Difference Between English and Spanish Settlers Essay

Kayla McDowell FRQ 9-1-10 A. P US History The seventeenth century, for most Europeans, was a time for exploration of the New World. Two countries, Spain and England, inhabited this land in two very different ways. The English settled in the Northeast area in which they called New England, while the Spanish stayed in the Southwest migrating from Mexico. Each country lived in the new world based on the resources they had, and the life they brought from their native lands.

During that time, the English and Spanish settlements differed because of the influence from their religious backgrounds and their economic developments, which also led to different aspects of life Spain and England had much different views of religion. The settlers from Spain were Catholic. Although the Catholicism was a big part of their life it was not too overbearing. On the other hand, the settlers of New England were Puritan separatist who came to the New World because of religious persecution. Their religious beliefs caused them to live over bearing and controlling lives that always focused on their religion.

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The Spanish had a low tolerance for the natives’ religious rituals, and pushed to convert them to Catholicism. The Spanish Catholic Church had a leading role in the settlements and the conversion of the natives. The settlers even had presidios to protect them from hostile natives. They also tried to completely demolish Indian rituals, and that constant push caused the Pueblo’s to eventually revolt in the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. The English were not so much focused on converting the natives, but enjoying their religious freedom without the church.

Unlike the Spanish, the church was not a part of their new life in America, and that was the whole point of them coming to America. Economically, these two countries were completely different. In the Southwest, the Spanish settlers first entered America in hopes of finding gold, and in the beginning they were incredibly lucky. The settlers were more successful than the English Colonist in finding wealth. With that came less focus on their agricultural or commercial advances. On the other hand, the English were not lucky with finding gold, and they used the Natives for help in planting and other agricultural advices in order to survive.

The English also used the principle of mercantilism. In doing this, there was an increased attractiveness to buying colonies for a source of goods. For their labor, the Spanish used the natives as slaves. While at first, the English only had indentured servants from England who could soon become free men. In the end, economically, the Spanish depended on their wealth, while the English depended on their agriculture. There were two different types of colonization in America. One was by the Spanish in the Southwest region, and another by the English in the Northeast region.

Each country came to the new world, survived, and strived for different reasons. They each had their own religious backgrounds that molded their lives and the lives of the natives during the seventeenth century. Each had their own beliefs on how to live in the new world. Spain was based on monarchy and the church, and England was based on religious freedom and surviving. They based their economy on the recourses they had. To each their own most people would say, and that is exactly what these two countries did in their settlements of America.


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