Comparing the motives of John Smith and Thomas Harriot

Subject: Literature
Type: Compare and Contrast Essay
Pages: 2
Word count: 341
Topics: Government

From their publications, there is an overwhelming evidence that both John Smith and Thomas Harriot were explorers. The two however visited the New Land in different years. Thomas Harriet visited Virginia in 1558 while John Smith visited (Harriot, 2007). Although their mission was both explore and may be document something concerning the New World, their motives were different. First, Harriet was working as a cartographer and a navigator for Sir Walter Raleigh. He would teach Raleigh’s crew on several voyage aspects and as such his mission when he first visited Virginia was in line of duty. He had gone there to survey the land as part of fulfilling his service to his boss Raleigh. It was the second time that Raleigh had sent out voyage to explore Virginia and this time, he took Harriet as the historian and surveyor for the group. 

On the other hand, Smith was military personnel and his visit to America and specifically Virginia was to explore but his motive was different (John Smith, 1631). For smith, it was the economic aspect of the unused land that attracted him to Virginia. After settling in Virginia, he named the New England. Also, it is like he was working for his home country government as it would follow that England soldiers and other colonizers used his maps and books to launch their mission. Further, he provides draining the English when they got in America for the first time to avoid disintegration. He went there to take money through activities like farming but had to rely on his government to making it in the New World.  It is evident that he had a colonial mind form his undertaking with the laborers in him farms. 

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  1. Harriot, Thomas. “A Brief and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia.” The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Vol. A. Ed. Nina Byam. New York: Norton, 2007. 48-55. Print.
  2. John Smith, “The General History of Virginia, New England and the Summer Isles” (81-93)
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