Similarities And Differences Between The Spanish And English Colonies

Topics: Colonialism, Native Americans in the United States, Indigenous peoples of the Americas Pages: 5 (1092 words) Published: March 21, 2018


The Spanish and English colonies in the New World were similar and different in many ways. The Spanish and English wanted to colonize the New World with the same motives: riches, power, and more land. The ways they accomplished these goals differed though.
The Spaniards initial and primary reason for travelling to the New World was for the discovery of gold and for power (Zinn, 2005). In addition to looking for gold and power, the Spaniards came looking for new land to claim (Locke et al, n.d.). The Spaniards came looking to conquer the new land for their profitable gain. Much of this conquering was very brutal and to the Native people’s disadvantages, especially when there wasn’t much gold to be had. “When it became clear that there was no...

Some of these similarities include motives for the colonization and how they justified their injustices to gain what they desired. Both the Spanish and English colonies were motivated by gold, land, and religious freedom. In addition to motivations, Spanish and English colonists justified how they got their land by using their religion to make it seem that their actions were warranted. The Spanish colonists used their religion to justify enslaving and selling the Native Americans. “The rest [Native Americans] arrived in Spain and were put up for sale by the archdeacon of the town, who reported that, although the slaves were ‘naked as the day they were born,’ they showed ‘no more embarrassment than animals.’ Columbus later wrote: ‘Let us in the name of the Holy Trinity go on sending all the slaves that can be sold,’” (Zinn, 2005). Likewise, the English colonists believed God was on their side in claiming the New World as theirs. For example, when the plagues hit the Native American tribes and were being wiped out, the colonists saw this as God’s blessing for them to have this land. “The English Separatists, already seeing their lives as part of a divinely inspired morality play, found it easy to infer that God was on their side. John Winthrop, the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, called the plague ‘miraculous.’ In 1634 he wrote to a friend in England: ‘But for the natives in these...

Among these differences, the way in how each of the country’s settlers took their land and how they treated the Native Americans. The Spanish colonists and explorers, from Columbus to Cortes, they came and took the land by conquering and enslaving the Native Americans to take control of their land. “When the enslaved Indians exhausted the islands’ meager gold reserves, the Spaniards forced them to labor on their huge new estates, the encomiendas… Through persuasion, and maybe because some Aztecs thought Cortes was the god Quetzalcoatl, the Spaniards entered Tenochtitlán peacefully. Cortes then captured the emperor Montezuma and used him to gain control on the Aztecs’ gold and silver reserves and its network or mines…” (Locke et al, n.d.). Instead of full on war (although the English did use that tactic as well (Zinn, 2005)), the English colonies used their faith to take the land. “The Puritans also appealed to the Bible, Psalms 2:8: ‘Ask of me, and I shall give thee, the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.’ And to justify their use of force to take the land, they cited Romans 13:2: ‘Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation,’” (Zinn,...
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