From the web site of Colonial
Williamsburg’s Research Division
"On the eve of the 400th anniversary of the founding of the
colony, this authoritative history argues that Jamestown,
not Plymouth, was the true birthplace
of the American experience. Jamestown--the
first permanent English settlement in North America,
after the disappearance of the Roanoke
colony--is often given short shrift in histories of America.
Founded thirteen years before the Mayflower landed, Jamestown
occupies less space in our cultural memory than the Pilgrims of Plymouth. But
as historian James Horn points out, many of the key tensions of Jamestown's
early years became central to American history, for good and for ill: Jamestown
introduced slavery into English-speaking North America; it became the first of
England's colonies to adopt a representative government; and, it was the site
of the first clashes between whites and Indians over territorial expansion.
began the tenuous, often violent, mingling of
different peoples that came to embody the American experience."
"A Land as God Made It puts
the Jamestown experience in the
context of European geopolitics, giving prominence to the Spanish threat to
extinguish the colony at the earliest opportunity. Jamestown--unlike
Plymouth or Massachusetts--was
to establish an empire to challenge the Spanish. With unparalleled knowledge of
Jamestown's role in early American
history, James Horn has written the definitive account of the colony that gave
rise to America."