English Vs. Spanish Colonizati Essay, Research Paper
English vs. Spanish Colonization
Both England and Spain got into colonizing the Western hemisphere because of the possible wealth in it. England wanted to establish itself in North America with agriculture and trade. Spain more or less wanted to strip mine South America for gold and silver. Although both countries were very successful, the staying power of their success is reflected in the way they went about colonizing. Spain was into making quick money with their colonizing by conquering the territory, scouring the land for gold, silver, copper and basically anything else that shimmered, and then just going back to Europe to control South America with their new money. England, on the other hand, established itself in North America. The Catholics, who were being driven out of their country at the same time explorers were establishing colonies for England, were planning to stay in America permanently unlike the Spanish.
The two countries had a drastic effect on the land of the New World, but in different ways. The English damage was isolated to the east where they establish crops for an industrial purpose such as tobacco, rice and native vegetables. The tobacco, which was the most widespread crop, did the most damage to the land. The Spanish damage more amounts of the land in probably a more evasive way. The mining they did went all through Central and South America and really tore up the earth.
The Europeans treated the natives they encountered about as poorly as they did the land. In North America most English were aggressive towards the Native Americans and established their own claims to the land. Some English colonies enslaved Native Americans along with the Africans that were brought in. They also gave the Native Americans many diseases that they had no acquired immunity to such as smallpox, measles and typhus. The Native Americans also gave the English syphilis. The English didn t listen to what the Natives had to say about the land, climate and general environment, which led to even more moralities for the colonists. The Spanish treated their Natives in a slightly different way from the English. Hernando Cortez and his army brought down the Aztec Empire with the help of mainland Mexico. Although the diseases they brought from Europe helped to weaken the empire (like in North America), thing that really gave them an advantage was the psychological power they had over the Aztecs. To the natives, they were powerful, rich men from far away Europe with gleaming armor atop tall horses. This allowed Cortez and his men to have much control over them. Fourteen years later, Francisco Pizarro used a more forceful method of conquest to control the Inca Empire of Peru. He basically enslaved all the natives to strip their own land of its natural wealth for it all to go back to Spain.
In 1493, when Ferdinand and Isabella sent Colombus to America, he was instructed by them to make Catholic conversion of the natives a priority. As exploration of South and Central America continued, so did the spreading of Catholicism due to all the Catholic Spanish explorers. In North America, the religion wasn t a priority at all so it didn t spread as much as Catholicism. Even today we can see that effect. In North America there is some Protestantism and it s pretty much localized to North-Eastern United States. On the other hand, Catholicism is all up and down Central and South America and quite dominant in the US.
I think that in the long run, England was more successful than Spain. Although their aggression got them their riches (7 million pounds of silver alone), Spain s mass amounts of money cause for severe inflation in their country. England was able to establish well-defined international trade routes and connections with many countries, along with agricultural industries in the Eastern United States.