Recent archeology at Jamestown reveals that globalization begins with the creation of the colony. They were producing trade goods for the indigenous peoples, who had already had contact with other explorers previously.
A trade economy was being introduced into North America with Jamestown. Export trade would come later with the growing of tobacco, but the original settlement was reliant upon production of trade goods with the native population.
Which may be why the indigenous peoples were not later enslaved for the tobacco farms since they were trading partners.
Instead African slaves were used because of their experience growing tobacco like crops.
And thus Globalization is the outgrowth of the Jamestown colony and its role in Atlantic History.
Historians Eye Jamestown's Legacy on 400th Anniversary
JEFFREY BROWN: And we explore our growing understanding of Jamestown now with Karen Kupperman, professor of history at New York University. She's written widely about early American settlements and is author of "The Jamestown Project."
Karen Kupperman, who were these people? And what does the new archaeology tell us about their experience?
KAREN KUPPERMAN, History Professor, New York University: Well, as the piece said, there were around about 100 men and boys. There were several boys at Jamestown, and they played very important roles, actually.
And they came, I think, principally to set up a trade post. I think that was what they were hoping to do. I don't think the English initially thought in terms of colonization. Colonization was very, very expensive. And in the English case, every expedition, every ship had to be paid for by private investment.
So the investors were looking to find a product in America that they could get in trade with the Indians and keep a very small, permanent contingent here, I think.
JEFFREY BROWN: And what about their experience is new? What has changed in our thinking, in your thinking about this?
KAREN KUPPERMAN: Well, the archaeology is extremely important, because it shows us, as Bill Kelso said, that the colonists are, from the beginning, engaged in really purposeful activity. They're making products that the Indians want. They brought sheets of copper with them, and they're actually making items to Indian specifications.
And the archaeologists have not only found evidence of that within the fort, but they've also found Jamestown made items in Powhatan's capital, at Werowocomoco, for example. So there's evidence of all kinds of activity that's going on. So they really are, through trial and error, trying to build the kind of economic base that the company was asking them to.JEFFREY BROWN: Annette Gordon-Reed is professor of law at New York Law School and professor of history at Rutgers University. She's the author of "The Hemings Family of Monticello: An American Story of Slavery.
" Annette Gordon-Reed, what jumps out at you about it, particularly picking up on that, the economic seed here that was born at Jamestown?
ANNETTE GORDON-REED, New York University Law School: Well, really, in 1619, of course, you get the first Africans who come to Jamestown. And there are different theories about what their first role was, but certainly it was the beginning of Africans being involved in the cultivation of tobacco, which, of course, begins the slave society in Virginia, and that spreads across the United States, or what was not the United States at that time, but in the American colonies.
Work of William and Mary students and faculty figure prominently in “Pocahontas Revealed,” an episode of the PBS program NOVA, to be broadcast Tuesday, May 8.
“Pocahontas Revealed” focuses on discoveries and revelations that have come to light since the 2003 discovery of Werowocomoco, home of Pocahontas and the capital town of her father, Powhatan. Excavation of the York River Werowocomoco site, on the farm of Bob and Lynn Ripley, continues to yield new information about Powhatan, his people, and their relationship with the Jamestown colonists.
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