Chapter Two: The Planting of English America
PrimogeniturePrimogeniturePrimogeniturePrimogeniture::::Only eldest sons were eligible to inherit landed estates, while landholders’ambitious younger sons were forced to seek fortunes elsewhere.“Lone-wolf” enterprises were usually unsuccessful.“Joint“Joint“Joint“Joint----Stock” CompaniesStock” CompaniesStock” CompaniesStock” Companies::::Early version of modern corporations, allowed investors to pool resources andmade expeditions more likely to be successful.Investors were called “adventurers.”Most were intended to only last a few years, after which stockholders plannedto liquidate for a profit. Most investors did not think about long-termcolonization.Virginia Company Virginia Company Virginia Company Virginia Company----Charter Colony Charter Colony Charter Colony Charter Colony::::The Virginia Company of London received a charter from King James I ofEngland for a settlement in the New World.Main goal was the attraction of gold as well as possibly finding a passage tothe East.Colonists pressured to strike it rich for the company or risk being abandoned inthe wilderness.Charter granted overseas settlers the same rights as Englishmen. This helpedreinforce the colonists’ sense of unity with traditional English.JamestownJamestownJamestownJamestown----Captain John SmithCaptain John SmithCaptain John SmithCaptain John Smith::::Charter led to the three ships of the Virginia Company landing near the mouthof Chesapeake Bay, where they were attacked by Native Americans.Further onward, they chose a location on the malarial banks of the JamesRiver. About 100 settlers disembarked at Jamestown.Early years brought numerous deaths from disease, malnutrition, and starvation.While there was plenty of game and fish, the “gentlemen” refused to gatherprovisions and instead searched for gold.Captain John Smith took over in 1608 and proclaimed that “He who shall notwork shall not eat.”“Starving Time”“Starving Time”“Starving Time”“Starving Time”::::Colonists reduced to eating dogs, cats, rats, and mice, even digging up corpsesfor food. One colonist killed and ate his wife.Of four hundred who settled by 1609, only sixty survived “starving time” winterof 1609-1610.Settlers attempted to return to England in 1610, but forced back by newgovernor, Lord De La Warr, who imposed harsh military regime on colony andundertook military action against Native Americans.