A recent Foreign Affairs issue has an article titled "The First Cold War" that reviews a book about the seventeenth century. Essentially, there were several cold years, in particular, during the 1640s, in which there were "more rebellions and revolutions than any comparable period of world history." Too, people starved due to frosts wiping out crop.
What was the effect on the New England experience? The below is from an introduction by Lynn Betlock on the Great Migration site.
- Another aspect of life in New England proved noteworthy: the remarkable health and longevity of the population. Many colonists lived to the age of seventy, and a substantial number lived to be eighty. Both male and female settlers in New England lived significantly longer than their English counterparts. This longevity is no doubt due to a variety of factors: dispersed settlement patterns, lack of epidemic disease, the healthful effects of a “little ice age,” clean air and water, possibly a better diet, and the original good health of most immigrants. Also, infant and childhood mortality rates were lower in New England, and the settlers produced large and healthy families — most having seven or more children. Accordingly, New England experienced tremendous population growth within the lifetime of first generation settlers. (emphasis mine)
A regular theme will be to look at world events in the context of the New England experience (such as, early losses over the winter of 1629/30 in Salem - 80 plus souls as resources could not support the demand).
Remarks: Modified: 06/07/2014