Essay by bermanater March 2005

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The early colonial empires of Portugal, Spain, and England parallel each other in

many different aspects. However, each empire has specific unique characteristics that create

there individual legacies. Their motives varied economically and spiritually. These varying

factors lead to different relations with the Native Americans and Africans. Yet, each country

possesed the idea that their culture was superior to the Indians and Africans, and desired to

colonize areas that were rich in natural resources.

The Portuguese voyages demonstrated the practicability of sailing long distances. Once

this inconcievable feat was accomplished the Portuguese were able to set up trading posts in

Africa. Trade primarily revolved around gold and slaves. These trading posts were eventually

opened up to the English and Spanish, which served to be a great factor in colonizing their

empires. Also, plantations were created on some islands in Africa where slaves did the labor

and the Portuguese were able to make large amounts of profit.

Portugal's colonization of the

Americas were set up mainly in present day Brazil. The Treaty or Tordesillas declared that

the New World would be divided between Spain and Portugal.The main motive for Portuguese

expansion was to purify their subjects. All of these ventures were funded by their government,

which desired to extend their slave trading to the Americas in attempt to Glorify their Empire.

The Spanish were also funded by their government and made a colossal amount

of money for Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand. Spain and Portugal were fueding rivals.

They both shared the idea of christianizing the people of the new world. In addition to this

the Spanish quested for glory and gold. These economic motives combined with well trained

conquistadors proved to be vital in glorifying the Spanish empire. Also, the Spanish men

were obligated to marry Indians due...