American Colonization Essay

1218 words - 5 pages

The colonization of the New World is one of the most significant events of sixteenth and seventeenth and century. The process of colonizing North America was met with many challenges and a variety of peoples came to America in prospects of establishing not only a new colony for their motherland, but establishing a new life for the individuals. Representing these peoples were three countries that had significantly impacted and shaped the future of the New World. These three countries were Spain, France, and Britain; while each country in unique in a variety of ways, by the ways in which they settled the New World are representations of the traditional and changing values of their people. Important areas that help define the individuality of the Spanish, French, and British colonies are: settlement patterns, family life, financial success, importance of agriculture and industry, religion, and importance to the mother country. By examining these topics, not only would one find that the colonies have their own unique identities, but also that there are many similarities that cross between the three.
The conquest of exploring the New World was one rooted by the desire for gold and to increase trade within the market. In 1453, the Fall of Constantinople would be the basis on which eastern trading routes would close causing traders and merchants to push westwards. Before colonization, both the Portuguese and Spanish engaged in voyaging further for goods and gold. The Portuguese were the first to venture out further in search of gold and trade. The two most successful of these travelers were Marco Polo and Vasco de Game. Shortly after Marco Polo’s and de Gama, Spain would assist in sending out Christopher Columbus to find a trading route to the East. It would be Columbus’ voyage that would begin further exploration into the New World in 1492. In response, the Pope would then officially divide the New World between Spain and Portugal in 1492. Portugal was given the eastward lands up to the area of now Brazil, and Spain was given the lands that lie westward. Twenty five years later, Spain would conquer Cuba and begin to explore into Mexico and further into South America. Spain’s ability to control South America and Mexico was propelled by native populations being exterminated by introduction of Eurasian diseases, from which the native populations had no immunity from.
One Spain had conquered the native lands of the Mexican Aztecs and the Peruvian Incas, they had implemented a new economic system known as the “Encomienda”. Under the Encomienda System, natives were removed from their homes and were forced to work on sugar plantations and in mines. A leader, known as an “Econmendero” had control over all Indians in specified locations. Indians worked under an overlord who they paid a share of their own crops to. The demand for labor in the new Spanish territory increased. A combination of unwilling natives and a dwindling population and sparked the...

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