Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Day 173, July 23

We're jumping back in time once more.  This time, we're visiting Jamestown, Virginia, the first English settlement in America.

In Christmas of 1607, more than 2/3 of the first settlers in Jamestown had died.  The following year, more settlers had arrived but most of them also died that winter.   The next year brought the same result:  more colonists died from starvation.  This pattern repeated for seven years.

Of the approximately 9,000 Englishmen who traveled to the new land, only 1,000 survived.  Why?

The leadership of the colony didn't understand human nature.  They started with a form of communalism:  every man could take from the general storehouse what he needed and was to give back what he could.  Doesn't that sound great?  Idealistic and wonderful.  The only problem was that it didn't work.

Once again, we ask why.

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