown]
1630 words (4.7 pages)
- The Jamestown Project discusses the monumental landmark, the colony of Jamestown, was in Atlantic History. The story of Jamestown is told in a much more authentic, elaborate style than our textbooks has presented. As Kupperman points out, Jamestown was not only important to United State’s history but also to British history. From the motivations to the lasting effects, she gives an accurate account of all components involved in Jamestown. Also, there is a chapter devoted to the Native American experience, which shows a non-Western view of events.... [tags: American History Research Paper Jamestown Monument]
1367 words (3.9 pages)
- The English had two main colonies in the new world, Jamestown and Plymouth. The first colony was Jamestown, established in Virginia in 1607. Jamestown was settled by Captain John Smith, and was named after King James I. Tobacco was the main export of Jamestown, and became the basis of the Jamestown economy, sending more than 50,000 lbs of the plan back to Europe by 1618 (textbook 46). Jamestown had a very rocky start, many colonists dying in the first few years of the settlement, and the settlers had many problems with natives.... [tags: Colonial America]
566 words (1.6 pages)
- 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.... [tags: Jamestown vs Pilgrims]
1315 words (3.8 pages)
- John Smith As an adventurous English boy, John Smith longed to see the world, but he probably never imagined that he'd become famous for helping settle a new colony. John Smith belongs in History because he is the one who helped Jamestown get food and helped organize and run the colony. John Smith, English explorer and colonist, was an important leader and has changed America. John Smith was born on January 8, 1580 in a small town of Willoughby, Lincolnshire, England. A couple days after John's birth, he was baptized.... [tags: Biography]
1424 words (4.1 pages)
- Jamestown In the sixteenth century, England was one of the most powerful countries in the world. England was also in dire need of money at this time. In an effort to alleviate the country’s financial burdens, King Henry VIII decided to seize land owned by the Catholic Church. Henry then sold the already inhabited land to investors, and its residents were forced out. These people and their descendants would eventually become some of the fortune-seeking colonists that would settle America during England’s try at Imperialism.... [tags: essays research papers]
650 words (1.9 pages)