ESSAY THE CITY COLONIAL AMERICA

Topics: Colonialism, Spanish colonization of the Americas, Spanish Empire Pages: 6 (1625 words) Published: October 15, 2013


Problem statement
“The colonial cities in the ‘New World’, that is, the Americas, were founded and laid out
according to specific rules and intentions. What were they? Did similar rules result in similar

appearances or features in the cities of the different European colonisers? If not, why not? Use a

specific city as suitable illustration of your argument.”

Essay Plan

1. Introduction/argument (150)
2. Spain colonies rules (politics and religion)(200)
3. English colonies rules (politics and religion)(200)
4. Spanish specific town appearances (Spanish town)(200)
5. English specific town appearances (English town)(200)
6. Spanish specific architecture (200)
7. English specific architecture(200)
8. Conclusion(150)

The English and Spanish Colonisation of the Americas were founded and laid out upon with two similar sets of rules and intentions. The study of the cities of Mexico (Spanish) and Boston (English) will be looked at side by side. By gaining an understanding of the political, social and economic backgrounds of the two colonies it will assist the understanding of why any similarities and differences occurred.

Instigated by the monarchy in the 1600’s, The Spanish set out to the Americas seeking new territories to conquer and further enhance their empires wealth influence. In cases where conquerors advances required permanent settlement to either consolidate or defend a conquest, colonies were set up according to strict rules dictated by the monarchy. Spanish colonial settlements were very reliant on the old country for almost everything; cultivation of the land was dismissed in preference for purchasing items from Spain, and Spanish culture, arts and religion were also directly translated into the new cities and landscape. Mexico city epitomises the ideals of the rules set up by the Spanish legislature. Which were as follows;

1. The Plaza Mayor was to be located in the center of the city. If the population was erected on the coast, the square should be located in front of the port or landing, if it was inland should be fixed at the center. Its shape should be rectangular for the purpose of facilitating the festivities equestrian. Its size should not be less than 28 meters wide by 84 meters long and over 148 meters wide by 224 meters large.

2. Streets are to be rectilinear and parallel to the edge of the town enabling unlimited expansion.

3. twelve streets: one from the center of each of the four sides of the rectangle and two each right angle corner.

4. The width of the roads was determined according to where people were located, must be wide in places of cold weather to let the sun, and narrow in places to keep warm shady pathways

5. The Church is placed on the East of the Plaza
6. Houses for council are then located around the plaza square 7. House plots surround the plaza in plots measuring 14 meters wide by 28 meters long with room 8. Plots for horses were twice this

The Components of the British model.

1. A policy of deliberate urbanization or town planning, in preference to dispersed settlement; 2. Land rights allocated in a combination of a town, suburban and country lots. 3. The town planned and laid out in advance of settlement.

4. Wide streets laid out in geometric, usually grid form, usually on an area of one square mile. 5. Public squares
6. Standard sized regular plots, spacious in comparison to with those on British towns of the time; 7. Some plots reserved for public purposes;
8. A physical distinction between town and country, usually by common land or an encircling green belt.

The relationship with the native population was hostile with the colonies initially slaughtered them with justification sought from being a means to efficiently continue their conquest. Upon hearing of this the monarchy sought to better regulate the...
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