Essay on The Plagues of Colonial Life

Essay on The Plagues of Colonial Life

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Colonial living in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in the New World was both diverse and, in many cases, proved deadly through such avenues as disease, Native American attacks, a lack of proper medical treatment, and disastrous weather conditions. Even through all of these hardships, the first colonists persevered, doing their best to see the blessings in their lives and create a better life for their children through all of the uncertainties. Nothing, it seems, in the original colonies was set in stone except for the fact that they never knew what the next day would hold in store. Everything, even small mishaps, had dramatic impacts on the social, economic, and political aspects of their lives. These circumstances, however, were more strongly influenced by geography than class position, unlike what many were used to in England. How population, economics, disease, and climate played into the social conditions of early colonists is truly a story for the ages. Whether people were seeking land, religious freedom, or money and profits, everyone worked to a certain extent just to survive, let alone thrive, in the wilderness that was North America at that time.
Surviving anywhere south of New England was a major challenge for the colonists in the seventeenth century in part due to the overwhelming majority of men in society combined with a high death rate. Just to continue a family was a daunting challenge, and in many cases, this venture proved unsuccessful. Population consistency was sustained only through the immigration of people from England until the later portion of the seventeenth century when the population began to rise on its own. The New England colonies, however, were polar opposites in every sense. Be...


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...onists fought for what they believed in: that a better life awaited them, or at least their children, in the wilderness of the New World. This is what kept them going, to contribute to a society that eventually gained its independence, flourished, and is now one of the most prosperous nations in the world. These English immigrants were not rich, nor were they destitute; they were average citizens of England, coming to the New World to shape a unique way of life for their family. Factors such as population, economics, disease, and climate not only impacted the colonists, but their actions resonate to this day as well. The seventeenth century is often known as the simplest of times in American history, but in reality, the effects of what these first colonists accomplished, by holding their ground against what must have seemed insurmountable odds, are astounding.

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