The Political and Economical Differences Between the Spanish and English Colonies Essay

Published: 2020-02-19 12:01:32
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Category: Colonies

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The Spanish and English colonies both moved to North America seeking opportunities. The difference is that the Spaniards sought gold, while the English colonists sought freedom, religiously or otherwise. Therefore, the Spanish settlements in the Southwest and the English colonies in New England had very different approaches to both politics and economic development. The Spaniards had ventured to the United States region of America from their previous Latin America area. They expected to find the same success they did in South and Central America.

However, they encountered a few problems that affected their type of political development. The main problem was that there was hardly any gold. The Spaniards had relied heavily on this income and that was mainly their point of being in the Southwest. Since they were mainly after gold and converting Native Americans to Catholicism, they brought over few women and had little to no permanent settlements. They were there to do their jobs, get rich with gold, and go home. Because of this, they had few issues with their government being autocratic. This means that the royal crown had overall control of all the colonial decisions.

The crown kept tight control of the Spanish settlements because like I stated above, they were there to do their job, and therefore this form of political control worked for the Spanish. However, the autocratic type of government did not work for the English settlements. Many colonists came to America for religious freedom, and a new chance for a better life. They also brought over families. This allowed them to create permanent settlements with schools and churches and eventually new generations. The English settlers came primarily with joint stock companies and not sent by the crown, unlike the Spanish.

Therefore, the English colonies had established a form of self-government and later had the early beginnings of a democracy with assemblies and several elected officials like governors in some select states. The Spanish had little economic development in their settlements. This was mainly because of their hunt for gold. Thats what they were spending all their time on so they couldnt create a thriving trade and businesses started. That coupled with few natural resources led to this slow economic development that is vital to survival of colonies.

In contrast to the Spanish, the English colonies created a flourishing trade and consequently had great economic development. Because families had moved and towns were set up, the colonies could establish complex businesses and figure out how best to use their land. The colonies used their resources to create a good lumbering, fur trade, and fishing industries, which again furthered their economic development. Simply put, the English colonies had greater economic development and the Spanish had a very different approach to their politics and governing. All of these differences stemmed from who travelled to the colonies and why.

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