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Describe and assess the impact of exploration and colonization for one major European country between 1492-1600

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Introduction

Describe and assess the impact of exploration and colonization for one major European country between 1492-1600. "The history of Spain in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries was to consist of a continuing, and fruitful, dialogue between periphery and centre, between Argon and Castile. The Crown of Argon may have been weak and exhausted, but if it could contribute little in the way of men and resources to the conquest of empire, it could still draw upon a vast repository of experience which proved invaluable for the organization and administration of Spain and its newly won territories."1 Before Christopher Columbus discovered the 'Indies' Spain was in a difficult position, the Civil War made clear that the economy was struggling, not long after the Civil War was won John II died, and felt the Crown to his son. During the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, the crown of Castile was freed. The Crown set out on a career of conquests both in Spain itself and overseas.2 Nineteen forty two is the year that Christopher Columbus reached and "discovered" the shores of the Americas for the flag of Castile-Aragon. Such exploration affected the discovery of America, and as such, the impact of discovering America was mainly the rich precious metal resources, which founded the world economy. The advantages of "steel over stone and bullets over arrow"3 allowed the Spanish to colonise the Americas easily and two decades after the discovery of the America. ...read more.

Middle

severely weakened the Native civilizations' ability to fight back."9 As a result, of the Spanish being the first to successfully colonize South America, many other countries tried to follow their example, "After 1600 the ravaging of Indian population by disease and the rise of English, French, and Dutch power finally made colonization possible"10. The population in America rose as a result of the exploitation and colonization, however, even though Spain was the first country to successfully colonize parts of the 'New World' it did not hold its edge. "Britain's economic advantage over its North American rivals was reinforced by its sharp demographic edge. In 1700 approximately 250,000 non-Indians resided in English America, compared to only 15,000 French colonists and 4,500 Spanish."11 The population however did grow regardless whether it was the result of Britain settlers. Overall, it was Columbus exploration of America that resulted in the Indian population decreasing. "One million North American Indians died as a result of contact with Europeans by 1700"12. Many historians may blame the Spanish for enslaving the Indians, taking control of their land, and erasing their religion and beliefs, and ultimately destroying their people. On the other hand, it could be true to say that if the Spanish did not find the 'New World' then eventually another country would have, and would have treated the Native Americans in the same cruel way. Even though it can be said, that Spain was not all to blame for the malicious way the Natives were treated, Spain cannot be blameless in this, as Spain started the revolution by exporting goods, and colonising the land. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Spanish benefited from the gold and sliver trade for a while, until the price of sliver was reduced, and the British colonized much faster than any other European country to finally take over a country that was not theirs to start with. 1 Elliott H.J Imperial Spain 1469-1716, penguin books ltd, Edward Arnold 1963, pg 43 2 Elliott H.J Imperial Spain 1469-1716, penguin books ltd, Edward Arnold 1963, pg 45 3 Crosby W. Alfred, Worster Donald, Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900 (Studies in Environment & History) Cambridge university press 2004 4 Elliott H.J Imperial Spain 1469-1716, penguin books ltd, Edward Arnold 1963 5 Boyer, Clark, Kett, Salisbury, Sitkoff, Woloch. The Enduring Vision, A history of the American people. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005 pg39 6 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_colonization_of_the_Americas 7 Elliott H.J Imperial Spain 1469-1716, penguin books ltd, Edward Arnold 1963, pg102 8 Boyer, Clark, Kett, Salisbury, Sitkoff, Woloch. The Enduring Vision, A history of the American people. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005.pg 40 9 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_colonization_of_the_Americas 10 Boyer, Clark, Kett, Salisbury, Sitkoff, Woloch. The Enduring Vision, A history of the American people. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005. pg 44 11 Boyer, Clark, Kett, Salisbury, Sitkoff, Woloch. The Enduring Vision, A history of the American people. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005. pg 111 12 Boyer, Clark, Kett, Salisbury, Sitkoff, Woloch. The Enduring Vision, A history of the American people. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005. pg 59 13 Elliott H.J Imperial Spain 1469-1716, penguin books ltd, Edward Arnold 1963, pg 54 14 Elliott H.J Imperial Spain 1469-1716, penguin books ltd, Edward Arnold 1963, pg 55 15 Sauer, Ortwin Carl, the early Spanish main, university of California Press ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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