John Smith 1580-1631

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John Smith


Smith was born in Lincolnshire, England 1580 to a family of a yeoman farmer. Smith spent most of his early life in travel and combat.

1606, John Smith leads a colony in Jamestown, Virginia. They were struggling to survive and people of upper class did not feel the need to work. Smith tell the people “He that will not work shall not eat.”

In the upcoming harsh winters of 1607 and 1608 John smith threatened the Powhatan confederacy into giving food and supplies for the settlement of Jamestown.

In 1607, Smith was captured by the war chief of the Pamunkui tribe. He was put on trial by Indians and was not executed because of Pocahontas. He was then released.

Throughout 1608 Smith leaves Jamestown to explore the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River Valley. He gets injured in 1609 and goes back to England. 1614 he returns to new world. Smith explores New England coast and traded with Indian tribes. He also mapped the coastline.

Anne Hutchinson


Anne Hutchinson was born in 1591 in Alford UK. Her father was a Anglican minister and a school teacher, who gave his daughter a far better education than most girls at that time. She then met a merchant named William who she decideed to marry. In 1638, Anne was kicked out of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. She was the first female defendant in a Massachusetts court. Men and women off all ages attended her prayer meetings so they began to create talk in the colony. Puritan Magistrates heard of this and caused a concern among them. They thought it was highly inappropriate for women to instruct men in religious matters.

She criticized the colony’s ministers and the authorities were angered. She was put on trial and banished from the colony.

She moved back to Rhode Island with her family and 60 other followers. Anne later moved to New York where she died in an Indian raid. Anne is revered by women everywhere today because of due to her bravery and strong religious position.

Roanoke Colony


The Roanoke Colony was the first English settlement in America. Sir Walter Raleigh established Roanoke in 1585, but Phillip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe initially founded the islanded. After the island was discovered, Raleigh then started the Roanoke colony. Even though Raleigh started the colony, John White appointed as the Governor. It was originally established to be a business venture, but it soon became a settlement. Roanoke is located in between North Carolina and the Outer Banks.

There were three attempts for settlement, but they all failed. In 1586, John White led the third attempt. When John White set out on his venture, he returned one year later on July 22, 1587. This is when his wife gave birth to the first English child in the USA. During the time period of 1587-1607, John White was gone again.

Roanoke was proved to be a failure, and when White returned, all the colonists were gone. They either died or just disappeared out of the colony. This still remains a mystery. After this happened the English didn’t colonize America again until the 17th century came along.



The Virginia Company founded Jamestown in 1607 on James Island. The first settlers were a few farmers, laborers and sons of English nobility who prospected for gold. The colony’s leadership changed repeatedly and it’s inhibits suffered a high death rate.

Lack of food and disease caused the original population of 104 to drop in half by the end of the first year. New settlers brought the population up to 400 in 1609. After a rough winter known as the “starving time” hit, only 65 settlers stayed alive. The survivors abandoned Jamestown and sailed for England but ended up going back to Jamestown because a ship was coming with a new governor, 250 colonists, and supplies.

John Smith imposed a system of forced labor on company lands. Many colonists felt isolated because of this system. He had to return to England because of an accidental injury in 1609 but his successors continued his system.

When the English arrived at Jamestown, about 25,000 Indians living in small agricultural villages already inhibited it. The settlers called this Powhatan. Relations between the English and the Indians were mostly peaceful for the first two years. Smith was captured and threatened with execution by Powhatan and the Indians. Pocahontas, his child, rescued Smith.

Instead of Smith’s forced labor system, a “charter of grants and liberties” was issued and a House of Burgesses was formed. When it assembled in 1619, it became the first elected assembly in colonial America.

Virginia Company


The Virginia Company refers to the two English commercial joint-stock corporations (London and Plymouth). It was written by King James I for the purpose of relaying control of North America and colonizing it.

The Virginia Company of London received a patent to develop a colony in a 100 square mile region on the Atlantic Ocean between latitude 34 and 41 degrees north. The Virginia Company of Plymouth received a patent between 38 and 45 degrees.

In 1620 they received a new patent (40 and 48 degrees). The same year the pilgrims received a patent in their area and came over. The Virginia Company disbanded in 1635.

Headright System


The headright system granted land in English colonial America to anyone funding a settler’s voyage. In 1618 the headright system was created in Jamestown, Virginia. It was used to attract new settlers to the region & address the labor shortage.

Individuals that could afford the system would accumulate land by paying for poor individuals to travel to Virginia. In the 1600s the cost was roughly 6 pounds per person or $215 today. The headright system lead to the development of indentured servitude.

Poor individuals would work for a certain number of years to repay those who sponsored their trip. Many plantation owners benefited from the system when they transported slaves.

The emergence of tobacco farming made a large supply of needed workers. New settlers in Virginia received 50 acres of land.

The Europeans who settled first at Jamestown were employees of the Virginia Company, whose stockholders controlled all the English claims not land in the colony. Once the English recognized that the colony’s value was based on tobacco and tobacco required large tracts of land, the company began encouraging immigration by promising land to settlers.

John Winthrop


John Winthrop was born on January 12th 1587 in Edward Stone United Kingdom. He was born to wealthy parents Adam and Ann Winthrop. He attended Trinity College but received no degree. While attending Trinity he met two other puritans who would aid in the history of the colonization of America and New England. Winthrop married twice the first being Mary in which they had 3 children. The second wife died during childbirth. One son named John became one of the founders of the Connecticut Colony.

John became ill and had a religious experience, which caused him to rethink his life. In 1630 he boarded a ship with his 3 sons that was headed to the new world. There on the ship he was elected as governor for the new Massachusetts Bay Colony. He was not in favor of a democracy but for more of a class system like in England.

John quickly became a big political figure and had many journals published. He produced a speech in 1649 called the “City upon a Hill” which was classified as one of the greatest speeches to the Colony's General Court. He was impeached later that year.

John Winthrop is seen as one of the most important founders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and a very important figure in the founding of the New World.


Late 1600s

Puritanism was a religious reform movement that arose within the Church of England in the late sixteenth century. It was founded by Massachusetts Bay colony under John Winthrop in 1630. They felt their observances were an attempt to get closer to what God wanted from man. Their main goal was to purify the Church of England because they felt it wasn’t living up to its ideals.

When the Church of England began censoring their writings, the Puritans decided to immigrate to America in 1630. The Puritans came across as overly religious, trying to interfere with the right of others to practice their religion as they felt were right. Their reasons to immigrate were in pursuit of liberty especially the right to worship and govern themselves in what they deemed a truly Christian manner.

In 1628, a group of Puritans formed the New England Company. The King of England gave them a charter to make a settlement along the Massachusetts Bay. Governor Winthrop shepherded the Puritans through 12 years of enormous hardship. Under his leadership, Massachusetts Bay became the most populous English colony and Boston the largest city in North America.

The Navigational Act of 1651

The First Navigation Act was passed by the Rump Parliament in October 1651 by Oliver St John and Walter Strickland to negotiate an alliance between the English Commonwealth and the United Provinces of the Netherlands. It stipulated that goods could be imported into territories of the English Commonwealth only by English ships, or by ships of the country originally producing the goods being carried. This was intended to cripple the freight trade, upon which Dutch commerce depended. Dutch ships would only be able to import the produce of Holland into England and her colonies. Salt-fish and fish-oil could only be imported or exported from Commonwealth territories in English vessels.

The Act increased tension between the Commonwealth and started the Anglo-Dutch War of 1652-1654. The Navigation Act was one of the pieces of legislation from the Commonwealth that continued, when it was to forbid exports as well as imports in foreign ships.

By the early 1620s as Britain was coming out of a major recession, merchants and politicians started discussing trade policy. They came to an agreement that in order to be a healthy nation they need to import more than the export. The balance should be invested in military strength. Their biggest competitor was the Dutch who dominated the navigation trade. In 1650 parliament passed an ordinance not allowing any foreign ships into the British colonies.

Metacom’s Role


Metacom was born to Massasoit, leader of the Wampanoag Indians in the Massachusetts area. Metacomet spent most of his childhood under the shadow of the English Empire. When Metacom’s brother Wamsutta died, shortly after He became Wampanoag chief in 1662. He exchanged Indian lands, for guns, liquor, ammunition and blankets. He led one of the most costly wars of resistance in New England War.

Metacom’s dignity and consistency both impressed and frightened settlers, who eventually demonized him as a menace that could not be controlled. For 15 years, he kept regions, towns, and villages in fear of an Indian uprising. In June 1675, violence erupted. Three Wampaoag warriors were executed by Plymouth authorities for the murder of John Sassamon. Metatacom’s coalition was made of Wampanoag, Narraganset, Abenaki, Nipumuc, and Mohawk Indians. A year later after the fighting, 3,000 Indians and 600 colonists were killed, and food became scarce, and alliances began to disintegrate. After the defeat, Metacom returned home to Mount Hope, where there he was betrayed and killed in his final battle. After Metacom was killed he was behead and his killers than displayed his head on a pole at Plymouth for 25 years.

King Phillip’s War


The King Phillip’s War was one of the bloodiest wars in America per capita basis. Metacom, leader of the Pokanokets, a tribe within the Wampanoag Indian Federation was given the nickname “King Phillips” by the English. Phillip was the son of Massasoit, the same person who helped the Plymouth Pilgrims survive their first winter in the New World. In the 55 years the English had prospered, multiplied, and expanded their settlements while the natives were in a slow decline from diseases introduced by the Europeans and loss of tribal lands.

Phillip warned the whites of his intentions saying,” I am determined not to live until I have no country.” Wampanoag braves killed many English owned cattle, which began the war. A farmer then killed an Indian in retaliation, setting in motion a native uprising. Nipmuck Indians then joined forces with Phillip’s Wampanoags. They then attacked a town named Brookfiels, a frountier settlement deep in the Nipmuck land. Natives then laid an ambush led by Capitains Hutchinson and Wheeler; eight soldiers were killed in the trap, the rest of the company barely made it back to the garrison.

Closer to the end of the war the Pocumtuck and Narragansett tribes joined the fight. The fighting lasted a total of 14 months and destroyed 12 frontier towns. The war ended after Metacom was captured and beheaded. His supporters ried to flee to Canada; those who surrendered were shipped off as slaves to the West Indies. The Puritans saw the winning as a war as a gift from god and a symbolic purge of the spiritual community. The Indians that remained faced servitude, disease, cultural disruption, and the expropriation of their lands.

Bacon’s Rebellion


In Bacon’s Rebellion, one of the men involved was Governor Sir William Berkeley. He was a veteran of the English Civil Wars, a frontier Indian fighter, and was the King’s favorite during his first term as governor. The other man involved was Nathaniel Bacon Jr.. Bacon started trouble often to a point where his father sent him to Virginia hoping he would mature. Berkeley welcomed Bacon, his cousin, by giving him a position on the council along with a substantial land grant, although they didn’t have the same opinion about all Indians being enemy

Reasons for this rebellion were high taxes, low prices for tobacco, and resentment against special privileges given those close to the governor. Berkley provided the background for the uprising, which was precipitated by Berkley’s failure to defend the frontier against attacks by Native Americans. Bacon commanded two unauthorized but successful expeditions against the tribes and was then elected to new House of Burgesses, which Berkeley had been forced to convene. When Bacon attempted to take a seat, Berkley had him arrested. Soon after Bacon’s release, he gathered his supporters, marched on Jamestown, and coerced Berkeley into granting him a commission to continue his campaigns against Native Americans.

The rebellion ended with the governor being temporarily removed. They progressed in foiling any Indian threat. The Indians soon realized the colonist’s force against them as much stronger than theirs was against the colonists. In 1677 the Indians signed a peace treaty with the colonists.

The Glorious Revolution


The overthrow of King James II of England was by a union of English parliamentarians with the Dutch Stadtholder William III of Orange Nassau.

The events of the revolution were bloodless and the revolution settlement established the supremacy of parliament over the crown, settling Britain on the path towards constitutional monarchy and parliament democracy. The objective of this revolution was to keep it bloodless.

In practice, authority over additional taxation was how parliament constrained Charles II. Charles brought England to war against Protestant Holland with the support of extra taxes authorized by Parliament. In the years following the war, however, the extra funding from the Parliament ceased, but Charles spending and borrowing, did not. By 1671 all his income was committed to regular expenses and paying interest on his debts. Parliament would not authorize additional funds, so Charles II was fiscally shackled.

Although bloodshed in England was inexistent, the revolution was only secured in Ireland and Scotland by force and many lives were taken.

The declaration of rights and the Bill of rights redefined the relationship between monarch and the subjects and barred any future with Catholic interest.

After the revolution, the constitution was realigned with power. King James II had the thrown taken from him by William of Orange in 1688.

The British causes of the revolution were as much religious and political. ‘Popery’ meant more than just a fear or hatred of Catholics and the Catholic Church. It reflected a widely belief in an elaborate conspiracy theory, that the Catholics were actively plotting the overthrow of Church and state.

Salem Witch Trials


The Salem Witch Trials started in February of 1692 and ended in May of 1693. They were a series of witchcraft cases that were brought to local governments with harsh consequences.

It was the devil’s practice of giving certain humans the power to harm others in return for their loyalty. It started after a group of young girls claimed to be possessed by the devil and accused several local women of witchcraft. Everyone that was accused of doing anything involving witchcraft was hanged.

Panic and hysteria quickly sparked a massive witch-hunt and this is the main reason why the Salem Witch Trials happened. Fear combined with a “trigger”, a traumatic or stressful event, is what often leads to scapegoating. In February, they decided to call in a doctor who couldn’t find anything wrong with these people, which caused them to make up theories and saying they were bewitched.

On March 1st, a girl named Tituba was examined and she made a shocking confession that Satan had approached her, along with Sarah Good and Sara Osburn who were also examined. They had all agreed to do his bidding as witched. Tituba’s confession was the trigger that sparked the hysteria and the hunt for witches in Salem. This also silenced any opposition that the Devil had infiltrated them.

On September 22, eight people were hanged and these were the last hangings of the Salem Witch Trials. On October 29th, the 52 remaining people in court got a new trial and were found as not guilty or released due to a lack of real evidence. Those who were found guilty were eventually pardoned by the governor the following May

Mercantilist System


Mercantilism is economic nationalism for the purpose of building a wealthy and powerful state. The British in the colonies used the mercantilist system in the 17th and 18th century. The British colonies were moneymakers for the mother country The British put restrictions on how their colonies spent their money so that they could control their economies. They put taxes called duties on imported goods so the colonists would only buy British goods instead of other European countries.

The Navigation Act and the Sugar Act were two of the laws enacted to restrict colonial trade. Acts like these let to rebellion and corruption in the colonies. When Britain enacted these laws and acts they did not enforce them. Colonists in New England rebelled against these acts by illegally smuggling goods in and out of the colonies. The smugglers knew if they were to get caught, they were rarely found guilty. Since they were gaining so much power, smugglers increased their illegal trade to almost all of the ports in the colonies.

The English Bill of Rights

December 16, 1689

The English Bill of Rights was passed on December 16, 1689. It was an act that the Parliament of England passed. The Bill limits what the king and queen can do, enhances the democratic election, creates a separation of powers, and bolsters freedom of speech. It guaranteed certain rights of the citizens of England from the power of the crown.

The Bill prohibited the king from taking property or taxes without permission from the Great Council. It laid the basis for due process of law that should be known and orderly, which later led to Trial by Jury.

The Bill enhanced the democratic process by a number of things. It guaranteed free elections and frequent meetings of Parliament. It gave English people the right to complain to the king or queen in Parliament, which is like how we have ‘Freedom of Speech’. It forbade excessive fines and cruel punishment. And it established representative government with laws made by a group that acts for the people.

The English Bill of Rights was a document of Parliament that shrunk the many powers of the crown. It dealt with constitutional matters and laid out certain basic civil rights

The Great Awakening


The Great Awakening was a religious revival movement that started u=in the 1720s, which spread throughout the colonies by ministers who preached in non-traditional settings rather than permanent church buildings. Preachers such as Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, Theodore Frelinghuysen, and Gilbert Tennet led these movements. These movements were united by emotional and personal Christian beliefs. The Great Awakening turned into a transatlantic movement that affected both Islam and Methodism.

The preachers portrayed men as “loathsome insects” who can only be saved by eternal damnation through “New Birth”. George Whitefield was the main spark of the Great Awakening. He believed in the act of repenting sins, and that heaven and hell are not predetermined. His preaching’s played on the passions of the audience and earned him a celebrity status amongst the colonists.

The Great Awakening was the first major intercolonial event. Evangelists began revivalist meetings, which alarmed established ministers. Congregations spilt into two groups: The Old Lights (Traditionalists) and The New Lights (Revivalists). The Great Awakening caused questioning of authority in the colonies and criticism of the society they lived in. By 1745, The Great Awakening began to build the framework for a new American community.

The Seven Years War


In the 1750’s there was a rivalry between French and Britain over land in North America. With Britain in need for more land they attacked French Forts attempting to gain their land. This resulted in British loss because of French and Native American Alliances. This continued for many years.

This continued for 2 years until British Prime Minister raised large amounts of money, which was put into naval forces and manpower for the war. The British then captured pivotal French Forts on Cape Breton Island, which guarded the St. Lawrence River. Then in September of 1759 British forces defeated the French in Quebec. The French then signed the Treaty of Paris, which officially ended the Seven Years War in North America.

As a result of the Treaty of Paris the land ownership in around the world completely changed. The French had lost all of their land as a result of losing the war, their land was then distributed to Britain and Spain. The British ended up claiming all the lands in the French Caribbean and taking control of India, the French also ceded Canada to Britain but were given it back for other lands. Spain was then given the Louisiana colony by France and given the Philippines and Cuba from the British after ceding them Florida. As an effect of the Seven Years War all of the participants had financial problems, which would lead to The Revolutionary War and the French Revolution.

The Albany Plan of Union


The Albany Plan of Union was proposed by Benjamin Franklin as a plan to establish a sub-government to deal with the growing Native American threat and slow communication to the crown. This was the first attempt at inter-colonial collaboration.

The plan was for a permanent union of the colonies with a representative council elected by the colonial assemblies triennially, which would have the power to impose taxes, nominate civil officials, regulate Indian affairs, and control the military. A president-general, appointed by the British Crown, would preside over the council and would hold veto power

King George II, as well as every single colonial government thinking of passing the plan rejected the plan. This was due to the colonies fearing union, as different laws and religions, as well as ways of life separated them. The king refused to accept it as it took his power away from the colony, only the president-general being able to represent him.

Pontiac’s Rebellion

May 7th 1763

One of the leading causes of Pontiac’ s Rebellion was a man named Neolin. He was a Delaware religious prophet who helped to inspire the rebellion. The Master of Life spoke down to Neolin and asked him why the Indians suffer and don’t fight back to take their land back. “You have bought guns, knives, kettles, and blankets from the white man until you can no longer do without them.” He explained that they had given up their traditions to the English.

Another one of the leading causes of Pontiac’s Rebellion was the fact that the British weren’t treating them fairly. The British took the Indians land, trade poorly made products that had half the worth as what the Indians traded, and they failed to prevent encroachments on Indian land. What the British didn’t know is that the Indians wouldn’t take this lightly; they wanted their land back. In the spring of 1763, a man named Pontiac- inspired by Neolin- gathered Indians from the Ottawa, Huron, and other tribes together to besiege Detroit. They also attacked a major British military outpost, seized nine other forts and killed hundreds of white settlers who had intruded on Indian land. This uprising inspired the government of London to issue the Proclamation of 1763, prohibiting further colonial settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains. The proclamation enraged settlers and spectators so they ignored it and settled anyway.

The war ended in 1766 with a formal treaty made in Fort Ontario between William Johnson and Chief Pontiac. The treaty allowed the natives to leave the British territory across the Mississippi River with the French. By the end of the war there were 450 British soldiers that were killed, and 2000 settlers killed.

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