The Colonization of the Americas

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					The Colonization of the Americas
• Christopher Columbus sets out to find the
  East Indies
• After first voyage, however, CC is a conqueror
  not an explorer – his goal was to set up
• With Columbus’ success, other European
  came to the Americas rapidly so as not to
  miss out on colonization opportunities
• As early as 1519, Spain sends conquistadors
  are sent to the mainland of the Americas to
  establish colonies
• After landing in Mexico region, Cortes learns
  of the wealthy Aztec Empire and eventually
  subdues the entire empire by using superior
  weapons, Aztec enemies, and disease
• Pizarro will follow a similar track in dealing
  with Incas
         Making Them Spanish
• Learning from the Re Conquista, the Spanish lived
  amongst the conquered people and forced Spanish
  customs upon them
• As a result of the close proximity, Spanish and
  Indians began to intermarry – creating Mestizos
• Only region of South America Spain doesn't
  control is Brazil
• Finding no gold in the region, Portuguese
  begin clearing land for the production of
  sugar – this will make Portugal very wealthy
  because sugar is highly valued
• To work on many of these plantations,
  Portuguese enslaved natives
                 Pushing North
• Colonies in America make Spain very rich
   – Spain builds powerful navy and has golden age of art and
• To maintain wealth, Spanish seek to expand their
  empire - just happens that easiest path toward
  expansion is north
• Florida, the Southwestern region of what is now
  U.S. and the lower Mississippi is explored by Spain
  in the 1500s
• Three major explorers/conquerors of Spain in
  present day U.S.
  – Ponce de Leon (Florida) *Fountain of Youth
  – De Soto (Lower Mississippi)
  – Coronado (American Southwest)
• Accompanying these men are Catholic
  missionaries seeking to subdue “heathen”
• Santa Fe was originally a Mission that will
  alter become a major settlement of the
          Opposition to Spain
• Because Catholic missionaries accompanied
  the Conquistadors, they witnessed brutal
  treatment of the natives
• Missionaries speak out against these abuses
  until the Spanish abolish the Encomienda
  system in 1542
  – System was designed to have natives work as
    slave labor for Spanish landlords
• Natives also became disenchanted with the
• Revolts against the Spanish start almost
  immediately as Spanish rule
• Largest rebellion is in 1680 as natives drive
  the Spaniards back into New Spain (Mexico)
  – While the Spanish eventually retake the region,
    the revolt costs the Spanish a significant amount
    of effort to re-establish their holdings
    Finding a Northwest Passage
• Magellan proves you can reach Asia by sailing
  west – problem is that Spain had already
  claimed southern tip of South America
• As a result, other European nations (France,
  Great Britain, Netherlands) look for northwest
  route through North America
• This will result in widespread colonization of
  what is now America and Canada
                   New France
• One of the first nations to look for this new passage is
• The French will discover NY harbor and the St. Lawrence
  River (along with Montreal)
• As the exploration became settlement, French set up
  “New France” headquartered in Quebec
• After establishing trading outpost, French move inland
  and explore the upper Mississippi and the Great Lakes
         Populating the Region
• Despite vast new lands, New France is not
  heavily populated by French
• Large effort is made to attract settlers but if
  settlers did come, they often had to build
  their own towns
• Biggest attraction is the new trade that was
  becoming popular in Europe - furs
                 The English
• Advancement of French and Spanish colonies
  influences the push for colonization in
• BY 1607, England launches its bid for
  – Result is the Jamestown colony (which almost
    results in total disaster as 7 out of 10 die)
  – Colony will become 1st permanent English
    settlement in North America
• In 1620, a group persecuted for their religious
  beliefs establishes a colony near
  Massachusetts Bay
• Although this colony would also experience
  hardships, it was saved by the large number
  of families within the colony
               New Netherland
• Dutch get into the act in 1609 when Henry Hudson
  (who was working for the Dutch) discovers
  waterways than now are named after him
   – Hudson Bay
   – Hudson River
   – Hudson Strait
• Dutch establish West India Company to trade fur
• Dutch also attract many different settlers to New
  Amsterdam (NY) because of religious toleration
             In the Caribbean
• For the most part, the Caribbean is divided
  between the major powers
  – England (Jamaica, Barbados, Cayman Is)
  – France (Haiti, Martinique, Guadeloupe)
  – Netherlands (Aruba)
• On all of these islands, wherever possible,
  the Europeans develop large scale sugar
  plantations – this will lead to slavery in the
         Fight for North America
• As soon as English establish colonies to the north
  and south they want New Netherlands out of the
  way – they drive out the Dutch without a single
  shot being fired
• After unification of the eastern seaboard, English
  start to move into French territory – this will result
  in what we know as the French and Indian War
   – A war which England wins and drives the French from the
     North American continent
  Aftermath: French and Indian War
• For the most part, French and Dutch are friendly
  with the Indians
   – French trade many things to the Indians for furs (the
     Indians came to depend on these)
• When the English take over the territory, they
  believe the Indians should be given nothing and
  they should have full rights to the fur trade
   – Making matter worse, the English colonists want to drive
     out the Indians and establish permanent colonies
   – Both of these ideas lead to sporadic war with Indians
• Most famous war which results from strained
  English/Indian relationship is King Phillip’s War
• During this war, Indians made raids into
  Massachusetts territory and killed colonists
• Indians cannot hope to sustain any war against the
  English because of inferior weapons
• English also have the upper hand as they introduce
  smallpox into the native population devastating the
  Indian population significantly (in some places as
  much as 100%)

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