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Lecture 5

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GGR240 - Lecture 5 Oct.8 - The Construction of Colonies 1. Imperial Spaces: Power of Distant and Abstract Practices 2. towns of new Spain 3. Frobisherʼs Gold: 3 voyages and British Sovereignty 4. lasting significance of the fur trade 5. stable regions and the British commercial empire 6. dividing and ordering space: Seigneurial System and Cadastral Map Imperialism • type of geopolitical relationship: “the aggressive encroachment of one people upon the territory of another, resulting in the subjugation of the latter people to alien rule.” -Donald Meinig • subjugation = colonization • building of an empire through creation of colonies • almost all of north america was turned into an ʻImperial Spaceʼ by: -renaming space -bridging languages (attempt to learn local and also teach them at the same time) -bring value system (religious/political/economic) -create code of law - governing system -security (military) • all operating at different scales -local: missionaries coming to convert people -relationship between local level and bigger things like plants/maps -imperial practices (converting, subduing, creating a map) • this is a local and distant activity at the same time • produced effects of power that Native people could not influence -e.g. producing a map in London showing claims of land, the Natives have no way to change that process • re-territorilization The ʻAtlantic Circuitʼ • network of passages shaped by winds and currents that bind many continents together • triangular trade - Europe-Africa-NAmerica • before it was formally established in late 16th century, sporadic beginnings of movement of trade (of goods and humans) • only hope of economic benefit is to bring in a new labour force -slaves, wage labourers (serf-like) • requires some sort of local support -use settlers planted there • only 5 years separate the voyages of Columbus and Cabot • over 100 years separate Dominican Republic and founding of Jamestown, and Quebec • all European powers were starting to set their rule, Spain was first • Spanish started to send yearly military rounds to ʻcheck upʼ on the colonies on the island of Dominican Republic • Spanish Empire by 1600 had California-Chile -largest and richest empire in the world • Spaniards take islands like Caribbean and Cuba easily Into the heart of Aztec Empire: Hernando Cortes in Mexico, 1519 • roads and irrigation, mineral deposits, slave labour already established in Aztec empire • central america - massacres, epidemics - brought by Spanish • brought guns, horses, cattle, wheat, barley • all leading to the creation of New Spain • after the conquest, they are interested first and foremost in resources -precious minerals • established massive mining camps that required a lot of development -locals forced to work in the mines • this development lead to the ability to establish towns • Spanish colonial urbanism: Santo Domingo, 1671 (rectangular grid plan with central plaza or cathedral) • by middle of 16th century, these towns become symbolic centers of Spanish empire • they were controlled from Spain • these towns represent stable points of imperial control • back in Spain, increase in number of universities - in order to train future local administrators in New Spain ʻNewʼ Spain • new settlement geography (colonial towns) • new category of population (mestizos - mixed European and Central American heritage) • new labour system (encomienda/ ʻtrusteeshipʼ = to entrust) • new calendar and religious system • new language • but while the arm of Spain was long, it could not control everything, particularly at the scale of daily life -language, culture survives • societies are tied to the places in which they sit - cannot simply create a new europe in central america • try to unify - one language, one religion, one god Focal points for regional colonial societies • Quebec (the town) (french), Santa Fe (spanish) and Jamestown (English) were founded within a few years of one another in early 17th century • despite this they were completely different colonial history • English and French were still struggling to establish foothold in NAmerica, where Santa Fe was merely one of hundreds of Spanish towns Martin Frobisher • led the first attempt by the English to establish a settlement in North America • first step in eventual British claim to sovereignty over much of the continent • 3 voyages: 1576-78 • he was basically a pirate • minimal attempt to settle NAmerica -tied to gold mining fraud • “to the Elizabethan mind, Arctic had magical aura - island where unexpected marvels and dangers might be found” - Robert McGhee • Forbisherʼs Unicorn: The Narwhal • Resolution Island (site of Queen Elizabethʼs Foreland, named by Frobisher in July 1576) -he instructed his crew to collect things in the idea of “christian possession” (like Columbus) -justified by religion • one of the sailors brought back a black stone • eventually the
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