How are Plymouth and Jamestown alike?

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Leaving aside the many differences between the Jamestown Colony and Plymouth Plantation, let us look at what they had in common. For starters, both had almost the same number of initial settlers, Jamestown with 104 and Plymouth with 102. It should be noted that the Pilgrims arrived with family units while in Jamestown the settlers were all men. Both Jamestown and Plymouth were located at a good anchorage making it easy for ships to arrive directly at the settlements.

Both Jamestown and Plymouth had their own representative local governments. While they still saw themselves as Englishmen and Englishwomen with loyalty to the King and Parliament, they also found it necessary to have their own form of self-government given their distance from the ruling authority in London. The Pilgrims established the Mayflower Compact and the Jamestown settlers had their own representative body for this purpose.

Both settlements had great difficulties during their first year. In both cases, the settlers arrived too late in the season to plant their crops. The first winters involved mass starvation and disease, and both settlements saw a large portion of their population succumb to cold and hunger and die.

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