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New Colonies in Brazil, Jamestown, Maryland and the Caribbean Island: Analytical Essay

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The demand for sugar and tobacco fueled the growth of new colonies in Brazil, Jamestown, Maryland and the Caribbean Islands. The new colonies diminished Spain’s power in the New World and created a new pressure on native life. In 1606 all lands stretching from present-day North Carolina to southern New York was granted to the Virginia Company by King James I. They named this land Virginia to honor Elizabeth I. The first people to arrive were a group of all men, no women, farmers or ministers. The group of men were expected to extract tributes from the natives and collect valuable commodities, such as pearls or gold. The men did not find any gold and did poorly in the new land. After four months, the men arrived in Virginia and found a swampy peninsula, which they named Jamestown. Jamestown lacked access to fresh water, the men didn’t plant crops and nine months later only 38 of the 120 men were still alive. Many of the men were killed by diseases and famine. The local Indian tribe’s chief called Powhatan was willing to treat the English as allies. He expected tribute from the English in exchange for goods. Powhatan provided the English with corn and in return he asked for hatchets, bells, beads, copper and two guns. The chief expected the colony to become a dependent community within his chiefdom. He arranged a marriage between his daughter Pocahontas and an English colonist named John Rolfe. Though they tried to form a symbiotic relationship, the inability to decide who would pay tribute to who led to many years of uneasiness and eventually led to a long period of warfare. The war was started by the discovery of Tobacco. Tobacco was used for medicine and as a stimulant by the Indians. John Rolfe found a strain that flourished in Virginia. Tobacco was sold for a high price in England and soon the English craved the nicotine that was in the tobacco. To assist the flow of migrants to Jamestown, the Virginia Company allowed settlers to own land and the company created a system of government called the House of Burgesses. The stream of migrants entering Virginia created a conflict with their Indian neighbors. Powhatans’ successor Opechancanough first attacked English settlers and stood aloof to them. He became chief in 1621 and in 1622 he planned a surprise attack that killed nearly one-third of the English population. The English retaliated by seizing the fields and food, they declared a perpetual war without peace that lasted a decade. Appalled by the native’s uprising, James I made Virginia a royal colony, meaning that the king and his ministers appointed governors and councils. The House of Burgesses remained but the King’s Privy council had to ratify all legislation. Residents of Jamestown also now had to pay taxes and support its clergy. Jamestown became a model example for new colonies throughout English America despite its hard beginnings and conflicts with its neighboring Indians.

In the Inca and Aztec Empires, Spanish colonizers capitalized on preexisting systems of tribute to tap into the major wealth of Mesoamerica and the Andes. Once the Spanish gained power from the native rulers they moved their municipal councils, their legal code and the Catholic church to the Americas. Conquistadors began to collect tribute in labor and goods from the natives. Spanish men controlled a wide amount of resources and were able to monopolize Indian labor. When mines were developed Spanis officials co-opted the Mita system. The Mita system allowed the Indian workers to be forced into working in the mines. Some of the native peoples began to move into the countryside, while others stayed in their communities, living under the authority of native leaders. Although Spanish priests suppressed religious ceremonies and texts and they converted Indians to Christianity. The demand of sugar and tobacco fueled the growth of plantation colonies in Brazil, Jamestown, Maryland and the Caribbean Islands. In Brazil, Portuguese colonists hoped that the natives would provide labor for their sugar plantations however the colonists brought with them the disease called smallpox. Smallpox wiped out most of the native population and Africans were forced to do the labor instead. In Jamestown, the local chief was willing to see the English as allies, in exchange for his corn he asked for hatchets, bells, beads and copper. The native leader expected Jamestown to become a dependent community in his chiefdom, but the inability to decide who paid tribute to who eventually led to war. During the war the natives were killed and sold into slavery. Unlike in the plantation or tribute colonies, in some neo-European colonies, the colonies traded with the local Indians. In New France, many priests lived in Indian communities and learned to understand and respect their values. In New Dutch, though they at first traded with the Indians but they did not respect them very much. The colonizers stole land and took over the native people’s trading network. Similar to the other groups, the Five Nations of Iroquois had suffered from diseases and warfare. Though the plantation, tribute and neo-European colonies were spread out in different areas of America they had many similarities. In all types of colonies diseases like smallpox would kill off many of the native population. In neo-colonization and plantations despite efforts of peace and trade, the war eventually broke out. Though in New France the natives and the colonizers learned from each other and avoided conflict. In all the types, tributes, plantations, and neo-European colonies Indians would be pushed out of their homes. In both tribute and plantations, the natives would be forced to work. Overall the experiences of Indians during this time period were mostly harsh and problematic.

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A decade after Protestants arrived in Plymouth a much larger group arrived in Massachusetts Bay. The people came with family and created communities. Their main goal was to establish their communities off of Protestant principles. Massachusetts Bay became a society of independent farm families. Back in England, the country was being plunged into a religious uproar. Engish puritans accused the King of holding catholic beliefs. Puritans are Protestants who hoped to purify the Church of England of its ceremony and hierarchy. Puritans fled to America but in 1630 the Puritan Exodus began. John Winthrop was the leader of 900 migrants to seek land and a place in Christian history for the people. Winthrope believed England was morally corrupt and hoped to inspire religious reform throughout Christians. Winthrop became governor of Massachusetts Bay and changed the joint-stock corporation into a representative political system. The state-supported religion was Puritanism and they used the bible as a legal guide. Roger Williams rejected the idea to have an official religion in Massachusetts Bay, he would rather Massachusetts Bay have a separation of church and state. The magistrates threw him out of the colony for his dissidence. Williams and his followers founded the town of Providence. More dissidents settled in nearby towns and in 1644 the settlers obtained a charter for a new colony called Rhode Island. Unlike is Massachusetts Bay, in Rhode Island there was no official religion and the people could worship God as they pleased. More Puritans moved out of Massachusetts Bay and settled near the Connecticut River. In 1660 New Haven, Saybrook and Connecticut got a charter for Connecticut to become a self-governing colony. Like Massachusetts Bay, Connecticut elected its governors and had an established church but unlike Massachusetts Bay, it granted voting rights to property-owning men not just church members. The religious differences and the diverse views on England created tension between people living in the same communities, causing people with different ideas to move into a place filled with people sharing the same views.

The Columbian Exchange was a broad intercontinental of plants, animals, or diseases. The crops like corn or potatoes that were found in America helped enrich the diets of Europeans, Africans and Asians. The foods increased the population and agriculture in other continents. Europeans brought animals such as cattle, horses and chickens. Though the Columbian Exchange helped distribute beneficial goods it also helped spread diseases. Smallpox, Malaria and yellow fever were some of the diseases that almost killed all the native people of the Western Hemisphere. The diseases killed many Indians and made it easier for Europeans to eventually take over the land.

Foods found in the western hemisphere significantly increased agricultural yields and the growth of the population of a place. In 1700 due to the Columbian Exchange maize and potatoes reached China. After this the Chinese population tripled. The population grew from 100 million to 300 million.

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