What are some hardships that the settlers faced in in Jamestown?

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samson98's profile pic

samson98 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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The Jamestown settlers faced a number of hardships; three of the most prominent hardships were food shortages, disease, and hostile Indians. The colony was originally founded as a money-making enterprise, so the early settlers did not place enough emphasis on growing food. The lack of food caused the Jamestown settlers to become malnourished, which in turn made them more susceptible to diseases such as typhoid and dysentery.

Additionally, the local Powhatan Indians were often quite hostile to the Englishmen at Jamestown. During the winter of 1609-1610, these Indians placed Jamestown under siege; this intensified the lack of food the Jamestown settlers faced, because they could not even leave the fort to hunt wild game. Only 60 of the 300 (or 500, depending on the account) Jamestown settlers survived the winter, which became known as the "Starving Time."

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mkoren's profile pic

mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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The settlers at Jamestown faced many problems. One of these problems was a lack of food. The settlers were not familiar with the land, and the area in which they settled was not the best area for farming. Additionally, not everybody farmed. There were people who searched for minerals because there was an expectation back in England that this colony needed to be profitable. Thus, instead of everybody working to produce enough food, some people were searching for minerals.

The effect of disease was another issue the settlers faced. The settlers didn’t have immunities to diseases in the Americas. As a result, many died of diseases such as malaria. The development of the colony was not an easy one. Many who originally came did not survive. The problems of a lack of food and disease were very difficult to overcome.

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