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Describe the relationship between the Jamestown English settlers and the Native Americans.

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The English settlers who founded Jamestown in 1607 initially planned to make Native Americans work for them. They contemplated capturing the local Native American leader, as the Spanish did in Mexico and Peru. The local Native American Powhatan Confederation had more resources and proved more powerful than the settlers, however. Relations between the Confederation and the settlers were very limited until the Confederation captured Captain John Smith. After King Wahunsunacock’s daughter Pocahontas intervened to save Smith’s life and facilitate his return to Jamestown, the relationship between the English settlement and the Powhatan Confederation briefly improved.

The Colonists now planned to crown Wahunsunacock and make him a vassal of the English King James I. Accordingly, they invited him to come to Jamestown. The cautious Native American ruler refused to come, because he understood that the English might be planning a trap. Soon he prohibited his people from trading with the English colonists. After John Smith’s departure for England in the fall of 1609, as the Native American trade embargo continued, the colonists, who did not wish to work in the fields and grow their own food, found themselves with inadequate food and supplies. Most of them starved to death as a result; out of approximately 500 people, only about sixty survived the winter of 1609–1610.

After this initial difficult period, the surviving settlers realized that they needed to develop agriculture so as to become less dependent on the surrounding Native Americans. The relationship between the two communities deteriorated further after English colonists abducted Pocahontas and held her captive for a couple of years. It improved, however, when they finally released her to allow her to marry the colonist John Rolfe, a tobacco farmer, in 1614. Cooperation allowed the colonists to learn important skills from the Powhatan people. At the same time, however, the English took over more Native American land to create new tobacco plantations and expand their colony beyond Jamestown; these land grabs were a new source of constant friction between the colonists and the Powhatan Confederation, especially after the death of Wahunsunacock in 1618. This friction eventually led to open warfare. In 1622, the Native Americans attacked the English settlements and killed about a quarter of the colonists (approximately 350–400 people). In 1632, the English defeated the Powhatan Confederation.

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The relationship between the Native Americans and the settlers at Jamestown was a mixed one. When the settlers first arrived, the Native Americans weren’t happy. They had a previous experience with the Spanish that was negative. Thus, they attacked the settlers when they first arrived.

However, the relationship eventually improved. The Native Americans offered the settlers food, and they were hospitable toward them. There was some trade between the settlers and the Native Americans.

Eventually, the Native Americans began to believe that the English were no different than the Spanish. There were times when the English forcibly took food from the Native Americans when they couldn’t reach a trade agreement with them. The Native Americans also realized that the settlers intended to stay and generally wouldn’t marry the Native American women. The settlers also weren’t as hospitable toward the Native Americans as the Native Americans were toward them. As a result, the Native Americans began attacking the settlers again. They destroyed their crops and livestock. The settlers responded with attacks against the Native Americans. As the settlement expanded, the people began to take more land from the Native Americans. This also created more bad feelings between the sides. As a result, there generally was a hostile relationship between the Native Americans and the settlers.

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Describe the relationship between the Jamestown colonists and Native Americans.

The first English settlers arrived at Jamestown in 1607.  They had no idea how to survive in the New World.  Their initial contacts with the Naive Americans were uneasy, as both sides did not trust each other.  For the first two years the two sides traded, the natives trying to cultivate an ally and the English trying to obtain food.  John Smith also tried to use the Indians as slaves, but it did not work as they kept escaping.  During the period known as the Starving Time, the colonists stole and raided the Indian settlements, thus leading to the First Powhatan War.  Chief Powhatan's daughter was captured and used as a hostage.  While in captivity, she married English settler John Rolfe.  This was seen as a diplomatic measure and it brought a temporary end to the hostilities.  The English then attempted to convert the Indians to Christianity.  

The fighting continued when Chief Powhatan died and his younger brother took over control of the tribe.  The new chief did not trust the Jamestown colonists and attempted to wipe them out.   The war ended as the Indians could not wipe out the settlement and more English came to replace the ones who were killed.  This would be a recurring theme in colonist-Indian relations.   

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Describe the relationship between the Jamestown colonists and Native Americans.

The Indians received arrival of the English with extreme suspicion and hostility, based on previous interactions with the Spanish. The Indians attacked an English ship before it docked. However, they were forced to provide some food and necessary amenities on a humanitarian basis. Some chiefs believed it was imperative to make friendly overtures to the visitors in order to assimilate them into their society.

The English were motivated by commercial interests and thus, failed to make necessary arrangements for self-sufficiency with regards to food and other essential amenities. The situation forced them to be heavily dependent on the Native American for their basic needs. With time, the English became hostile towards their hosts by taking whatever they wanted by force. The English wanted to subjugate their hosts and force them into slavery. The Natives violently resisted the increasing English hostility. However, some semblance of peace was achieved after the marriage between an English settler and the chief’s daughter.

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Describe the relationship between the Jamestown colonists and Native Americans.

In 1607, 144 English settlers arrived in America and established a colony at Jamestown. At the time of their arrival, this area was under the control of the Powhatans, a native tribe with a population of around 12,000 Indians. While some Powhatan were weary about these new settlers, the tribe was generally very welcoming and gave the English much-needed food supplies, which helped them to survive their first year. They also began to trade with each other: the English gave weapons and tools to the Indians in return for food and guides with knowledge of the area.

Relations, however, had turned sour by 1609. The colonists had entered a period of extreme deprivation, known as the Starving Time, and began to raid Indian food supplies in a desperate bid to survive. The Indians retaliated by attacking the settlers, killing their livestock and burning their crops. The Powhatan Chief denied all knowledge of any attacks but Captain John Smith, the colony's leader, pressed the Indians harder and took the supplies he needed by force. The settlers also captured the chief's favourite daughter, Pocahontas, which caused relations to plummet even further.

The marriage of Pocahontas to John Rolfe, an English settler, and the recovery of the colony after the Starving Time helped to improve relations between the colonists and the Indians. But this was short-lived: in 1622, the Indians attacked Jamestown, killing almost all of its 350 colonists. 

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