- Published: October 30, 2021
- Updated: October 30, 2021
- University / College: University of Southern California
- Language: English
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Spanish and English Empires During much of the 1500’s European nations began efforts to colonize the Americas (or the New World). Their goal, as stated in The Enduring Vision, was not only to seek wealth and power but they also wanted to make it their mission to introduce Christianity and “civilization” to the “savages” and “pagans” (p. 29). The two main European Nations that left most of an impact in the Americas was Spain and Britain. Britain mainly colonized the Northeastern region and Spain focused on the Southwest area. Due to the differences between the two regions a comparison between the Spanish and English colonizing efforts would mainly result in differences, however there are a couple of similarities in which I will explain. The Spanish as well as the English nations began their colonizing efforts in attempt the find gold, glory and god. Both empires liked wealth and figured the new world would give it to them. They wanted to find locations that were rich in natural resources and with versatile materials as well as a passage to the Indies. Although the English never found actual gold the Spanish succeed. That success continued the Spanish colonization for years to come. The European nations were also always in competition. Each felt that they were the dominant countries and there for deserved to conquer the Americas. The Spanish and English nations wanted to outmaneuver each other in North America (p. 44). In fact, one of England’s objectives going into their America colonization was to “singe the king of Spain’s beard” (p. 44). Not only did the Europeans want wealth and power, they also made it their mission to introduce Christianity and “civilization” to the “savages” and “pagans” of alien lands (p. 30). The Spanish were able to succeed at their conversions for the most part. According to The Enduring Vision, by the 1700s the Spanish missionaries’ traders and soldiers were spreading European influence will beyond the range of Europeans colonies (p. 81). Although the Spanish’s goal was to Christianize the natives the New England colony was mainly Protestant and their efforts in converting natives wasn’t as successful as that of the Spanish. Another similarity between the two nations is that both caused many deaths among the Native Americans living in the locations for which they were trying to colonize. Both Countries brought over diseases such as the measles and smallpox to the Americas. Not only where the Indians not immune to the diseases but they didn’t have the vaccinations necessary to cure themselves. Indians also died off due to the fighting and arguing between the groups. The English for example, although they had plenty of land, got greedy and began wanting more. The more and more the English asked for land the more the Native Americans would become aggravated causing war to break out. For example, in a search for more land the English continued to ask the Pequot Indians. The Pequot grew tired of the asking and continued to refuse. In response to constant “No” the English declared war on the Pequot Indians. The Pequot Indians began with 3,000 people and after the war the Pequot nation cist to exist. The Spanish wars between them and Native Americans focused more on gold. For example, in search of more gold the Spanish decided to raid Aztec emperor Moctezuma II‘s Palace. The Aztecs couldn’t stand for it and war broke out. Three hundred Spanish and four thousand Indian allies were killed. The third similarity was the Native American cultural disruption and destruction. Both nations made an effort to place their religion on the natives of their colony. Not only did they destroy the Native American culture through Jesuits, in the Spaniards case, and prayer houses, in England’s case, but they also destroyed their culture by destroying so many Native Americans. So many Native American Nations where destroyed that their lifestyle, language and culture died with them. The interracial marriages between the Europeans and the Native Americans also resulted in the cultural lose. Once and Indian married a European, they followed the European way of life. As you can see the similarities between the Spanish and English colonization efforts are scarce. Although the Spaniards started the colonizing process the English felt as though they deserved some of the wealth and power the Spanish were getting. The two countries competiveness caused each to act in different ways, to do different things, and settle in different places. The Spanish wanted riches and adventure and the English sought gold and an independent religious society. Both Countries had gold, glory and god on their minds.
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