AMERICAN EVOLUTION™ commemorates the 400th anniversary of several key historical events that occurred in Virginia in 1619 that continue to influence America today. Featured events, programs, and legacy projects inspire local, national, and international engagement in the themes of democracy, diversity, and opportunity.
With good reason, Virginia officials boast of the state’s entrepreneurial spirit. The colony began under the Virginia Company of London. Reforms under the “Great Charter” and instructions approved by the first General Assembly in 1619 helped improve land settlement and economic diversification. Ironmasters Benjamin Bluett and John Berkeley attempted to build America’s first blast furnace, but it was destroyed during the Second Anglo-Powhatan War. Despite this and other failed ventures, leaving tobacco as the colony’s chief export, Virginia’s entrepreneurial drive remains to this day.
Cover Photo by Ken Lund via Flickr