The Instigator
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The Contender
Con (against)

Tobacco had a positive influence on the Jamestown colony

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/2/2017 Category: People
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 631 times Debate No: 101637
Debate Rounds (4)
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In the year 1602, King James I of England granted a charter for a group called the "Virginia Company" to establish colonies in the American state of Virginia. By the year 1607, 104 English men stepped foot into North America. May 13th of that year, they picked a spot and named it Jamestown. The colonists had to adjust to hard labor in order to survive but they managed. That is, until the winter of 1609, when things to a turn for the worst. This is known as the "starving period" and it was a horrible time that lasted about four years. Fatal diseases threatened the colonists. Jamestown was built near a swamp which harbored mosquitoes containing malaria. A nearby lake, the colonists water supply, was filled with deadly germs and bacteria. A river flowing nearby was used for washing clothes and people, but also for drinking. When the colonists drank from the river, they contracted illnesses like Typhoid Fever due to all the germs. Along with these diseases was the threat of starvation. During this time there was a drought in Jamestown. That meant that crops like corn, beans, and squash were unable to grow. Also, less supply ships were being sent to help the colonists. The shortage of supplies forced the colonists to rely on the Powhatan Indians but instead, the Native Americans saw the colonists weakness and raided them while they were weakened. This combination led to a major supply shortage that forced colonists to resort to cannibalism. A man by the name of John Rolfe arrived at the struggling colony of Jamestown in the year 1614 with a new strain tobacco called Nicotiana Tabacum. Unlike the local tobacco, this strain was being grown in South America and tasted sweeter. This tobacco had a positive influence on the Jamestown colony. Tobacco would soon be used to trade with England, used as a currency, exploit medicinal effects on the colonists, and become Americas first cash crop.

~~~Martin,Susan , Saccone,Stephanie , Kittle,Jere , Bowers,Justin , "The Jamestown Chronicles Timeline", The Jamestown Chronicles, The Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Published 2007

~~~Schmidt,Ashley , Dennis,Avery , Blonski,Christopher , Alderete,Gonzalez,Daniel Y. , Tran,Natalie , Martinez,Yoselin , "Hardships & Disease", Jamestown 1607-1620"s, Weebly Inc., Published February 2014,

~~~ Neely,Paula , "Jamestown Colonists Resorted to Cannibalism", National Geographic News, Published May 3rd 2013,

~~~ Curmudgeon,Cigar . "How Tobacco Changed Saved Jamestown Colony". Created September 21, 2008.


First, id like you to define your argument a little more finite. By that I am referring to:

what exactly about the tobacco was a positive influence?
what exactly is the term influenced being used for?
are you arguing that tobacco was the sole contributor to allowing the expansion of the Jamestown? that without tobacco Jamestown would not have been able to expand?

you also stated that before 1614 they already had tobacco, so regardless the tobacco was already there, so define a bit more clearly what tobacco you're referring too, and what that tobacco clarification actually did to save the fall of Jamestown.

so are you arguing that the specific strain from south America is actually the only reason Jamestown survived as a settlement?
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Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by SkySky16 3 years ago
Anyone with a historical or critical thinking capacity would agree with you!
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