In the 17th and the 18th century, Spain, England, France, and the Netherlands wanted to expand their land by making colonies in the new world. These countries competed for colonies and control in the new world, but it was England that outdid them in the end by controlling most of the land in America at this time. England beat the other countries in Europe because they had a flexible government, economic growth and a rapid population growth in their colonies.
In the 18th century, England had a much larger population growth in America then other European countries. In 1754 the total number of the English settlers was 1.5 million. France only had about 10,000 settlers in the New World. The English colonies had liberal immigration policies that let a lot of people come into their colonies. Spain and France both had strict immigration laws.
These laws affected the population they had in their colonies drastically. The Netherlands had immigration laws similar to England’s, but not a lot of land. All of the colonies had very up and down relationships with the natives. France had the best relationship with them. They fought on each other’s side for the French and Indian War. Even though the British won, it still showed that two very different sides can fight a war together.
England, Spain, and Netherlands all had a very similar relationships with natives. One day they are friends, the next day they are fighting against each other. England’s immigration laws led to a larger population of colonists than Spain and France, The English beat The Netherlands with population growth by having more land.The English colonies were very big on trade which helped grow their economy. The English colonies traded tobacco, rice, timber and fish. Spain’s main focus at the time was having a strong military instead of focusing on trade.
Spain traded gold with the Aztecs and other natives in Central America, Florida, and South America. France focused on trading a lot of fur and farming. The Dutch put many trading posts along the Hudson River and traded mostly fur and skin in the New Netherlands. In Virginia and North Carolina, tobacco was the main source of revenue and it added to England’s wealth. The English then spent a lot of their money on their military and advanced weapons which helped them conquer more land. Spain also had a great military, but they lost part of Texas and Florida easily to the English because they were trying to conquer Central and South America at the same time. The English took the French land in North America during the French Indian war. The Dutch were great at trading, but not so great at having a good army which is the main reason that The English took over New Amsterdam so easily.
The English system of governing colonies made more people want to be a part of them. The English gave their colonies gave a lot of freedom to the settlers that lived there which made people want to live in their colonies.. The settlers there were allowed to set up local governments. The Spanish colonies were governed by viceroys or governors.
The King of Spain would choose the governor or viceroy to lead one of the Spanish colonies. The French government had even more strict policies, the people who lived in the French colonies had no political power at all. The Dutch colonies had very flexible laws and were very open to diversity. The colonies were governed by the Dutch settlers. The English colonists were allowed to make and represent independent assemblies. In Spain colonists were not allowed to create assemblies of their own. It was the same for the French colonies, the French king had to know about everything that went on in the colonies including the public meetings that went on.
The Dutch did not allow colonists to have their own assemblies/ meetings, but had open public meetings open to everybody. In the English colonies colonists were allowed to tax themselves. In the Spanish colonies colonists were not allowed to tax themselves or make their own laws. The French colonies were royal colonies, they were under direct rule from the king. The people who lived there did not have a lot of freedom. The Dutch colonists could not make new laws, but the Dutch were open to adding laws.
Sometimes a strict government doesn’t mean it is a successful government. England got the majority of North America because they had smart and clever strategies. England’s rapid population growth, economic growth, and a flexible government helped England defeat Spain, France, and the Netherlands.
Even though some countries were better at somethings than England, England found a way to dominate North America.