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The early colonists faced a number of difficulties as they attempted to settle the first colonies. The colonists arrived in new lands where the environmental conditions were extreme and they were ill-equipped to deal with them. The settlers in Jamestown faced heat, insects, and brackish salt water while years later, the settlers of Plymouth Colony encountered cold harsh winters in thickly forested lands which were also surrounded by salt water. In both cases, the early colonists had to secure fresh water sources. Many colonists suffered from new diseases that they had no immunity to, and from those they brought with them since medical care was lacking. In both of the earliest colonies, the settlers were ignorant on how to grow foodstuffs in the soil and environmental conditions in the new lands. They had to establish tenuous working relationships with the indigenous peoples in order to survive. This was a way to secure reliable food sources. The work ethic of the early settlers in Jamestown was questionable since many of them were aristocrats who were not used to performing the tasks needed for survival. In addition, the settlers faced issues with self-governance. They had to establish rules, choose leaders, and develop consequences for digressions from the established norms.
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