Virginia * Jamestown and Virginia: The ships that would deliver the original Jamestown settlers to Chesapeake dropped anchor in the New World in April of 1607. * Farms and villages of some 20,000 Algonquian Indians were part of the Powhatan Confederacy on one stretch of uninhabited, uncultivated riverbank. * Jamestown’s settlers included tradesmen like tailors and blacksmiths (and a doctor). * Starving time was 1608-9. * Jamestown was an experiment that barely survived; its population shrank from 105 to 32 during the first few years. * Indians struggles to survive, too. English diseases like small pox proved an inescapable menace. Between the year of Jamestown’s establishment in 1607 and the end of the century, their population would fall from about 25,000 to 2,000. Opechanchanough killed almost a quarter of Virginia’s population in 1622. * Captain John Smith’s decision to introduce harsh, military discipline, gave the colony the structure it needed to survive, while John Rolfe’s experiments with native tobacco produced a version of the “filthy weed”. * A certain fog surrounds John Smith and John Rolfe, as well as the relationship between both of them and Pocahontas. But it is John Rolfe, who actually marries Pocahontas in 1614. * Virginia’s tobacco production did survive, exploding from 200,000 pounds in 1624 to 3 million pounds in 1638. * Dale’s Law: Everything from theft to idleness to conversing with Indians could be punished by flogging or death- assuming one lived long enough to die that way in the first place. * General Assembly: Only free white males could vote or hold office in the Burgesses. * Indentured servitude drew England’s working class poor across the Atlantic to Virginia by offering them free passage in exchange for 6-7 years of contracted labor in the colony.
Henry VIII * Reigns from 1509 to 1547, he cut ties between England and the Catholic Church in 1533 to secure a new marriage to Anne Boleyn, the beginning of Protestant England. Henry’s new “Church of England” also known as the “Anglican Church”.
Edward VI * Reigns from 1547 to 1553, he reigns with a far more forceful, spirited commitment to Protestantism than his father. He encourages the arrest and execution of prominent English families who refuse to abandon Catholic belief and practice.
Mary I * “Bloody Mary”, reigns from 1553 to 1558. Mary was as aggressive in her Catholicism as Edward was in his Protestantism. Mary encourages the arrest and execution of prominent English Protestant families in an effort to reverse her father’s break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Elizabeth I * Reigns from 1553 to 1603, England repels the Spanish Armada in 1558 and begins its experiments with trans-Atlantic colonization, starting with the Roanoke. The Anglican Church matures and begins to establish itself as a compromise between traditional Catholic teaching and practice on the one hand and the never strands of English Protestantism on the other. * The “Virgin Queen” ultimately proved a clever way to steer England through the violent religious and political conflicts of the late 1500s.
John Calvin * 1509-1564, a French theologian who argued that humanity stood so flawed, so depraved before God, as to be utterly dependent on the…