Reinterpreting the Virginia Plantation, 1609-1618

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This article demonstrates, using evidence from underused manuscript and archaeological material, as well as printed texts, that the early Virginia plantation was far from a disaster. Focusing on the period 1609-18, the article situates the colony within the globally connected environments of early modern trade and empire. It demonstrates that its proponents’ expectations were met on a variety of levels, and were successfully undertaken through the mediation of global pressures and English corporate culture within the specific local spaces of North America. The Virginia plantation is shown to have been self-supporting, economically diverse, and integrated conceptually and practically into the global activities of its investors and leadership. Through this interpretation, this article contributes both to our understanding of practices of colonisation in early modern America as well as the connectedness of English overseas activities and the Virginia Company’s participants awareness of its place within wider, global economies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of British Studies
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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