John Smith Founding the Virginia Colony Research Paper

  • Length: 5 pages
  • Sources: 6
  • Subject: Native Americans
  • Type: Research Paper
  • Paper: #86790926

Excerpt from Research Paper :

John Smith Founding the Virginia Colony

John Smith

John Smith founding Virginia Colony

Barbour,(1969) a historian whose studies mostly have been on the Virginia colony and its' earliest founder, describe John Smith as a fellow author, explorer and an English solider, who before his death in 21st June, the year 1631 was knighted by Prince Bathory of Transylvanian for defeating and killing the Turkish commanders. Barbour further ads on that John Smith would be remembered in centuries to come for is active participation in founding the first English permanent settlement at Jamestown, Virginia in the Northern part of America.

According to studies and researches conducted by Benjamin (2008) the myth or story that John Smith founded Virginia colony can be traced back to the year 1606 when two companies from England namely the Plymouth company and the London company were charted by the then King James the first to set voyage and colonize the new England which was later to be named Virginia in honor of the virgin queen Elizabeth. Perhaps the reason why John Smith is famous is because he was in the first voyage that arrived in Virginia; the Virginia company. Upon their arrival in the year 1607 with a motive of making profits, John Smith was appointed as a leader in the new colony and this was according to the Virginia Company's sealed orders, the final destination was Jamestown which was selected to be the new colony by Captain Wingfield.

Food was an issue during those periods when Virginia Company's voyage first landed consequently leading to death of most of the colonist because of hunger and poor health, this became a motivating factor for Smith to go and explore the Chesapeake Bay area where he first meet the with the Powhatan who captured him, but later released him after an intervention from Powhatan's daughter who was called Pocahontas. And by the year 1608 Smith was appointed leader of the local council and through his leadership whose main policy was discipline the colony started to thrive and settlers grew in numbers.

The issue of food was resolved first by the help of Pocahontas who supplied the colonist with food because of her relationship with Smith and also in his writings he is quoted as saying "he took the neighboring tribe's chief hostage and before they parted ways, he forced the chief to give them twenty tons of corn." But generally Smith was attributed with encouraging his subject to engage in farming for food and he even used to quote a verse in the bible which says "those who don't work shall not eat" this in a way lead to the rise of the Virginia colony and perhaps the reason why John Smith is viewed as the founder.

John Smith's impact on the society

Thou many colonialists in the earlier periods were driven by other forces they were also determined to spread Christianity, however the colonization of the Virginia was mainly driven by prospects of riches from gold and other metal which were to be traded for profits, anyway in spite of this it would still be important to note that John Smith affected the society in certian way, mainly because he used Christian teaching to encourage the settlers to engage in farming activities and even quoted his writings as urging the locals "those who don't work shouldn't eat" thereby in cooperating the culture of faith, hard work and discipline to his subjects .

Hoobler et al. (2006), other historians and most academic experts are in agreement that thou John Smith is mainly remembered for his participation in establishing the Virginia colony, he also made a mark in the writing field, his writings have been the topics of discussion in many Language and History classes, and therefore he had overall impact to the education in the society.

Critics of the John Smith as the founder of Virginia Colony

This research poses a question, was John Smith the founder of Virginia or not? Many critics have come out trying to debunk the myth that Smith was the founder of Virginia basing their argument on the fact that John Smith was just among the colonist who arrived first in the region under the umbrella of Virginia Company which was a joint stock Company with the main objective of making profits out of its endeavors. But critics have a common opinion as to why…

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