The Settlement of Jamestown Colony

Categories: JamestownReligion

The posts of literature produced first in the New World reveal a lot of details about the nests that were planted, and the type and quality of people that occupied them. Primarily, they are of the very same fabric, these colonies– Christian, organized (for the most part) and disciplined. William Bradford’s account of Plymouth Plantation and Guv John Winthrop’s works of Boston yield a really adjoining vision, while Captain Smith’s relation of Jamestown shows a small divergence in its tone.

That being said, they stay combined enough to present contrasts more so than contrasts.

Christianity informs each of the posts. It is the single overarching style that combines the documents and its writers. For that reason, it is likewise what joins the populations of each settlement. This religious beliefs of theirs, brought with them from the Old World, is expressed in continuous referral to the Bible itself. This reveals that the authors had an extremely strong working understanding of the text, as it is unimaginable that these endeavors were actually done while the authors were cross referencing and investigating their writing with the Bible in hardcopy.

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Captain Smith made the least real referrals by specific verse. And yet its influence is unmistakable. Think about Jamestown’s overall objective, according to him: to have actually order kept and godly living upheld. The tone is vague, but particular. Plymouth, too, run under the theme of Christian religion. In Bradford’s words, though, are discovered the connecting in of their existence to that of Biblical predecessors.

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It is clear that they identified with the Judeo-Christian believers who had a hard time in a world of evil.

The writing yields the understanding that the New World, with its problems, obstacles and threats was likened to the numerous wildernesses that are mentioned in the Bible for its characters to roam through and suffer in to follow God. That being stated, it is again appropriate to consider the function of this settlement: It was “… undertaken for the magnificence of god and advancement of the Christian faith.” Where everyone on board understood this and thought in this, there was a simpler success in accomplishing the goals, which were to be organized under God’s laws and provisions and to reside in purchased peace.

Finally, Boston, too not only was operating under a Christian influence, but was perhaps most notably so. Governor Winthrop urges and exhorts in every line the absolutely imperative of following God in this endeavor. Verses from the Bible, such as the golden rule – doing unto others what you would want done to you – found in Matthew 7:12 and 2 Corinthians 8 with its encouragement to give to others more than you even think you have demonstrate just how serious this foundation of belief was. The overall plan of the colony was based upon this Christian action.

It is no surprise, then, that the general goal of Boston was a dual one of living under justice and mercy. Organization and discipline make up the second common bond of all three colonial settlements. Each of the seminal writings of these places is full of references to living in these manners, and the results of not living under these ways. They are in most fashions absolutely cohesive. In Jamestown, unfortunately, it is more of the latter (failure to operate as wished) that is presented. Quite clearly Captain Smith talks about being there for order and work.

They are the keys to success, according to him. Sadly, as squabbling and intrigue took hold, these ideals were no longer being lived. The colony spent more time in arguing about who was more effective that they locked up the very men sent to, or more able to, lead them. Naturally this only led to more disorder. Their best laid plans seemingly were doomed from the beginning. Again, they did have a set plan – even to the extent of planning for a governor and a council. But the execution of the plan was problematic.

The method chosen was basically to surprise the participants when they arrived by holding each of the lists in a locked cabinet only to be opened upon landing. Naturally, as leadership roles evolved on board, such as the emergence of Captain Smith, the original men named may have fallen out of favor – which again leads to jealousies and disharmony between the rulers and ruling class. Even their reliance of Biblical law failed them, as they nearly put Captain Smith to death under strict Levitical law (from the book of Leviticus in the Old Testament of the Bible).

That, though, only exposed their hypocrisy and disorder further. Plymouth fared much better in their use of organization and discipline. Their goal of being well organized under God proved well planned. Bradford gives many examples of this. The rules were passed along peacefully one to another with no great violations mentioned. The discipline inherent in the people even extended to their relations with the Indians with whom they interacted with and traded with, according to the writing. In fact, the only indication of any disagreement whatsoever extended to one of the stricter of exhortations, mentioned above.

It came down to the people being expected to give all they have and then some to the neighbors in need. As this was calling for some to work for others at no pay, some people objected, vehemently if no violently. Even so, that seems all that came of it as there is no indication that an uprising or strike occurred, just some disagreement. The final assessment of this common bond is found in Boston. As the primary stated goal according to Governor Winthrop was that of justice and mercy, it is not unexpected that the colony ran that way. It was highly structured, even as the actual text of the writing indicates.

It is a list of point after point after point, each with their own subsets – and there is nothing to indicate that this is unusual or anachronistic. It definitely implies a people that are ready to receive directions. Generally speaking the literature of Governor John Winthrop of Boston, Captain John Smith of Jamestown and William Bradford of Plymouth show a cohesiveness one might expect of colonies planted in the same New World. Upon analysis, each shows a fundamental belief and purpose in the Christian religion and perhaps as a result focused their societies on varying, but strong degrees of order and discipline


Smith, J. (1624). The Settlement of Jamestown. In The Generall Historie of Virginia, New England & the Summer Isles: Together with The True Travels, Adventures and Observations, and a Sea Grammar (Vol. III). New York: MacMillan. Bradford, W. (1650). History of Plymouth Plantation. Internet Modern History Sourcebook. Retrieved from http://www. fordham. edu/halsall/mod/modsbook. html Winthrop, J. (1630). A Model of Christian Charity. Internet Modern History Sourcebook. Retrieved from http://www. fordham. edu/halsall/mod/modsbook. html

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The Settlement of Jamestown Colony. (2016, Nov 05). Retrieved from

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