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Recreating the Old in the New World

Course Code
Dr.Liamvan Beek

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HIS271YRecreating the Old in the New WorldSeptember 22nd 2010
Collision of two old world cultures, creating a new world
In the aftermath of the initial conquests, there were push factors making other
nations to follow in the steps of Spain and Portugal
1.Financial gain: the new world had a vast amount of natural resources, still belief
that they could find a westward path to India
2.Notion that the new world was some sort of virgin land. Where people could go
to recreate life. A blank slate world.
Questions to consider
Who was going there? Who were these people? Men, women, families?
What were their goals? Why were they going? What were their hopes?
Did the environment and other unforeseen circumstances help shape the
communities that they built?
Did they develop distinct political and social institutions?
How did these factors help explain the diversity of the early colonies?
Mercantilism: rooted in the idea that there was a fixed amount of wealth in the
world, measured in terms of gold and silver. It also held that one nation could only
profit at the expense of the other. To achieve economic success, you had to sell as
much as you could while limiting the amount that you bought. Centered on the
principal of self-sufficiency.
Within this context, owning a colony made sense (you had a new source of resources
and eventually a new market to sell them in)
This idea dominated thinking among colonial empires, prompting European nations
to follow in the footsteps of Spain to find a westward passage (either by water, or now
by land across North America)
In 16th century, England and France financed explorers to find a passage
John Cabot (England), Jacques Cartier (France)

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HIS271YRecreating the Old in the New WorldSeptember 22nd 2010
Many of these early endeavours werent about creating colonies, but outposts for
They came into conflict not only with the Spanish but with the indigenous,
occasionally forming amicable relationships
Cultural Exchanges
Many early settlers depended on the native populations to survive (geography, food,
hunting, etc.)
Exchange of culture between the new cultures (tools, methods, clothes, etc.)
Also a religious exchange
Europeans trying to convert native populations would , in turn, adopt cultural
aspects from them
Although the exchange wasnt equal, in the end, both sides were changed
These colonies started off as outposts, but with the growth of Catholic missionaries
and funding from private enterprise, these areas started to grow
New Netherland
Funding by the Dutch West Indian Company
They also wanted to find a cheaper route to the East
They were, however, became immersed in the fur trade
Most of the profits went to the company
Not many were willing to leave Holland, so they gave land to people immigrating to
the New World
English Colonies
Although late arriving, they would become one of the most powerful holders in the
New World
Why were they late?
Internal struggleproblems with the monarchy and religious
Also struggling for naval dominance with Spain

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HIS271YRecreating the Old in the New WorldSeptember 22nd 2010
Nevertheless, there was growing pressure in England to expand the empire into
North America, due to growing population and less land
Individuals who were seeking greater religious freedom also wanted to expand into
North America
It really wasnt until the English defeated the Spanish Armada, ridding their
Atlantic dominance, that they were free to expand to North America
There was also a growing sense of Nationalism
The first real attempt at English settlement
Sir Walter Raleigh received a six year charter from Elizabeth to explore the eastern
coast of North America
Ultimately, it was a military venture
Found an island, called Roanoke off the coast of North Carolina
His cousin founded it instead of Raleigh, who brought 600 settlers from Plymouth
A group of undesirables
By the time they reached Roanoke, there were only 100 people
These 100 people were not prepared (assumed the Native Americans would help
them, and were thus unwilling to do any work at setting up a sufficient colony)
Things were worse when they encountered tension with Algonquin
The settlers were in need of food and supplies, waiting for reinforcements and
eventually left
Lost Colony
Raleigh was disappointed, cost him a lot of money which was wasted
Started a second expedition, with just 100 people
This expedition was led by John White
These settlers failed as well
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