- Question 3
- Icelanders have suffered
a long history battling natural disaster.
The poverty and natural disasters struck upon Icelanders date as far
back as The Black Death from 1402-1404, which decimated two-thirds
of the population. Danish trade restrictions, erupting volcanos and
an epidemic that killed 200,000 sheep crippled Iceland's economy during
the 1860s. That's what brought on the exodus from Iceland, many of
whom came to Canada. The Icelandic immigrants who pioneered New Iceland,
however, also experienced their share of hardship. The first winter
killed several settlers from famine or scurvy because of a shortage
of supplies. The next fall, the settlement was struck with small pox,
followed soon after by scarlet fever and then diphtheria and measles.
Quarantines killed the economy. Floods washed away what progress had
been made on houses and farms. By 1881, the population of New Iceland,
once at 2,000, had been reduced to 250 as Icelanders had again moved
on in migration, leaving the colony for good.