Overview of America’s Colonial Era and Consequence of Tobacco, Whales and Slaves

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 464 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Dec 12, 2018

Words: 464|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Dec 12, 2018

Jamestown, founded by the London Company in 1607 was the first permanent English colony established in America. The colonies started off as a disaster, “the first ten years of Jamestown history almost everyone died horribly…the residents of Jamestown were not doing well” (Ripper, 2008). They were starving to death or either dying to fights with the native Americans. Jamestown found salvation through tobacco which was a native plant in the Americas. Whales were also an abundant source of money. These led into slavery becoming a tremendous deal as the colonies needed people to work for them in the plantations and many other fields.

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Tobacco was first introduced to the Europeans by the native Americans. It can be debated that without England’s interest in tobacco and the potential money within the business, the colonies would not have grown into what is now the United States of America. As Ripper stated, “If John Smith and Pocahontas saved Jamestown, John Rolfe’s faith in smokable, snuffable vegetable leaves made sure that England had found gold after all–green gold” (Ripper, 2008). The tobacco industry grew rapidly, and so did its needs for workers, this introduced slaves.

Whales were also a huge source of income for many. Whales were often hunted could occasionally be found stranded. The fat from whales was used to create oil, and whales having lots of fat to keep themselves warm led to lots of oil. Whale baleen was also put into use. They were later used in women’s clothing, “In its most common use, baleen gave structure to women's underclothes” (Common, 2008). Considering whales weighed a lot, that would be in turn a lot of oil and baleen.

With all the work needed to be done, they needed cheap labor, and this is where slavery came in. Of course, there were indentured servants, they were people who wanted to start a new life or get to the colonies, so they sold their service for a certain period. Slaves, on the other hand, were more expensive but would work indefinitely, because they were purchased. Slaves also retained their value, they could be resold for more or equal to what they were bought for. Later, inheritable slavery also became established, they were only subject to African American slaves, but it meant that their children would also become slaves. Slavery was the hardest for African Americans.

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The United States of America may have never existed if it wasn’t for tobacco, which made the trip to the Americas a great success. Slavery also played a giant role economically in that time. It is true that slavery was wrong and that it caused much distress to those of African American descent, but would the United States be possible without slavery?

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Overview of America’s Colonial Era and Consequence of Tobacco, Whales and Slaves. (2018, December 11). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 1, 2023, from
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