Jamestown Colony. Goes into detail about the near failure of the colony as well as how it overcame hardship

Essay by A.R.DIAMONDUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, November 2002

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Jamestown was a a near failure for many reasons.Of these production was a direct cause.

Production depends on three factors: land, labor, and capital. In essence, the London

company stole a good bit of land from the Native American Indians-more than enough

acreage to have sustained the original hundred colonists. What the London Company had

in mind for the colonist to produce on the land they acquired were three primary

commodities: gold, grapes, and sugar. A modern company would have ascertained that

these commodities could be produced in any facility it created or land it selected. But the

London Company made no such analysis. The result was that the colony was not

realistically equipped for the area in which it was established. There was no gold in the

whole of Virginia or anywhere within a thousand miles of it. And the climate was wrong

for both grapes and sugar as crops.

Another major drawback under the category "land"

was the site of the colony itself. Jamestown was established in a marshy area that

happened to be infested with malaria-bearing mosquitoes. Almost half of the colonists who

died in the first two years died of malaria.

Between 1607 and 1609, some 900 persons went to the Jamestown colony. That

certainly was enough people in terms of numbers alone. But labor as a factor of

production refers not so much to body count as to whether the persons have the

knowledge and skills to produce the product. A number of the colonists who went to

Jamestown were sons of landed English gentry. At that particular time, England had little

to offer later-born sons of nobles, who would inherit neither titles nor lands. These

gentlemen brought household servants with them as though they were going to be able to

re-establish the...