Spanish Settlements vs. English Colonies

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Spanish Settlements vs. English Colonies

By | August 2006
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Throughout the seventeenth century, many countries began inhabiting North America. Two of the most prominent countries that colonized the area were England and Spain. The English, were more accustomed to the Northeast area, which they called New England. The Spanish, however, had a higher interest in the Southwest. Because they lived in two separate areas, all aspects of life in their colonies were different. The two most obvious differences between the Spanish and English were in the areas of religion and economic development.

Even in their homelands, Spain and England have very different forms of religion. It is no surprise that their religious differences transferred to their North American colonies. In "New Spain," the first place established was St. Augustine. The point of the small outpost was the Christianize Indians. However, this failed because most Native Americans only resorted to Baptism if they were forced. Once New Mexico was established, it fell because of little wealth and was only sustained to be a Christian mission at Santa Fe. In New England, Puritans and Separatists made up most of the population. After the English Reformation and dissent, English people began arriving in the New World for religious reasons. The colonies at New England were mostly Puritans and Catholics who hoped to put their religious beliefs into practice without interference from England or the church hierarchy.

Economically, the colonies at New England and New Spain were just as different. In New Mexico, the lands were unfertile and resulted in very little agricultural success. It was also too far away from the Pacific coast to be of any real use to Spain, which was why it was converted to nothing but a Christian mission. In New England, however, things were prosperous. Jamestown, a highly known New England colony, it may have started out difficult, but things got better. After drought and death, colonists used their neighboring Indians to help them out. Settlers used...
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