Several nations of the Europe became most powerful at some point in history, with five major countries rising to power with one thing in their mind to be more superior to other countries. Spain, Portugal, England, France, and Netherlands became dominant nations of Europe outshining the other nations (Reps, 1965). All these countries relied on the common aspect of colonization to gain wealth and superiority. Colonization of other countries led to expansion of territories, as well as gain of political and economic prosperity. Establishment of colonies globally enhanced the level of trade with the countries and profits. The five European nations travelled around the world colonizing the empires that they could find in the effort of achieving complete supremacy. Colonization brought the European countries wealth and enormous power but it also brought the emergence of different cultures, and people with different identities.
The European conquest changed Latin America, as Europe entered to the commercial revolution and later to the industrial revolution (Verlinden, 1970). The Spanish organization promoted exploitation, where the conquistadores were granted land together with the people on it. Before colonization, Latin America existed in power structures based on the castes and nobility (Polk, 2006). These structures were shattered as colonialists killed most influential leaders and stripped the less noble priests of their ranks and possessions. Peru was the exception, as some of the Incas managed to hold on to their wealth and influence of their privileges’ though eventually eroded into nothing. In addition, the native Latin Americans history underwent rewriting during the colonial era. Because the colonialists did not recognize the native codices and other forms of evidence keeping developed at the time, the knowledge of pre-colonial era comes in jumbled pieces.
The Spanish were enticed by greed and desire for acquisition of more land and wealth in South America. In 1520, Spanish colonialists raided the Incan Empire plundering gold and silver that generated lots of profits by the end of 1570. They conquered the entire Western Coast of South America, making Spanish nation the most dominant nation in America. They were forced to work in the lands. Most of the profits came from agricultural produce, inclusive of crop farming, which became popular in Europe. The Haciendas were large plantations that made up most of the Spanish territory. The natives worked tirelessly at the Haciendas. This led to the development of social hierarchy in Spanish colonies. The most successful were the peninsulars who were European and other original settlers, followed by the Creoles, Europeans born in America, Mestizos, and mulattoes. The Spanish benefited from the economic prosperity of their colonization and became the richest nation in Europe. However, they caused cultural blending leaving devastating influences on the aboriginal populations. The territories colonized speak Spanish as their formal language and Spanish culture is present in form of dance, music and food (Mignolo, 2005). They also affected the culture and traditions of the nation, also benefited from the enormous profit generated.
The Dutch territory in America was under the rule of a governor assigned by the king. They relied on fur for their trade as the source of their economic profit. They also established several trading centers, enhancing their trade between the natives and the French. Although the Dutch ran into many struggles with the natives, they preferred to operate private companies by granting themselves a monopoly. Despite generation of profits from their sale of fur, their superiority was declining progressively and eventually English colonialists threw them out of the territory. The Dutch developed many hostilities in the region that weakened them against the Native Americans leading to the future disputes and conflicts in the region. For example, the natives would trap the beavers for the colonialist fur, disrupting the coexisting balance of the trade.
The other European country that colonized Americas was France. Initially the French were searching for the Northwestern Passage to Asian territories but instead they ended up colonizing the Americas after their realization that an alternative route was nonexistent (Schneider & Schneider, 2000). Like their predecessors, the French wanted part of the natives’ wealth and trade, this was actively occurring on the Americans territory. The primary source of their profits was fur trade; the same as of the Dutch. In the year 1603, the French chaplain arrived to the New French territory to establish a successful productive trading with the natives. The French successfully accomplished colonization of the eastern Canada conquering the Northern American region, which they named Louisiana. In addition to gaining wealth and profits, the French wanted to gain converts for their religious believes. They tried to win the natives through the establishment of missionaries. The French set up the trading centers and lived with the natives in peace through the promotion of peace and prosperity. The French were keen enough not to conflict with the Indians that would collapse the French trade and economic prosperities. This was beneficial from the enormous revenues received from the fur trade, sold back to Europe for the high mandate in exchange of their popularity. The French established close relationship with the Indians spreading their culture and exchanging their traditions as they resided together. For example, the cultural influence in America left by French colonialists is that Canada speaks French, which is the recognition of French influence on the American nationalities.
Furthermore, England as the greatest world colonizer and the leading nation in Europe colonized most of the Americans territories. It is known globally for its attempt to colonize the whole globe. For instance, England conquered most of the communities and civilizations. However, England came to America for entire different reasons, unlike the French, Dutch, and Spain. Although English colonialists sought wealth and profitable trades, it was not their initial priority. Most of the settlers from England came for religious freedom, from political persecution and to start the brand new life. The principal colony was in Jamestown, Virginia, where lived those who came in search of gold. It was unfortunate that those colonialists did not find any gold. Just when the settlers were almost falling off, John Smith and John Rolfe introduced tobacco, which became widespread. The tobacco brought great profits from their sale saving the colony that was otherwise diminishing. The settlers that came in search of religious freedom wanted a separation from the English church, so they established their own colony. The puritans established a large colony in Massachusetts, while other left to establish colonies in Pennsylvania and Maryland. After the Dutch driven out, the colony also acquired New Jersey and New York. Later the English gained all the territories owned by French colonialists in Americas making them the leading nation in the North America.
The governors were assigned by the English government to provide governance to each of the colonies. The colonialists had few liberties, which weakened their powers. The English further weakened their colonies by raising taxes and ultimately people there revolted and got independence. The freedom formed the early United States’ administration. The English controlled the northern Canada and Caribbean islands. They further established trading posts, having tight control of the territory. Living in the colonies, the natives adopted British cultures, caused by blending of the natives. For instance, signs of English civilization, such as language and art seen in their modern culture, are still apparent in the United States.
Despite success of the colonialists, European countries were weakened due to the competition. By the late 1580s, the Spanish and the French found themselves close to each other’s claims at the southeast of the Atlantic coast. The English soon joined the competition; therefore, the attack of the rival colonies was the sole cause of failures of the colonies. Spanish colonies massacred French Huguenots near Florida in 1565 sending spies to Jamestown in 1613 to find out significance of eradicating other colonies. On the other hand, English colonies destroyed French Trading territory of Port Royal in 1612, and defeated Dutch colonies in New Amsterdam in 1664. This paved the way for the imperial rivalries. Coalescence of 1700s was quickly taking shape.
In addition, the settlements at the North of the Caribbean did not succeed. They were short-lived in the 1500’s. This is because the hurricane destroyed the first Pensacola settlement. Severe winters and unproductive land starved the settlers. This strengthened the Indians who laid siege to the settlers. Rebellion by brutal soldiers and starvation of the slaves weakened the colonies. The settlers had no choice but to leave for Europe. French Huguenots established the small settlement in 1564 at the Fort Carolina where the Spanish had built St. Augustine a year later, to protect the Atlantic corridor from attacks by the French. Both colonies planned attacks simultaneously but the Spanish succeeded. This was after French ships enrooted to St. Augustine were wrecked by hurricanes.
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