America: From other worlds to ours
America came to be as it is today, thanks to many other countries and their own cultures. Countries like India, who had already been on the continent for hundreds of years; the Spaniards, who moved mostly North from Mexico; the French, who settled along the Mississippi river valleys; and finally, the English, who had moved West after they had reached the Atlantic shoreline. Later on, slaves arrived from Africa, after surviving a dangerous journey at sea. Americans generally believe that we have a unique and original culture, however; that is not exactly true. America gets a lot of their cultural diversity like food, clothing, language and religion, from these other countries around the world.
Many of the original people indigenous to the American continent prefer to call themselves by their own tribal name. Despite the fact that these tribes are so close to each other, they each had their own culture including their language and religion. Something that the Europeans found strange about these native Americans, were that the women harvest in the farm collecting the corn, tomatoes, squash and other harvest. Meanwhile, the men were off hunting.
Beginning in the year 1492, the Europeans arrives to the beautiful shores of America and basically destroyed the land for the native Americans. Christopher Columbus was the man who had set this all in motion. He was a sailor from the country Italy, however; he was hired by the Spanish king and queen, (Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand) to discover a faster trade route to the riches in Asia. Obviously, he failed and ended up in America. Soon enough, the Native people to America began dying. Not because they were being killed by the Europeans, but because of many new diseases that had been brought over by the Europeans. Some of these diseases were small pox, measles, and even the scarlet fever. The Indians had weak immune systems and were not used to these terrible diseases. Therefore, they eventually died off.
As the Indians died off, more European countries began to send explorers, soldiers, and traders to North America. Countries like Holland, France, Sweden and Russia, all made an attempt to colonize in North America but they failed. The Spanish and English were their biggest competitors. The Spanish did have quite an advantage because they had already settled in what is now Florida, and established the first permanent colony called, St. Augustine. Then, the English began to settle. Permanent colonization began in 1607 with the settlement of Jamestown, named after and for King James I of England. This new colony later became the foundation of one of the most successful colonies, Virginia.
At first, Jamestown did not do well. Most of the original settlers died of starvation and or diseases like measles and small pox. This happened in the first few years of settlement. And it was because they were not willing to plant crops of their own. This is because the upper classes did not see the need to plant. When they had planned on coming to America, they had expected to get rich, and fast. They died because they were not willing to do work on their own. The people of Jamestown had expected people to do things for them. Along with disease and starvation, people died because powerful people also launched attacks due to the fact that they were fearful that the English wanted to take their land.
King James had stated that tobacco was, “Harmful to the nose, harmful to the brain and dangerous to the lungs.” however, tobacco saved the community of Jamestown. The workers in the fields were servants, (poor people who worked for usually 7 or 8 years for their master.) This was never really a good deal because the servants would die before they were free. Some of the servants did live and became free. Once they were free, they moved as far away from the ocean as they possibly could and settled on their own.