VS.4a
Agriculture, Tobacco and Slavery

The student will demonstrate knowledge of life in the Virginia colony by
a) explaining the importance of agriculture and its influence on the institution of slavery.

Terms to know:
Cash crop
:
A crop that is grown to sell for money rather than for use by the growers

What effect did agriculture have on the Virginia colony?

The economy of the Virginia colony depended on agriculture as a primary source of wealth.

Tobacco became the most profitable agricultural product.
• Tobacco was sold in England as a cash crop.

How did agriculture in the Virginia colony influence the institution of slavery?

The success of tobacco as a cash crop transformed life in the Virginia colony and encouraged slavery.

The successful planting of tobacco depended on a reliable and inexpensive source of labor.

• Large numbers of Africans were brought to the colony against their will to work as slaves on the plantations.
• The Virginia colony became dependent on slave labor, and the dependence lasted a long time.

VS.4b   Immigrant Settlements and Cultural Landscapes

The student will demonstrate knowledge of life in the Virginia colony by
b) describing how European (English, Scotch-Irish, German) immigrants, Africans, and American Indians (First Americans) influenced the cultural landscape and changed the relationship between the Virginia colony and England.

How do cultural landscapes reflect beliefs, customs, and architecture of people?

Cultural landscapes

Whenever people settle an area, they change the landscape to reflect the beliefs, customs, and architecture of their culture. Examples of cultural landscapes include

•           Barns

•           Homes

•           Places of worship (e.g., churches)

Place names reflecting culture

•           English—Richmond

•           American Indian (First American)—Roanoke

Where did the various cultural groups settle?

Settlement areas

•           English settled primarily in Tidewater and Piedmont regions.

•           Germans and Scotch-Irish settled primarily in the Shenandoah Valley, which was along the migration route.

•           Africans settled primarily in the Tidewater and Piedmont regions, where agriculture required a great deal of labor.           

•           American Indians were primarily in the Tidewater and Piedmont regions and the Appalachian Plateau, where their traditional homelands were located.

How did the relationship between the Virginia colony and England change over time?

Although a colony of England, Virginia developed a unique culture different from that of England.

•          Migration and living in new areas caused people to adapt old customs to their new environment.
•          The culture of Virginia reflected American Indian (First American), African, and European origins.

VS.4c - Capital moves from Jamestown to Williamsburg to Richmond

The student will demonstrate knowledge of life in the Virginia colony by
c) explaining how geography influenced the relocation of Virginia’s capital from Jamestown to Williamsburg to Richmond.

What are some factors that influenced the move of the capital from Jamestown to Williamsburg?

Geographical factors often influence the location of a capital. 

 

Factors related to move from Jamestown to Williamsburg

•           Drinking water was contaminated by seepage of salt water.

•           Dirty living conditions caused diseases.

•           Williamsburg was situated at a higher elevation than Jamestown.

•           Fire destroyed wooden buildings at Jamestown.

What factors influenced the move of the capital from Williamsburg to Richmond? 

Factors related to move from Williamsburg to Richmond

•           Population was moving westward.

•           Richmond was a more central location.

•           Richmond’s location was better for trade.

•           Moving to Richmond increased the distance from attack by the English.

VS.4d  Barter, No Money and No Banks in Jamestown

The student will demonstrate knowledge of life in the Virginia colony by
d) describing how money, barter, and credit were used.

What forms of exchange were used in the Virginia colony?

Money was not commonly used in early agricultural societies.     

Terms to know

•           Money: A medium of exchange (currency, which includes coins and paper bills)

•           Barter: Trading/exchanging of goods and services without the use of money

•           Credit: Buying a good or service now and paying for it later

•           Debt: A good or service owed to another

•           Saving: Money put away to save or to spend at a later time

•           Few people had paper money and coins to use to buy goods and services.
•           Barter was commonly used instead of money.
•           Tobacco was used as money. A tobacco farmer could use his tobacco to pay for goods and services.
•           Farmers and other consumers could also buy goods and services on credit and pay their debts when their crops were harvested and sold.
•           Colonial Virginia had no banks.