Jamestown Project book review Essay

Submitted By kd10
Words: 1221
Pages: 5

Katie Key
Dr. Maeer
10-6-2014
Colonial Americas

The Jamestown Project

The book, “The Jamestown Project,” Kupperman encloses the four hundredth year anniversary of Jamestown. To revisit the view of England to the New World, one hundred years behind they’re enemy’s the Spain. This paper will analyze Kupperman’s article with arguments, viewpoints, and examples to express the reason on how Jamestown survived through trial and error to stay a colony today.
This book will surprise readers looking to delve immediately into the adventures of Captain John Smith and the other English settlers as they struggle to establish a viable colony and interact with the local Native Americans such as Powhatan and his famous daughter, Pocahontas. Such familiar stories are included, and Kupperman brings them to life in strong and thoughtful prose as she interprets the latest research on the topic, but they are to be found nearly two thirds of the way through the text. The seventh chapter, "Jamestown's Uncertain Beginnings" and only the final three chapters are devoted exclusively to the description and analysis of the winding fortunes of the colony once it is actually planted in the New World. This structure, of course, is not accidental. Kupperman uses it to underscore her broader arguments about the need to reframe the story of early Virginia to better understand how it relates to the foundations of the English empire and the development of colonial America.
In May 1607 a party of just over a hundred men and boys landed on the James River in Virginia and constructed a colony in the name of the English king called Jamestown. It was the first named colony in The New world for the English.
The Jamestown Project is built around two fundamental arguments. The first is that the activity of the Virginia Company and the establishment of Jamestown cannot be fully understood apart from the context of a much broader series of English efforts, however belated compared to other European powers, to enter the world stage and expand its influence. The second is to show, despite continuing reluctance to admit the Chesapeake as a foundational model, that "through a decade's trial and error, Jamestown's ordinary settlers and their backers in England figured out what it would take to make an English colony work." (2) Although the first of the arguments is more fully explored and defended than the second, Kupperman has merged them together well to provide a successful framework for her synthesis of recent research.
Five of the first six chapters of the book are devoted to exploring the primary argument that places the colonization of Jamestown within the broader context of English exploration. Kupperman begins her narrative in the Elizabethan era, exploring the potent mixture of religious, economic, and political incentives that led English merchants, explorers, clerics and courtiers to imagine the possibilities of cutting into the monopolies and empires of the Catholic powers of continental Europe and the Muslims traders to the East. These efforts led to projects in North America such as the ill-fated Roanoke colony, but also to others around the world as the English sought to cut into African and Asian trades, and aided efforts to fight back the Turks in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. All of this activity on the global stage fed into a generalized "English Hunger for the New" (Ch. 4) as all classes of men and women became fascinated with the possibilities of empire. Such interest could be seen in the voracity with which the public consumed the cultural expressions of global expansion in travel and captivity narratives, stage plays, poetry, clothing styles, and a growing demand for exotic foods, herbs and spices. Little by little, the English developed a stockpile of overseas experience that helped them understand the world better and what was needed to sustain long-term efforts in colonization.
This first portion of the book culminates in the sixth…