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Southern Colony Settlement. Reasons for European Migrations to the Americas in the 17 c. English Colonization. The Charter of the Virginia Company: Guaranteed to colonists the same rights as Englishmen as if they had stayed in England.

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English Colonization

  • The Charter of the Virginia Company:
    • Guaranteed to colonists the same rights as Englishmen as if they had stayed in England.
    • This provision was incorporated into future colonists’ documents.
    • Colonists felt that, even in the Americas, they had the rights of Englishmen!

England Plants the Jamestown “Seedling”

  • Late 1606  VA Co. sends out 3 ships
  • May 24, 1607  about 100 colonists [all men] land at Jamestown, along banks of James River
    • Easily defended, but swarming with disease-causing mosquitoes.

Chesapeake Bay

Geographic/environmental problems??


Problems in Jamestown

  • 1606-1607  40 people died on the voyage to the New World.
  • “Gentlemen” colonists would not work themselves.
    • Game in forests & fish in river uncaught.
  • Settlers wasted time looking for gold instead of hunting or farming.

There was no talk…but dig gold, wash gold, refine gold, load gold…


High Mortality Rates

  • The “Starving Time”:
    • 1607: 104 colonists
    • By spring, 1608: 38 survived
    • 1609: 300 more immigrants
    • By spring, 1610: 60 survived
    • 1610 – 1624: 10,000 immigrants
    • 1624 population: 1,200
    • Adult life expectancy: 40 years
    • Death of children before age 5: 80%

The Starving Time

“And one amongst the rest did kill his wife, powdered [salted] her, and had eaten part of her before it was knowne, for which hee was executed, as hee well deserved; now whether shee was better roasted, boyled or carbonado'd [grilled], I know not, but of such a dish as powdered wife I never heard of.” – John Smith



High mortality among husbands and fathers left many women in the Chesapeake colonies with unusual autonomy and wealth!


Chief Powhatan

  • Powhatan Confederacy
    • Powhatan dominated a few dozen tribes in the James River area when the English arrived.
    • The English called allIndians in the areaPowhatans.
    • Powhatan probably sawthe English as allies in his struggles to control other Indian tribes in the region.


Pocahontas “saves” Captain John Smith

A 1616 engraving


Culture Clash in the Chesapeake

  • Relations between Indians & settlers grew worse.
    • General mistrust because of different cultures & languages.
    • English raided Indian food supplies during the starving times.
  • 1610-1614  First Anglo-Powhatan War
    • De La Warr had orders to make war on the Indians.
      • Raided villages, burned houses, took supplies, burned cornfields.

Culture Clash in the Chesapeake

  • 1614-1622 peace between Powhatans and the English.
    • 1614 peace sealed by the marriage of Pocahontas to Englishman John Rolfe.
  • 1622-1644  periodic attacks between Indians and settlers.
    • 1622  Indians attacked the English, killing 347 [including John Rolfe].
    • Virginia Co. called for a “perpetual war” against the Native Americans.
      • Raids reduced native population and drove them further westward.

Culture Clash in the Chesapeake

  • 1644-1646  Second Anglo-Powhatan War
    • Last effort of natives to defeat English.
    • Indians defeated again.
  • Peace Treaty of 1646
    • Removed the Powhatans from their original land.
    • Formally separated Indian and English settlement areas!

John Rolfe

What finally made the colony prosperous??


Tobacco Plant

Virginia’s gold and silver. -- John Rolfe, 1612


Early Colonial Tobacco

1618 — Virginia produces 20,000 pounds of tobacco.

1622 — Despite losing nearly one-third of its colonists in an Indian attack, Virginia produces 60,000 pounds of tobacco.

1627 — Virginia produces 500,000 pounds of tobacco.

1629 — Virginia produces 1,500,000 pounds of tobacco.


Indentured Servitude


Indentured Contract, 1746


Indentured Servitude

  • Headright System:
    • Each Virginian got 50 acres for each person whose passage they paid.
  • Indenture Contract:
    • 5-7 years.
    • Promised “freedom dues” [land, £]
    • Forbidden to marry each other.
    • 1610-1614: only 1 in 10 outlived their indentured contracts!

Virginia: “Child of Tobacco”

  • Tobacco’s effect on Virginia’s economy:
    • Vital role in putting VA on a firm economic footing.
    • Ruinous to soil when continuously planted.
    • Chained VA’s economy to a single crop.
  • Tobacco promoted the use of the plantation system.
    • Need for cheap, abundant labor.

Growing Political Power

  • The House of Burgesses established in 1619 & began to assume the role of the House of Commons in England
    • Control over finances, militia, etc.
  • A Council appointed by royal governor
    • Mainly leading planters.
    • Functions like House of Lords.
    • High death rates ensured rapid turnover of members.

Virginia Becomes a Royal Colony

  • James I grew hostile to Virginia
    • He hated tobacco.
    • He distrusted the House of Burgesses which he called a seminary of sedition.
  • 1624  he revoked the charter of the bankrupt VA Company.
    • Thus, VA became a royal colony, under the king’s direct control!

English Tobacco Label

  • First Africans arrived in Jamestown in 1619.
    • Their status was not clear  perhaps slaves, perhaps indentured servants.
    • Slavery not that important until the end of the 17c.

Colonial Slavery

  • Beginning in 1662  “Slave Codes”
    • Made blacks [and their children] property, or chattel for life of white masters.
    • In some colonies, it was a crime to teach a slave to read or write.
    • Conversion to Christianity did not qualify the slave for freedom.

Nathaniel Bacon’s Rebellion: 1676

  • Led 1,000 Virginians in a rebellion against Governor Berkeley
    • Rebels resented Berkeley’s close relations with Indians.
      • Berkeley monopolized the fur trade with the Indians in the area.
      • Berkley refused to retaliate for Indian attacks on frontier settlements.

Nathaniel Bacon

GovernorWilliam Berkeley


Bacon’s Rebellion

  • Rebels attacked Indians, whether they were friendly or not to whites.
  • Governor Berkeley driven from Jamestown.
  • They burned the capital.
    • Rebels went on a rampage of plundering.
  • Bacon suddenly died of fever.
  • Berkeley brutally crushed the rebellion and hanged 20 rebels.

New England








  • Calvinism Institutes of the Christian Religion
    • Predestination.
      • Good works could not save those predestined for hell.
      • No one could be certain of their spiritual status.
      • Gnawing doubts led to constantly seeking signs of “conversion.”
  • Puritans:
    • Want to totally reform [purify] the Church of England.
    • Grew impatient with the slow process of Protestant Reformation back in England.


  • Separatist Beliefs:
    • Puritans who believed only “visible saints” [those who could demonstrate in front of their fellow Puritans their elect status] should be admitted to church membership.
    • Because the Church of England enrolled all the king’s subjects, Separatists felt they had to share churches with the “damned.”
    • Therefore, they believed in a total break from the Church of England.

The Mayflower

  • 1620  a group of 102 people [half Separatists]
    • Negotiated with theVirginia Company to settle in its jurisdiction.
    • Non-Separatists included Captain Myles Standish.
  • Plymouth Bay was way outside the domain of the Virginia Company.
    • Became squatters without legal right to land & specific authority to establish a govt.

The Mayflower CompactNovember 11, 1620

  • Written and signed before the Pilgrims disembarked from the ship.
  • Not a constitution, but an agreement to form a crude govt. and submit to majority rule.
    • Signed by 41 adult males.
  • Led to adult male settlers meeting in assemblies to make laws in a town hall meeting style.

Covenant Theology

  • “Social Covenant”:
    • Between members of Puritan communities with each other.
    • Required mutual watchfulness.
    • No toleration of deviance or disorder.
    • No privacy.

That First Year….

  • Winter of 1620-1621
    • Only 44 out of the original 102 survived.
  • None chose to leave in 1621 when the Mayflower sailed back.
  • Fall of 1621  First “Thanksgiving.”
    • Colony survived with fur [especially beaver], fish, and lumber.
  • Plymouth stayed small and economically unimportant.
    • 1691  only 7,000 people
    • Merged with Massachusetts Bay Colony.

William Bradford

Self-taught scholar.

Chosen governor of Plymouth 30 times in yearly elections.

Worried about settlements of non-Puritans springing up nearby and corrupting Puritan society.


The MA Bay Colony

  • 1629  non-Separatists got a royal charter to form the MA Bay Co.
    • Wanted to escape attacks by conservatives in the Church of England.
    • They didn’t want to leave the Church, just its “impurities.”
  • 1630  1,000 people set off in 11 well-stocked ships
    • Established a colony with Boston as its hub.
  • “Great Migration” of the 1630s
    • Turmoil in England [leading to the English Civil War] sent about 70,000 Puritans to America.

John Winthrop

  • Well-off attorney and manor lord in England.
  • Became 1st governor of Massachusetts.
    • Believed that he had a “calling” from God to lead there.
    • Served as governor or deputy-governor for 19 years.

..we shall be as a “City on a hill". The eyes of all people are upon us.


Characteristics of New England Settlements

  • Low mortality  average life expectancy was 70 years of age.
  • Many extended families.
  • Average 6 children per family.
  • Average age at marriage:
    • Women – 22 years old
    • Men – 27 years old.


Authoritarian male father figures controlled each household.

Patriarchal ministers and magistrates controlled church congregations and household patriarchs.


Puritan “Rebels”

  • Young, popular minister in Salem.
    • Argued for a full break with the Anglican Church.
    • Condemned MA Bay Charter.
      • Did not give fair compensation to Indians.
  • 1635  found guilty of preaching new & dangerous opinions and was exiled.

Roger Williams


Rhode Island

  • 1636  Roger Williams fled there.
    • MA Bay Puritans had wanted to exile him to England to prevent him from founding a competing colony.
    • Remarkable political freedom in Providence, RI
      • Universal manhood suffrage  later restricted by a property qualification.
      • Opposed to special privilege of any kind  freedom of opportunity for all.
  • RI becomes known as the “Sewer” because it is seen by the Puritans as a dumping ground for unbelievers and religious dissenters  More liberal than any other colony!

Puritan “Rebels”

  • Intelligent, strong-willed, well-spoken woman.
  • Eventually bragged that she had received her beliefs DIRECTLY from God.
  • Puritan leaders banished her  she & her family traveled to RI and later to NY.
    • She and all but one member of her family were killed in an Indian attack in Westchester County.
    • John Winthrop saw God’s hand in this!



Puritans vs. Native Americans

  • Indians especially weak in New England  epidemics wiped out ¾ of the native popul.
  • Wampanoags[near Plymouth] befriended the settlers.
    • Cooperation between the two helped by Squanto.
  • 1621  Chief Massasoit signedtreaty with the settlers.
    • Autumn, 1621  both groups celebrated the First Thanksgiving.

The Pequot Wars: 1636-1637

  • Pequots  verypowerful tribein CT river valley.
  • 1637  PequotWar
    • Whites, withNarragansettIndian allies,attacked Pequotvillage on Mystic River.
    • Whites set fire to homes & shot fleeing survivors!
    • Pequot tribe virtually annihilated an uneasy peace lasted for 40 years.

King Philip’s War (1675-1676}

  • Only hope for Native Americans to resist white settlers was to UNITE.
  • Metacom [King Philip to whites]
    • Massasoit’s son united Indians and staged coordinated attacks on white settlements throughout New England.
  • The war ended in failure for the Indians
    • Metacom beheaded and drawn and quartered.
    • His son and wife sold into slavery.
    • Never a serious threat in New England again!!