“Compare and Contrast the Early Colonial Empires of Portugal, Spain, and England in Terms of Motives, Economic Foundations and Relations with Africans and Indians. What Factors Contributed to the Similarities and/or Differences?

1101 Words Sep 15th, 2013 5 Pages

The three colonial empires of Portugal, Spain, and England were the most dominate in the fight for land in the Americas. While the motivations for these three colonial empires were similar and all of the Native Americans and/or Africans saw the Spanish Portuguese and English as one brutally similar people, economic differences between the three of them would ensure that their colonies would develop in dramatically unique ways. Portugal was one of the, if not the only, technological and economic geniuses of the fifteenth century. As a result of their genius, Portugal was able to build one of the first caravels and sail around the coast of Africa in an attempt to find a sea route to India. As a result of this attempt,
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The original motives to creating a colony were to find gold and make money just like Spain did. Once they realized that there wasn’t any gold there they decided to develop tobacco farms. Unlike Portugal’s and Spain’s empires the first colony of England’s “new world” empire was founded by a group of rich men called the Virginia Company instead of the government directly. After a few years of trying to stay afloat, this colony eventually created its own government system which was loosely controlled by the English government. Another difference is that Africans and/ or Native Americans weren’t used as slaves immediately. They weren’t originally used because they weren’t needed in the type of work that was being and at the time England wasn’t too fond of slavery. The first Africans arrived in Jamestown in 1619. Their status was not clear, Are they slaves? Could they possibly be people? Unlike Portugal and Spain to the English Africans and slavery weren’t economically important… yet. At this time the English used poor white men from their country to do hard labor (indentured servants). However, eventually they begin to rely on more and more African labor to do the work because Native Americans weren’t resistant enough to diseases and the eventually had to let indentured servants go. Africans were ‘immune’ to a lot of diseases and you could keep them forever so it seemed to be the best option. As we see there are many similarities between the

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