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VS.4c

Explaining the reasons for the relocation of Virginia's capital from Jamestown to Williamsburg to Richmond.


READY RESOURCES

SUGGESTED INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES

  • Explain to students how geographical factors often influence the location of a capital.

  • Tell students that the General Assembly of 1699 decided to move the capital of Virginia from Jamestown to Williamsburg.

  • Describe the factors that influenced the capital move from Jamestown to Williamsburg. Three main factors for this move were the drinking water was contaminated by seepage of saltwater, the dirty living conditions caused diseases, and Williamsburg was situated at a higher elevation than Jamestown.

  • Have students illustrate the three main factors that influenced the capital move from Jamestown to Williamsburg. Have students share their illustrations as well as the reasons for the capital location change from Jamestown to Williamsburg.

  • Explain that fire destroyed many wooden buildings in Jamestown, which also contributed to relocating the capital city.

  • The capital of Virginia remained in Williamsburg from 1699 until 1780.

  • Read about the factors related to the move of the capital from Jamestown to Williamsburg in the following Web site:
    http://www.history.org/Almanack/places/hb/hbcap.cfm

  • Experience colonial life as it was in early Williamsburg from many points of view at this resourceful site.
    http://www.history.org/Almanack/life/life.cfm

  • Tell the students that the General Assembly of 1780 decided to move the capital of Virginia from Williamsburg to Richmond.

  • Describe the factors that influenced the move from Williamsburg to Richmond:
    • The population was moving westward.
    • Richmond was a more central location.
    • Richmondís location was better for trade, and moving to Richmond increased the distance from attack by the English.


  • Have students work in groups to illustrate the factors that influenced the move from Williamsburg to Richmond.

  • Share the illustration and reasons.

  • Have the students create a Venn diagram comparing the reasons for the location of the capital first to Williamsburg and then to Richmond. The Venn diagram that compares the three capitals of Virginia from the Study Guide for Virginia Pathways Episode 4 can serve as a resource:
    http://www.vastudies.org/episode4/3capitals.pdf
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Updated on August 11, 2008.