Was the Settlement of Jamestown a Fiasco? Essay

Words: 1772
Pages: 8

Issue 2: Was the Settlement of Jamestown a Fiasco?
Edmond Morgan builds an easy to understand case of explaining the initial failures of the Jamestown colony. He credits the failures to chaotic organization, laziness, the makeup of the population, and poor ideas for prosperity. Morgan argues that one reason for failure was a lack of organization. He states that Jamestown lacked leadership. The colonies government was made up of a council and a president. The president had virtually no authority, and the council spent most of its time arguing and not actually accomplishing any governing. Once the colony established a governor, and they went through several, other problems arose. The next problem that Morgan brings to attention
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Kidd makes a case that the series of evangelical revivals by preacher George Whitfield were the real “Great Awakening”. The original “Great Awakening” was thought to have started with the original Plymouth colony when William Bradford contended that the Plymouth residents were falling off God’s path. He thought that the residents needed a revival of some sort. It is thought that this wave of revival carried through by evangelical preachers helped support the American Revolution. Kidd agrees with Jon Butler in the opinion that there was no relationship between the revivals and the Revolution, “Butler finally claimed that, contrary to the suggestions of previous scholars, “the link between the revivals and the American Revolution is virtually nonexistent.”…I am in substantial agreement with Butler on this point.”(Kidd p. 101)
Kidd believes that there was a different movement that should define the “Great Awakening”. This movement was engineered as a series of revivals by preacher George Whitfield. In 1740 Whitfield went on a revival tour that stretched through the colonies. Whitfield’s sermons focused on the message that Christ’s salvation transcended Christian denominations, and stressed the spreading of this good news. “I saw regenerate souls among the Baptists, among Presbyterians, among the Independents, and among the Church folks—all children of God, and yet all