The colonies of Jamestown and Plymouth were among the first to develop in the New World. The original settlers of Jamestown sailed into the Chesapeake Bay and up a river, which they named the James. The settlers of Plymouth were originally bound for the Hudson area in New York, but due to the upcoming winter were forced to stay in an area around Cape Cod. These two settlements developed into successful societies through many years and many problems, although developed in very different ways.
They were different from each other in terms of objectives, types of settlers, early problems, and the reasons for success. The objectives and types of settlers for the new settlements of Jamestown and Plymouth were very different. The settlers of Jamestown were very greedy and were only in it for themselves. No women went to Jamestown because the London Company had no interest in creating a family-centered community. They were only interested in establishing a profitable colony.
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The initial colonists were very adventurous and were not willing to do the labor, and therefore ran into some major problems. Plymouth was established for very different reasons. Puritan Separatists in England had been imprisoned and executed for defying the government and the Church of England. These Separatists were interested in settling in a place where they had the freedom to worship as they wished. The Separatists that moved across the Atlantic were looking to spread “the gospel of the Kingdom of Christ in those remote parts of the world. They left England with thirty-five “saints” (Puritan Separatists) and sixty-seven “strangers” (people who were not full members of the leaders’ church). Although both Jamestown and Plymouth became successful colonies, the people who originally settled there were very different as were their objectives for the settlement. The early colonies faced many problems as they attempted to develop thriving civilizations. Jamestown came across many problems earlier on while Plymouth did not face many problems, but instead were a hardworking group on people that continued to work for their society.
The colonists chose the site of Jamestown poorly, in a low and swampy, hot and humid in the summer, place and prey to outbreaks of malaria. The settlers in Jamestown did not develop a sense of permanent stake in the community due to the lack of women and families. Also, the greed and rootlessness of the people added to the failure to produce food, which made many colonists sick from inadequate diets. The diseases made it difficult to recover from the mistakes. Despite the efforts made by Captain John Smith on creating a community, Jamestown faced more problems.
New settlers on their way to Jamestown got lost at sea during a hurricane and some got stranded in Bermuda and unable to make it to Jamestown. The local Indians then began to raid Jamestown. Finally, when the people that were stranded in Bermuda made it to Jamestown, they saw no point in staying there so got the remaining 60 people of Jamestown and headed downriver for home. Plymouth on the other hand, did not face so many problems. They became friendly with the native people and therefore did not have any fighting.
Some of the problems they did face were the number of native diseases they were prone to and the first winter that killed almost half of the colonists due to malnutrition, disease, and exposure. These settlers remained very poor, as the town only had one plow, but were determined to remain there where they believed God had put them to live as a truly Christian community. Jamestown and Plymouth were successful due to very different events and relationships that were made. The original settlers had given up on Jamestown and were heading home when they met an English ship coming up the James.
They returned to Jamestown with the fleet that was bringing supplies. The colony’s first governor De La war and his successors were very strict and implemented a much-disciplined society. Eventually though, they allowed private ownerships and cultivation of land. When John Rolfe began experimenting with the local tobacco, the crop grew into a highly demanded plant in Europe. The tobacco trade attracted new settlers as did the “headright” system in which settlers were given land for their labor on the farms and part of the products.
Also, after many fights with the native Indians, the fighting stopped, therefore allowing Jamestown to become a true thriving society. After James I revoked the company’s charter on Jamestown, it came under control of the crown until 1776. The reasons for success in Plymouth are completely different than those of Jamestown. From the start, the settlers of Plymouth became friendly with the native Indians. The Indians showed the settlers how to gather seafood, cultivate corn, and hunt local animals. After thirteen years, an epidemic wiped out the Indian population.
The settlers grew enough corn and other crops to provide some surplus and they also developed a small fur trade with the Abenaki Indians of Maine. The Pilgrims of Plymouth were determined to live up to the responsibility God had given them to live as a truly Christian community. They were not committed to grand designs, but were rather happy with the small settlement they had created. Jamestown and Plymouth both developed into successful colonies through very different ways. They had different objectives, types of settlers, early problems and reasons for success, but nonetheless became a colony in the New World.