Jamestown was built on a swamp, it had very fertile soil , was humid and had room to build docks.
In 1912 a settler named John Rolfe brought a new type of tobacco seeds from the West Indies. Selling tobacco helped many settlers pay their debts off.
Many of the settlers at Jamestown were indentured servants who owed money to England and came to America to work off their debts. Captain John Smith told the settlers " if you don't work you don't eat" to get them working.
"If you don't work you shall not eat."
When the population grew in Jamestown they needed someone to make decisions for the colony since the king was to far away. So in 1619 the House of Burgesses was established, the people of Virginia elected representatives to make laws for the colony. Representative Government later spread to other English colonies .
House of Burgesses
Three ships reached the coast of Virginia on April 26, 1607. Captain Christopher chose a location 60 miles up the James River and they called it Jamestown. Jamestown suffered through fire, drought, Indian attacks, and starvation. During the winter of 1609-1610 or what became known as the" starving time" hundreds died of starvation. But then several ships arrived with supplies and colonist, Jamestown grew stronger over the years ahead. In 1612 John Rolfe began to grow a new type of tobacco from seeds he got from the West Indies. Smoking soon became very popular in England so Jamestown settlers were able to sell large amounts. This helped Jamestown and the colonist who had debts. Thanks to tobacco Jamestown was a success and not a complete failure. But since Jamestown had a rocky beginning it is surprising Jamestown was a success.
Why is it a surprise that Jamestown was a success?