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Christopher Columbus

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Autor:   •  October 11, 2012  •  Essay  •  943 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,441 Views

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Christopher Columbus', voyage during 1492-1502 altered the course of European history as we know it today. During his voyages, throughout the West Indies, "Christopher Columbus paved the way for others to conquer and settle the new land in the name of the Spanish crown". Although at least "ten different powers would eventually play a role in settling the Caribbean", the British, French, and the Dutch would compete mostly with the Spanish. The Dutch were interested in trading, and would eventually introduce the British and French to the plantation systems of sugarcane production. The British, and French were interested in colonization and would later have their colonies forced to trade only with their mother countries. To portray Columbus' influence on European history I will concentrate on the influences he had on the Dutch's wants and needs compared to that of the British and the French.

Columbus represented a culture that was expanding its power. European countries were exploring to gain more access to natural resources in different parts of world in order to increase their authority in comparison to the competitors. The riches of this new world attracted other European powers. The British, Dutch and French challenged Spain's monopoly in the 17th century. Columbus and his people used "piracy, smuggling, and outright war to take over lands and set up their own colonies". It was the Dutch, for example, that captured "Guiana, and the British captured St. Kitts, Barbados and Jamaica from Spain". First, the Dutch were accredited with the cultivation of sugarcane in their early Brazilian colonies. As a result of producing sugarcane, they set up trading centers on the few small islands they had settled in. During the Dutch period 1570 to 1678 "the Dutch shipping industry became the main provider of supplies and slaves for the other Caribbean colonies" and became the primary resource for sugar. Today, the "only reminders of Dutch activities in the Caribbean are Suriname and 6 small island possessions in the Lesser Antilles". In 1640, Close to the end of the Dutch period, the Dutch introduced British and French colonialists to the production of sugarcane.

By the middle of the "17th century, some British pirates settled among logwood forests on the coast of the Bay of Honduras, which later became the Settlement of Belize. The French were also settling in North America and the Caribbean". Within Europe the "increasing market for sugar ensured the colonies an early success", and opened a new way of conducting business with their mother countries. During the 18th century, the French and British fought for domination over the "New World". "The British took control of more and more territories in the Caribbean and by the 19th century were the major power in the Caribbean. Through this era, the "British


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