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American History: A Difficult Life for English Settlers (VOA Special...

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This is Rich Kleinfeldt. And this is Sarah Long with THE MAKING OF A NATION, a VOA Special
English program about the history of the United States.
Today, we tell about the first permanent English settlements in North America.
England was the first country to compete with Spain for claims in the New World, although it was
too weak to do this openly at first. But Queen Elizabeth of England supported such explorations
as early as the 1570s.
Sir Humphrey Gilbert led the first English settlement efforts. He did not establish any lasting
settlement. He died as he was returning to England.
Gilbert's half brother Sir Walter Raleigh continued his work. Raleigh sent a number of ships to
explore the east coast of North America. He called the land Virginia to honor England's unmarried
Queen Elizabeth.
In 1585, about one-hundred men settled on Roanoke Island, off the coast of the present day state
of North Carolina. These settlers returned to England a year later. Another group went to
Roanoke the next year. This group included a number of women and children. But the supply
ships Raleigh sent to the colony failed to arrive. When help got there in 1590, none of the settlers
could be found.
History experts still are not sure what happened. Some research suggests that at least some of
the settlers became part of the Indian tribe that lived in the area.
One reason for the delay in getting supplies to Roanoke was the attack of the Spanish Navy
against England in 1588. King Phillip of Spain had decided to invade England. But the small
English ships combined with a fierce storm defeated the huge Spanish fleet. As a result, Spain
was no longer able to block English exploration.
England discovered that supporting colonies so far away was extremely costly. So Queen
Elizabeth took no more action to do this. It was not until after her death in 1603 that England
began serious efforts to start colonies in America.
In 1606, the new English King, James the First, gave two business groups permission to establish
colonies in Virginia, the area claimed by England. Companies were organized to carry out the
move.
The London Company sent one hundred settlers to Virginia in 1606. The group landed there in
May, 1607 and founded Jamestown. It was the first permanent English colony in the new world.
The colony seemed about to fail from the start. The settlers did not pl...
This is Rich Kleinfeldt. And this is Sarah Long with THE MAKING OF A NATION, a VOA Special
English program about the history of the United States.
Today, we tell about the first permanent English settlements in North America.
England was the first country to compete with Spain for claims in the New World, although it was
too weak to do this openly at first. But Queen Elizabeth of England supported such explorations
as early as the 1570s.
Sir Humphrey Gilbert led the first English settlement efforts. He did not establish any lasting
settlement. He died as he was returning to England.
Gilbert's half brother Sir Walter Raleigh continued his work. Raleigh sent a number of ships to
explore the east coast of North America. He called the land Virginia to honor England's unmarried
Queen Elizabeth.
In 1585, about one-hundred men settled on Roanoke Island, off the coast of the present day state
of North Carolina. These settlers returned to England a year later. Another group went to
Roanoke the next year. This group included a number of women and children. But the supply
ships Raleigh sent to the colony failed to arrive. When help got there in 1590, none of the settlers
could be found.
History experts still are not sure what happened. Some research suggests that at least some o
f
the settlers became part of the Indian tribe that lived in the area.
One reason for the delay in getting supplies to Roanoke was the attack of the Spanish Navy
against England in 1588. King Phillip of Spain had decided to invade England. But the small
English ships combined with a fierce storm defeated the huge Spanish fleet. As a result, Spain
was no longer able to block English exploration.
England discovered that supporting colonies so far away was extremely costly. So Queen
Elizabeth took no more action to do this. It was not until after her death in 1603 that England
began serious efforts to start colonies in America.
In 1606, the new English King, James the First, gave two business groups permission to establish
colonies in Virginia, the area claimed by England. Companies were organized to carry out the
move.
The London Company sent one hundred settlers to Virginia in 1606. The group landed there in
May, 1607 and founded Jamestown. It was the first permanent English colony in the new world.
The colony seemed about to fail from the start. The settlers did not plant their crops in time so they
soon had no food. Their leaders lacked the farming and building skills needed to survive on the
land. More than half the settlers died during the first winter.
The businessmen controlling the colony from London knew nothing about living in such a wild
place. They wanted the settlers to search for gold, and explore local rivers in hopes of finding a
way to the East. One settler knew this was wrong. His name was Captain John Smith. He helped
the colonists build houses and grow food by learning from the local Indians. Still, the Jamestown
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