In local Indian tribes attempted to trade with
In 1607, English explorers seeking gold, silver, and jewelry settled between the James and York Rivers in southeastern Virginia, establishing a settlement known as Jamestown. However, unprepared for the harsh conditions they encountered, the colonists struggled to meet life’s daily necessities, and by the end of the year two-thirds of the settlers had died. During this time, local Indian tribes attempted to trade with the colonists, but the attempts were largely unsuccessful, likely due to the poor condition of the colonists due to severe drought, cold and starvation. Despite the harsh conditions during the early years of the colony, the surviving colonists were able to build a permanent settlement and begin productive economic activity. However, profit would not come through gold or silver, but through tobacco. In 1612, John Rolfe, better known as the husband of Native American Pocahontas, introduced tobacco cultivation at Jamestown. The colony soon began to export tobacco to England. As demand for their crops increased, the settlers needed to expand their fields. This necessity resulted in the expulsion of Indians from their lands, and the importation of slaves to work the fields. By the end of the seventeenth century, the 15,000 Native Americans in the area had been reduced to 1,200 and were forced to live on special reservations. As for the slaves, the first shipment from Africa arrived in Virginia in 1619 to work in the tobacco fields.Several hundred miles to the north, the colony of Plymouth was founded not long after Jamestown, but the motivations of the settlers were very different. This site was settled by the Puritans, who were compelled to move to America due to religious persecution. “The Puritans were conservative dissenters who believed that the Church of England needed further “purifying” (America 42). The aim was to build a society where they could freely exercise their religious principles. The first expedition of Puritans to North America occurred in 1620, when the ship Mayflower docked in current day Massachusetts. The Mayflower Pilgrims were the first settlers to establish themselves by beginning the future United States. They founded the city of Plymouth, which would become the capital of Plymouth’s Cologne.”English colonization in the Americas was led by two different groups that sometimes overlapped: those seeking freedom from religious persecution in England, both Protestants and Catholics, and those seeking land and profits” (America pg. 41). In addition to political and religious disputes, which at different times led Anglicans and Puritans to America, there was also the expulsion of a large part of the peasant population from the fields. This land-closure process by large landowners led to an urban population swelling, contributing to the fact that part of the population migrated to North America. The Puritan religion contributed to English colonization, in the sense that religion preached that through work, one could attain grace and divine salvation. The religious precepts served to consolidate a work ethic, contributing to the prosperity of the settlers and also conforming a rigid code of social conduct.This situation was more evident in the northern region of the Thirteen Colonies, which became known as New England. The colonies of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire were part of New England. With a temperate climate, similar to what existed in England, economic activities were developed related to the fishing, cattle-raising, commercial activities and the manufacturing production. By virtue of the majority of Puritans in the region, religious intolerance also marked the form of social organization in the region. Contrary to this New England religious intolerance, the central colonies, New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey were more open to social groups of different faiths. Furthermore, the presence of Dutch, Swedes, Scots and other European peoples comprised the colonization of these areas, resulting in a more diverse population. As the population of the central colonies grew, their economic activities led to increasing relationships with their neighbors to the north, promoting the formation of an important commercial center in the city of Philadelphia.Region formed by colonies of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and Georgia, the South of the Thirteen Colonies was marked by the agricultural production in plantation system: monocultura worked by slave labor, in great properties and destined for sale in the European market. There was a distinct settlement in this region, in the face of slave labor and agricultural production of tobacco, cotton, rice and indigo for Europe.Despite the differences in their motivations the settlers aimed to escape religious and political rules as well as seeking new opportunities to succeed economically.