After creating a joint stock company called the London company, English Investors, men and indentured servants (who worked as laborers to pay off their debt) came from England to establish settlements in North America. They made their voyage in hopes of finding gold and creating a successful economy in Virginia.
King James I gave the London Company a charter to start a colony in Virginia. Jamestown was not doing well, so the London Company sent another group of settlers to Virginia. John Smith came to Jamestown with this group and helped turn it around. Later in 1619 the house of burgesses was established as a bicameral representative government to govern the new thriving colony.
Many settlers in Jamestown died of disease and malnutrition. Their living conditions were poor because gentleman were not willing to work for the settlements. To worsen their situation they also were not on good terms with the Powhatan and Patawomeck Indians. The Powhatan Indians were the first indians Englishmen encountered and they would better their relationship when Pocahontas and John Rolfe married.
Since Englishmen choose a swamp like area of Virginia, near Chesapeake Bay, to begin a colony in, there was very fertile soil, but they did not have enough laborers to plant crops. From The time John smith died in 1609 to 1610 Jamestown was in the"starving time." The settlement got very desperate because people were dying left and right from mosquitos carrying disease, Indian attacks, and a drought.
It is surprising that Jamestown was a success because of all the hardships it went through such as, gentlemen not being willing to work and not enough laborers to pull the weight. They were not successful in planting crops and keeping the settlement running smoothly at first. In addition, their location was not ideal due to many reasons especially disease. In only the first year over half of the first settlers died. Things were not looking good for Jamestown until John Smith arrived, but when he was gone Indian attacks, starvation and disease hit. After that, many were dead and the few that remained went to England to retrieve supplies and John Rolfe began growing tobacco, only then were the hard times finally over.
Why is it surprising that Jamestown was a success ?