As a teacher and lover of history, especially American, it irks me a bit when only Plymouth Colony is referenced when talking about the beginning of Colonial America. I can understand referencing Plymouth and religious liberty as an influence liberty that arose amongst the populace during the American Revolution. Jamestown, however, was where the first notion of a "new world" began. In the "old world" of British hierarchy, "gentlemen" did not partake in laborious activities. They had servants to do the physical tasks that were required each and every day. Jamestown was NOT Great Britain. Everyone of the 108 settlers at Jamestown...men, women, and children...had to pitch in and do their part in order to make it a successful colony and survive. At the forefront of these "gentlemen" getting a little "kick in the pants" was John Smith. John Smith was a soldier and soldiers are trained to survive. I really think that he had a huge part in the survival of Jamestown those first 2 dismal years. Unfortunately, the concept of doing your part did not last for long, as Jamestown later incorporated indentured servants and African slaves into the colony.
Source of picture: http://www.britannica.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/jsmith.jpg
Source of information: The Intellectual Devotional: American History by Kidder and Oppenheim, pg. 1