Major Issues in Colonization: Comparing Spain, France, England, and the Netherlands

What’s on this webpage:

What Is This Webpage For and What Do the Colors Mean?. 1

Looking at Events Nation-by-Nation to Determine Patterns in Colonization. 1

How did the Broad Trends in Europe (and Where These Europeans Went in the Americas) Lead to Differences in How the Europeans Dealt with the Americas?. 4

 

What Is This Webpage For and What Do the Colors Mean?

You can memorize history or you can understand it. In the long run, understanding history takes less time than memorizing and lasts for your lifetime—something that can’t be said for memorizing. This webpage can help you understand the interconnected issues by noticing the patterns.

 

Color reveals the nations in the remaining sections of this webpage, but--if you have trouble seeing colors—the names of the nations are provided as well. The colors are:

blue   

= England (later called Great Britain)

green

= France

red

= Spain

lavender

= The Netherlands

(Note: Holland, the area where the Separatists go for a while, is one of its provinces. The people of The Netherlands are called the Dutch.)

white

= Spanish attempts to suppress the Protestant nation identified

pale grey

= German area where small princes have power, not the Spanish or other rising nation

 

Looking at Events Nation-by-Nation to Determine Patterns in Colonization

This is color-coded to show connections to the table that follows.  

 

Look for the interconnections between nations. Notice the roles in the New World:

  • Of the church (Jesuits, Franciscans)
  • O feudalism (seigneuries, encomienda, patroonships, with equivalent activities by the English)
  • Of slavery and markets

 

Notice where they are and what their source of wealth is. Notice what people have a reason to risk their lives crossing the Atlantic to settle in one of these new colonies. Several areas are identified with the words They try feudalism. If you want to find the pages in our textbook that cover this, click here.

 

 

Nation

Date

Event

German areas

1517*

Martin Luther, protests, declares “justification by faith” (not works), and is excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church three years later

Spain

1519-1521

Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortés, conquers the Aztecs and takes their gold (Royal fifth goes to the king.)

Spain

1530-1533

Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizzaro, conquers the Incas and takes their gold

Spain

1560

Spanish Jesuits, missionary efforts increased in the Americas

Spain

1565

St. Augustine, colony (Spain)

Spain

1573

Spanish Franciscans, responsibility for pacification New Mexico, Florida Indians

England

1578

Elizabeth, charters to settle in the New World granted by

Dutch  and Spain

1581

Netherlands (a Protestant area)—declaration of independence with ongoing wars with Spain (a Roman Catholic area)

France

1582

Cargo of furs (France) 1,500% profit – Notice how much profit. If you could invest $1.00 and get $1500 back, what would you do?

England

1585

Roanoke, colony (England)—Sir Walter Raleigh – the first English colony in the New World

England and Spain

1588

Spanish Armada, defeat of—shift of naval power to England and making it easier for Protestant nations to trade

Spain

1598

Spanish encomienda system (translation: charge or commission) – They try feudalism.

France

1598

Edict of Nantes (France) issued giving toleration to Protestants (the Calvinist French Huguenots) so the Protestants do not have to leave France to worship safely.

Dutch

1600s

Slave sales by the Dutch, with the Dutch trading for slaves and with the New World

France

1600s

French colonial seigneuries (translation: senior lord.) – They try feudalism.

France

1600s

French Jesuit missionaries

France

1600s

French coureurs de bois (translation: runners of the woods) – They must trade to get the furs and therefore they make alliances with the Indians.

Dutch

1602

United (Dutch) East India Company, with the Dutch trading in the Far East (their major area of activity)

France

1608

Quebec, colony (France)

Spain

1609

Santa Fe, colony (Spain)

France

1609

French aid for Hurons v. Five Nations (Iroquois)

Dutch

1609

Henry Hudson (Dutch; of England), explores in New World

German areas

1618*

Thirty Years War (German areas), began partly over religion – The wars continue for 30 years.

England

1620

Plymouth, colony (English)

Dutch

1621

Dutch West India Company, with the Dutch trading in the New World

Dutch

1624+

New Netherlands, main settlement of New Amsterdam, colony (Dutch)

France

1627

Status of “natural French” when Indians were baptized

Dutch

1629

New Netherlands, patroonships offered – They try feudalism.

England

1634

Maryland – They try to try feudalism.

German areas

1638*

Thirty Years War (German areas), closed by Treaty of Westphalia which says—to simplify—that a nation-state can determine its own religion

Dutch

1648

Netherlands independence recognized and Dutch Protestants no longer have a reason to leave.

England

1660s

Carolinas– They try to try feudalism.

France

1685

Edict of Nantes (France) revoked so now French Protestants have a reason to leave France

 


 

How did the Broad Trends in Europe (and Where These Europeans Went in the Americas) Lead to Differences in How the Europeans Dealt with the Americas?

This table provides a way for you to think through the differences in the colonies. The table also tells you who will eventually win in North America.

 

Look at each row in the table. For example, ask yourself what is the difference in the practical consequence if the Europeans are:

·         Predominantly male or come with their families?

·         Few in number and spread out or concentrated in one place?

·         Doing agriculture or trading with the native population?

·         Are individual farmers or large-scale (with many laborers needed) agriculture?

·         Believe they must convert the Indians or not?

 

 

 

Trait

Spanish

French

English

Dutch

Where they went?

Central and South America

Canada and down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of New Mexico

Atlantic sea coast 

Area later called New York (Most of their colonies are in the Far East.)

Demographics of the colonies?

450,000 through mid-1600s

Mainly male

15,000 by 1700

Mainly male

Families:

> 2,000 in early 1600s

50,000 by mid-1600s

Families:

> 300 in early 1600s

Demographics of the colonies? (Why would ordinary people come?)

Catholicism dominated Spain, so mainly men, came not families

 

 

Protestants lived safely in France until the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, so until that time mainly men came, not families

 

 

As the link showing the English kings and their religions reveals, there was regularly some group whose religion was rejected by the crown. With persecution, families have a reason to take the risk of taking women and children across the Atlantic and of living in a wilderness.

Although the initial settlers were some Protestant refugees,[1] once the Spanish–those persecuting the Protestants—were forced out of the Netherlands, Protestant families were safe without moving to colonies

Economy of colonies?

Conquest – the conquistadors

Mining

Agriculture, large scale

Fur trade—the coureurs de bois (runners of the woods)

 

Agriculture

Shipbuilding

Fur trade

Breweries

Agriculture [2]

Large landholdings?  (feudal landholdings)

Yes

Yes, attempted but fails 

Attempted, fails as feudalism but occurs with slavery in the South

Yes, called patroonships [3]

Local governance?

Primarily a Spanish administration although your textbooks refers to some region governance

Primarily a French administration

Local governance in the colonies, particularly in New England with its town meetings. (Covered with the English settlement.)

No, a Dutch administration

Missionary effort?

Yes, sometimes by forced conversion 

Yes, but they adapt the religion to the Native Americans

 

Some, but generally separate from the Native Americans

¾

Mix with the native population, including intermarriage?

Yes. Mainly a male population migrated.

Yes. Mainly a male population migrated.

Rarely. Among the reasons, migration of families in all areas but the South.

¾

 

 

 

Copyright C. J. Bibus, Ed.D. 2003-2014

 

WCJC Department:

History – Dr. Bibus

Contact Information:

281.239.1577 or bibusc@wcjc.edu

Last Updated:

2014

WCJC Home:

http://www.wcjc.edu/

 

 



[1] This and the remaining entries in the column are from the Oxford Companion to United States History, p. 199.

[2] This and the remaining entries in the column are from the Oxford Companion to United States History, p. 199.

[3] This and the remaining entries in the column are from the Oxford Companion to United States History, p. 199.