Although New England and the Chesapeake regions were settled largely by people of English origin, by 1700 the regions had evolved into two distinct societies. The differences between the two societies are as follows: In 1607 a group of merchants established England'sfirst permanent colony in North America at Jamestown, Virginia.
They operated as a joint-stock company that allowed them to sell shares of stock in their company and use the pooled investment capital to outfit and supply overseas expeditions. This joint stock company operated under a charter from King James I with a concern for bringing Christian religion to the native people. However, most of the settlers probably agreed with Captain John Smith that the real aim was profit rather than religion. Profits were elusive in the early years; expectations of gold and other minerals, trade with Indians for beaver and deer skins were not to be had by the colonists.
Many Virginia colonists died of dysentery, malaria and malnutrition. The Virginia Company sent a diverse collection of people to Jamestown; there were artists and glassmakers, as well as unskilled servants. Both types of people adapted poorly to the wilderness conditions. Relations between the colonists and the Indians were bitter from the beginning. John Smith dealt with the Indians by shows of force and the Indians withdrew trade with the English.
Many settlers died of starvation in thefirst years. The discovery that tobacco would grow in the Chesapeake region was a salvation for Virginia. The planters shipped thefirst crop in 1617 and thereafter tobacco cultivation spread rapidly. By 1624, Virginia was exporting 200,000 pounds of tobacco; by 1638 the crop exceeded 3 million pounds.
The cultivation of tobacco caused Virginia's planters to find a reliable supply of cheap labor. To fill this need, planters recruited immigrants from various countries. These immigrants were called indentured servant..