Essay on English Colonisation in America: the Beginning

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Earlier exploration

There were more than 500 different Indian tribal cultures that existed in North America before the first Europeans arrived. They had lived in America already thousands of years, but for Europeans this continent was unknown until 15 century. Every schoolboy knows that Columbus is the discoverer of the "New World." This traditional fact is quite ironic, because the "hero" even did not understood that he had found a new continent - he thought he was in India.

The earliest explorers of America were not English, Spanish or French as usually is said. The first Europeans in America were Scandinavians. The Old Norse Vinland Saga describes how adventurous Leif Eriksson and his men settled briefly somewhere on the
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Initial English attempts to colonize the east coast of North-America were disasters. The first colony was set up in 1585 at Roanoke, in the coast of North Carolina by Sir Walter Raleigh (1554-1618). One hundred and eight men settled on Roanoke Island, but after a year of very hard life they were picked up and carried back to England by Sir Francis Drake. They brought with them tobacco and the potato and first introduced use of those plants in England. However, Raleigh was disappointed at the failure of his colony and in 1587 he tried again.

The second colony of one hundred and three men and seventeen women under the governing of John White was again set up in Roanoke Island. Soon after they landed at Roanoke, Virginia Dare was born. She was a grandchild of Governor White and the first English child on the soil of the United States. Soon the governor had to make a trip to England but because of the war with Spain could not return to the Roanoke until three years passed. By that time the colony was disappeared, all its colonists disappeared and their fate was never known. The whole story is quite mysterious even today - only trace of the colonists was the word Croatoan carved on a tree and later stories about blue-eyed Indians in the area.


The second colony Jamestown, which was established in 1607 by Virginia Company, was more permanent, although it endured

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