Colonial Settlement Term Paper

  • Length: 4 pages
  • Subject: Literature - Latin-American
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #31043661

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Colonial Settlement

The lasting impact of colonial settlement

The colonialism is taken to be a political and economic experience which paved the way for the European to explore, conquer, settle and exploit large areas of the world. The era of modern colonialism started during 1400 A.D with the European discovery of sea route around Africa's southern coast during 1488 and that of America during 1492. They made provisions to transfer the sea power from that of the Mediterranean towards the Atlantic and to the emerging new nation-states at that time which were Portugal, Spain, Dutch Republic, France and that of England. The initiation for discovery, the desire to conquer and settlement led these nations to expand their territories and to colonize over the world, extending the European institutions and culture to other parts of the world. The competition continued among the European nations for colonization across the world. Such colonies were exploited their raw material and applied as the new markets for European goods. Europeans had little care for the native people of such areas and consequently have great loss of life and culture. (Exploration)

During the 15th century the Portuguese instituted several forts and port cities along the east coast of Africa with a view to extending trade with the interior. However, could not succeed in establishing the contact and finally failed. Up to the mid 17th century, the Dutch could succeed in establishing a settlement at Cape Town the tip of Africa. This was viewed as the midpath point for their trade with India. The Dutch that settled in Cape Town were considered as Boers. They removed or enslaved the most of indigenous Africans in the region. During 16th century Portugal succeeded in attaining the control of the Indian trade from the clutches of Muslims. They first captured and regulated significant trade ports along the Indian coast. Consequently, this entailed them the monopoly of spice trade for most of the 16th century. The Portuguese control failed in the region as a result of mistreatment of indigenous Indian people and the disregard to the Indian culture and religion. (Exploration)

During the late 16th century the Dutch could succeed in taking control from the Portuguese and exercised monopoly of spice trade in Asia instituting Dutch East India Company in the early part of 17th century. The British and French constituted their own East India Companies and competed among themselves for lucrative spice trade during 18th century. They had alliances with the local princes and deployed Indian troops. Finally, British East India Company compelled France out and continued to control the trade networks. Spain started the agenda for imperialism and colonialism in the Americas. Spain invaded with their conquistadors those safeguarded the region for exploitation. Some of the conquistadors were allured by the search of gold and glory while the others attempted to convert the indigenous people to Christianity. In Dutch, French and British all strived for New World colonies in North America. The mythical Northwest Passage was being searched by all these three nations that were expected to lead them to Asia.

To their misfortune, that did not exist. However, they continued instituting colonies for trade and settlement. The large number of French and British settlements in the early part of 17th century has resulted in the death and displacement of the native population. The Dutch initially instituted the trading post at New Amsterdam but gradually British forced them out and converted it to New York. The growth of colonies in the America required cheap and reliable labor. Initially, the European settlers tried to enslave Native Americans. However, they could not find the Native Americans fit for plantation work and it became easy for them to flee and return to their people. Europe then considered Africa for its labor source. A vast number of Africans were brought and send to America to be deployed in the agriculture activities. The Triangle Trade from Europe to Africa and to the America was in large scale and was much profitable. The slave trade in African Diaspora resulted in forced migration of million of people. Besides, the colonization has resulted in the "vast exchange of people, plants, animals, ideas and technology" during the era of exploration. This has been referred to as the Columbian Exchange since it initiated with the Columbus. While many features of such exchange had positive impacts like exchange of food between Europe and America, the negative impacts like exchange of diseases also cannot be dissuaded. (Exploration)

II. The reasons why colonists were driven into rebellion

The European Colonization and settlement of North America was viewed as an invasion of territory regulated and settled for centuries by Native Americans. The Indian groups, moreover, visualized the arrival of Europeans as encroachment and they continued the number of possible dimensions to deal with the invasion. However, the Indians finally not failed in the long run in preventing or creating a favorable accommodation with the Europeans as a result of the influence on Indians of European diseases. Besides, the colonization also resulted in initiation of enslaving of Indians by Spain and the concept of indentured servitude of the English was seen as a solution to the labor problem in Virginia. Further African Slavery was considered by the Europeans as provision of labor force on the islands of West Indies. The colonization made the individual native members to confront the complex situations of responding with the means available and the inadequacy of the means made them simply the victims and to became the active agents attempting to shape their own destiny. (Colonial Settlement, 1600s-1763)

The instances of inter-marriage and racial mixing between the Europeans and that of the indigenous people prevailed with much more frequency to the extent that they were successful in wiping out and totally transforming the customs and cultures of the indigenous people of the America. The Spanish and Portuguese colonizers of the America also applied a considerably great amount of their efforts towards the religious conversion of the indigenous people and the promotion of Catholicism. In the regions which could not exterminate the indigenous population in its totality, large colonial campaigns were being initiated to exterminate the indigenous culture. (Laura Lewis Junior Honors Thesis Proposal)

The impact of colonization is evidenced in terms of near-extinction of native population, increasing slavery, widespread depopulation out of slavery, war and mining. The Arawak mortality is attributed to the acts of slaughter, forced labor which was unrelenting and harsh punishments for disobedience to slave conditions. Mass suicides also had taken place to flee from subjecting to Spanish overlords. The inhuman treatment to the indigenous people and increasing slavery infused the idea of revolt and resistance. The Haitian Revolution broke out during 1791 and spread through the entire colony. The rebel force comes out as a major military force. (History of Haiti) All men cherished their love for Liberty and the seeds of liberty are being planted in each and every man's mind that makes him unhappy with the societal conditions of slavery which are prevalent. It has been visualized that neither God, nor the Angels, or just men would be in a position to suffer even for a single moment. It is therefore being regarded as the solemn and the most imperative duty for them to apply whatever means, which are available -- moral, intellectual and physical that can bring about the element of success. It has soon realized that however no oppressed people have ever being able to attain their liberty without the power of resistance and resistance through means of revolt. (Garnet's 'Call to Rebellion')

III. Did the American Revolution have to be a violent one?

The American Revolution is being popularly depicted as the American War of Independence. The American Revolution is considered to be quite different from that of any other…

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