The first Jamestown settlements were failures due to ecological concerns, conflicting with the Indians, and poor settlement abilities. Over time, Indian conflicts would get worse as a result of drought starvation and fighting. The colonies resulted in several settlers having no skills at all, but when the initial resupply arrived they brought more beneficial talents.
Famine was a big issue in the early years, and even when food was brought in, it was often spoiled or not enough. Malnutrition was also an issue, as many of the settlers were used to a diet that was much different from what they were able to get in the colonies. Poverty was also an issue, as many of the settlers were not used to living in such harsh conditions.
The colony’s water supply would be depleted because of drought, which would result in starvation and thus no commercial interaction with the Indians. The environment was a source of many problems for the settlers during their first years of residence. Drought would be one of the most terrible things to occur. There will be no rainfall, therefore there will be no crop development.
Famine would become an ongoing problem. The English settlers were not accustomed to the American environment and the lack of food. They were also uneducated in how to farm in the new land. Many people died from malnutrition and disease. In my opinion, if I were to plan the colony of Jamestown it would be important to take into account the environmental issues that they faced.
I would try to find a way to help them with their Famine issue by making sure that there was enough food for everyone. I would also work on getting them better educated in farming so that they could grow their own food. Lastly, I would try to get them to trade with the Indians more often so that they could get more resources from them.
Droughts have the potential to lead to starvation, which would result in many people perishing. There was a period known as the “starving time” between 1609 and 1613, which was a long drought that lasted approximately 4 years. Another environmental problem was tides and weather. Tides would raise wells and create brackish water, making them unusable. Tides would raise well pumps and create brackish water, making it dangerous to drink.
Fights would also break out over water because everyone wanted clean water to drink. Back then, there were no treatments for diseases like we have now. People would often just wait until the disease ran its course, which sometimes took weeks or even months. Many people died from diseases such as dysentery, smallpox, and malaria. Some of the main economic problems were that the Englishmen did not want to work in the fields.
They thought that it was beneath them and that it was woman’s work. This led to a lot of tension between the men and the women. The women would often have to do all of the work while the men sat around and did nothing. Another big economic problem was that the Englishmen were not used to the hot, humid climate. They were not used to working in such conditions and often got sick. This led to a lot of missed work days and less food being produced.
The Englishmen also brought over disease that the Native Americans had no immunity to, which killed many of them. The Englishmen were also taking their land and hunting their game, which made it hard for the Native Americans to survive. All of these factors led to a lot of tension between the Englishmen and the Native Americans.
All of these problems could have been avoided if the Englishmen had planned better and thought about all of the potential risks before colonizing Jamestown. They could have brought over more supplies and food so that everyone would have enough to eat. They could have also brought over more doctors and medicine so that people would not have died from diseases. If they had done these things, then maybe Jamestown would have been a successful colony.
Overwintering difficulties were compounded by disease during the settlers’ first year in America, when 78 people perished from illness and many more from Indians.
Relations between the settlers and the natives would deteriorate even further. In only ten days, the Indians attacked the pioneers and murdered two individuals, which was an insult to God’s creation. The Indians would launch many attacks on settlements and kill a substantial number of people. In four years, 90 settlers were killed by the Indians.
Famine and disease were also huge problems for the settlers. In the first winter, 60 percent of the settlers died from either starvation or disease. The second winter was even worse with 80 percent of the settlers dying. Only 38 out of the original 104 settlers survived those first two winters. It is estimated that by 1623, only about 1,500 colonists remained in Virginia.
The cause of all these problems was largely due to the way the English treated the Indians. The English saw the land as theirs for the taking and they did not respect the rights of the Indians. The Indians, on the other hand, saw the English as a threat to their way of life and acted accordingly.
Famine, poverty, and malnutrition were also big problems during the settlement of Jamestown. So in conclusion, if I were to plan the settlement of Jamestown I would make sure that there was enough food and medical supplies to last the settlers a few years, until they could get on their feet. I would also try to negotiate with the Native Americans instead of going to war with them.