HIS 321 Discussions

There are 4 posts at 100 or more words each. Respond to each post and no plagiarism. Must be complete today by 9 PM EST. Use references.


One of the major events that helped the Europeans to explore was an advancement in technology. Chief among these technological accomplishments were improvements in the compass, the astrolabe, and gun powder (Reich, pg. 2, 2011). The increase in gun powder helped the Europeans to fight off the attacks from the Indian ad avoid being slaughtered like in previous explorations. They also improve the construction of their ships which allowed them to sail faster and farther than ever before. These improvements, together with an improved rudder, made ships speedier, more maneuverable, and better able to take advantage of wind direction (Reich, pg. 3, 2011). The need to acquire lower prices goods from Asia was also another factor in Europe’s need to explore the world. The need to start a new life for many common people was also a factor in people agreeing to set sail on this new adventure.

Reich, Jerome R. Colonial America. Upper Saddle River, NJ. Pearson Education Inc.


Leadership and Choices


The settlement of Jamestown was complicated by many difficult to foresee issues and some that might have been able to have been avoided. The location chosen for the colony was one of the first complications, though it was defendable once established the settlers were exposed to the low, marshy and malarial conditions of the site (Reich, 2011). Locations contributed too many health concerns to include malaria, typhoid and dysentery that had a significant impact on death rates for the settlers and caused regret and hopelessness when even the smallest difficulties happened. Relationships with the Native Americans were strained from the beginning, they did ebb and flow, but the confiscation of Indian land and the settlers disregard for the natural resources stunted relationships. Finally, communication with England was difficult; a good example of this was the arrival of 400 additional settlers in August 1609 which caused significant problems for the colony nearly becoming the straw that broke the preverbal back of the colony. The winter of 1609-1610 nearly starved the colony with only 100 settlers surviving the brutal winter.

Some of the difficulties may have been avoidable; others were growing pains that had to be solved in stride and hard lessons learned for the settlers and leaders. I believe that leadership was the overarching problem that compounded three important colony problems.  The three things that stick out in my mind as ways to have made the initial establishment of Jamestown less difficult were location, more workers than gentlemen (focus on the colony not personal success) and relationships with the Native Americans. There were better locations on the James River (Apomattox River intersection, or near modern day Richmond), and closer to the ocean – the ocean was difficult, but it could have been accomplished (Jamestown, n.d.). Both offered protected and easy to defend locations, improved agriculture and other necessities. Once the settlers arrived there focus was on finding treasure and not preparing for long term colonization, this placed them in difficult situations as winter arrived and compounding this was the lack of relations with the Indians. Good old Captain John Smith promoted himself as a solid leader; however the results were less than inspiring in the early years of Jamestown.

Clearly there we lessons to be learned by the early colony, but I believe some could have been avoided with leadership, preparation and focus on establishment of the colony rather than treasure and economic aspirations.         

Jamestown – Why There? (n.d.). Retrieved March 06, 2017, fromhttp://www.virginiaplaces.org/vacities/7jamestown.html

Reich, J. R. (2011). Colonial America. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.


A Ship Full of Problems


Settlement in the 1620s in the New World was difficult for any of the European nations. The challenges were many and the oversight by parent nations England, France, Spain, and the Dutch was considerably different from an economical, spiritual, intellectual and social standpoint. First and foremost the ability to attract large numbers of settlers to the new world was difficult for all the European nations, though Spain did do better in this regard (Reich, 2011). The ownership of each nation’s colonies was approached differently from an intellectual and economic perspective, for example; “the Spanish colonies were considered royal colonies from their inception; the French government only took control of its colonies after the failure of the Company of New France; while New Netherlands (Dutch) remained under control of the West Indies Company for its entire 40 year history” (Reich, 2011, pg. 43-44). The Spanish had the intellectual foresight when establishing colonies to maintain governmental control, though Spain did experience governmental issues it was dealt with internally rather through private companies. Control transpired due to the focus on the economic value. All the other countries used individual private enterprise as a mechanism for settlement and governing, leading to wide spread differences in government, laws and norms. “The needs and interests of an individual settler were, by and large, ignored; and if they benefited from a particular piece of legislation, it was usually coincidental” (Reich, 2011, pg.44).

The Spanish settlers and colonies remained spiritually grounded in Catholicism, while the English settlers and colonies varied from Protestant, Quakers, Puritans, Separatism and Catholics leading to numerous religious disagreements that fractured several colonies. A good example of this was the Puritans, who “true to their religious beliefs, each town had its own independent self-supporting congregation” (Reich, 2011, pg. 70). This later became an excepted pattern across New England allowing differences in religious structure and the prominence it held over community. Spirituality in the New World took on many forms of religion; this freedom did encourage many of the English settlers. Though England did attempt to have some control over religious affairs the distance and remoteness of the New World allowed for more freedom of religion in the colonies. Though most settlers perused life in the colonies for economic goals, religion was a close second reason to make the difficult and dangerous trek to the New World and the attempt to find prosperity in the colonies of the undeveloped and uncivilized New World.

Lastly, the social scene in the New World was non-existent. English settlers were accustomed to the social engagement of towns, villages, markets and cities in England which were nonexistent in the New World. The absence of this social setting along with the vastly male dominated population hindered social life in in the Chesapeake and was likely one of the hardest adjustments for the English colonist (Kupperman, 2013).             

Kupperman, K. O. (2013). Major problems in American colonial history documents and essays. Boston Mass: Wadsworth Cengage learning.  

Reich, J. R. (2011). Colonial America. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.


By the 1620s, the French, the Dutch, the English, and the Spanish all had settlements in North America. For your initial post, discuss how the English people who settled in the Massachusetts Bay area were different from these other settlers. Consider their intellectual, spiritual, economic, and social ideals. Use specific examples from your readings.

                Other settlements consisted mostly of labor rather than the countries presence. Reich (2011) writes “Politically, the West Indies tended to be more amenable to the wishes of the mother country than the mainland colonies because of their more exposed position among the Spanish, French, and Dutch possessions in the immediate area, and the fear of slave revolts” (p. 83). The leader of the Massachusetts Bay Colony John Winthrop was educated in legal at Cambridge. He had ulterior motives to lead the colony. He took entire family groups to settle Massachusetts Bay Colony which seems to be the major difference in other settlements. The stunting growth of Spanish and French settlements was largely due to the unbalance of women to men ratio as it was heavily populated by men. There was the idea that attracted those displeased with the religious strife taking place in England and wanted the opportunity to practice freely. This was a chance at a new start for many that were willing to take the voyage. Winthrop himself was under heavy debt and looked forward to a new start (Reich 2011). The rapid growth of the colony provided for far less control over governing practices than initially expected. It became impossible for Winthrop to control the growing populace as there wasn’t a strong enough government in place to ensure that all communities practiced the same principles. This left the governing to the assistances with individual leeway empowering the assistants. This was the foundation that led to the development of the relationship between church and state and formed a mixed democracy as it was unwise to give assistants that much power.                                                                          

Reich, J. R. (2011). Colonial America (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Routledge.

"Looking for a Similar Assignment? Order now and Get a Discount!

Hey, wait!You Don't want to miss this offer!

Before you go, let us offer you a 20% discount coupon for your next purchase.