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Virginia Colony

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Captain John Smith, Virginia Colony

Engraving of Captain John Smith of Jamestown - Virginia Colony

National Portrait Gallery, London.

Year Founded:

In 1607, Jamestown was founded.
In 1624, Virginia was created as a royal colony that included the original Jamestown settlement.

Founded By:

The London Company founded Virginia during the reign of James I (1566-1625).

Motivation for Founding:

Jamestown was originally founded from a desire to gain wealth and to a lesser extent to convert the natives to Christianity. Virginia became a royal colony in 1624 when King James I revoked the charter of the bankrupt Virginia Company. He felt threatened by the representative assembly known as the House of Burgesses. His timely death in 1625 ended his plans of disbanding the assembly.

Significance:

  • First permanent English settlement in the New World at Jamestown.
  • It provided a source of fertile land and great wealth to England in the form of the cash crop, tobacco.
  • With the House of Burgesses, America saw the first institutional instance of representative self government.

Important People:

 

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