Hundreds died from 1609-1610 due to fire, drought, Indian attacks, disease and starvation in a period called "Starving Time." Indentured servants/ debtors came to America to work off their debts.
King James 1 was too distant to rule Jamestown, so the settlers decided to create their own government called the House of Burgesses. The representative government allowed colonists to elect representatives to create laws for the colony.
Why is it surprising that Jamestown was a success?
The investors believed gold and silver could be found in North America. King James 1 permitted them to start a colony in Virginia, and they organized 3 ships to leave England. A group of English Investors formed a joint-stock company called London Company.
There's going to be so much gold!!!
Though Jamestown Settlement was founded on a swamp it had very fertile soil. The settlement produced disease-carrying mosquitoes, and was located about 60 miles up the James River.
I sure hope these mosquitoes aren't carrying any diseases or anything...
Jamestown was located on a swamp with disease-carrying mosquitoes, and since the settlers didn't farm when they arrived, they had no food to eat and stole food from the Indians leading to Indian attacks. They also were forced to eat all the animals, vermin, and looked for snakes and even roots to eat in the woods. The men didn't know how to work and cut down trees for shelter.