On May 14, 1607, a group of colonists from England arrived in the New World and formed a settlement in the Colony of Virginia. In the winter of 1609-1610, all but 60 of the 900 colonists died due to their mistakes. The settlers came to the New World unprepared, expecting to be able to trade with the Natives for food and supplies, but eventually were not able to. Overall, the settlement failed due to its dependency on outside resources and lack of skills needed to make a settlement successful.
When trade was not available for the settlers, they had to depend on themselves for food and other vital resources. With few settlers familiar with farming, the settlement struggled to produce enough food to keep everyone alive. Because the settlement’s location was chosen for defensive purposes instead of resource availability, the settlers managed to run the supply of small game thin and had very little fertile land ready for farming. Finden 2
The fact that most of the settlers were investors and prospectors and not skilled workers was large contributor to the failure of Jamestown. The settlers were accustomed to living in England and having trade available if they were to run out of supplies. That luxury was not available in Jamestown. The first boat of settlers should have composed of people prepared to build a settlement out of the resources provided by nature itself, not settlers who were expecting to be able to trade for supplies.
Besides expecting to trade with the Natives, the early Jamestown settlers were expecting England to send supplies by boat about twice a year, but in 1608, the settles received an additional 100 settlers and little supplies. This was another hard hit to the already endangered settlement.
Several incidents with the Natives led to tensions between them and the settlers. In turn, all potential trade arrangements were lost. The high tensions eventually led the settlers into walled-off forts. Even with the security of...
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