Spanish Settlements and New England Colonies - 17th Century

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Throughout the 17th century, many European countries sent explorers and settlers to America. The two most eminent countries that colonized area of America were Spain and Great Britain. Britain began to establish colonies in the northeast; in the area they called New England. The Spanish interest lied in the southwest. Living in two unassociated areas caused the Spanish settlements and the New England colonies to be quite unlike each other. When faced with the task of finding similarities between the two, not much can be found. It is the differences that stand out when studying the English and Spanish, from religion to politics to ideals.

The Spanish began exploring America with “gold, glory and God” large in their minds. Cortes and the other conquistadors had conquered the empires of the South and Central Americas, but Spain wanted more. The Spanish explorers heard of great riches and cities built of gold northward, so that is where they headed, eventually arriving at what is now the southwest portion of the USA. The other Spanish goal was to convert the Native Americans to Catholicism. The British on the other hand, went to settle in New England to escape the religious persecution that they had to withstand in Europe. They came to America to be able to worship their gods in the manner of their choosing, and not in the way that their king or government decided they had to. Another reason they came to New England was because of the lack of jobs in Britain. So while both Spain and England came to America partly to gain riches, England wasn’t as blinded by gold as Spain was. Also, though both countries founded settlements, the Spanish were not looking to stay there permanently. They wanted to focus on converting the “savages” and stealing their gold and riches and getting back home to Spain. The English wanted to make a new home, though at this point they still considered themselves to be under the British crown, and had no aspirations to make their own country....
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