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England & Spain: Similarities and Differences Between
Transcript of England & Spain: Similarities and Differences Between
First Off...Let's Have Some Historical Background
The time period is 1492-1700, where exploration, discovery and settlement has become the key goal of powerful nations.
In our case, the then powerful nations of Spain and England (then, because look at Spain now-high unemployment, bad economy...although, they still have nice chorizo)
Now, why mention Spain first. Why not England first (for those Patriots out there)?
Similarities in Colonization of Americas
-Motivation for conquering: To achieve noble status and to increase natural resources of country + expand territorial claims
-Both ravaged native population and cultures
-Both established plantations
The Big Picture.
Simple! Spain got there first. Recall that in 1492, Isabella & Ferdinand had united their countries.
-Called for celebration = exploration!
-We'll skip Columbus; it's Amerigo Vespucci who ends up finding America
This leads to something called, Columbian Exchange-interaction between Natives and Spanish
-Included transfer of gold, livestock and disease
-In 1493, Spain and Portugal divide the "New World"/America via the Treaty of Tordesillas, ultimately giving Spain full "claims" to America
Ok. Enough of the Spaniards. Why is Good 'Ole England Still Sitting on her Bum?
Good question. England continues to sit on her bum until 1497. England's earliest claims to territory in the "New World" rested on the voyages of John Cabot, under the reign of Henry VII. Though there's more, we'll get into the juicy bits later.
However, Spain was more successful in building up bounty for itself
-It was after beating the Spanish Armada (the best navy at the time) that England started exploration
Tell Me More About England
At the time, England's economy was depressed, giving rise to a lot of poor and landless people who were attracted by the economic opportunities in America
-Note, the formation of joint-stock companies were highly popular, as they allowed the middle-class to invest in opportunities
And the English?
Well, no doubt that they believed in God. However, with later settlements such as William Penn's Proprietary Pennsylvania (a more liberal and relaxed colony), they did not condone non-converts, but accepted them all the same into their Quaker community
Though both ravaged native cultures, the Spanish did so to a larger effect, having to force Natives to convert to Catholicism
Spanish focused and built upon existing plantation styles, such as sugar, using the help of African (and at times) Native slaves
-As anyone can expect, this also led to a good deal of "hanky-panky", creating a new social class in the" New World"
-Despite having established Jamestown (in Virginia) in 1607,the colony was doing anything BUT making profit
-In fact, morale and motivation was low. Of course, that was until John Rolfe-a.k.a. the savior of the colony's floundering economy arrived.
-He also married a native (Pochahontas) who helped him develop and cultivate tobacco!
-Tobacco yielded high profits for Britain; also set the South's position in America as the agricultural sector--later with cotton and other types of crops
To Sum Up...
Evidently, it was the British who managed to endure all sorts of nonsense from Natives and other powers
-That's why a large portion of Americans have English blood in them, and why English is the dominant language in America
-Black pudding and beer, anyone?
Zinn, Howard. Columbus, the Indians, & and Human Progress: 1492-1992. Westfield, N.J. (PO Box 2726, Westfield NJ 07091): Open Media, 1992. Print.
Kennedy, David M., and Lizabeth Cohen. The American Pageant: A History of the American People. Australia: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.
"Comparing Spanish and English American Colonies." Suite101. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Aug. 2013.