The first votes of the fledgling Virginia Assembly in 1619 marked the inception of the most important political development in American history — the rise of democracy.
Four hundred years ago this year, two momentous events happened in Britain’s fledgling colony in Virginia: the New World’s first democratic assembly convened, and an English privateer brought kidnapped Africans to sell as slaves. Such were the conflicted origins of modern America.
Only by luck and happenstance did Britain’s first permanent settlement in the New World survive
The archaeologist who discovered the real Jamestown debunks myths and answers long-puzzling mysteries about North America's first successful English colony
How Jamestown Got Us Started
Four hundred years ago the first English settlers reached America. What followed was a string of disasters ending with the complete disappearance of a colony.
The storm that wrecked the Virginia-bound ship Sea Venture in 1609 inspired a play by Shakespeare— and the survivors’ tribulations may well have sown the first seeds of democracy in the New World
It saved the early Colonists from starvation, it has caused men to murder each other, it used to be our most democratic food—in short, an extraordinary bivalve