contrast Spanish exploration and exploitation of the New World with the English exploration and colonization?

1 Answer

Spanish was more exploitative and hinged more conquests than American exploration and colonization


Spain: How Spain acquired their humongous empire, primarily hinged on the fact that they managed to conquest vast swathes of land, with relatively little manpower or effort. Spanish conquest was indeed very organized, all colonies were directly tied to the crown, every single one had high church authority. They exploited the inhabitants by using a thing called the Encomienda system, which is pretty much a inhumane way to produce labour, as the Spaniards put them to work on the silver/gold mines (which then gave Spain an insane amount of inflation).

America: America is odd, as it is sporadic in cases. For example, with the crown, they got the Virginia Charter Company which then granted the crown a royal colony (Virginia). Some colonies, however, where independent colonies, not under the authority of the crown (like the Pilgrims, who were fleeing persecution). The Americans did engage in warfare, much like the Spaniards, but it wasn't in such a grand scale, Americans expanded much more by simply building cities, and receiving immigration, than by simply conquering like the Spaniards. Unlike in Spain, that there was a single denomination (Catholicism), in the colonies, every state had their own faith, and it varied, this caused alliances (such as the Bible Commonwealth), which were not present in Spain. The Americans did not completely exploit natives to the degree that the Spanish did, they made them work on their cash crops, but not as cruel as the Spanish. The American economy was based (pre 1800's), on cash crops (in the south) like tobacco, in the north there was more fishing. In Spain, the primary influx was the aforementioned mines.