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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The main reason why Jamestown was founded is that a group of English people wanted to make their fortunes.  They knew, of course, of the riches that had been found by various Spanish explorers in South America and they hoped that they could find ways to become rich in North America as well.  This was not the only reason for founding the colony, but it was the main reason.

The charter that the Jamestown settlers got from the king shows that the colonists had at least one other ostensible goal in founding the settlement.  The charter speaks of how the colonists are to work at

propagating of Christian Religion to such People, as yet live in Darkness and miserable Ignorance of the true Knowledge and Worship of God…

However, this was clearly not the main goal of this settlement. Instead, the main goal was economic.  The settlers were mainly motivated by the desire to get rich.  The charter goes on to grant the colonists the right

to dig, mine, and search for all Manner of Mines of Gold, Silver, and Copper … And to HAVE and enjoy the Gold, Silver, and Copper, to be gotten thereof…

This makes clear that the main reason why Jamestown was founded was so that the settlers would be able to find ways to get rich.

thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jamestown was established before settlement at Plymouth and is credited as the first English colony. Having heard of new lands and potential for wealth creation, the English embarked on a voyage to settle in the New World. The colony on the island was supported by investors organized as the Virginia Company of London.

Motivations for the voyage and settlement in the New World included the need to expand the English territory, achieve wealth through the mining and trade of precious metals and other minerals, discover new trade routes to Asia through the northwest, and to spread the Christian religion to the natives that were considered savage.

It is important to note that most of the people on the voyage were predominantly urged on by the idea that there was plenty of gold and silver in the New World and that arrival to the new lands would help them access instant riches. However, the hardships, diseases, and deaths of the first settlers told a story of the constant struggle to survive.

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