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Essay about Jamestown Dbq Analysis

Imagine, leaving your life behind in hopes of a better and richer future, but in order to make it to your better future, you have to face years of hard tribulations and strenuous work. That was reality for the settlers of Jamestown in 1607, but why had so many colonists died in the early years of Jamestown? These English colonists arrived from their long journey across the pacific to the shores of the “new world” in the spring of 1607 and they were ready to start the first permanent settlement, but this was to be no easy task.

They would have to face the difficult task of finding the resources they need, unsanitary conditions, nd dealing with the Natives. Many of people of early Jamestown; which is considered early because it was just being settled, and it had yet to gain a larger population, or set up a steady income of resources and trade, had died because of starvation, fallen to a deadly disease, or had been killed by the Natives. By the end of the first six months, only 40 of the original 110 settlers would be alive (Doc Background). Many of the people of early Jamestown starved to death due to their early lack of resources.

They had packed enough food and water to last them the trip, but the settlers were running out quickly. Though the natural sources of the area that they settled on looked abundant, the resources were actually scarce most of the year. The fish in the river were really only present in the spring and early summer (Doc A), and much of the time they had to rely on trading with the natives for food. According to Document D, the crew would take some of the supplies they had traded for and use them as supplies to make it back to England, like in the case of Francis west in 1609.

He traded for a shipload of grain and he and his crew decided to take their cargo of supplies back to England “leaving the colonists to the Indians and to God” (Doc D). The lack of resources had caused these and many other people to become desperate for food. The residents of Jamestown also had difficulty in trying to keep clean freshwater supplies. Because of the tides the salt water would enter into their freshwater streams and wells, turning them brackish and transforming them into undrinkable salty water (Doc A).

The Jamestown region was also going through a drought around the time that the English had begun settling (Doc B). Eventually, though, ships arrive with more supplies and more people, helping the colonists survive, but this doesn’t stop people from dying during the harsh, hungry winters. The lack of recourses highly contributed to the extreme number of deaths in early Jamestown, because it caused starvation and dehydration along with a more urgent need to obtain provisions and survive, but that was not the only reason people met their end in Jamestown.

Another reason why many of the Jamestown settlers perished was because of unsanitary conditions. According to Document A, because of Jamestown’s position of the river, any waste they deposited “tended to fester instead of washing away” according to Dennis Blanton. Jamestown was situated on a place where the rivers and creeks leading into the main waterway would ecome brackish when they mixed with the salt water coming from the ocean (Doc A).

The tainting of the river due to the deposition of human wastes may have lead to the spreading of deadly diseases because of the contaminated water that they all used to survive, but there were more hostile ways that the settlers faced their ends. The Natives also contributed to the many deaths during the early settling of Jamestown. When the English first came to the “new world”, they came across the Powhatan Indians who lived in small villages (Doc Background). Their total population amassed to around 15,000 spread around the area (Doc Background).

Many of the Indians were enraged by this new group of people coming onto their land taking it as their own without any respect for the Natives. The Settlers also felt the need to use force much of the time in order to obtain the goods and land that they sought after. In one example of this, Francis West went to the Indians in order to trade for corn, but in the process of getting the goods that he and his crew wanted, West violently dealt with a few of the Natives to beguile them to trade (Doc D). He said that it involved “some harshe and Crewell dealinge by cutting of towe (two) of the Salvages heads and other extremetyes” (Doc D).

Because of this “dirty dealing” some of the Powhatans were much less inclined to cooperate to the settlers than others, and despite them all being loosely ruled by the same Chief, named Wahunsonacock, many of them led separate ambushes against the new invaders on their land. The ambushes kill around 3 people in the early days, but around 1609-1610 the ambushed get more aggressive, killing around 100-110 in separate events, and killing another large number during a siege during months of November to May 1610 (Document E). Many other smaller disputes also took place, also concluding in the death of both colonists and Indians.

The Native populations killed many of the Early Jamestown colonists because they felt threatened and demeaned. Despite all of this, the Settlers kept coming to Jamestown, and the English’s first permanent settlement continued to grow. As Jamestown continued to expand, the rate of death slowed down, but we cannot forget how many people died in the early years of the Jamestown colony due to lack of resources, unsanitary conditions, and trouble from the Native populations. These problems caused the death of hundreds of settlers in Jamestown.

Without the resources they needed, the colonists would starve to death and become desperate for food and reshwater. They also struggled with unsanitary conditions due to the brackish water they lived off of the festering wastes they dumped into the James River. This may have caused the spread of deadly diseases. There was also the fact that the Natives would ambush and kill the settlers because of their evasive taking of the native’s land and their violent dealings when trading with them along with many other offenses against the opposing sides causing disputes.

These factors into the many deaths of the early Jamestown settlers are significant even today because the knowledge of the past is important in nderstanding how we got here and what tribulations and “necessary” evils had to be taken for the settlement of Jamestown leading to the eventual settlement of the Americas which led to the creation of the United States of America, which we all call home now. The settlers went through so much and almost didn’t survive their endeavor in order to create Jamestown.

They came anyways, despite the extreme risks of starvation, dehydration, native ambushes, and disease. Many of them didn’t survive. It can help us understand how the badly the settlers wanted a change. They wanted the freedom to make heir own way, which translated into a lot of today’s beliefs. Scores of colonists depart this life before they even made it to the “New world” and many died while going through the extreme task of colonizing a strange new land filled with strange things and limitless possibilities.

It can make us understand how much work went into the creation of the world, as we know it today, and how many people died. It can also be extremely inspiring to know how hard those people worked and how many people died in not just the pursuit of creating the first permanent English colony, but laying the foundation of the United States of America.

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