Free «North and South America» UK Essay Paper
There were many reasons that prompted the seizure of the territory of North and South America. Politics, economics, religion of the European countries took benefits from the territorial expansion. Especially, if the new land contains useful resources, free labor, and does not require a significant investment in the conquest. The desire for such a development has forced many countries to expand their land holdings and arrange colonies in virgin America's continents.
At the end of the 15th Portugal became the country, which launched the protracted period of expansion. Feeling the charms of light gold, ivory and slaves, it soon took control all over the sea route, from Lisbon to India and South-East Asia. While decently impoverished nobles of young Spain were in need of an easy gold as well as the Portuguese. Goods, gold, and most importantly, the new territories could open the new opportunities for Spain. Thus, there was the necessity to open new trade routes across the ocean. The thought of this way appeared in Renaissance Europe to the spread of a relatively wide range of stakeholders of the ancient doctrine of the sphericity of the Earth. In turn, the long voyages were made possible by achieved in the second half of the XV century advances in shipbuilding and navigation. In 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail to open the sea route to India. During his travels, he came across the coast of South America. This event has become an occasion to Spain and Portugal to divide the Atlantic and to establish control over it. After the signing of the Treaty of Tordesillas, all Atlantic was divided between Spain and Portugal. Spain could actually open the colonies in the New World from Alaska to Cape Horn, except Brazil, and in the most part of eastern Asia. American land was rich in gold, and indigenous people could not have a strong military resistance to the Spanish invaders. The enormous production of gold, spices and slaves enriched Spanish lords. Though, it enriched not only them. The bulk of this production is not settled in Spain, and set off to her former Netherlands, Antwerp, which in XVI century became the commercial capital of Western Europe. The Portuguese sold their goods Antwerp. Thus, Portugal and Spain had in Europe a critical resource for precious metals, spices, and various oriental goods.
Developed European powers could not allow the benefit of the Spanish state treasury over themselves. England and France sought to undermine the monopoly of the Spanish crown to trade with the colonies in America. In the middle of the XVI century France has set up a few settlements in the heart of American possessions of Portugal and Spain. However, after their destruction, it became clear that France was too weak to carry on the direct struggle for colonies. England did not create colonies in the South America. It opened the illicit trade, including the sale of slaves from Africa, the Spanish colonists, and encouraged piracy. British ships made a daring attack on the Spanish coast of America, captured and plundered Spanish ships laden with gold and precious goods, which then went to the royal treasury. This control method was too sensitive to the Spaniards, and it led to the war between Spain and England, which England won.
French and English people came to North America about the same time. The main purpose of France was the exploitation of natural resources and trade with the natives. The British, in turn, was going to build the colony and settle them in order to trade with the mother country. Many people have left England, dreaming of wealth or wanting to establish a separate religious community. Therefore, the aims of France and England were different. French people settled along the two main rivers, planning in the future to move inside the continent. British people settled along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Both nations shared the only mountain range. The conflict was inevitable, when the British settlers finally got over the mountain and found the French trading posts and forts along the Ohio River. This situation became a reason for the war between France and England.
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The great geographical discoveries have led to an unprecedented expansion of the limits of the known world. Civilizations began a long process of the rapprochement and cooperation. However, he was overshadowed by the European colonial expansion. The result of this was that the American continent has become a source of enrichment of Europe's economic and political power. Colonial benefits have become the basis of primitive accumulation, the establishment of capitalism and the creation of the world market.
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