English, French, and Spanish Imperial Goals

November 24, 2017 Commerce

Though England, France, and Spain sought wealth and to increase the authority of their state, the imperialistic goals of the countries differed religiously and n their intentions with the native peoples of the land. All three nations set out on the hunt for gold and silver, however it was soon discovered after land was superficially divided, that the English and French territories were not teeming with these precious metals. England then turned to its quite successful commodity of lumber and other raw materials.

These raw materials would be sold to Britain where, with the right equipment and workers, they would be made into finished products such as furniture, and sold at a much higher price back to the colonies. This system as adored by Britain, but not by the colonists who felt they were dealt the lesser hand. The French set their sights on controlling the fur trade, a highly valued commerce in the Northern, colder regions of North America. This was an important deal for the French because practically their only distinguishable item of value to other traders was the beaver and its skins for warmth.

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It was a very popular skin for coats due to its great warmth and water resistant qualities. The Spanish, unlike the English and French, did not have to set their hearts on other prizes, for they had no ruble finding the vast amounts of gold and silver they wanted to bring back to Spain. Aside from commerce, religion played a great role in many aspects of people’s lives in this period. The French and Spanish were both Catholic nations. They sought to convert the natives of the New World.

The Jesuits was a Catholic order of men, often highly regarded for its educational, missionary, and charitable works, however also often known and condemned all together for its prevalent bad side. The French and Spanish Catholics and Jesuits did a great deal of converting in he new world. The English however, did not come to the New World to convert the natives to their religion on as large a scale, but to escape religious persecution by the people and the Church of England.

The colonist seeking religious freedom all followed a branch of Catholicism or Christianity. The religious freedom preached by many of these people however, only applied to those who practiced branches of those religions. The natives of the Americas were a very surprising and interesting aspect of the land to Europeans. Though they often traded and interacted with the Indians, the English sought to isolate themselves, in order to establish their culture and life in North America and not have it mix with the Indian’s, as can be noted by their use of forts and walls.

The French sought to form relationships with the natives in order to increase trade, and the Spanish saw the people as cheap labor, drafting them into the Encomia system to work on their vast plantations. The idea of large-scale farming however was a goal of all three nations who wanted to have a surplus of food and cash crops, such as tobacco for the English and sugar for the Spanish. North America was a land bursting with promise for the European colonizers such as Britain, France, and Spain.

Imperialistically, they all sought wealth and power, but had to find it in different manners. Religiously, the English primarily looked to America for refuge, yet the French and Spanish sought conversion for natives. The three nations also had different intentions for the natives. Each country craved something slightly different of America: English for authority and resources, the French for trade and commerce, and the Spanish for gold.

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