Essay, Research Paper
Jamestown and Plymouth were the first two successful English colonies in North
America. Jamsetown was established in 1607 and Plymouth in 1620. These two colonies were
different yet had a number of striking similarities in Governments, reasons for settlements, and
differing economic activities.
Jamestown and Plymouth had many similarities. For example they both had some sort of
government in some way. Jamestown had the first legislative assembly among the western
hemisphere in 1619. This would later be called the, ?House of Burgesses.? This served as a good
model for many law making bodies in the U.S. Plymouth a similar government. Their
government consisted of general court. They also had a Governor. The government made laws
and also levied taxes. Plymouth was always one step ahead in their law making bodies. Another
similarity between the two is Plymouth and Jamestown both had excellent leadership among
their colonies. Plymouth?s main leaders were Governor Bradford (second Governor of Plymouth)
and Governor Carver. Jamestown?s leaders were Captain John Smith and Governor Berkeley.
James Smith held Jamestown together during their harder times in early settlement.
Plymouth and Jamestown also had many distinct differences. For example, they both had
different reasons for settlement. The Plymouth colony were in search for religious freedom from
their homeland. Jamestown on the other hand was seeking new land for different reasons.
Jamestown was in search for treasure to bring back to their home colonies across sea. They also
wanted to spread their faith (Christianity) to the natives. Another difference in these two were
their economic cultures. Jamestown experimented with many different things but their main crop
was tabacco. This new cash crop was found by John Rolfe. He also produced a new method of
curing the leaves. Along with tabacco Jamestown also produced corn and raised hogs.
Plymouth didn?t have much luck with farming. They took part of another era, trading. They
traded fur to the natives and locals. They also found an industry in fishing which was led under
the direction of Squanto.
These two colonies were both very different yet depicted many similarities. They
displayed great leadership bringing in a new era. With their successful settlements they brought
new opportunities to new land. Plymouth and Jamestown had enlightening colonies. They
revealed likes and differences but they provided a new way of life.