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Economic and Political Development

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Essay title: Economic and Political Development

Economic and political developments in Virginia from 1607-1700

On the year of 1607, May 14th, a hundred men sent by the Virginia Company of London, landed at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay which also resulted in the first permanent English settlement. The settlement of the Virginia Colony (Jamestown) was the source of economy of the Chesapeake Bay region and Virginia, during the colonial period was always tied upon the accessibility of plantation and slavery.

On the year of 1607, May 14th, a hundred men sent by the Virginia Company of London, landed at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay which also resulted in the first permanent English settlement. The Virginia Colony was intended to supply England with gold and many other necessities; but instead, the colony were busy struggling with survival for the next four years, with population declining to only 38 inhabitants after a year of settlement. Failing to discover gold or other valuables, the settlers also failed the production of other goods such as silk and glass; even the exportation of native tobacco failed because English smokers preferred the milder tobacco which was introduced by Spain (the Spanish found tobacco in their settlement of the Caribbean and South America) in previous years before the settlement. In 1612, John Rolfe, an Englishmen who was sent by the Virginia Company and married to Pocahontas, realized that Ў§tall tobaccoЎЁ (the milder type of tobacco) grew well in the lowlands and humidity that were present. Soon these mild tobaccos became a profitable source of income in England, and became the cash-crop of the colonial period which valued beyond what the colonists had imagined. Ў§Tobacco is VirginiaЎ¦s gold and silverЎЁ, John Rolfe 1612. A few years later in 1619, The House of Burgesses (the first elective governing body in a British overseas territory) was established, and their first order was to set minimum price on sales of tobacco. Although the tobacco boom was a fortunate miracle that had happened to the settlers, but due the territorial expansion of plantation land, it had angered Powhatan. The increase in land-use for plantation had pressured PowhatanЎ¦s decedents to send families to work as a labor factor on tobacco plantations, therefore, on March 22nd, 1622, the natives revolted across Virginia, killing 400 English settlers. But throughout the 1660Ў¦s, due to the rapid growth and demand of tobacco, prices began to drop and planters started to suffer economically; at the same time, as Charles II was restored to the throne, the Parliament passed the Navigation Act of 1660-63 which ceased the exportation of tobacco to customers in France and the Dutch territory. The tobacco-obsessed Virginians moved on, and realized that permanent workers on plantation farms were needed for efficiency; sowing seeds were tough. Therefore, inexpensive labor was discovered; indentured servants and slaves. Soon slavery became a part of colonial business

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