Free Colonization Strategies Spanish and British Empires Essay Sample


During the 16th century, Europe experienced radical economic, social, and political changes. These changes were associated with the Industrial Revolution, which took place between 1500 and 1800. Based on the changes that took place in Europe during the 16th century, it is safe to state that Europe was expansive. Many industries in Europe rose during the 16th century. For instance, mining of coal started in the early 16th century. This led to opening of coal mining factories across different parts of Europe where coal was available.

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Industry, which had already started to develop before the 16th century, experienced rapid growth during the 16th century. Consequently, development of industries and flourishing of agriculture led to development of many urban centers, which were used by Europeans for trading activities. Farmers would transport their produce to urban areas to trade them with manufactured commodities. These trading activities enabled Europe to grow richer and richer during the 16th century. However, these riches were originated from the triangular trade they carried out during their business of the slave trade.

From 1450 to 1850, Europeans shipped millions of Africans across Atlantic to their country. They used them as slaves to work in their plantation in their homeland. Some sold Africans to other countries as slaves. The coming of Europeans was motivated by glory, gold and God. Some of the Europeans had come to West Africa to spread their faith. This was spread by the European missionaries who spread particularly to the powerful states such as Congo Missionary efforts followed, particularly to the powerful states of Benin and the Congo. Portuguese assisted them since they had arrived in Africa before. Some of the West Africa countries accepted Christianity, and this offered an opportunity for other European colonizers to form colonies in the West Africa.

The other reason for Europeans reasons for coming to Africa was the gold that was found in West Africa. Portuguese launched routes to contact with the Africans along the coast. They came up with trading forts, for instance, El Mina that received gold that came from interior of Africa. Most of these forts were established by the approval of African authorities since they desired benefits gotten from the trade. Some of these forts could allow the Europeans to trade from the interior. This allowed these European traders in enter in the West Africa countries, which was the source of the raw material, gold. Therefore, the Europeans opened new markets in the interior. With the Portuguese in the interior, they were able to invite missionaries who spread their faith. As they were taught the Christian faith, Africans tried fit some of the concepts they found useful in their beliefs.

The Europeans missionaries saw Africans as pagans who could convert to Christianity and adopt civilized behaviors. Therefore, they tried to win the trust of the Africans in order to convert them to Christianity.  Meanwhile, Portuguese ventured in Africa establishing bases for conducting their trade. They established Luanda along the Angolan coast that was among the Mbundu. They later established bases in the Indian Ocean on the Mozambique Island and other town along the coast. These bases were established by the Europeans in order to be able to control gold trade that came from Monomotapa. Some of the Europeans settled along the coast permanently while others created stations for trading through agreements with the Africans.

Europeans also came to Africa for slave trade. They were in need of workers who would work in their sugar plantations. This was because many of the European countries relied on agricultural for economic development. Many people lived in small villages, where they cultivated their land using ancient farming tools, many for subsistence purposes. However, in the 16th century, focus shifted from subsistence farming to commercial farming. This was made possible through the introduction of better farming equipment. Commercialization of agriculture led to development of trade and industries. For that reason, they were in need of workers who would work on their plantations that brought a lot of profits.

Religion played a prominent role in enabling Europeans take control of African’s natural resources, as well as, taking Africans to their countries so that they can work in their plantations. This is because as Portuguese was establishing bases in order to control gold trade; missionaries were busy converting Africans into Christians. This made them not to concentrate on the Portuguese who were taking control of their resources. Therefore, missionaries who were invited by the Portuguese, were used to make Africans engage in activities that would not allow them realize the Portuguese plan of taking their resources. Additionally, Europeans used religion to gain trust from the Africans so that they would allow them to carry out trade from the interior. With the trade, it would help them gain more profits so that they would control the Africans completely.

Economy of the Europeans also played a significant role in the civilization of the West Africa. In triangular trade, slavery was included whereby manufactured goods from Europe were taken to Africa exchanging for slaves. These slaves were then taken to work in the sugarcane and cotton plantations and the end products cotton and sugar were exported to Europe. The overall profits from the plantation facilitated the prolonged existence of the slave trade, which implies control of Europeans in African’s resources. This is because slavery reduced the economy of the Africa countries and left to depend on the manufactured goods from Europeans. With the high economy of the Europeans, it was easier to control the Africans since they would exchange money for slavery.

African rulers, which represented power politics of the Africans, also helped Portuguese in civilizing West Africa. Most of these forts were established by the approval of African authorities since they desired benefits gotten from the trade. This allowed the Europeans enter the interior of Africa and establish bases to control both slave and gold trade. With these bases, it made it easier for the Europeans to take control of the trade, as well as, the governance of the West Africa countries. The Africans were also easily recruited and taken to the cotton and sugar plantations so that the Europeans would increase the profits.


The invasion of Spanish in the Americas was the most significant campaigns concerning colonization of Americas by the Spanish. This process concerning the military conquest was successfully made by the native allies and the Spanish conquistadores. Following their preliminary exploration and battles, the native allies and one hundred and sixty nine Spanish soldiers attacked the emperor of Inca Empire surprisingly during the battle of Cajamarca. This was the first step that took many years of fighting in order to subdue the strongest empire of the Americas.

On the other hand, British establishment of rule in India was not highly significant according to many historians. However, the British were capable to maintain the stable and vast empire within the Indian subcontinent for about two centuries. They were also able to exploit the natural resources that belonged to India uncontrollably as well as drain the prosperity of the population by imposing unreasonable and excessive taxes. They were able to do all this with no unmanageable challenges in their political power, which they had in India.

During British rule in India, the colonists employed various peaceful tactics to maintain their colonies. For instance, they used the Gandhi’s tactic. They used this tactic with more sophistication and skill than any other use of Gandhi. The colonists, for instance, refused to pay for the stamp needed to appear on the legal documents and publications. Additionally, they used the strategy of introducing parallel institutions that took over government’s functions. This enabled them take control of the Indians’ natural resources as well as its wealth.

British also used the tactic of divide and rule by encouraging the leaders of India to compete for senior positions in the government. This was an effective way of disuniting Indians, which would make it easier to take control of the country. The consequence of this tactic was that men who were in the government disliked each other, and were capable of removing the competitor of the colonists from power. This would allow British take over the government easily.

Spanish, on the other hand, used direct means of acquiring the rule of Americas. This is because the Inca Empire had no superior weapons; therefore, use of fights was the easiest way to colonize the Americas. Spanish used tactics such as internal unrest, open battle, disease and the tactic of capturing the Inca Empire. Spanish weapons and armors were extremely effective against of weapons of the Andean since they were not impenetrable to clubs, slings, or maces. However, following hostilities such as the Arauco War, Chichimeca and Mixtón Rebellion, they needed the conquistadors befriend with tribes to reduce expeditions during the wars.

The other difference between Spanish rule in the Americas and British rule in India is that Spanish concentrated and settled colonial institutions in areas that had high population and that were most economically and politically developed in the colonial era. One of the areas was Mexico, which was stable and populous. British, in contrast, pursed areas that had high population but were not economically and politically developed. Their aim was institutional transformation in the areas that were populous as well as those areas that were developed. Hence, Spanish was highly associated with the level of development of the colonies, while British negatively associated with the development of the colonies.

The other difference is based on showing how level of colonialism of these two colonizers had different effects on social and economic development of their colonies. The extensive Spanish colonialism formed dysfunctional markets and greedy states and abandoned the highly stratified Americas societies. The Spanish colonialism that was less extensive did not lead to the creation of markets and states that were effective; however, spared regions to establish destructive institutions by giving them an opportunity to experience development after the colonial effects. British, alternatively, the extensive colonialism established the rule of law, competitive markets and administration in India. This advanced development during the post-colonial era, in India. The less extensive British colonialism, in contrast, distorted all the existing institutions, hindering future development. Therefore, the effects of colonialism regarding development left by Spanish and British colonialism were different in the Americas and Indians respectively.

However, Spanish rule in the Americas and British rule in India had a similarity in their colonization period. This is seen whereby they both had large consequences on the areas they preferred to settle. The benefited their colonies by pursuing high levels of developmental legacies and colonial institutional building they left behind. This made these colonies develop more that they were before the coming of the colonizers. Although, British left more positive effects in India for the post-colonial period than Spanish, who had negative effects for development in postcolonial period, they both benefited their colonies with the changes they had left.

In conclusion, it is evident that Spanish rule in the Americas and British influence and rule in India was different in some ways and was similar in other ways. The tactics used to acquire the colonies and effects left differed in these two colonizers; however, they both developed their colonies for better.


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