British America was a division of thirteen colonies that represented the first overseas acquisitions that were taking place. These states were then under british control from the time consisting from 1607 to 1776. The year 1607 was quite exceptional for the British because that was when they started to permanently settle in the US. The very first settlements were in an area called Jamestown, which was only one of many. In addition to this, these were the thirteen states that were considered the founding states of the United States of America. These colonies were the fundamental aspect for trading goods and importing them from the homeland.
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Furthermore, the establishment in Virginia has to be the most renowned because it was the very first settlement to happen. English's success depended on purchasing shares in joint- companies that could make a large profit quickly(pg46). Colonists then set out on a journey in order to find "precious metals" hoping in return would make then indeed wealthy. Subsequently, arriving along the coast of North America in April 1607, the colonists founded Jamestown on a site on which they chose primarily for its easy defense since it lays within territory controlled by a large majority of Indians.
However, upon settling down and getting acquainted, they encountered the "Powhatan Confederacy", which is a large and powerful Indian confederation in Virginia (pg47). The Indians were far more powerful than English settlers, which meant that for the time being, they settlers depended on the Indians for support in order to survive. Nevertheless, a shortage of food that was in fact caused by a severe drought between the time of 1606 and 1612, affected both the Indians and the English. To make matters worse, some of the colonists refused to engage in manual labor. More or less, the water that was nearby was tainted by salt from the ocean, and diseases that supparated killed more than half of the original settlers(pg47). During this period, the experienced the "starving time" in the spring of 1610 where of every eight settlers, seven would be pronounced dead since the arrival of Jamestown of 1607.
The colonists soon began to lose hope and sailed home but then returned upon meeting three English ships which brought more supplies and a bigger population. Consequently, the new leaders of Jamestown adopted aggressive behavior and started to attack the Idians home and food supply. They believed the idea that doing this would warn other tribes and make them obey the Englsih's will or else.
For instance, later on after the House of Burgesses was established in 1619, Englishmen even started to attack and capture natives which they sold into slavery against their will(pg48). The Indians were later outnumbered and had no choice but to surrender to English Authority in 1646(pg49).
Later in the 1620s, the English also futhered settlements in the West Indies and then quickly became the economic engine for English colonization. For example, St. Christopher, Barbados was one of the most attractive places in the West Indies(pg52). English migrants settled in extraordinary growing numbers in which the purpose is to "cultivate tobacco and cotton and raise livestock"(pg53). Eventually in the 1630s, sugar cultivation prospered in the West Indies colonies. Since the British were consuming "sugar in large extremities" and "ensuring the economic success of Barbados,its neighbors and a vast increase in the enslaved population"(pg54).
However, producing sugar was difficult and brought along problems. In 1640, an alliance was formed with English planters, which offered them "knowledge and financing to cultivate sugar on Barbados" and then would be "refurbished in the Netherlands"(pg53). As a result, it not only reshape the economy but intensify the contest for land and labor(pg53).
Meanwhile, the Pilgrims, also referred to as "Separatists", sailed out on the Mayflower, which landed on the Massachusetts coast in 1620 thus establishing a permanent settlement at
Plymouth(pg55). The goal was to confirm a religious community completely separate from the "Anglican Church"(pg55). While settling, they created a pact called the Mayflower Compact which was the first written constitution adopted in North America(pg56). In other words, this was a step in the direction towards a "self-governing religious congregation".
Nevertheless, a smallpox epidemic happened prior to them coming and refurbished again but far worse. More fevers and even more illnesses which were more deadly to settlers than Indians and by the spring of 1621, "only half of the 102 Pilgrims remained alive".
For that reason, desperate to find food they received help from two english speaking Indians named Samoset and Squanto(pg56). They were captured but still wanted to negotiate a peace between the Pilgrims and Massasoit, which was the chief of the Wampanoag tribe(pg56). Massasoit was indeed worried about the power of the "English guns" but wanted an alliance to assist with his enemies and with the assistance of the Indians, the Pilgrims soon regained the health their lost.
In conclusion, these colonies had their factors. Non perfect but were beneficial each in their own way. More importantly, they were the foundation for what we now consider as the United States of America.
Hewitt, Nancy A., and Steven F. Lawson, editors. "2.Colonization and Conflicts, 1580-1680." Exploring American Histories , 3rd ed., vol. 1, Bedford/St. Martins, MacMillan Learning, 2017, pp. 37–70.
Sawe, Benjamin Elisha. "Former British Colonies." WorldAtlas , 14 May 2018, www.worldatlas.com/articles/former-british-colonies.html.
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