Age of Exploration- Spain, Portugal, England

Topics: Colonialism, England, British Empire Pages: 3 (989 words) Published: September 8, 2008
Q 6 Compare and contrast the early colonial empires of Portugal, Spain, and England in terms of motives, economic foundations, and relations with Africans and Indians. What factors explain the similarities and differences in the two ventures?

The Age of Exploration was a period from the early 1600’s to the 1700’s during which Europeans explored the world, searching for trade partners and desirable goods. During this time, the three most influential European nations were Portugal, Spain, and England. If fingers had to be pointed at which country started the Age of Exploration, it would be Portugal, because if it had not been for the carrack and then the caravel, Atlantic trade would not have been started. However, the Spanish had the first global empires, rivaling the English’s largest empire. Each country had different motives for acquiring these colonies, different economic backgrounds, and different relations with the Africans and Indians. They also went about creating relations with the Africans and Indians in different ways. However, despite these differences, the same basic goal was accomplished, to discover new trade.

The first English attempt at colonization was in Newfoundland. This collapsed when the promoter died at sea. However, this was only the start of English exploration and colonization. As the seventeenth century began, the population of England was skyrocketing to about 4 million and England’s economy was in ruins. Thousands of farmers were kicked off their farms and were unemployed. It was these unemployed people that would sail to the Americas. Years later, in 1606 Englishmen set sail on a ship headed towards Virginia. The people received a charter from King James I of England. The attraction that drew men was gold with a desire to find a new passage through America to the Indies. Later that year, the settlers from the Virginia Bay Company were attacked by Indians. This forced them to move the location of their colony up the James...
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