The Abandoned Colony By Karen Ordahl Kupperman

1102 words - 4 pages

Thesis: The Roanoke colony proved to be an unsuccessful venture in the New World for England, since leaders of the expedition held the viewpoint that privateering would prove to be the most profitable aspect of founding the new settlements in the West. However future, still unsuccessful attempts to make a permanent colony at Roanoke, helped England understand how to build a prosperous one; and it became a building block for establishing future colonies for England and helped shape the ideas that would help launch their empire.

Summary: This book starts well before Roanoke was founded. It detailed how, at the time, England was not a superpower. Spain and France were the most dominant of the European countries, but internal conflicts in France made it weak, while Spain was getting extremely wealthy off of Indians and the Aztecs. England saw this as an opportunity to expand into the New World, and had Walter Raleigh head the trip. The main goals of the colony were to expanding their efforts of privateering, with a sustainable colony as an after thought. It was initial devised as a way to intercept merchant ships more effectively from other countries (mainly Spain) and be a short-term base of operations. Most if not all of the men brought over had only military experience, so they struggled with building proper housing, getting clean water, and growing crops. Ultimately, conflict erupted when the Indians grew weary of giving such a large amount of supplies to the colonists, and many high ranking officials died on the Indian side. The settlement was abandoned due to lack of supplies. After this unsuccessful attempt, John White lead another group intended to be a permanent settlement to Roanoke, and the prototype of plantations he used would become the model for future settlements such as Jamestown. Both colonies at first relied on the local Algonquian Indians for food and supplies. They had a strange relationship, since many of the colonists respected the Indian’s way of life and were amazed by how they lived. Many attributed their strength to the tobacco that they consumed. Others saw them as savages and wanted to convert them to the European way of life. The colonists ended up waging war with them and killed some Croatoans. White went back to England to request supplies, and when he came back, the colony was abandoned, with evidence that they joined the Croatoans. “CRO” was written on a tree, a sign that the colonists left to tell him where they had gone. However, they were to carve a cross over the name if they were forced to vacate, but there was no such mark. An entrance post also had the word “Croatoan” carved into it, also without any crosses. Big items like weapons were left behind, but all smaller supplies were gone. The book uses Professor David Quinn’s theory to explain what happened. The bulk of the colony moved to the Chesapeake Bay and lived in peace while the rest stayed behind to guard the heavier equipment. However, the Spanish...

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