Jamestown as One of the Earliest American Settlements by Europeans

Jamestown Settlement Simulation Discussion Instructions

  • Based upon your experience performing the Jamestown settlement simulation, briefly describe your initial attempt to settle at Jamestown. What choices did you make regarding:
    • Location of the settlement
    • Interaction with the Powhatans
    • Composition of the workforce
    • Economic activity
    • Agricultural products
  • Why did you make these choices? What outcomes were achieved regarding the food supply, health, wealth and morale of the colony with these choices? Your goal was to be named Governor of the colony. What choices (as mentioned above) did you have to make to become governor, and what were the outcomes?
  • Describe your use of consultations (native, charter, settler). Which of these consultations were useful? Which were not useful? Why, or why not? What do these consultations teach you about the settlement of the actual Jamestown?
  • Finally, the charter company was involved in colonization to make a profit. Considering that objective, based on your simulation experiences, how would you assess the potential for success of the actual Jamestown ?
  • Do you believe success, or failure was more probable? Were “starving times” inevitable? Why, or why not?

Jamestown as One of the Earliest American Settlements by Europeans

Jamestown, in the modern-day Virginia, is rightly christened the earliest, lasting English settlement within America (Morison, 1965; Schweikart & Michael, 2007; Weinstein & Wilson, 1978). The area received the foremost lot of explorers, or colonists, from Europe in mid-1607. Most of the colonists passed on immediately owing to the harsh nature of the American winter. In the first half of the 17th century, tens of thousands of European settlers moved to Jamestown. Jamestown was the Jamestown colony’s capital from mid-1616 to late-1699. The Jamestown settlement was established in the Tsenacommacah country (Morison, 1965).

Then, the country was managed by the Paspahegh Powhatan Confederacy. The indigenous inhabitants of the area at first welcomed the settlers warmly, affording them critical support and provisions. Over time, the relationship between the inhabitants and the settlers became increasingly antagonistic (Morison, 1965; Gately, 2001; Schweikart & Michael, 2007). Notably, the settlement suffered high mortality owing to starvation along with disease. Presently, Jamestown is one of the multiple locations that are commonly known as the HTCV (Historic Triangle of Colonial Virginia). The other locations are Yorktown and Williamsburg.

When the settlers came to Jamestown, they changed its landscape with several, expansive facilities, including the James Fort, several storehouses, churches, and house clusters (Schweikart & Michael, 2007; Weinstein & Wilson, 1978). The facilities changed the physical appearance of the settlement considerably. The settlers introduced several crops, especially Nicotiana tabacum tobacco, to the settlement, revolutionizing its agricultural engagements (Gately, 2001).

The settlers increased the commercial engagement in the area. They increased the rate of commercial exchanges. As well, they brought with them several Old World illnesses to Jamestown; smallpox, measles, cholera, and typhus (Morison, 1965). The indigenous populations were hit hardly by the illnesses since they had not developed the requisite immunities as regards the illnesses.

Smallpox is caused by a viral species. It is thought to have at first infected human beings after interacting with monkeys or even cattle. An obligate, bacterial species causes typhus. Spaniards introduced typhus into America (Schweikart & Michael, 2007; Weinstein & Wilson, 1978). The typhus caused the demise of many Indians. Presently, outbreaks of typhus are commonly reported in America.

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