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Critical Analysis of the Book “Collapse” by Diamond: Representation of Jamestown

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In the book “Collapse” by Diamond he uses many places across the world like Iceland, China, Easter Island and Greenland. All these places have something in common and it is that the society had fallen during some point. The reason for their fall in society was self-inflected or cause by themselves. Mostly everything that happened to them was caused by the destruction of the land or overusing materials. There were also problems with settlers bring over animals that did not belong messing with the ecosystem which also resulted in destruction of the environment. After the settlers destroy their land it could not suffice enough food or materials for their survival; the opposite happened in Jamestown.

Jamestown was the first successful English settlement in the United States until it was abandoned by the settles after moving to the first capital Williamsburg. When the English sent their settlers north, they did not want to spend a lot of money on the trip across the Atlantic Ocean. They did not get the best ship they could have and when they arrived, they had to build on land that was not in the best condition. According to Jerome Bridges they had to build settlement on ‘a disease-ridden, bug-infested swampy island with no source of fresh water,’. After arriving to where they were told to settle in 1607, they were divided into three groups. The first group was used to build houses, forts and places to store extra crops, minerals and goods. In the second group they were used to plant and grow crops they need for food. The last and final group was used to explore and find new minerals they could use in the new world. (Jarus, 2018.)

When January of the new year came around only thirty-eight men were still alive from the one-hundred-and-four that were originally sent over from starvation. When the colonists ran out of food, they ‘fed upon horses and other beasts as long as they lasted, we were glad to makeshift with vermin, as dogs, cats, rats and mice,’ wrote Percy in an account of what happened. Starvation is an extreme absence of nourishment for a drawn-out period of insufficient calories of any kind to stay aware of the body’s vitality needs. The body’s hold assets are drained. The outcome is considerable weight reduction, squandering ceaselessly of the body’s tissues and in the end demise.

According to Maureen Gallagher ‘The body begins to devour vitality stores — sugars, fats and afterward the protein parts of tissue,’. Digestion eases back, the body can’t direct its temperature, kidney work is disabled, and the invulnerable framework debilitates. At the point when the body utilizes its stores to give fundamental vitality needs, it can never again supply essential supplements to crucial organs and tissues. The heart, lungs, ovaries and testicles contract. Muscles psychologist and individuals feel feeble. Internal heat level drops and individuals can feel chilled. Individuals can get crabby, and it gets hard to focus. In the end, nothing remains for the body to search with the exception of muscle. ‘When protein stores start getting utilized, demise isn’t far,’ says Dr. Nancy Zucker. In the late phases of starvation, individuals can encounter pipedreams, seizures and disturbances in heart mood. In the end this will cause the heart to stop and the settlers to die (Brink, 2016).

More settlers were set over later to help out the lasting thirty-eight but this time when they came over, they carried disease like dysentery, typhoid and scurvy. Dysentery is a disease that causes infection in the gastrointestinal system. The most widely recognized symptoms are loose bowels, causing indications ordinarily comprising of gentle gut torments and incessant section of stool or the runs. Manifestations regularly present themselves following one to three days and are typically never present again following seven days. The recurrence of desires to have a bowel movement with huge volume of fluid defecation and the amounts of blood, bodily fluid, or discharge relies upon the pathogen causing the sickness. Impermanent lactose prejudice can also occur. In some acidic events, serious stomach spasms, fever, stun, and daze would all be able to be symptoms.

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In special cases, individuals may pass more than one liter of liquid for each hour. Most people will have the runs with blood, joined by stomach torment, rectal agony and a poor-quality fever. Quick weight reduction and muscle throbs some of the time additionally go with looseness of the bowels, while sickness and spewing are uncommon. The amoebic parasite will attack the body through the circulation system and spread past the digestive organs. In such cases, it might all the more genuinely contaminate different organs, for example, the mind, lungs, and most usually the liver.

The next reason they died could have been from the Typhoid Fever. Typhoid is a bacterial disease because of a particular kind of Salmonella that causes manifestations. Side effects may include fluctuate from mellow to extreme, and normally start six to thirty days after the infection occurs in the body. Frequently there is a progressive beginning of a high fever more than a few days. This is generally joined by shortcoming, stomach torment, blockage, and migraines. A few people build up a skin rash with rose hued spots. In serious cases, individuals may encounter disarray. Without treatment, indications may a weeks ago or months. Others may convey the bacterium without being influenced; be that as it may, they are as yet ready to spread the infection to other people. The reason is the bacterium Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica developing in the digestive organs and blood. Typhoid is spread by eating or drinking nourishment or water debased with the defecation of a contaminated individual. Hazard factors incorporate poor sanitation and poor cleanliness. The settlers who traveled in the creating scene are additionally in danger.

The last reason I think the settlers could have been quickly killed off is from Scurvy. Scurvy is a condition that creates in individuals who don’t expend a sufficient measure of vitamin C in their daily eating regimen. It keeps on being an issue in malnourished populaces around the globe like when the early settlers came over from England. Early highlights of the condition incorporate general shortcoming, weariness and throbbing appendages. Whenever left untreated from that having doctors around it becomes progressively difficult to treat. Issues can grow paleness, gum malady, and skin hemorrhages. Side effects for the most part occur after any event lasting three months of extreme or absolute vitamin C insufficiency. Scurvy can be relieved with vitamin C supplements taken by mouth. When recuperation is finished, dietary adjustments to guarantee the ‘prescribed day by day consumption’ of nutrient C is arrived voluntarily forestall backslide. With the exception of on account of serious dental sickness, perpetual harm from scurvy doesn’t generally happen. (GARD, 2016.)

The problem that the settlers had with all three of these illnesses are they did not know what was causing them to be sick or how to treat the underlying problem. It turns out that most of their problems could have been fixed if they knew about hand hygiene. With the help of them washing their hands they would not have passed many of these illnesses around and most of them would have survived. The number one cause of spreading illnesses is from direct contact with someone that has touched the bacteria and not washed their hand properly.

Overall Diamond would not have used the example of Jamestown in his book because if simply does not fit in with what he is writing about. Mostly everything in his book is about the environment and how people destroyed it not about how people destroyed themselves. Like in Australia they had people bring over rabbits and foxes that did not belong that ended up destroying their land and crops cause them to go hungry. On the other hand, Jamestown was caused by communicable dieses that they did not inflict on themselves or even had a way to fix. The only similarity would be that in the end the settlers end up dying from not knowing what they are walking into or dealing with in what they called the new world.

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Critical Analysis of the Book “Collapse” by Diamond: Representation of Jamestown. (2022, August 12). Edubirdie. Retrieved November 29, 2022, from
“Critical Analysis of the Book “Collapse” by Diamond: Representation of Jamestown.” Edubirdie, 12 Aug. 2022,
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Critical Analysis of the Book “Collapse” by Diamond: Representation of Jamestown [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Aug 12 [cited 2022 Nov 29]. Available from:
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