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Mith242

British Colonies and Spanish Colonies

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I thought this might make an interesting topic. I was curious what others thought were the biggest differences in the former British colonies and former Spanish colonies. Obviously some of the former British colonies like Australia and New Zealand don't really apply to the Americas discussion. It just seems that many of the former Spanish colonies have had problems that the former British colonies either didn't have or were more able to overcome. Now I don't want this to be one of those everyone from the US talk about how Latin America isn't as good as you type discussions. I don't want people from Latin American to think people from the US or Canada are picking on them. I also have no problems if someone wants to add former Portuguese colonies like Brasil (or Brazil depending on where you're from) into the discussion also. I'd just like to see other people's ideas between the differences between these groups of former colonies here in the Americas.

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Great topic. Generally, talking about the Americas, I would say that there are 3 main differences. This is, of course, extremely general and synthesized, am also kind of sleepy so forgive any mistake.

1. Religon:

Spain: Catholic spaniards, sure that their mission was to transform native devils into christians. Catholics who believed that with confession and battle in the New World, all their sins would be forgiven, and just raped and killed millions of natives.

G. Britain: Fugitive Christians, trying to gain some rights in a new land. These ones did not mix with the natives, they just killed them.

2. Politics:

Spain: Nobility and the sense that nobles did not have to work. Work as something not worth of a noble. Blood and names as main way of judgement.

Britain: Work as an honor. They were escaping the british catholic opression, so no real importance about nobility and the previous system.

3. Economy:

Spain: Latin America as an extremly rich land. Not possible for Spain to lose it. Mass production and growth of many products. Complete explotation. Monocultivism

G. Britain: Less fortunate lands, more need for industry and manufacture. Europeans not that worried about losing them. No native slaves, yes african slaves.

Again, this is extremly generalized, and I might have forgotten something. Well, off to bed... :thumbsup::ph34r:

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Great topic. Generally, talking about the Americas, I would say that there are 3 main differences. This is, of course, extremely general and synthesized, am also kind of sleepy so forgive any mistake.

1. Religon:

Spain: Catholic spaniards, sure that their mission was to transform native devils into christians. Catholics who believed that with confession and battle in the New World, all their sins would be forgiven, and just raped and killed millions of natives.

G. Britain: Fugitive Christians, trying to gain some rights in a new land. These ones did not mix with the  natives, they just killed them.

2. Politics:

Spain: Nobility and the sense that nobles did not have to work. Work as something not worth of a noble. Blood and names as main way of judgement.

Britain: Work as an honor. They were escaping the british catholic opression, so no real importance about nobility and the previous system.

3. Economy:

Spain: Latin America as an extremly rich land. Not possible for Spain to lose it. Mass production and growth of many products. Complete explotation. Monocultivism

G. Britain: Less fortunate lands, more need for industry and manufacture. Europeans not that worry about losing them. No native slaves, yes african slaves.

Again, this is extremly generalized, and I might have forgotten something. Well, off to bed... :thumbsup:  :ph34r:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Those are interesting points. I hadn't quite thought of the religious idea quite that way but it does make sense. Yes they may have treated them horribly but they didn't kill them off like they did in the former British colonies.

I didn't mention this in the original post but do you think Latin American countries will be able to establish a more stable political process? Although I guess it's more than that. Countries like Mexico have a rather stable political system, yet they still have big problems with corruption and such. Perhaps I should say do you think Latin American countries will eventually be able to set up more stable well run countries.

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I think that one real difference was the fact that the Spain never allowed for any autonomy. When the former Spanish colonies became independent, they did have any history of self government and had to go about developing it. They had had a history of corruption under the Spanish system and it just transferred over to the new governments when they took over. A lot depends on the country, but the Spanish did wipe out the entire populations of a number of islands and imported slaves from Africa, as well, to fill in as labor. In the countries where the indigenous people were numerous enough to remain found themselves at the lowest rungs of the social and financial ladder. The Spanish had controled all of the flow of money and property and continued to do so. In the US, there was a disdain for the Native People that even taking up the trappings of the American whites could not change. The Cherokees had their own newspapers, trading centers, plantations with slaves, all the trappings of being Southerner's at the time. Gold was found on their land and there was the feeling that they were still not human, so they were forced to move from their mountain highland homes to a hotter, much drier land that they were not familar with in Oklahoma. No one is certain how many died on the Trail of Tears. Countless people made their name and started in politics by being involved in Indian Wars. Andrew Jackson made a name for himself by trying to kill any and every Native American. Go into Florida and fight etc. I don't think that any Europeans saw any non-Europeans as equals and didn't really regard them as having any rights. The French might have been the best at preserving the rights of native peoples, since they just traded with them for furs. The French really had little desire to leave France and create colonies for its people.

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The mention of the French is an interesting idea. It's ironic that the one country that treated them the best also ended up having little influence in today's Americas.

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Chile is already classified as first world country. Argentina is about to,and  Colombia and Brasil in the near future.  Argentina would already be by now if it wasnt for an economic crisis in the years 2000-2001. They have been the latinamerican nation with most contributions to the sciences, arts, architecture, and sports. Colombia, despite their war againt the guerillas, are becoming stronger and stronger, maybe as a result of the war. And Brasil is seen as the next world power in the south, by even the CIA.

  The others will just have to get into some kind of common market blocks, with either Europe, the USA or any of these stronger american nations.

:ph34r:

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Are there any type of economic blocks at all in South America? I believe the US just signed CAFTA. Very similar to NAFTA except it deals with Central America. I'm not positive on this but I believe NAFTA is comprised of Canada, the US and Mexico. CAFTA is comprised so far of the US and I believe all of the Central American countries. But I haven't heard of Canada or Mexico being involved yet. Maybe it's just a matter of time. It might be interesting to perhaps eventually have include South America also. Maybe eventually have all of the Americas as one free trade zone. Although there might be more people in the US against adding South America. Seems like the US has already butted heads with some of the countries especially Argentina over things like beef and other commodities. Does anyone have any opinions on CAFTA or a possibility of a free trade zone including South America?

(I decided this was something worthy of it's own topic.)

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It does seem some of the South American countries are doing better. But I do seem to remember there being hope for them a while back ago and things didn't work out. Of course Chile has certainly improved things by being able to get rid of it's dictatorship. And I know Argentina and Brazil seem to be close to putting everything together and move up in the world. I wasn't aware of Colombia, what about Venezuela? I had thought maybe it's oil industry might help it, especially in recent terms with the way oil prices have been going. I'm not sure if anyone else in South or Central America have their countries in as good shape.

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The mention of the French is an interesting idea.  It's ironic that the one country that treated them the best also ended up having little influence in today's Americas.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well I think the French were very brutal with the slaves they kept in Haiti. In fact, the slaves became so irate they revolted and succeeded in defeating the French in a bloody revolution. In 1804 Haiti became the second country in the western hemisphere to become independent. The Haitian revolution is possibly the most successful slave revolt in history and incidentally also convinced the French to abandon their plans in the New World.

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Easy.

Britain has a long history of self-rule and has never allow a tyrant to long prosper, save one.

Spain has not such history.

And what the Americans did served as a warning to Crown and Parliament elsewhere.

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Easy.

Britain has a long history of self-rule and has never allow a tyrant to long prosper, save one.

Spain has not such history.

And what the Americans did served as a warning to Crown and Parliament elsewhere.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That is a very interesting point. It's somewhat weird how some things like that almost seem to be inherited, almost like it was genetic. I guess in a number of ways a lot of it depends on situations of the 'mother' country.

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That is a very interesting point.  It's somewhat weird how some things like that almost seem to be inherited, almost like it was genetic.  I guess in a number of ways a lot of it depends on situations of the 'mother' country.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Thank you.

I have always said that the only two people in all of history who are inherently suited to live in a democratic society are the Brits and the Americans. The English come by it naturally. It had to be taught to the Scots as the House of Stuart demonstrated.

BTW: My mother is half McIntyre so it's nothing personal against the Scots. My only complaint against them is that they are not English.

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Well, you know, the greeks and the romans "created" the concept. For me, it is more about the way each empire saw their colonies and their people.

:ph34r:

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But, the Romans could not preserve their republic (ever heard of Augustus Caesar?) And not all of the ancient Greek citiies had democracies and the most prominent democracy among them ended up with an empire it ruled badly and ultimately could not maintain.

And neither the Greeks, nor the Romans, were Democratic in any Anglo-American sense.

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Oh, it is not that easy. Sociologists still try to explain and understand the differences between british and spanish colonies. We can make some generalizations, yet it is way too complicated.  :ph34r:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Spain = Inquisition

Britain = common law, due process and civil rights

Spain has never consistently fought to gain/maintain the liberty and peace of others. The Anglo-British have fought off the Danes in the 10th century, the French in the 18th, the French in the 19th and the Germans twice in the 20th. What has Spain ever done?

The variant and opposite modes of government and their variant commitment to freedom are the overwhelming differences between the Brits and the Spaniards. All other differences likely trace back to these.

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Spain = Inquisition

Britain = common law, due process and civil rights

Spain has never consistently fought to gain/maintain the liberty and peace of others.  The Anglo-British have fought off the Danes in the 10th century, the French in the 18th, the French in the 19th and the Germans twice in the 20th.  What has Spain ever done?

The variant and opposite modes of government and their variant commitment to freedom are the overwhelming differences between the Brits and the Spaniards.  All other differences likely trace back to these.

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I agree. The differences between the british and spanish are enourmous. Nevertheless, the differences between the colonies also depend on the societies and type of cultures that inhabited them. And just to compliment your commentary, it was not only the inquisition. There were many other factors that made Spain one of the most primitive countries in all Europe.

:ph34r:

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BTW: My mother is half McIntyre so it's nothing personal against the Scots.  My only complaint against them is that they are not English.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I suspect that all of them consider that a good thing. :P

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I think it is clear that the Bristish system was superior to the Spanish and French for a number of reasons. The evidence is look at the post-colonial countries and compare them to each other. Haiti, a former French colony, is an all black basket case in the Caribbean. Jamaica, Bermuda, the Bahamas and other formerly British colonial countries in the Caribbean are also virtually all black (with probably roughly the same African ethnic stock too) yet they are orderly, free societies. So, I think this has less to do with race than it does to the traditions begun by the British of the respect for individual rights, non-corrupt government officials, and free market principles.

If you compare the former British colonies to Spanish ones, you will find similar dichotonomies. Look at the US and Mexico. Both large countries with natural resources. However, one, the US, was founded on the rights of Englishmen and the other was founded by conquistadors intent on finding gold. I think the British intended to settle and make a new civilization usually whereas the Spanish just intended to come in and exploit. This exploitation was made a little better (contrary to popular belief) by the Catholic Church which insisted that the Indians were humans and should be treated well. As to the deaths of Indians, I would say at least half of the Indian deaths were caused inadvertantly by the exposure to European diseases to which they had no immunity and for which there was no cure. Clearly though, the Spanish did assimmilate the Indians more than the British into their society.

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Before all of you praise the 18th century British system, I would highly recommend a read of the the Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies (United States). It is a pretty good documentary on what people in the soon to be United States thought of the system in Britian. If you believe the document, then the British system was as just as corrupt and backwards as that in Spain. i.e. No Human rights, no representation, and rule by a despot.

History doesn't seem to be a subject of much interest in American public school these days, and based on the comments presented here I suspect most of you have not read this fine document. A copy can be viewed here.

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I have read the Declaration Of Independence in its entirety many times. I have also read the US Constitution. I suggest you read the Magna Carta, which is the basis for the rights of Englishmen (and, by extention, us). If you read this, you will find many parallels with our current system of government, such as the right to trial by jury and prohibiting the taking of life, liberty or property without due process of law. The problem with the American colonies was that we did not have the same rights as Englishmen, in that we were governed from Britain but we did not have any representatives in Parliament (hence the phrase "no taxation without representation"). The British in 1770 were actually the freest people in the world, by the way, and the tax burden on the colonists was relatively light, especially compared with today. It is clear that Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration, was trying to cast King George III in the worst possible light. I personally think a compromise could have been reached to accommodate all parties had cooler heads prevailed but the British govt. chose an iron fist response which alienated the colonists and led to independence eventually. You should read David McCollough's new book 1776 for more on this. I am descended from both loyalists and patriots so I can sympathize with both positions. :)

By the way, I have a BA in History from the University Of Florida, so I am well acquainted with the subject.

For more on the Magna Carta, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_carta

For more on the book, 1776: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detai...=books&n=507846

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I think it is clear that the Bristish system was superior to the Spanish and French for a number of reasons.  The evidence is look at the post-colonial countries and compare them to each other.  Haiti, a former French colony, is an all black basket case in the Caribbean.  Jamaica, Bermuda, the Bahamas and other formerly British colonial countries in the Caribbean are also virtually all black (with probably roughly the same African ethnic stock too) yet they are orderly, free societies.  So, I think this has less to do with race than it does to the traditions begun by the British of the respect for individual rights, non-corrupt government officials, and free market principles. 

If you compare the former British colonies to Spanish ones, you will find similar dichotonomies.  Look at the US and Mexico.  Both large countries with natural resources.  However, one, the US, was founded on the rights of Englishmen and the other was founded by conquistadors intent on finding gold.  I think the British intended to settle and make a new civilization usually whereas the Spanish just intended to come in and exploit.  This exploitation was made a little better (contrary to popular belief) by the Catholic Church which insisted that the Indians were humans and should be treated well.  As to the deaths of Indians, I would say at least half of the Indian deaths were caused inadvertantly by the exposure to European diseases to which they had no immunity and for which there was no cure.  Clearly though, the Spanish did assimmilate the Indians more than the British into their society.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

This assimiliation is, for many sociologists, one of the reasons for the current crisis in the rest of the Americas. The inherited spanish system, was transpassed to the colonies, keepin the same nobility (family names) values. The clash crushes are present even today. Also, the Catholic Church, trying to promote the colonization, used the same forgiveness of sins policy from the Crusades. This gave the spanish all the liberty to do what they please in the new continent. As I stated before, and as RiversiGator said, while the british were more concerned about building a new nation(a new civ), the spanish, until the end, were only worried about exploiting the land.

It was not until Batholemeu de Las Casas published his book on the Indies, that Indians were declared humans. Nevertheless, after living here for 15 years, I got to highlight that they still are not seen as humans, nor are they protected by any law, or religion. Official declarations are kept as nothing but paper.

I have read the Declaration Of Independence in its entirety many times.  I have also read the US Constitution.  I suggest you read the Magna Carta, which is the basis for the rights of Englishmen (and, by extention, us).  If you read this, you will find many parallels with our current system of government, such as the right to trial by jury and prohibiting the taking of life, liberty or property without due process of law.  The problem with the American colonies was that we did not have the same rights as Englishmen, in that we were governed from Britain but we did not have any representatives in Parliament (hence the phrase "no taxation without representation").  The British in 1770 were actually the freest people in the world, by the way, and the tax burden on the colonists was relatively light, especially compared with today.  It is clear that Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration, was trying to cast King George III in the worst possible light.  I personally think a compromise could have been reached to accommodate all parties had cooler heads prevailed but the British govt. chose an iron fist response which alienated the colonists and led to independence eventually.  You should read David McCollough's new book 1776 for more on this.  I am descended from both loyalists and patriots so I can sympathize with both positions.  :)

By the way, I have a BA in History from the University Of Florida, so I am well acquainted with the subject.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I will agree that the british system was much more efficient and "fair" than the spanish. As I said before, the spanish were maybe one of the most primitve nation in Europe, and became an empire only because of their lucky discovery.

:ph34r:

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That is one of the reasons that democracy was accomplished in the USA and not in the rest of America. The north-american culture was already exposed to certain ideas, while the latinamericans started with democracy without any actual experience. Not even now, can we use it well.

:ph34r:

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Not to transform this into a useless debate, but well, remember that generalizations like "only the brits and the americans", can be dangerous. The problem is the definitions that might be given the the concept of "democracy". Of course they did not have the same sense of the word, because they were starting to use it. They could not maintain it perse, because it was not as valued by most in the time.  It has evolved. Of course there were emperors, but the system of democratic senates, and etc were maintained in many cities, and for many years by the Romans. It is not that they were not capable to maintain it.  :ph34r:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

What other country or culture has ever implemented anything comparable to the democratic societies the Brits and Americans enjoy?

If no such country or culture exists, my generalization is valid.

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