America is one of the greatest political-philosophical symbols in world history.
Orosz Shortly after the first European voyages of discovery brought news of the New World back to the Old, settlers and conquerors began flocking out to the newly claimed territories to begin the process of extracting colonial wealth for the benefit of the metropole.
Although the desire for profit remained a constant for the duration of the European colonial endeavor, as the various imperial powers expanded their holdings beyond the Americas, the process of colonial emigration took on new forms and led to the creation of profoundly different social structures in each of the colonial regions.
It is these differences that provide the groundwork for a social history of colonial settlement by European emigrants. This essay will address four major regional cases in which colonization was accompanied by significant European settlement: South AmericaNorth Americathe antipodes, and Africa.
In the Americas different economic imperatives resulted in the transportation of racially homogenous settler populations to the British and French holdings in the north while their Iberian counterparts in the south created colonies comprised of relatively small settler groups ruling over much larger populations of Amerindians, imported African slaves, and mixed-race groups.
The eventual loss of its American colonies in the late eighteenth century forced Britain to open up new settlement colonies in the antipodes as a means of divesting itself of growing numbers of convicts.
Despite its origins as a penal settlement, over the next several decades growing numbers of free settlers from northern Europe flocked to the region to set up farms and ranches in Australia and New Zealand. Subsequent efforts to shed the region's violent and brutal convict past in favor of middle-class Victorian respectability were complicated by the existence and poor treatment of aboriginal populations, who stood in the way of European-style economic progress.
No such problems affected the European settlement colonies in Africa.
As the final region of colonial emigration, most of which occurred in the nineteenth century, Africa enjoyed the least complicated colonial society. The advent of social Darwinism and visions of the "white man's burden" necessitated the creation of racially segregated colonial societies in which white settlers unabashedly enriched themselves by systematically divesting Africans of land, wealth, and political independence.
Despite the different social structures, in all cases European emigration created new forms of social hierarchy in which Europeans displaced existing ruling elites.
The Muslim presence had, however, exposed the Spanish and Portuguese to tales of African gold fields and the lucrative Asian trade. In an effort to profit from and possibly control these resources, both powers began equipping a series of merchant vessels for voyages of trade and discovery.
Central to these voyages was the search for faster, more lucrative trade routes that would propel the mother country to the forefront of European commerce.
These efforts, which focused primarily on attempts to discover shortcuts to Asia, quickly led explorers and conquistadors to the Americas, where a limited number soon found wealth beyond their wildest dreams in the form of plantations and gold mines.
The bulk of these activities fell to Spain, which took an early lead in conquering and exploiting the New World. As news of Inca and Aztec wealth reached Spain in the early sixteenth century, scores of individual conquistadors, including some who lacked royal authorization or approval, flocked to the Americas.
Aided by firearms and disease, these small bands of European soldiers quickly defeated the indigenous peoples and began looting their treasures of gold, silver, and gemstones.
As they conquered Inca and Aztec villages in pursuit of profit, the conquistadors also turned their attention to reopening local gold and silver mines.
This process was greatly facilitated by the creation of the encomienda system. Eager to both reward conquistadors and to secure larger shares of tax and tribute, the Spanish crown granted soldiers serving in the New World an encomienda, or license that allowed the holder to direct and exploit the labor of all native peoples living within the borders of his grant.
While some of these forced laborers were put to work growing food on haciendas, the vast majority found themselves performing backbreaking work in mines and coastal plantations for the benefit of their Spanish overlords.
Social hierarchies in Spanish America. The earliest of these overlords were the conquistadors themselves, most of whom stayed on in the colony to oversee their land grants.
As a result they formed a new landed colonial aristocracy that quickly came to dominate local politics and economics.
Over the next three centuries the conquistadors were joined by an average of twenty-six hundred new emigrants every year. Since labor in the form of Amerindians, African slaves, and mixed-race populations was so readily available in Spanish colonies, there was no need to import a white proletariat.
Consequently, the vast majority of theSpaniards who eventually emigrated to the colonies were lower-middle-class young men in search of social mobility and economic opportunity. On arrival, these emigrants took up support roles as artisans, clerics, merchants, and civil servants.
Since they came from a largely urban environment, the new arrivals tended to join the conquistadors in newly built colonial towns, thereby recreating the social hierarchy of Castile in which an urban upper class lived off the profits of landed estates worked by peasants.
Although this upper-class settler community presented a largely uniform facade, it was actually beset with a wide variety of internal social divisions. Within the settler community of Spanish America, social order was highly stratified according to class, occupation, birthplace, and race.
Settlers born and raised in the colonies, known as Creoles, were generally looked down upon as ignorant, backcountry yokels by more recent arrivals who were better versed in current metropolitan culture. Offensive as this was, the Creole population was even more bitter about the Crown's tendency to ignore them, despite their obvious wealth, knowledge, and experience, in favor of candidates from the metropole when it came time to fill the upper echelons of colonial administration.We will write a custom essay sample on A Comparison between New England Colony and Chesapeake Bay Colony specifically for you for only $ $/page Order now.
America. The thirteen colonies later formed the United States of America. first settled by New England congregationalists and by more latitudinarian Anglican colonists, Simmons, R. C., The American Colonies from Settlement to Independence (New York, ). Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.
The Chesapeake Colonies and the New England Colonies 2nd In the sixteen and seventeen hundreds the New World (America) was established by the puritans and by the plantation owners of Chesapeake Bay from England.
The Chesapeake and New England Colonies: A Comparison Essay examples - The Chesapeake and New England Colonies: A Comparison During the late 16th century and into the 17th century, European nations rapidly colonized the newly discovered Americas.
Chesapeake and New England colonies Comparison During the early 16th century and into the early 17th century, European colonies rapidly colonized the newly found Americas. England in particular sent large groups to the east coast of North America to two separate regions, which would later become known as the Chesapeake and New England areas.
Colonial America: A Very Short Introduction Alan Taylor Very Short Introductions.
Concisely covers the colonial experience on a continental scale, including English, Dutch, French and Spanish colonies throughout North America.