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Essential Questions:

What does it mean to say that Europeans

"conquered" the land and peoples of North
What were the advantages & disadvantages of
Spanish, French, & English colonial patterns in
terms of long-term colonization in America?

Advantages for


Disadvantages for

The Spanish Colonies

in America

A World Transformed
Native Americans were eager for
European trade; they were not initially
victims of Spanish exploration
They became dependent on and indebted
to Europeans
Disease decimated perhaps 95% of
Native American population

The Spanish used the encomienda system to
create large cash Colonies
crop plantations using
& African
slave labor
heavily on converting Native
Americans & establishing missions

From Plunder to Settlement

By 1650, 1/2 million Spaniards
immigrated to the New World
Mostly unmarried males came to New
World; intermarriage led to mixed-blood
mestizos & mulattos
Distinguished between social classes:
peninsulares & creoles
The Spanish government operated strict
control over the colonies

Spanish Empire
Its conquering of the Americas would allow Spain to become
the most powerful empire in the world during the 16th Century
We came here to serve God and King and to get rich
Not only disease, but civil wars and religious superstitions
also allowed the Europeans, namely the Spanish, to conquer
the Native Americans (who GREATLY outnumbered the
The advanced technology of the Europeans offered an
incredible advantage in combat
Gunpowder, cannon, and bullets vs. bows and arrows
Horses (transport and cavalry) and also pigs, cattle, and
goats (foodstuffs) played a very important role in conquest

Spanish-American Culture
The Spanish conquerors would establish
the encomienda system
Encomienda a system of villages granted to
a privileged Spanish officer or aristocrat
Was responsible for providing for Spanish
missionaries and contributing wealth to the empire
Extreme class discrepancy: at one end were the
wealthy conquistadores and at the other the
impoverished natives

The Spread of Catholicism

Catholic missionaries quickly spread to the Americas in the wake
of the conquistadors victories
The Natives were viewed as pagans and the Catholic religion
was in turn imposed upon the people
The spreading epidemics were seen as the wrath of God
upon the pagans and justified the actions of the godfearing Spanish
A few missionaries would become the only advocates that the
Natives had among the Europeans
Bartolome de la Casas and A Brief Relation of the
Destruction of the Indies

Poet Staceyann Chin reads Bartolom de Las Casas

Spanish Exploration of the US

Spain would never develop successful settlements (in terms of trade
and power) in US territory mainly due to its primary lust for gold
and silver instead of developing centers of trade
Juan Ponce de Leon explored Florida
Hernando de Soto explored the Southeast US
Francisco Coronado explored the Southwest US
St. Augustine the oldest surviving settlement in the US,
established in 1565 in Florida
Spanish missions would dot the Southwest US with some
surviving today
Santa Fe was the 1st permanent seat of government in the US
By 1630 there were over 50 missions and 3,000 Spanish in the
New Mexico territory

The Horse
The introduction of the horse would forever
transform the Native American cultures of the US

Tribes such as those of the Great Plains

converted from agriculturally domestic to
nomadic within a very short period of time
after acquiring and breeding a significant
horse population
Following the buffalo herds became the focus
of Native society

The French Colonies

in America

The French Claim Canada

In 1608, Samuel de Champlain founded
Quebec; French Empire eventually included
St. Lawrence River, Great Lakes, Mississippi
The French government strictly controlled the
colonies but made little effort to encourage
Because the fur trade was the basis of the
colonial economy, Indians became valued
trading partners (not exploitive like Spain)

Like Spain, the French govt

encouraged converting Native
Americans & establishing missions

The English Colonies

in America

The English Colonies

In the 1600s, English settlers arrived in
North America
English colonization differed from Spanish &
French because the English govt had no
desire to create a centralized empire in the
New World
Different motivations by English settlers led to
different types of colonies

Migrating to the English Colonies

17th century England faced major social

The most significantly was a boom in
population; Competition for land, food, jobs led
to a large mobile population (vagrants?)
People had choices: could move to cities,
Ireland, Netherlands, or America (but this was
most expensive & dangerous)

Migrating to the English Colonies

Motives for migration to America:
Religious: purer form of worship
Economic: Escape poverty or the threat of
lifelong poverty
Personal: to escape bad marriages or jail

Migration to America was facilitated by the

English Civil War & Glorious Revolution

The Stuart Monarchs

Four Colonial Subcultures

The values of the migrants dictated the
personality of the newly created colonies;
led to distinct (not unified) colonies
The Chesapeake
New England
Middle Colonies
The Carolinas & Georgia

By the early 1600s, Spain, England, & France

had large territorial claims in North America
(but these colonies were not heavily populated,
especially in Spanish & French claims)

These colonial claims came largely

at the expense of the Native
Americans already living there