Colonialism of North America (Expansion)
The process of exercising the policy of Colonialism was undertaken by the major powers of the era in Europe to achieve their aims for global expansion, power and dominance. By following policies of colonialism enabled the countries of Europe to benefit from the different climates and natural resources of American lands leading to the:
- British Colonialism of America
- French Colonialism
- Spanish Colonialism
- Dutch, German and Swedish Colonialism
Spain, and to some extent France, were also motivated by their desire to convert the Native American Indians, to Christianity and the Roman Catholic religion
Colonialism and Imperialism (Dominance by the 'Mother Country')
In the early 1600's South America was largely controlled by Spain or Portugal, but the lands of North America were mostly unclaimed. England and France wanted to follow the lead of Spain and expand their own empires in the New World. Establishing colonies in America provided new lands and new trading opportunities enabling them to extend their political policy of Imperialism. What is the meaning and definition of Imperialism?
- Meaning and Definition of Imperialism: Imperialism is the policy and practice of seeking to extend the control of a distant nation or territory. The practice of Imperialism involves uniting the different territories of an empire with their own governments that adhered to the dominance of the 'mother country'. The word 'Imperialism' derives from the Latin word 'imperium' meaning to command.
What is the difference between Colonialism and Imperialism? Both involve exploiting a weaker country's resources to strengthen and enrich the 'mother country'. Colonialism usually involves the transfer of a population to a colony in new lands whereas Imperialism can be enforced by exercising military power to enforce the dominance of the 'mother country'.
Colonialism and Nationalism - (Pride in Achievements)
Nationalism, or pride in one’s country, contributed to the growth of colonialism and imperialism. Citizens were proud of the accomplishments of their country which included taking over foreign lands and territories. As European nations became competitive with one another, there was an increased pressure to practice Imperialism in order to maintain a balance of power in Europe.
Colonialism and Mercantilism (Controlling Trade)
The discovery and colonization of America propelled foreign trade and increased the volume of merchant activity and profits. The purpose of the American colonies was to supply raw materials and serve as a market for the finished goods made in the 'mother country'. The combined policies of Colonialism and Mercantilism enabled the Europeans to create and maintain wealth in America by carefully controlling new and highly lucrative trade opportunities. What is the meaning and definition of Mercantilism?
- Meaning and Definition of Mercantilism: Mercantilism, or the mercantile system, was an economic policy designed to increase the wealth of the 'mother country' by government regulation of all of the its commercial interests in America
Colonialism, Mercantilism and Protectionism (Protecting Profits)
The policy of Mercantilism favored the 'mother country' because the raw materials from the colonies were used to make the higher value finished goods in the mother country. The policy of Mercantilism is often coupled with another economic policy called Protectionism in which the ruling government protects their interests in their colonies by restricting trade with any other countries and by applying taxes and quotas that encouraged exports but discouraged imports. Great Britain adopted the policy of Protectionism with Colonial America that was designed to protect British workers and British businesses to the detriment of the colonists. The colonists were not allowed to compete with industries in England or or take jobs away. The combined British policies of Colonialism, Mercantilism and Protectionism enabled the British to restrict trade by Americans by enforcing laws such as the Navigation Acts the Hat Act and the Iron Act. The dominant British then imposed new taxes in America including the Stamp Act, Townshend Acts and the Tea Act.
Colonialism and Triangular Trade Routes
Implementing the policy of Colonialism and expansion in America combined with the policies of Imperialism, Mercantilism and Protectionism brought huge financial benefits to Great Britain. Profits were boosted even more by the transatlantic Triangular Trade routes that involved three journeys each that realized a large profit and a full cargo. The triangular trade routes were pivotal to the practise of Mercantilism and Colonialism by which colonies had one main purpose: to enrich the 'mother country'.
Colonialism - Triangular Trade Route Map