Discussion Questions

1. What do John White's drawings of the "Roanoke" Indians of present day North Carolina tell us about Indian methods of producing subsistence? How do the southern Indians differ from the New England Indians? What do settlers' actions reveal about their perceptions of Indians?

2. Why did the Virginia colonists turn to tobacco production soon after their arrival in the Chesapeake Bay region? How would you characterize the mode of production used and why and how was it maintained throughout the colonial and post-revolutionary periods?

3.  What environmental conditions and social relations led to the cultivation of rice in the Carolina low country?  In what ways did Africans contribute to rice production?

4. Compare and contrast views of nature held in the colonial South with those of the New England colonists. How do you account for the similiarities and differences? What might have been the social functions of these perceptions of nature?

5. Elaborate the environmental history of the early Tobacco South from the perspective of a particle of soil on the coastal plain of Virginia. In your answer, discuss soil and climatic conditions, tobacco cultivation methods, soil exhaustion, and soil improvement.

6. Discuss the relations between blacks and Indians in the colonial South.  How did the two groups accommodate to conditions of social degradation?