The representative government begins with the House of Burguess. The house of Burguess as the legislature was called; they first met on July 30, 1619 in a little church in Jamestown to write the laws of Virginia. The house of Burguess remained in existence even after James I took control of Virginia. At that time there were eleven settlements in the colony. Each of them elected two, burguesses, as representatives were called.
In 1964 James I cancelled the charter of the Virginia Company, thus making Virginia a royal colony.
The tobacco cultivation assures Virginia’s success, which was another unanticipated development was the discovery that raising tobacco was a profitable way to make a living. In 1612 Captain John Rolfe introduced a tropical variety possibly from Trinidad to Virginia. Rolfe, like other Englishmen, he had learned to enjoy puffing on a pipe. Rolfe’s tobacco found a waiting market in London. The “weed” quickly wore out the land, and the steady search for new acres was instrumental in pushing settlement farther and farther west. The first crop arrived in London in 1614. Because rivers were required for shipping the crop, the banks of Potomac, the James, and the Rappahannock Rivers soon were lined with tobacco farms. So completely did tobacco take up people’s lives in Virginia that no large towns developed as centers of commerce and culture? The town of Williamsburg was the political hub of the colony. Williamsburg became Virginia’s capital in 1699 after Jamestown was destroyed by fire. The leaders of the colony met there to debate governmental matters.
Indentured servants came to America. Many people had been driven off the land by what was called the enclosure movement. The cost of crossing the Atlantic was, beyond the means of these people. Under the indenture system a farmer in America would gladly agree to pay the ship passage of an immigrant. The immigrant would in turn agree in writing to serve that farmer for a specified number of years, varying from four to seven. After the period of indenture was over, the worker became a free man or woman again. Often receiving land to take up farming. The indenture system had its drawbacks; many servants who had arrived in America resented their condition and worked unwillingly.
Slavery was introduced among the early indentured servants were people who did not come to America willingly. The first Africans arrived in Virginia in 1619. For the next thirty years or so, Africans were generally treated like indentured servants from Europe. By 1651 there were about 300 Africans in Virginia’s population of 15000. By 1640 some black servants were forced to serve their indentures for life. Slaveholders were given increasing control as the personal and civil freedom of black people, which was more and more restricted. Finally, as the 1700’s opened, the English were becoming heavily involved in the profitable slave trade, until then a monopoly of...