The Empires In The New World

764 words - 4 pages

The history of development of European empires in the Americas dates back to the early sixteenth century. Western Europe created vast colonial empires in the Americas. Of the various colonial empires, the Spanish and English were the most prominent which brought a dramatic change in the natural and human environment in the Americas. The voyage of Christopher Columbus in August 1492 marks as the formal beginning of European entry in the Americas. While arriving at in the New World, Christopher Columbus was filled with an immense ambition for colonizing the islands and gathering riches. Both the English and Spanish had more or less the same core motive in coming to the Americas. However, the English and Spanish differ largely in their approach to accomplish their goals.
The English and Spanish empires in Americas differ largely in terms of their relation with the native people. The treatment of Spanish colonist was much harsher than that of the English. Buoyed by the stories of gold lying to the west, Spanish conquest was focused only on gather invaluable treasures rather than building relation with the native settlers. The invasion of Aztec empire by Hernán Corté (1485-1547) with superior weapons aided by vicious attack dogs represents the climax of brutality and the harsh treatment of Aztec warriors fighting bare foot with stones, spears, and arrows. Spanish were not at all tolerant of their unique identity and beliefs.
On the other hand, English People were able to build a comparatively closer relation with Native Americans. The relationship was built on humanitarian grounds at the beginning. Indians helped English adventurers with food and other basic supplies when they were transitioning into an entirely new life in the New World. Europeans tended to view Indians in extreme terms. They were regarded either as “noble savages,” gentle, friendly, and superior in some ways to Europeans, or as uncivilized and brutal savages (Foner, p.11). Europeans had to face a lot of problems when they first came to America. This adjustment in the New World was followed by the spread of epidemics and famine. The outbreak of small pox, influenza, measles, and burning fever killed several Indians. Similarly, European lacked access to freshwater and many of them died because of famine. Both Native Americans and Europeans started exchanging the...

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