Compare and Contrast the Social and Economic Groupings of One Latin American and One North American Colony in the 18th Century

Topics: Colonialism, Slavery, Americas Pages: 3 (1005 words) Published: May 30, 2011
In the 1400s explorers came across the Atlantic from Europe in search of a new world. Many nations found the New World and set out to look for gold, some found hoards and others did not have the same luck. Two nations that set out for gold were Spain and England, who both set up the colonies Mexico and Jamestown. Each had their own different social and economic groups, and each colony was very different yet in some ways similar. Mexico and Jamestown colonies both had social hierarchy systems, which defined class and power although; they were very different in their organization. Also Mexico and Jamestown both had underlying religious motives for colonization. Slavery was a prevalent use of a work force for both of the colonies although in neither case did they call it slavery. Both the Mexico and Jamestown colonies in the 18th century were in some ways similar and in some ways very different.

The two colonies were similar because they both had some sort of class structure. However, the organization of their class structures was very different. Jamestown did not even have an organized system; a lifestyle based on the rich ruling over the poor eventually fell into place on its own accord. The reason for this is that the Virginia Company created a headright system, which created an incentive for people to come over seas from England and help colonize the land and to become indentured servants for the tobacco plantations. The motivation was that each man would receive fifty acres of land and more for every family member; however, when they became indentured servants their employer would gain the headright, making them gain more land and money, and leaving the indentured servants with nothing after their contract ended. This caused an unintentional major separation of the rich plantation owners and the poor indentured servants. Mexico, however, had a thought out caste system, which held was in place for hundreds of years. It consisted of four levels of power,...
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