Tobacco in the sixteenth century
What is tobacco? The definition of tobacco is leaves of the tobacco plant dried and prepared for smoking or ingestion. For the English settlers in Chesapeake tobacco was there way of surviving. During the sixteenth century a man planted tobacco in Virginia for the first time and found it took well to the climate. Once the tobacco started growing it needed much attention and great care by hand. Workers were needed around the clock to tend to the crops. The settlers realized that tobacco could be there way to riches. The growing of tobacco not only helped the English settlers but also the English monarchy, ships men, and merchants.
In 1612 John Rolfe planted seeds of tobacco plants that had been found originally in the West Indies and Venezuela. The plants grew very well and he started to experiment with methods of curing the leaf further enhancing its flavor. Rolfe sent his first shipment of tobacco to London in 1614. After this it became clear to settlers that they could make a fortune in Virginia by growing tobacco. In 1617 the colonists made their first commercial shipment to England. When the shipments first arrived they product was hardly known but Sir Walter Releigh Helped to make tobacco smoking popular among the English. At first tobacco was sold at a very high price were only the wealthy could partake, but once the English colonist began to grow and ship an abundance of tobacco the price became much lower and tobacco was an indulgence for many.
The shipping of tobacco to England saved the Jamestown settlement. Before growing tobacco they couldn’t even grow enough corn to feed themselves. Once the colonist started growing tobacco it became very clear to them that it could be the road to a fortune. The revenue coming in from exporting tobacco kept Chesapeake alive and growing. The king saw all the wealth being made and so he put a tax on importing tobacco giving him a major financial interest. In the end the exporting...
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