On May 24th, 1606, about 100 settlers set foot on "American" soil. They had founded Jamestown. This just didn't come out of anywhere, King James I had proposed a charter for them to do so. The charter allowed the joint-stock company of England or also known as the Virginia Company to colonize (1.)
Later after about two years a guy named Captain John Smith emerged as basically the savior of the colonists. He set the colonists straight. HE did this by forceful leadership. He knew that if they didn't learn to survive, they would die. It was up to him as the leader to persuade them to do so. The colonists, before John Smith came along, died of malnutrition, disease, and attacks from Native Americans. Although John Smith did not reign for a long period of time, he accomplished a lot (2.).
The tobacco industry, even though it was a small contribution to the progression of America, it was made possible by John Rolfe. He is credited with the introduction of tobacco into Virginia. Sir Walter Raleigh, even though did not introduce tobacco into Virginia he did indeed introduce it to England. John Rolfe found a tobacco that the colonists liked or enjoyed to smoke or chew, their was tobacco already that was planted by the native Americans but the colonists basically did not enjoy it so obviously it was good that someone like John Rolfe did (3.).
In conclusion, indeed the British made America progress well into the future even for the most nominal reason. Progress, or...