british empire

Topics: British Empire, United States Declaration of Independence, Bermuda Pages: 2 (732 words) Published: October 16, 2013
HOW DOES TOBACCO LINK BRITAIN'S EMPIRE AND AMERICA'S DEVELOPMENT FROM 1600 ONWARDS?

The key element, tobacco, was the vital reason for America’s development and the British Empire’s throughout the 17th and 18th century. The demand for tobacco and the trade involving tobacco helped the British Empire thrive as well as lead to America’s independence. During the early 1600’s Britain’s main drive towards economy was agriculture. Eventhough they flourished in that section the economy itself wasn’t strong enough to support the growing population. Also within Europe Britain wasn’t recognised as much so merchants were sent over to different countries to establish a network of colonies in which they can trade with. The Virginia Company which are joint stock companies were given a charter by King James I in 1606 establishing settlements on the coast of North America. All who purchased shares at a cost of £12 10s shared in the success or failure of the venture. By creating the Virginia Company Britain hoped to bring profit to them via the shareholders as well as make the ‘New World’ America their own colony. However the Company ultimately couldn’t fulfil their charter with the lack of devotion towards trade as they were trying to survive in the hostile America. They were faced with problems such as hostility between Native Americans, food shortages, water supplies and arguments with the people in the community. It wasn’t till a settlement in Jamestown, Virginia was established that Britain had finally started making some profit. The colonists tried many different things in order to return profit to Britain with enterprises such as silk making, glass making, lumber etc however when tobacco was introduced by John Rolfe it had turned into a profitable export. With Rolfe’s experimentation of growing the tobacco seeds he had attained from the Caribbean it was agreed that the new leaf was compared to be favourable towards the Spanish leaf. In 1617 the exports regarding...
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