Know All About Aspects of European Colonialism


European discovery and colonization of North America was sparked by the age of discovery in which an Italian sailor and explorer by the name of Christian Columbus proposed a voyage that was intended to find a shorter route to Asia. The voyages of this explorer opened up possibilities and the way for the exploration and colonization of the Americas by Europeans. The Spaniards were, therefore, the first to settle in the Americas, which is now known as the United States. Columbus had a contract with Queen Isabella which opened up ways for conquests in the 16th century Americas. These conquests were more Spanish than Portuguese. One of the great themes of historical literature over the past five centuries has been the assessment of the European discovery of the Americas as one of the two greatest events in human history with Hernan Cortes’s secretary writing that no greater event had been as interesting to mankind as the discovery of the New World (Restall, 2004).

This paper aims to discuss the aspects of economic and social life in the European colonies. It also aims to discuss the occupation and economic status of several colonial biographies. It also points out the differences between the various colonies particularly in North America as well as the roles played by the natives in the imperial colonial societies.

New Netherland

New Netherland, which was located in the east coast of America, was the first colony of Dutch in the 17th century. The colony extended from the north state, Albany, New York to the south, Delaware. The people who inhabited New Netherland included the European colonists, African slaves who were imported as laborers and American Indians. The population of New Netherland consisted of people from many different countries, who practiced various religions and spoke at least eighteen languages and this diversity was quite unique to New Netherland and contributed to the multicultural makeup of the middle colonies (Schmidt, 2013). The Dutch West India Company, which was a global corporation, mainly dominated the affairs in New Netherland and for the first few decades, the company was formally in charge of governing the colony. The company appointed its own governor who could carry out his duties without interference from any appointed or elected leader. However, the colony also gradually became a politically robust settlement as women had the privilege of enjoying legal, economic and civil rights as compared to their counterparts in the British colonies. The towns in New Netherlands were also accorded the privilege of self-governance.

In New Netherland, religious tolerance was highly observed as all the settlers were required to uphold tolerance of all the different religions. The legal founding document of the Union of Utrecht of 1579 stated that religious tolerance was to be upheld. With the words “Each individual enjoys the freedom of religion,” the Union of Utrecht inscribed tolerance into the heart of the Dutch Republic and this individual freedom of religion became qualified as the liberty of conscience which became the fundamental law in all the Dutch provinces and colonies (Haefeli, 2012). This means that New Netherland ended up developing into a kind of settlement that was culturally diverse as a result of the Dutch fostering a deep respect for the freedom of conscience. (by Psychology Homework Help)

New Netherland possessed many commercial possibilities which attracted a lot of interest during the Dutch Golden Age. Following the publication of the Hudson report, investors and merchants soon began making huge sponsorships to the new colony. The inhabitants of New Netherlands enjoyed considerable economic freedom but all trade activities had to be conducted through the company. For instance, the company had ownership of beaver furs, which was the most commercial commodity at the time. The natives in the colony and the Dutch colonists became quite dependent on one another as the natives played the crucial role of hunting and delivering fur pelts for the Dutch, which they traded for weapons, clothes, tools, and alcohol imported by the Dutch.

Colonial Biographies

The study of biographies is an important research tool that can be used to study important aspects such as colonialism. The careers and life stories of individuals and generations show particularly clearly the disruptions and constraints, but also the new possibilities and mobilities that were created by colonial rule (Von & Strickfodt, 2016).

 Isabel Moctezuma was the last Aztec empress who played the role of a consort of Cuahetmoc and cuitlahuac Aztec emperors. Her social status was elevated after the Spanish conquest to that of one of the Mexican Indians who were accorded the right to make special demands for forced labor and tribute from the native Indians living in an area, referred to as an encomienda.

Miguel Hernandez was a Spanish language poet in the 20th century who also served in the Republican Army during the time of the Spanish Civil war. His economic status was that of low resources as he came from a poor background. Despite his many contributions to history, he often lacked money for books and for excursions.

Catarina de Monte Sinay was a nun of the black veil and she had a basic educational background as she could read and write. Her occupational interest also included lending money and she collected interest from it which enabled her to accumulate a lot of fortunes and she died as a very wealthy woman.

Damian da Cuhan was the granddaughter of a chief of the Caiapo tribe and she played the important role of a go-between the conquerors and indigenous people. She played an instrumental role in convincing her tribe to join the colonial world of the Portuguese so as to reap the benefits of Christianity by converting to the religion. Her role as a go-between earned her the title of Indian heroine of the Goias state.

Daniel Boone was considered as one of the first folk heroes in America as he was an important explorer and frontiersman of his time. His occupational interests included trapping game and hunting which enabled him to gain familiarity with the routes. He also played an important role as a go-between during the cultural conflicts between the Native Americans and the whites.

Pierre Pouchot was born as the son of a French merchant and he served as a military engineer during the war. He volunteered as he was a very accomplished engineer. He was also an officer in the French regular army and made significant contributions during the war of the French and Indians. (You can buy a similar paper from us)


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