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Virginia Company

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.

Editor's Note: Historian James Horn, a frequent contributor to American Heritage, is President of the Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation. Read more >>

Only by luck and happenstance did Britain’s first permanent settlement in the New World survive

Arriving at the English colony of Jamestown in late May 1610, Sir Thomas Gates was appalled by what he discovered. Read more >>

If the colony had collapsed the English might not have been established as the major colonial power in North America

If Jamestown, England’s first permanent colony in the New World, had failed 400 years ago—and it came within a whisker of being abandoned on any number of occasions—then North America as we know it today would probably not exist. Read more >>

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