“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?

Topics: Slavery, Atlantic slave trade, Caribbean Pages: 3 (1093 words) Published: September 7, 2013

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, Portugal discovered and colonized a few islands that were there. They soon discovered that these islands were perfect for developing sugar plantations, which was a great money maker. Sugar soon became a humungous part of Portugal’s economy. Where there is sugar there are usually slaves, primarily African slaves. The colonization of these sugar islands began the trade with Africa for African slaves. Needless to say Portugal became extremely wealthy. Portugal anemically attempted to convert some Africans to their religion like Spain and England.(Roman Catholic eventually protestant) . Portugal’s relationship with the African people soon spoiled as most ‘Slave Master Enslaved People’ relationships did. Relations spoiled because Portugal began to interfere with existing trade between Africans and other countries, Portugal also destroyed the Arab trade routes in the Indian Ocean between Africa, Arabia and India, and Portugal also encouraged wars between rival kingdoms in Africa just to maintain the slave trade. In 1493 the Treaty of Tordesillas (line of demarcation) was created after Christopher Columbus and the Spanish found “new” land further west than the coast of Africa. “GOD, GOLD, GLORY and probably not in that order.” After...
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