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Jamestown 4: Gunpowder
Caught between hostile Powhatan and divided settlers, John Smith fought to keep Jamestown from falling apart. Then, seven ships came with dozens of settlers, no supplies and ambiguous instructions from London. Smith saw himself as the only person who could keep Virginia together, but he was the first casualty of the impending collapse.
Jamestown: The Coronation of Powhatan
Newport arrived just in time to prevent Smith from being hanged, but the two clashed strongly over how to run the colony. Over the course of a year, irreparable damage was done to Jamestown, and though Smith was elected president, and the London Company followed his recommendations, it was too late to prevent disaster.
Jamestown: John Smith and Pocahontas
When Newport left, Jamestown fell into chaos. One man was executed, and another's connections to the Gunpowder Plot revealed. John Smith took control, first getting food, then exploring, then meeting Pocahontas as a prisoner of the Powhatan.
04 Jamestown 1
When the first settlers arrived in Virginia, it seemed like paradise. They met the local peoples, explored the lush forests, and selected a settlement location. Unfortunately, they'd spent too long at sea and used their provisions, and some of the settlers clearly weren't who they said they were.
03 The Lost Colony of Roanoke
Roanoke was a key moment in England's colonization of the New World, the first real attempt at establishing a settlement. It's a perfect insight into what made settlements fail - bad communication, bad timing, expense. Of course, it's also known for its mystery, so I've selected what I think are the top three pieces of evidence of what happened to the colonists.
02 Prologue Why people came to America
Henry VIII had created extraordinary social upheaval, and it was up to his successors to manage the situation as peacefully as possible. Elizabeth I and James I/VII both managed to do that. Still, some people didn't fit into England's new "normal," either being pushed out economically, or holding values that clashed with their solutions.
Prologue 1 - Why people left England
The early years of Tudor reign saw unprecedented changes in English society. The aftermath of Henry VIII's reforms would ultimately drive people to America, and the social fragmentation he encouraged would lead to American regional differences, even much later.