ONLINE: From 1526 through 1607, 11 European colonies in North America failed. Jamestown, Virginia, nearly failed at least five times. If it had, the United States as we know it would not exist. This lecture-based course will focus on the forces that drove England to attempt colonization in the New World. Students will learn what pressures both the English and the Native Americans were under as Jamestown was settled. We will examine how various English narratives differed from the Native American narrative about what happened, including the tale of Pocahontas and Captain John Smith. We will look at how tobacco and the labor required to grow and export it on a commercial scale set the stage for the indentured servitude of at least 100,000 of the English poor, as well as Atlantic Creole peoples of the Caribbean. This scenario is the basis for the importation of enslaved people from Africa. | Lecture + Q&A.
Max enrollment: 40.
Class sessions are recorded.
Beverly Dowdy earned her master’s degree from Duke’s Graduate Liberal Studies program in 2019. Her thesis concerned 17th-century English promotional literature published to convince the English poor to immigrate to the Chesapeake area. In 2020, she gave an online presentation to Duke library staff entitled “The Selling of Virginia.”