Jamestown v. Plymouth: What were the motives and expections of the people in each colony? What different sets of problems did each group face? How did they react to these problems?

Essay by CmoxeyCollege, UndergraduateA+, July 2006

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Starvation, disease, and Indians; these are just a few of the problems you would have dealt with if you wanted to journey to and live in the New World at the start of the 17th century. Knowing some of the fatal and dangerous problems they would have faced what could have been the motivation to make people go anyway? To give up the comforts they were accustomed to having; to risk getting sick and not having the things they would need to get well, and to have to come in contact with people who were natives of the foreign land and not sure what their reaction would be. Well, there were different motivations for different groups of people and that's what I will be focusing on. Two groups of people in particular I will be looking at are the Jamestown settlers and the Plymouth Colony settlers. These two groups had some very different ways of handling things.

First we will look at the motives and expectations of these two groups of people. The Jamestown colonists were mostly men, who in England were considered to be gentlemen. These men were adventurous explores and thought menial and manual labor to be beneath them. The Jamestown voyage was funded by the London Company and many of the passengers were officials or employees of this business. Their main motivation for coming to Virginia was to first; keep Spain out and establish the land for England and second; to make their fortunes from finding a water route to Asia, gold, silver and other resources, then return home to England wealthy.

The Plymouth settlers were families of men, women, and children. These people were immigrating for religious reasons. They were members of the Puritan group known as the Separatist. They did not agree with England's Church...