John Smith in Jamestown Essay

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John Smith in Jamestown

The leadership strengths and weaknesses of John Smith evoked a profound effect on the Jamestown colony. The fact that Smith actually arrived in the colony as a common prisoner and was able to achieve the leadership role that he gained is amazing. His creativity and knowledge in certain areas actually saved the colonists from attack and starvation in the early days. Some of the rules he enforced as a leader were actually instrumental in saving the colony. His skill in dealing with the natives allowed him to gain their support and continue trade that resulted in the survival of the colony.

Christopher Newport, the admiral that transported John Smith and many of the colonists from England, left the Jamestown …show more content…

The colonists were desperate for food because it was the middle of winter. The raid failed because early German settlers that eventually joined the natives, warned them in advance about the attack. After the failed raid, Smith returned to the fort to find the food storage infested with rats and worms. By this time, Ratcliffe had been put under arrest and John Smith had become the president. As president, he then created a rule to make all of the colonists work, or pay the consequences. Smith called an assembly and stated, “He that will not work shall not eat.” (Price 108) The law means if a man does not do any work, he will not get any food. By implementing this law, Smith ensured that most, if not all, of the colonists would do their own share of the work that needed to be done. With the new work effort of the colonists, twenty houses were built, a well was dug, and thirty to forty acres of crops were planted. All of that was accomplished in three months. Once again, John Smith had saved the Jamestown settlement.

Shortly after Smith introduced his “He that will not work shall not eat” law, the colony’s new stock of food again became infested with rats. Smith had studied different tactics for years while he lived alone in his cabin. He developed a plan for how to handle this situation. Smith “took a divide-and-survive approach when their food ran low by dispersing into small groups.” (Price 109) He called this

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