Impermanence was looming large over Virginia during 1620s to 1642 due to ups and downs in tobacco prices and exploitation through rents and taxes. By 1940 the planters “divided their settlements in to countries, each presided over by a commander, with whom a group of commissioners who exercised extensive jurisdiction, civil and criminal.” (Schwartz, 1997) The effort made by the council to stabilize tobacco prices failed and the days of getting-rich quick by growing tobacco were over by 1942. However the population of colonizers increased from about 1,300 in 1625 to 25,000 by 1660. The new settlers concentrated in corn cultivation, and protecting their cattle, which provided bread as well as meat and milk to sustain Virginia’s growth. The pasture farming introduced by earlier immigrants had begun to pay off by 1642; Virginia has to pass fencing law to protect livestock, which created planters and cattlemen. Cattle was considered as the symbol of affluence and presented the possibility of high returns on a small investment, the surplus cattle offered export opportunities, which maintained cattle prices stable during 1640’s and 1650s.
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Confrontation with the Governors sent from England and the elite settlers, who knew the country well, increased as “no main project should be undertaken without prior approval of the governor’s council”. In 1632 they (the settlers) in their assembly meeting affirmed their own exclusive authority to tax the colony to establish their might over the King’s representative. The members of Virginia’s assembly enjoyed a wider popular constituency than any member of the House of Commons in England could boast.” (Schwartz, 1997). However, the governors like Francis Wyatt and Sir William Berkley received high acceptance from the settlers. Berkley kept Virginia’s trade free for Dutch as well, and was instrumental in giving autonomy to Virginians.
The allegation that the Parliament violated right to trade with foreigners, was dismissed as “a forgerve of avaritious persons whose sickle hath bin ever long in harvest already.
Schwartz, Philip J. 1997. The roots of American Slavery: a Bibliographical Essay. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. 1997.