Early Modern Era

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					Early Modern Era
      Part II
Empires and Imperial
       Chapter 7
                 1492 - 1763
• A number of European states quickly established
  “empires” in the New World after initial
• Spanish, Portuguese, French, English
• Advances were initially limited by the American
  societies that were encountered;

• How did the smaller population of the European
  explorers come to influence the American
  societies in order to take control of the
        Pre-European Contact
• Complex social and political systems had
  already been in place in the Americas before
  the arrival of the Europeans;
• The imposition of new rulers among the
  native population was not necessarily new,
  but the intentions of the Europeans differed
  from the expectations of the natives;
• From this series of issues, the relationship
  changed between the two cultures and
  affected the economic initiatives;
              Social System
• Various economic elements based on hunter-
  gathers, pastoral and semi-nomadic existence
  of the native populations;
• Shifts between the rulers of these groups were
  not unusual, so the collection of “tribute” by
  the Spanish was not opposed;
• However, the intentions of the Europeans was
  to take the tribute and ship it back to Europe,
  instead of the traditional method of sharing
  out the surplus;
• The control of chiefdoms depended upon
  the support of the people based on the
  redistribution of surplus tribute or harvest
  to the group;
• When the Europeans did not do this, the
  chiefdoms had lost their authority with the
• This created conflict and problems within
  the social hierarchy of the system;
          Complex Markets
• The Native populations had a complex
  trading route that connected North and
  South America and the Caribbean;
• They traded in commodities (cacao, cloth,
  metal implements and money) with other
• Mostly the Aztec tribes with an extensive
  spread and shipping process
Trade and Control
            Spanish Empire
• As the first of the Europeans to have contact
  and trade with the Americas, Spain’s empire
  became one of the most important in Europe;
• Their contact stretched from the southern tip
  of South America to the Southwest of the
  United States;
• The most important were New Spain (Mexico)
  and Peru;
• Most populous and wealthy as they
  represented the Aztec and Incan empires;
            Spanish System
• The Spanish moved easily into the tribute
  system in both regions, as the system was
  similar to the Spanish feudal system;
• Very little change was felt in the mainstream
  of the culture;
• The conquistadors determined how the
  system had run before them and did the same:
  allow producers to obtain goods and labour as
  they had before; left control of local
  governments in indigenous hands;
        New Spain Imperialist
• By imitating the indigenous system of
  chiefdom, the Spanish ensured the least
  resistance to their presence;
• Although the governmental system remained
  similar to the previous reigns, the Spanish
  insisted on converting the people to
  Christianity as well as installing the Spanish
  justice system;
• This created much abuse and ill-treatment of
  the indigenous population;
         Further Exploration
• As the Spanish travelled they encountered
  more native populations that were less
  sedentary (they were nomadic), so they
  were seen as less civilized – they were not
  seen as able to form governmental systems
  or complex economic systems;
• As the Spanish tried to “civilize” these
  populations, the imposition of religion and
  culture was paramount;
• Forcing the nomadic tribes into communities
  with churches as the center was one of the
  main goals;
• These were developed by religious orders –
  the Franciscans or Jesuits – who established
  missions that were meant to keep the native
  populations in one place and develop
  agricultural pursuits;
• The families involved worked for themselves
  and the mission – as crops were traded, stored
  or sold to finance new missions;
       Missionaries as Parents
• The missions were meant to be short term systems
  that would help the native populations to establish
  themselves as sedentary citizens of Spain;
• However, many attempted to “train” the
  populations in sexuality (modesty and control) and
  to punish offenders;
• Most of the punishments were corporal (flogging);
• They also attempted to protect the populations
  from incoming Spanish, which frequently brought
  them in to conflict with the government and the
      Politics and Government
• 1517 – Cortez in Mexico
• 1527 – Spanish royal court system in place
  in New Spain;
• Frequently used by the indigenous people
  to settle disputes and to defend their rights
  and property;
• System meant that indigenous people
  could take Spaniards to court, or other
  villages; sue one another or Spanish
        Court Representation
• Spanish created the Defender of the Indians
  as a special position within the court
• Under this system, even people without
  formal legal status (slaves and illegitimate
  children) could appear in court as
  witnesses and plaintiffs;
• Inclusiveness of the Spanish legal system
  helped to keep the populations loyal;
               Paz Espanola
• Legal system diffused a lot of issues;
• Some problems between landowners and
  neighbouring villages, priests and local
• Most of the problems dealt with solvable
  issues that involved interpretation of the royal
  will in the new world;
• By establishing groups a legal entity, the
  justice system involved a defence of rights
  rather than a determination of problems with
  the distant Crown;
             Outside Empires
• Problems with the frontiers started with the
  different hierarchal system that was not based on
  imperial rulers;
• Resulted in numerous revolts in some areas;
• When silver was discovered in Bolivia, the Spanish
  had to deal with the Pueblo;
• The Pueblo were not fond of the missionaries who
  tried to weed out the culture;
• The Spanish were defeated and expelled for the
  next 12 years and did not return with the same
  assumptions about the culture or the religion;
           Identity and Race
• The majority of the populations were
  indigenous, but in Spanish regions there was a
  colonial population of mestizo (Spanish and
  Indian mix);
• In the Portuguese regions there were large
  numbers of Africans brought over as slaves;
• All racial categories were established in castes
• This determined legal status within the state;
• Economic and social status also moved castes;
               New France
• 1608 – Samuel de Champlain founded Quebec
  for a private charter company;
• Until 1663 there were under 1000 colonists
  who constantly battled the Iroquois
• The French government took control of the
  settlement and the Confederacy was defeated;
• Between 1680 and the 1750s the population
  grew from 10,000 to 70,000 – mostly due to
  high birth rates;
       Commerce & Religion
• Strong religious motivation in the
  settlement as groups of missionaries and
  nuns set out to convert the native
• The early attempts were unsuccessful by
  the Recollects Order of Nuns, the Jesuits
  and the Ursuline Nuns;
• Most of the colonial population were farmers
  known as habitants;
• They existed under the French seigneurial
• The seigneurs (upper class) and the Catholic
  Church received large land grants from the
  Crown that they rented to the habitants;
• Whole families had to work the farms to
  produce enough to feed the family
  (subsistence) as well as pay the rent and tithes
  (Church taxes);
          Exportable Wealth
• Most profitable industry was based around the
  fur trade;
• The system evolved from the Algonquin visits
  with pelts to the French, to the illegal
  coureurs de bois going to the territory of the
  natives to trade directly, to the licensed
  voyageurs working for city merchants trading
  directly with the tribes;
• By the late 1600s, the French had to contend
  with the competition from the English
  regarding the fur trade;
             Late Arrivals
• Although the English were late to the
  imperial development of North America,
  they had some early acquistions;
• 1607 – Virginia
• 1620 – Massachusetts
• 1636 – Connecticut, Rhode Island
• Between 1664- 1732 - 14 more colonies
  including Nova Scotia
            North vs. South
• The two regions of English colonies
  developed very differently;
• South were defined by plantation
  agriculture and slave labour;
• The North were settled primarily by
  farmers, artisans and small merchants;
  agricultural pursuits were small farms
  managed by owners or tenants;
                 City Life
• Most of the settlements were by the coast
  with the largest begin Philadelphia, New
  York and Boston;
• Coastal cities were important in trade with
  the Empire and the colony – timber, fish,
  agricultural surpluses for manufactured
            Social Structure
• Cities consisted of wealthy merchants,
  professionals, artisans, government officials
  and workers;
• Women could exist on their own with
  opportunities to run taverns or boarding
• Most were wives and mothers;
• Social roles were clearly defined in society
  and in the household;
• Colonial marriages had serious consequences
  for women;
• Ceased to be legal individuals – rather they
  were under the “control” of their husbands;
• They could not enter contracts, or control any
  of their or family’s property (dowry);
• In contrast, Spanish colonial women had
  retained full control of their own legal status
  and could act fully under the law, even though
  there was still a patriarchal society;
            Religious Influence

• Many of the colonies were established by religious
  groups seeking freedom of worship;
• Puritans in Massachusetts, Catholics in Maryland
  and Quakers in Pennsylvania;
• This did not mean there was increased tolerance
  within the colonies;
• Most were protective of their freedom and
  established religious prominence within the colony;
• There was never any real effort by the English to
  convert the Natives to Christianity as a settling
  force or trade initiative;
Ecological Imperialism
         Settlement Success
• Many of the successful settlements of the
  English was because of the import of
  Eurasian animals and plants that they
  adapted to the American environments;
• Many of the imported species still
  dominate the North American landscape;
• Even if the species did not dominate a
  region, they affected the environment in
  some fashion;
            Animal Influence
• Cattle on some Caribbean islands helped to spread
  and nurture citrus plants (from other islands)
  growth otherwise unknown;
• Stabilization of sheep and vegetation population in
  highlands of New Spain;
• Desertification of regions by over-grazing changed
  the species of plants that could grow there;
• Importation of the horse changed the ‘beast of
  burden’ from the dog; traded with the Plain natives
  for buffalo skins; improved hunting of buffalo by
  the Plains people and a weapon (speed of raids);
Imperial Economies
           Economic System
• Europeans saw the colony as an extension of
  the domestic economy;
• Purpose was to help the state and increase its
• Mercantilism – system by which the colony’s
  trade is regulated to provide economic benefit
  to the State;
• Forced the colony into trade with other
  colonies and the State;
• Supply of raw materials for manufacturing and
  a market for those manufactured goods;
      Empirical Independence
• The more a State could be independent
  from imports from other nations, the more
  surplus wealth it would amass;
• These surpluses could be used by the State
  to wage war in competition for more
• It was also hoped that colonies would yield
  precious metals for their State;
• Also called commercial capitalism;
           Balanced System
• Home economies had to balance the
  consumption at home with the exports;
• Creation of industries at home also
  encouraged trade with other nations for
  desirable goods – France’s production of
  china, silks and tapestries became desirable
  in Europe;
• National institutional banking increased as
  did the number of private banks;
• National banks regulated the supply or
  money and the debt;
• Bank of Sweden 1657 – first national bank;
• Bank of England 1694 - national bank;
• Ability to fund war debts and control the
  financial system to support national policy;
           Money Economy
• Commerce encouraged a money based
  economy and new business;
• Development of new merchant ventures;
• Joint stock companies formed (owned shares
  of capital – wealth);
• Government grants of charters for companies;
• Established monopolies of trade in regions;
• British East India Company (1600); Dutch East
  India Company (1602); Hudson Bay Company
  (1670) were private firms granted monopolies
  to aid in developing governmental interests;
• The mercantile economy did not avoid the
  recessions and inflationary periods;
• Some companies were wiped out in its
  cyclical nature;
• These policies also influenced the power of
  the Imperial government;
• As the policies changed, if governments
  could not change with it, they declined in
  world power;
      Slow Declines of Crowns
• Spain’s world influence declined by 1660 with
  the drop in income from precious metals from
  the colonies;
• Independent actions within the colonies as
  well as an inability to provide manufactured
  goods led to the increase in trade by the
  colonies with the Dutch, French and English;
• Spain was unable to meet the needs of its
  colonial base and lost much of it bullion
  wealth (gold) to pirate ships from other
             American Wars

• Between 1689 – 1763 there were five major
  conflicts that involved European nations
  and the American colonies;
• Any issue in the Empire produced some
  issue for the colonies;
• Although these wars did little to change
  the colonial map, there were changes that
  occurred within the colonial landscapes;
           Colonial Effects
• The English took Acadia from the French
  in 1713 to create New Brunswick, and
  expelled the Acadians in the 1750s (most
  went to Louisiana – New Orleans);
• The Seven Years War (1756-1763) saw
  France lose all of its possessions on the
  North American mainland, with the largest
  possession – Quebec (New France) being
  taken by the English;
            Imperial Empires
• From 1492 – 1700s developed major empires in the
  North and South America and Caribbean by
  England, France, Spain, Portugal and Netherlands;
• All existed to serve the Imperial State – regardless
  of how the colony was formed or governed;
• Move of wealth from bullion and precious metals to
  lasting influence of agricultural products and trade
  systems within colonies;
• Most of the settlement and purchase within the
  economy was dependent upon the agricultural
  labour produced by imported slaves;

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