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Compare and Contrast English Settlers - Jamestown and Plymouth

Essay by   •  June 5, 2011  •  Case Study  •  787 Words (4 Pages)  •  3,504 Views

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Although, being Puritans, Jamestown and Plymouth settlers colonized themselves in different ways. These colonies were different in how they treated the Indians, and economics, yet their religious views and government were somewhat similar and they were the first successful English colonies. The purpose of this essay is to compare and contrast Jamestown and Plymouth.

The settlers in Jamestown treated the Indians like slaves. They expected them to supply them with food and necessities, as well as trying to convert them to Christians by force. What made their relationship even worse was that the settlers brought over diseases that killed a lot of Indians because they weren't immune to them. "For there is no country to pillage as the Romans found, all you expect from thence must be by labor. . ." (John Smith, 1622, 24). The settlers at Plymouth faced some of the same problems but went about them in a slightly different way. Being that the some of the Indians they encountered, spoke in broken English, which they could understand made it reasonable for the English to use them as their allies. "But about the 16. of March a certain Indian came boudly amongst them, and spoke to them in broken English, which they could very well understand, but marveled at it." They didn't try to force labor among the Indians, but tried to make peace with the Indian people. The peace that was written up was mostly in favor of the English settlers. "That neither he nor any of his should injurie or doe hurte to any of their peopl." "That when ther men came to them, they should leave their bows and arrows behind them" (William Bradford, 1621, 15).

Settlers at Jamestown reasons to leave England were because they wanted to make money and expand the trade on English manufactured goods that is why the Virginia Company sponsored them. The men were supposed to find gold and wealth but they were unsuccessful and just spent time being drunk and gamed. "The Jamestown colonists included adventures, gentlemen, and "ne'er-do-wells," in the words of John Smith, the colony's military leader. They had come to find gold and a passage to the Indies, and failing at both they spent their time gaming and drinking." (Out of Many, 2007, 66). Tobacco economy began to sprout up and they started to make money. Most Puritan families at Plymouth grew their own crops but didn't have a lot for export. "Most families grew their own crops and kept their own livestock, but produced little for export." (Out of Many, 2007, 70).

The two colonies had different reasons why they settled where they were located. They were both Puritans but one group were the separatists and the other was not. The puritans at Plymouth wanted to freedom of religion and wanted to separate from the Anglican Church. "Pilgrims were Puritans who wished to separate themselves from the Church



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