Edmund Morgan's The Jamestown Fiasco

745 Words3 Pages
Opposites Attract: An Analytical Comparison on the Writings of an Optimist and a Pessimist A title alone can reveal the bias of a writer. Before even reading the first word’s of Edmund Morgan’s “The Jamestown Fiasco”, or Karen Kupperman’s introduction toThe Jamestown Project, the reader can already sense two completely different point’s of views. Morgan’s chapter title deems it a ‘fiasco’, implying a chaotic failure. Contrastingly, Kupperman gives the story an optimistic spin by identifying it as a ‘project’, suggesting that the original colony was a planned execution to achieve a goal. The word choice, tone, and content of Morgan’s ‘The Jamestown Fiasco’ offers unforgivingly blunt detail into the specifics of the colony, whereas Kupperman’s…show more content…
Regarding the colonial tobacco trade, Morgan concludes that since people had commonly smoked recreationally in “taverns and brothels” (Morgan 91), its success was “harmful and faintly immoral” (Morgan 91). He once again provides a visual description in attempts to highlight the more sinful ways of the colonists. He ends with the idea that the success of Jamestown was due to “pandering a new vice” (Morgan 91). Morgan suggests that the colony ultimately had to sell out to “immorality” in order to succeed. Ending on such a cynical note begs to question the authenticity of the story. Kupperman takes a different approach, she refers to Jamestown as “the archetype of English colonization” that “all other successful […] colonies followed” (Kupperman 3). From her point-of-view, Jamestown was essential, it ended the trial and error phase for the English and launched Britain’s colonial empire. However, her praise neglects the darker side of success. Morgan and Kuppermen’s conclusions about Jamestown are opposite of each other, each author being completely invested in their own argument, forgot to hear the other side of the

    More about Edmund Morgan's The Jamestown Fiasco

      Open Document