Plymouth And Jamestown: Government, Power, And Survival

628 words - 3 pages

The Jamestown and Plymouth settlements were both settled in the early 1600's. Plymouth and Jamestown were located along the shoreline in Massachusetts and Virginia, respectively. Although both had different forms of government, they both had strong leadership. Jamestown was controlled by the London Company, who wanted to profit from the venture, while the Puritans who settled at Plymouth were self-governed with an early form of democracy and settled in the New World to gain religious freedom. John Smith took charge in efforts to organize Jamestown, and at Plymouth William Bradford helped things run smoothly.

The settlement of Jamestown was controlled by the London Company. The London Company, for the most part, had full control of the colony. Jamestown greatly needed to plant crops, but instead the Company, driven by money, ordered the settlers search for gold and other values. The directors of the Company had little knowledge of what really needed to be done in the colony, and they did not seem to care. Plymouth colony was also supposed to be controlled by the London Company, but they were blew off course and landed too farther north than originally intended. This meant that they were not under the control of the London Company, which spurred the Mayflower Compact to be drawn up. The ideas in the Mayflower Compact were later transferred into the Declaration of Independence and gave footing for democracy in America.

However remarkable or pathetic the two government systems were, it is unlikely either colony would have survived without their leaders. In Plymouth, William Bradford was elected as the first governor. He also provided firm leadership, but still very few colonists complained that he was too controlling. Bradford even wrote a history of the first thirty years of the colony, which was later published in a book titled Of Plymouth...

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