Key Concept 2.1: Differences in imperial goals, cultures, and the North American environments that different empires confronted led Europeans to develop diverse patterns of colonization.
Seventeenth-century Spanish, French, Dutch, and British colonizers embraced
different social and economic goals, cultural assumptions, and folkways, resulting in
varied models of colonization. (WXT-2) (PEO-1) (WOR-1) (ENV-4)
Spain sought to establish tight control over the process of colonization in the Western
Hemisphere and to convert and/or exploit the native population.
French and Dutch colonial efforts involved relatively few Europeans and used trade
alliances and intermarriage with American Indians to acquire furs and other products for export to Europe.
Unlike their European competitors, the English eventually sought to establish colonies based on agriculture, sending relatively large numbers of men and women to acquire land and populate their settlements, while having relatively hostile relationships with American Indians.
II. The British–American system of slavery developed out of the economic, demographic, and geographic characteristics of the British-controlled regions of the New World. (WOR-1) (WXT-4) (ID-4) (POL-1) (CUL-1)
racial sexual unions with native peoples (and, in Spain’s case, with enslaved Africans), English colonies attracted both males and females who rarely intermarried with either native peoples or Africans, leading to the development of a rigid racial hierarchy.
The abundance of land, a shortage of indentured servants, the lack of an effective
means to enslave native peoples, and the growing European demand for colonial goods led to the emergence of the Atlantic slave trade.
Reinforced by a strong belief in British racial and cultural superiority, the British
system enslaved black people in perpetuity, altered African gender and kinship relationships in the colonies, and was one factor that led the British colonists into violent confrontations with native peoples.
• rebellion, sabotage, escape
III. Along with other factors, environmental and geographical variations, including climate and natural resources, contributed to regional differences in what would become the British colonies. (WXT-2) (WXT-4) (ENV-2) (ID-5) (PEO-5) (CUL-4)
The New England colonies, founded primarily by Puritans seeking to establish a community of like-minded religious believers, developed a close-knit, homogeneous society and — aided by favorable environmental conditions — a thriving mixed economy of agriculture and commerce.
The demographically, religiously, and ethnically diverse middle colonies supported a flourishing export economy based on cereal crops, while the Chesapeake colonies and North Carolina relied on the cultivation of tobacco, a labor-intensive product based on white indentured servants and African chattel.
The colonies along the southernmost Atlantic coast and the British islands in the West
Indies took advantage of long growing seasons by using slave labor to develop economies based on staple crops; in some cases, enslaved Africans constituted the majority of the population.
• the Carolinas (rice), Barbados (sugar)