Spanish Colonial Era

Topics: South America, Caribbean, Europe Pages: 5 (336 words) Published: December 1, 2013
16th & 17th Century European Colonizing Efforts
European Nation

Geographical Range
of Colonies
Widest range of
colonization, from the
tip of South America to
the current American
southwest and
throughout the
Caribbean Sea.

Emphasis/Focus of
Colonies
Early attempts at
discovering rich Indian
cities diminished by
1560 as Spanish sought
to defend their colonies
and pacify tribes through
Franciscan missionary
efforts.

Portugal

Brazil

The Netherlands

New York, Delaware,
Caribbean islands,
Dutch Guiana in South
America.

France

1st permanent
settlement at Quebec in
1608. Small colonies in
Central and South
America and the
Caribbean.

England

British Guiana, Central
America, Caribbean,
and east coast of the
present U.S.

Vast world empire taken
over by Spain’s King
Philip II in 1580. Relying
more on agriculture than
gold-mining, Portuguese
colonial leaders often
returned home within 10
years.
Focused almost
exclusively on
commerce, the Dutch
brought few settlers
(only 1500 by 1665 in
New Netherland—New
York). Sugar and slave
trade in Caribbean and
South America
dominated Dutch
interests.
Colony of New France
(Canada) developed
slowly with only 15,000
residents by 1700. Furhunting, rather than
farming, became the
chief economic activity.
Jesuit missionaries
attempted to bring
humane treatment to
Indians.
Early focus: search for
wealth. Most successful
of European nations at
establishing selfsustaining colonies
following early disasters
in Virginia. 17th century
colonial emphasis was on
the sugar trade in the
Caribbean.

Spain

Of Special Note
First established
colonies by
Columbus who
brought slavery to
the New World by
sending Indians to
Europe and
importing Africans
to work in Spanish
settlements.
Earliest explorers
of the 15th century
were Portuguese,
but Portugal was
the least influential
European nation in
the New World
Because Dutch
Governor
Stuyvesant ruled
arbitrarily, when
English invaded in
1664, residents
provided little
resistance.

Contact with
Indians resulted in
death by disease
(perhaps 90% of
Great Lakes region
killed) and by
inter-tribal wars
caused by the fur
trade.

Personal economic
advancement and
religious freedom
provided the main
impetus to colonial
growth. Price
Revolution of 16th
century and crop
failures forced
many peasants
and yeoman
farmers to seek
new lives.

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