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English Vs. Spanish Colonization Essay

882 words - 4 pages

Bailey Kargo! IB HOTA 3rd period
English vs. Spanish Colonization
From 1500 to 1700, the English colonization of the Chesapeake region and the Spanish
colonization of the Central/South American region varied greatly in their primary motivations for
settlement and the lasting effects imprinted into both societies. The English motives in settling
the Chesapeake region were more economically-based, seeking greater economic opportunity
and employment, while the Spanish effort took on a more religious approach that ended up
having long-term effects on the way their culture and society developed. The effects both
colonies felt differed in many ways, primarily due to the varying motivational influences felt by
the English and the Spanish. However, similarities in colonial motivations and cultural impacts
were present between both societies.
English colonization of the Chesapeake region revolved around economic gain and
opportunity that colonizers believed could be found in the New World. Overcrowding in England
led to a desire for expansion and better employment options for English settlers. Rumors of gold
discovery in the New World also spurred an intense frenzy that English colonizers sought to
pursue, resulting in the development of societies poorly suited for colonial life when gold was
never found. On the other hand, Spanish colonization of Central and South America began with
the Spanish conquistadors, who used the saying "God, Gold, and Glory" to describe their
motivations for colonization. The dominant motivational force for the Spanish was the religious
aspect, where conquistadors sought to spread Christianity throughout Central and South
America. The "Glory" prospect was heightened by the yearning for Spain's dominance over the
Western Hemisphere, which was thought to be obtained through unifying native peoples through

Bailey Kargo! IB HOTA 3rd period the Christian religion. Similar to one aspect of English motivations, the Spanish also sought to
find gold and riches that they thought the New World had to offer. When Christopher Colombus
returned from his expedition to the New World, he reported to the Spanish crown his confidence
in the quest for wealth in this new land. He described his encounters with the natives where they
traded him gold for various items, and even claimed he saw gold in the rivers. This fueled the
Spanish obsession in their ultimate quest for wealth and riches.
The effects of settling the Chesapeake region reflected the English economic motivations
for colonization there. When the Jamestown Colony was founded in 1607, settlers found
themselves ill-prepared for establishing a structured colony, especially when they were solely
prepared for discovering gold. The Jamestown Colony struggled immensely at first due to lack of
supplies and skills needed to create the foundations of a colonial society. However, John Rolfe's
introduction of tobacco to the region completely transformed the economy and played a key role
in saving...

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