Culture Clash in the Chesapeake
By the time the English arrived, Powhatan was the head of the Indians, dominating a few dozen tribes in the James River area. Initially, the Indians considered the English as potential allies because the English helped them to control other Indian tribes in the region. However, the relationship between them aggravated as time went on. One of the reasons is because the different languages and cultures caused general precautions. But, more importantly, it was the confliction upon the matter of survival. Since the majority of the early colonists were adventurous gentlemen who were highly educated and not accustomed to hard labors, there were insufficient labor forces for farming and domestic affairs. Therefore, the initial colonists often confronted significant food deficiencies, which led them to pillage the towns of Native Americans. The raids, ordered by a capable leader, John Smith, played a major role in deteriorating the harmony between the two settlers. The winter of 1609, known as “the Starving Time” marked another step to disharmony. The native Indians, infuriated by the constant raids and other hostile actions by the English colonists, monopolized all the food supplies in the wood and enclosed the colonist in their palisade. The colonists had to find anything edible such as snakes, dogs, cats and rats in order to maintain their lives.
In 1610, the growing tension culminated with the outbreak of the First Anglo- Powhatan war. The new governor of the colony, De La Warr had pulled the trigger of the war on Indians. They raided Indian villages, burned houses, looted foods, and destroyed their habitats. In 1614 the war was peacefully ended with the marriage of Pocahontas, the daughter of Powhatan, to the Englishman, John Rolfe. Pocahontas worked as the translator to compensate the situation. The peace perpetuated until 1622. However, with the demise of Powhatan in 1622, the new leader Opechancanough... [continues]
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