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Virginia 1619Slavery and Freedom in the Making of English America$
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Paul Musselwhite, Peter C. Mancall, and James Horn

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469651798

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469651798.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 12 July 2020

Virginia and the Amazonian Alternative

Virginia and the Amazonian Alternative

(p.256) Virginia and the Amazonian Alternative
Virginia 1619

Melissa N. Morris

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter considers 1619 Virginia alongside contemporary efforts to colonize the Guianas. Though 1619 was a momentous year for Virginia, it is only in hindsight that we can recognize its importance. The 1619 charter for the Amazon Company demonstrates the appeal of contemporary alternatives. From the early seventeenth century, South American colonization schemes competed with those to the north. Many colonial enthusiasts argued that surer riches would be found closer to the Iberian empires. Building upon the explorations of Walter Ralegh, colonists there forged long-lasting indigenous alliances that were held as an ideal for the rest of the century. Guiana settlers and promoters also embraced tobacco as a viable export commodity at a time when the Virginia Company was admonishing its colonists for growing it. Yet, the Guiana settlements also provoked the protest of Spanish diplomats. The ultimate failure of the Amazon Company redirected investments and enthusiasm towards Virginia and other English settlements.

Keywords:   Guiana, Amazon Company, Walter Ralegh, Virginia Company, Tobacco, Spanish Empire, English settlements

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