Compare and Contrast the Early Colonial Empires of Portugal, Spain, and England in Terms of Motives, Economic Foundations, and Relations with Africans and Native Americans. What Factors Explain the Similarities and Differences in the Two Ventures?

Topics: Native Americans in the United States, Slavery, Colonialism Pages: 4 (1220 words) Published: September 30, 2010
“Compare and contrast the early colonial empires of Portugal, Spain, and England in terms of motives, economic foundations, and relations with Africans and Native Americans. What factors explain the similarities and differences in the two ventures?”

Darwin proclaimed that when push comes to shove, only the robust characters would survive. Outfitted with an effective military, a divine hostility against competing faiths and diseases unknown to even the carriers, three powerful and greedy nations overpowered opposition to their company in Africa and the New World. Natives to these lands were no matches against Portugal’s superior methods of navigation, or Spain’s newly unified and powerful sovereign whom would undertake effortless tactics to Christianize the entire world undiscovered or long discovered. Although England was last to fuse an overseas empire they also far exceeded expectations in establishing profitable investments and typical poor relations with the strangers who originally settled in this “New World”. Initially explorers desired merely a shorter route to the east, but once the spoils of treasures and additional jurisdiction became a tenable purpose self indulgence was all that remained of the pure motives.

Portugal was a pioneer fathering the Age of Exploration. She set out to investigate the coastlines of Africa in the middle of the 15-century looking to just dig up the unheard of. In an effort to accomplish these terrifying ambitions, Bartolomeu Dias rounded the tip of the “dark continent” south of Europe in 1488 opening a direct route beyond Africa through the Cape of Good Hope. This fueled interest in finding quicker routes starting with Vasco De Gama who was the first to reach India traveling the long passage around the coast. Along the shoreline in places such as Madeira, Sao Tome and Principe, the Portuguese launched an economically sound foundation of sugarcane plantations and gold trading posts. They enjoyed a private monopoly of...
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