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Maritime Powers, Colonial Powers: The Role Of Migration (C. 1492-1792)

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Chapter Summary

Many things have been written about the encounter between the Europeans and the Amerindians, the collapse of pre-Columbian societies and the establishment of European colonial empires in the Americas. European forces depended on migration from the old continent, and also on the native people and slaves deported from Africa for the conquest and the phase of the exploitation of American resources. A kind of triangular explanation is necessary for the understanding of the conquest and exploitation of the Americas by the Europeans, linking colonial power, human and maritime resources. These three elements, whose combinations evolved through time and space, can only be defined by looking at concrete cases. The cases dealt with in this chapter concerns the period between Christopher Columbus's discovery of America (1492) and the beginning of the 'French Wars' (1792). In particular, the chapter discusses the cases of Spain, Portugal, England, France and the Netherlands.

Keywords: colonial powers; England; European colonial empires; France; human resources; maritime powers; migration; Netherlands; Portugal; Spain



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