Spanish and English Settlement of America

Topics: Americas, England, Protestant Reformation Pages: 2 (653 words) Published: February 18, 2011
While the Spanish settlement and the British settlement of the Americas shared some similar characteristics, they were also substantially different and carried out in entirely dissimilar manners. They might have had common goals in mind for themselves but these countries took entirely different routes in settling the Americas because of different motivating incentives that pushed their colonization of the New World. The Spanish were settling at first to mine for gold, and were successful at it, but did not have many plans of truly settling for the land. (Brinkley 10) The British, however, started out thinking about the land as the riches that were being chased after. (Brinkley 19) England also had previous colonization experience with Ireland that had crafted the way they viewed settlement in a way that made belief of separation from the native population vital. (Brinkley 22, 23) I feel that simply the difference in the way they viewed the New World had a large effect on the approach in which the Spanish and the British took at inhabiting the Americas.

There was a combination of inducements that pushed England into wanting to colonize the New World. The prevailing economic theory of mercantilism stressed the need for a nation to accumulate materials. Merchants were building large wealthy companies that chartered out and traded goods, and these companies believed colonization would benefit them by expanding their trade immensely. Martin Luther challenged the basic beliefs of the Roman Catholic Church and started the Protestant Reformation, which sparked religious motivation for colonizing the New World because many people wanted more and more reform of the Church of England along with freedom to worship in their own way. These people formed groups called Puritans who were antagonized by King James I started looking for places of refuge outside of England. As all of this was going on the food supply decreased as the population increased rapidly...
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