The Southern Colonies

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Was the land in colonial Virginia good or bad? Explain why.

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The English settlers of the Virginia Colony generally found very good land to cultivate. The many rivers provided nutrient-rich soils in the coastal areas that were able to support the cultivation of such crops as tobacco, wheat, and flax. These cash crops were traded back to Great Britain and provided the main source of income for the colonies. The relatively long growing season of Virginia also helped ensure that the colonists were able to produce bountiful harvests once they had adjusted to the differences in climate between their new colony and what they had known in England.

It should be noted that the first English colonists of Virginia were still met with many difficulties. When they first settled in Jamestown and Roanoke, the settlers found themselves in areas that did not have the best conditions for agriculture. These swampy lowlands were the breeding grounds for many mosquito-borne diseases and lacked ample access to clean drinking water. As a result, these earliest colonies were met with repeated outbreaks of disease and famine. It was not until the colonists learned new farming techniques and began to cultivate higher grounds that agriculture really began to thrive in the colony.

Also, while there are no gold deposits in Virginia like the colonists had hoped to discover, there were other raw materials that they took advantage of. Large iron deposits existed in the hills northwest of Jamestown, which were used to establish ironworks early on. Salt and saltpeter were also found nearby and helped to enrich the colony throughout its history.

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The land in colonial Virginia was overall considered good for farming.  Farming was essential to colonial Virginia.  Soil called Pamunkey soil was plentiful in Virginia.  This soil was rich and excellent for growing crops.  The Native Americans had plentiful crop growth.  The settlers at Jamestown also discovered this rich and fertile soil when they arrived.  It was ideal for growing crops, which helped the Jamestown settlement to flourish.  Importing foodstuffs from England and other European countries took time, so it was ideal to grow crops in or near a settlement.

The settlers at Jamestown gained knowledge on local crops from the Powhatan Native Americans.  They learned about planting beans and squash near their corn crops.  Th settlers also planted vegetables, such as carrots, onions, and peas.  Herbs were grown in the fertile Pamunkey soil by the Jamestown settlers.

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