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Recreating the Old in the New World

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University of Toronto St. George
Dr.Liamvan Beek

HIS271Y Recreating the Old in the New World September 22 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? Context 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 16 century, England and France financed explorers to find a passage John Cabot (England), Jacques Cartier (France) www.notesolution.comHIS271Y Recreating the Old in the New World September 22 2010 Many of these early endeavours werent about creating colonies, but outposts for trade 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 struggle problems with the monarchy and religious Also struggling for naval dominance with Spain
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