Jamestown Simulation: Debriefing Questions
1. When you draw something for your own enjoyment or for art class, who owns it? Why? What was different about this game?
2. Why did production decrease in the early rounds?
3. Were the colonists lazy? Were they stupid?
4. In the actual Jamestown colony the colonists could not own land and had to give whatever they made to the company to pay for their passage. Hundreds of people died of starvation. Those who did survive often did so by begging from the Indians. Read the following quotation and compare it to what happened in our simulation.
“It were too vile to say, and scarce to be beleeved, what we endured: but the occasion was our own, for want of providence, industrie and government, and not the barenness and defect of the Countrie, as is generally supposed.”
5. What changed in the later rounds of the game?
6. In the actual Jamestown colony a new manager, Sir Thomas Dale, was sent in 1611. He introduced new rules that were so successful that by 1615 one colonist said:
“Whereas heretofore we were constrayned yearly to go to the Indians and intreate them to sell us corne, which made them estemme verie basedly of us – now the case is altered; they seeke to us – come to our townes, sell their skin from their shoulders, which is their best garments, to buy corne, – yea, some of their petite Kings have this last year borrowed four or five hundred bushels of wheate, for payment whereof, this harvest they have mortgaged their whole countries, some of them not much less in quantitie than a shire in England.”
What do you think Sir Thomas Dale’s new rules included?
7. How do you think the changes introduced by Dale worked for the colonists? How about for the Virginia company?
8. If you had to design your own colony, would you allow colonists to own their own land? Why or why not?