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The United States

The United States was, from its earliest beginnings, a melting pot of groups of people who had come here searching to colonize for their own individual reasons. Some came seeking to convert souls to Christianity, others for the glory of discovery, and mostly those in search of wealth in the form of natural resources, including gold. The Spanish who came to the New World were in search of riches and wealth, intending to extend their power from their nation in Europe to new, unclaimed places as a way to create a new and more powerful Spain, with access to more natural resources such as timber, furs, and gold.

The British, on the other hand, came to America in search of new lives as individuals and wealth for themselves. They came to establish new communities, either for economic or religious reasons, and to seek a better life outside of the overcrowded borders of Great Britain, where it had become difficult to buy land or make a life for oneself if they were outside the aristocratic ranks.

Both were in search of the natural resources that the New World had to offer, but both groups were also similar in their quest for the wealth that they could get from colonizing America, and both also had to deal with a certain aspect of the New World that they did not expect: the Native Americans. The Spanish exploration of the Americas was funded exclusively by the Crown of their country. In other words, the Spanish royalty were the ones that funded the expeditions to America, and therefore it was expected that any wealth or resources obtained would be for the betterment of the Crown and of Spain, not the individual.

The men who went over to the Americas from Spain were not in search of settling there and establishing lasting communities, therefore they looked at the land in a different way from the British, mostly as a natural resource to be tapped for the betterment of Spain. They saw the resources of the New World as being easily available for them, but they wanted to bring it back to Spain to create a stronger, more powerful nation in Europe. The Spanish viewed the Native Americans that they encountered as people to be converted to Christianity and as portals to the wealth that was available to them.

Any natural resources available on American soil was known to the natives, not to the Spanish, so they sought to gain good relationships with natives in many cases. They also did not have the same inclination towards settlement as the British and therefore did not see the natives as nuisances on land that they wanted. In the end, the Spanish quest for God, glory, and gold was imperative to the creation of the new nation that would emerge, but their influence would be limited to a few areas, such as what is now Florida, unlike the British influence.

When the British came to America they were not in search of exploration, nor were they funded by the Crown traditionally. The joint stock company in Great Britain funded the settlement of the New World by the English, their sole objective being to make money, not for the benefit of the Crown, but for the benefit of individuals and the companies that sponsored them. What the individuals got out of it was far more, however.

With overcrowding being a huge problem in England, the establishment of communities in America meant more land that the British could settle on, meaning those who otherwise wouldn’t be landowners could now live their dreams. The main goal of these settlements were not to create more wealth for Britain or the Crown, but to create wealth and a better life for themselves. In order to accomplish this the British thought very differently about the natives that were inhabiting the New World than the Spanish.

To them the fact that the natives were not Christian was not cause to try and convert them but instead an excuse to take their land. Their feelings were that the land was not properly used, therefore they could take it without regret. While the Spanish were in search of God, glory, and gold, the British were simply colonizing for monetary and social purposes. They would end up being the most successful at colonizing the New World because of their use of force and their reasons behind colonization.

The colonization methods of the Spanish and English varied drastically, but the outcome was relatively the same, as in the end the draw towards wealth and development of the land would be the driving force that would shape the New World. At closer examination, however, the differences in the reasons and methods of the two European nations in colonizing America are seen better by looking at their motives for colonizing. While the Spanish sought more wealth and power for their nation, the British were in search of better lives as individuals. This difference dictated all of their experiences in the New World.

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