Similarities and Differences between English and Spanish New World Colonies

Essay by clevedan2000High School, 10th grade January 2003

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Most of the powerful Western European Nations became involved in exploration of the Americas. Spain started the trend with the exploration of Columbus. Observers realized that Columbus had not discovered Spice Islands south of China, but a whole new world to the Europeans. Expeditions of exploration in search of wealth were the first action of the explorers of the new land. Immediate metal wealth was not found in the Caribbean Islands, but it was found later on the Americas mainland. England was then enticed to claim land for itself, and claimed the lands of North America and benefited from early trading posts. Spain and England both participated in the exploration and colonization of the Americas, but their ambitions were different based upon the surrounding environment.

Spain focused its exploration on the lands surrounding the Gulf of Mexico, and the Pacific link on the Western coast of South America. Like the English, the indigenous people of the acted friendly towards the Spanish explorers, then resisted after unjust massacres occurred.

This common reaction comes with the part of human nature that accepts others, and rejects them after they have participated in undesirable actions. Similar to the English, the Spanish also colonized the lands of the new world and developed large cities, which served as political and economic centers. The geography of Central and South America contributed greatly to the amount of metals and valuable resources that were extracted from the ground and from the artifacts of the natives. Unlike the English, the Spanish employed Viceroys, or officials to rule the new world to keep order. These Viceroys reported directly to the king, and could be removed from office by a court of lawyers. These rulers were essential to the vast, spread out landmass that the Spanish conquered. Encompassing many different...