Jamestown fails and the English/British give up on the idea of colonizing North America


Ad Honoris
May 2014
16th and 17th century Italy was not united so saying 'Italians' then barely makes sense while the people who could afford to immigrate in this era had not the desire and the poor had not the organization as they were far more valuable as taxpayers and workers than colonists whereas England did not have a huge surplus population it did have some and the extra motivation of many people of means felt oppressed by their state and at the same time the state was perfectly happy to see some of the religious discontents depart for distant shores.
Interesting. Was Germany comparable to England in regards to this back then?


Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
Interesting. Was Germany comparable to England in regards to this back then?
The 30 Years War ravaged north central Europe and some areas of German speaking peoples suffered nearly a second Black Death. Not to mention many Germans were drawn to settle in areas of Eastern Europe and Russia which actively sought specifically German migrants. The various Germanies were not a naval power or much interested in far flung corners of the world in this period unlike the mercantile commerce driven nations which England was fast becoming following the Dutch and Portuguese.

English colonization in 17th century was relatively minor and didn't really stand out from French or Spanish and was even less than the Dutch for a time. It was in the 18th century when English power in Europe began to grow and the advent of debtors prisons and the transition from rural agrarian economy in England displaced many people that British settlement of America outpaced all the other European powers. In 1700 British subjects in the Americas numbered less than 250,000- by 1750 that number had grown to nearly 1.5 million and by 1775 it was over 2.5 million.

Contrasted to Spanish colonies where non-Indian colonists were more than 400,000 over a much wider area in 1650 but by 1750 had barely grown to 450,000.

There is quite a few threads on the demographic slowdown of fertility in France but a similar thing happened in Spain to a slightly lesser extent. My personal opinion is that England was already further down the road to market economy and shortages were dealt with more promptly while the introduction of new world crops to England made a much larger increase in calories per managed farm acre compared to France and Spain with Ireland and Scotland particularly seeing very high population growth relative to their recent past.
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Futurist
Jun 2017
What would have happened had Jamestown failed (similar to how Roanoke previously failed) and the English/British subsequently gave up on the idea of colonizing continental North America?
This would leave North America to European powers who A either didn't have the people to colonize it(Dutch/Swedes) or B the will(French and Spanish). So Natives probably survive to the modern day especially those affiliated with the France and those in the Western US. While the tribes in the West were more isolated the the most powerful Native tribes were in the East and might have managed to drive the Dutch out with French help. We won't know because the Dutch were gone in our timeline a century before the fall of New France.
  • Like
Reactions: Futurist