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History Revisited #001: Jamestown Colony Should Have Failed

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/17/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,433 times Debate No: 49105
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (15)
Votes (1)




This is the first debate in a series which I call "History Revisited." I as Pro will be arguing that the early period of Jamestown colony from 1607-1627 should of seen the colony fail. I am arguing that the colony's probability of survival was low. The Jamestown Colony seemed to survive based on chance versus a solid plan. Con must argue that the Jamestown colony had a high chance of success or a solid chance at success.

Round 1: Acceptance Only.


I accept.

I love the idea of this history debate series.
Debate Round No. 1


I would like to thank Con for accepting this debate. Best of luck.

The following four reasons are why I think Jamestown Colony had a low chance of survival:

1. The Lack of Discipline- "He who does not work, will not eat."
The above is the infamous Biblical phrase often attributed to Captain John Smith during his time in Jamestown Colony. John SMith was elected as leader of Jamestown colony in 1608. John Smith helped maintain the colony from 1608-1609[1]. The colonists failed to work hard before John Smith and after him[2]. John Smith was notable for bringing the discipline the colony lacked. I will explain later how the lack of discipline resulted in a low chance of survival.

[2]Jamestown Colony: A Political, Social, and Cultural History By Frank E. Grizzard

2. The Lack of Necessary People
The colony lacked the necessary people to have a sucessful colony in the early period of Jamestown we are discussing. A significant amount of the early settlers were "gentlemen." These "gentlemen" did not engage in hard work. The only useful people were soldiers, laborers, and fishermen. The useful people were a minority as you will see in the passenger list. If you read the passenger list, you notice most of the passengers were "gentlemen" who were in search of riches.


3. The Overreliance on Powhatans
Since the Jamestown settlers were not familiar with the "New World" or how to survive in it. The settlers had to learn from the Powhatans about how to survive. The Powhatans were the local Indian tribe. But the settlers(the "gentlemen") refused to learn how to survive and farm for themselves. In the winter, settlers would have to trade with the Indians[4].


4.The results of all three.
The settlers would starve in the winter because they were unprepared for it. People would go on to resort to cannibalism in order to survive[5]. Between 1609 and 1610, 90% of the settlers died[6]. This was known as the "Starving time." The settlers in Jamestown in the early period that we are debating had a low probability of surviving and the starving in the long winters is the best representation of it.



I will elaborate further on all four points in the next round. I will especially focus more on the role of the Powhatans and how they went to war with the Jamestown settlers.


ConservativePolitico forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Tophatdoc forfeited this round.



Moving on.

Leave as TIE please.
Debate Round No. 3


Tophatdoc forfeited this round.



Thank you.
Debate Round No. 4
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Tophatdoc 2 years ago
Posted just in time.
Posted by MolecularBird06 2 years ago
This topic is very one sided. America got lucky because a guy brought Tobacco to Jamestown. Without it, the colony would have failed.
Posted by Tophatdoc 2 years ago
Posted by tomricotta 2 years ago
Jamestown Colony should've* failed. You're welcome
Posted by Gordontrek 2 years ago
Ha, America ITSELF "should of failed" from the start. Who would have picked a couple of fledgling colonies over the greatest power in the world (Britain). Beating the odds is what makes American history so awesome.
Posted by Tophatdoc 2 years ago
Ok lol. Anyone can accept it who meets the requirements.
Posted by Jifpop09 2 years ago
Yeah, I'll accept.
Posted by Tophatdoc 2 years ago
Accept the debate then lol
Posted by saxman 2 years ago
actually, the colony had a solid plan. he who works not eats not. good rule.
Posted by Tophatdoc 2 years ago
The latter; "that the conditions it was in would have more than likely led it to fail it we did a replay." I will re-word the resolution.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by WilliamsP 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: It seems this debate was worthless.