The Virginia Colony

By: Adam Clarkson

The Virginia Colony was the first English colony in the world, and in the British empire. At first, the colony of Virginia had international rivalry's with Spain and France but they overall helped shape the settlement of Virginia. The charter for this colony was a business venture for the Virginia Company. Members of the Virginia company founded Jamestown, which was the first permanent English settlement in north america. Jamestown is located on the banks of the James river. The Virginia company was an English firm that tried to make money by sending people to America to find gold. They found no gold, but the cultivation of tobacco began. Tobacco became Virginia's most profitable export. The production of tobacco had a huge impact on the society and the settlement patterns of the colony. The Virginia Company’s charter was revoked by King James, so now the Virginia colony was referred to as a royal colony. The legislature of Virginia established the house of Burgesses, which was also the first attempt at creating a form of government that was not dictated by the royal family. The House of Burgesses was the newest form of legislature in the European world. Jamestown remained the capital of Virginia, until it experienced its first major political problem: Bacon's Rebellion. The poor English colonists started a rebellion against the governor, and whoever supported his ideas on the ownership of land. The colonists who didn't own land, otherwise know as the landless rebels, sought stricter actions against the Native Americans; so that the colonists could have more land for themselves. This revolt was put to an end, and the House of Burgesses approved multiple laws to standardize slavery. This way, deprived white colonists would stop teaming up with slaves against the richer white colonists. John Rolfe was an important character in the success of the Virginia colony. If it weren't for Rolfe, tobacco might have never been brought into the colony. Another important person, who helped with the creation of Virginia was John Smith. He was part of a multi-person council that governed the people of the colony.

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