What hardships did the colonists face in America?

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The colonists suffered from hunger, starvation, internal rebellion, extreme weather, and attacks from the native people. In Jamestown, the colonists suffered from starvation, especially during the winter months of 1609-1610.

The colonists had not anticipated the lack of food, and the weather conditions only made the situation worse. Their attempts...

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at farming for sustenance failed, and the colonists were forced to eat their horses. They also had to borrow food from Native Americans, and when such initiatives failed, they stole the food. This led to conflicts between Native Americans and colonists. The conflicts degenerated to violence and opened another front for their misery. The attacks led to many casualties on both sides. Similar situations were replicated in other colonies such as Massachusetts.

After the colonists were introduced to tobacco, their hopes of settling in the New World were renewed, and more people arrived in the colonies as indentured servants. However, the new arrivals also came face to face with the challenges endured by those who went before them, and they were forced to plead to have their indentures bought out in order to return to England.

Men in the governing council also disagreed amongst themselves. They argued and disagreed; no decisions were made until the situation got desperate, and all men were left to their own devices.

The location of Jamestown, which was near a swamp, heightened the prevalence of diseases such as malaria. Unsanitary drinking water exposed the colonists to the risk of contracting typhoid and dysentery.

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Most early settlers in the North American colonies faced a similar set of challenges. Many, especially in the Chesapeake and the Carolinas, experienced diseases, including malaria and fevers. These diseases were so brutal that colonists referred to the first months of a colonist's life in the colonies as a "seasoning" period that many did not survive. African-American slaves and white indentured servants died in extraordinary numbers in the Southern colonies. In the northern colonies, conditions were somewhat more healthy, but the first settlers still struggled to raise enough crops to feed themselves. At Plymouth, in particular, dozens of the first wave of colonists died of hunger and disease. Those who survived often faced attacks from Native peoples unhappy with their presence, especially as settlers spread out from the original settlements. Attacks from Spanish privateers and pirates were also not unheard of, especially in the Carolinas and Georgia. In short, the American colonies were the scenes of remarkable human suffering and violence in the early days of settlement.

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What were some of the hardships the initial colonists endured?

The greatest hardship the earliest colonists faced was fear. They were outnumbered in a new land. Upon first arrival, the first colonists had to find sources of food and water. In the case of the Pilgrims, they found Native American caches of food. In the case of Jamestown, they found water, but they located their colony in a tidal swamp that was a breeding ground for mosquitoes. As a result, many of the original colonists of Jamestown died of mosquito-borne diseases, while many of the earliest settlers of Plymouth died from malnutrition and exposure to the elements.

There was also the hardship of ensuring proper governance. Jamestown looked to John Smith in order to build a stockade and plant valuable tobacco. The Pilgrims created the Mayflower Compact, the first attempt at self-governance in the Americas. Without proper governance, there would be no way to ensure law and order, and no colony would survive the stresses of being in a new land without some sort of security.

There was also worry about the Native Americans in the area. The Native Americans initially outnumbered all of the colonists. There were fears of these people. Initially the colonists got along and traded with the Native Americans; it was not until the colonies sought to expand and take more land that conflict occurred.

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What were some of the hardships the initial colonists endured?

There were many problems the initial colonists faced. One of the issues was knowing where to settle.  In Jamestown, they settled too close to the sea.  The land was marshy and full of mosquitoes.  Also, the people were not prepared for living in an undeveloped area.  Most had lived in towns so they had little knowledge about farming, fishing and hunting.  These were skills they needed to have, and not having these skills caused problems for them.  Manual labor was required, and some of the settlers weren't fond of doing manual labor.  This was especially true for the upper class people who came to Jamestown. In order to establish a settlement, it needed to be run or governed effectively. However, the leaders argued with each other, which made it hard to make decisions. Because of these issues, illness, famine, and a lack of law and order were issues the people faced. Because of a lack of food, some settlers stole food from the Native Americans. This created more problems as the Native Americans attacked the settlers. While moving to a new area would naturally present issues, some of these issues which the original settlers faced were created by their own doing.

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What hardships were faced by the Middle Colonies?

The Middle Colonies were primarily populated by small family farms and small towns.  Many farmers grew crops more to feed and clothe their families, rather than to sell or trade them.  This caused slow economic growth in the region.

Early settlers in the Middle Colonies faced hardships.  The climate and landscape in the Middle Colonies was unfamiliar to them.  They were not accustomed to the humid summers and sometimes marshy landscape.  Some of the land was not good for farming.

Those living in the Middle Colonies feared attacks by Native Americans.  Many Quakers lived in the Middle Colonies, especially in Pennsylvania.  Quakers were especially eager to live peaceably with their Native American neighbors.  Overall, Native Americans did live peaceably with people in the Middle Colonies.  There were isolated instances, however, of children and adults being attacked or even taken captive by Native Americans.  Many times children were adopted into a Native American family when they were captured.

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