Jamestown Case Study

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Introduction Jamestown, a name that is synonymous with the first British settlement in the Americas, is regarded by many American historians as the birthplace of the United States. We tend to think of Jamestown as a glorious fortress constructed by English journeymen who were driven by fame, fortune, and opportunities the Americas will provide for them. However, according to the historical records, Jamestown only existed from 1607 CE to the settlement’s abandonment in 1699 CE. Multiple causes led to the settlement’s abandonment, but the fortress and the material remains associated with the settlers were left behind. The Jamestown Memorial Church site provides an interesting case study in North American historical archaeology because of …show more content…
Beginning in the early seventeenth century, King James VI of England, divided the land of Virginia into two colonies. According to J. T. Elliot’s book, King James VI financed expeditions to the New England colony and the Virginia colony through the use of a joint-stock company (Elliot 2006:8). A joint-stock company is a private partnership between investors who will buy stocks as a way to gather enough capital for developing settlements in the two colonies. In April of 1606, a London-based joint-stock company named the Virginia Company, received a charter from King James VI in which granted the company the exclusive rights for building settlements located the Chesapeake Bay area of Virginia (Elliot 2006:8). After acquiring the charter, the Virginia Company started to hire men who will work for the company as indentured servants. The Virginia Company promised potential recruits with their own land in return of their unique skills and services needed for living in a wilderness environment (McCartney 1992:15). In addition, many of the men hired by the company wanted to go the Virginia due to the possibility of finding gold and silver within the colony. In December of 1606 CE, Captain Christopher Newport lead the expedition the by sailing from London, England to the Colony of Virginia by using three ship named the Susan Constant, Discovery and Godspeed (McCartney 1992:15). The voyage to Virginia lasted for five months until in May of 1607, the colonists set foot on land located approximately 60 miles inland from the coast of the Chesapeake Bay (Elliot 2006:10). Therefore, all of the previous attempts for establishing a settlement in North America, provided the necessary motivation for the English monarchy and the Virginia Company to find the most appropriate location for building the Jamestown

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