England vs. Spain vs. France for Control of New World Essay

England vs. Spain vs. France for Control of New World Essay

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“The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.” Of the three major colonizers who vied for control of North America from the 15th to 17th centuries, it was the early-bird Spanish who got the worm, but after all was said and done, it was England who got the more desirable cheese. After 1763, the English had control of all land east of the Mississippi river and virtually all of present-day Canada. The English were able to gain the upper hand in the conflict for control of North America not only because of military victories, but also because of good timing.

The English victory over the Spanish Armada marked the beginning of the British naval dominance in the Atlantic. England and Spain had been enjoying a peaceful relationship throughout the early 15th century. However, the relations turned sour after the Spanish backstabbed an English fleet, led by a British sailor named Francis Drake at the Spanish port of San Juan de Ulua in 1568. Drake, privately encouraged by Queen Elizabeth of England, began pirating the Spanish riches for England from the Caribbean and all along the Spanish held coasts of Latin America. King Philip of Spain, already disgusted by the religious practices of England’s royalty, began scheming for a plan to invade Britain. He sent 130 large vessels, meant to carry soldiers, to the English Channel. The once thought “Invincible Armada” was annihilated by England’s smaller, more maneuverable and better armed crafts. While the surviving Spanish ships were retreating back home, a rare September storm devastated the already diminished fleet. With a large chunk of their navy destroyed, Spain did not have enough ships or manpower to control their vast empire. Slowly, their once might...


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...rth American domination, now held the entire continent, with the exceptions of Florida, Mexico, and the Californian coast, which still were the possessions of Spain. England had won the struggle for North American dominance.

England won the European struggle for control of America because of their timely military victories along with a people who, at that time, were ready to expand their horizons. They defeated the Spanish Armada when and where Spain was most vulnerable. This coincided with the fact that the English people, of high and low stature, needed a new place to go while recent technological advancements made it possible for them to get there. Once there, the British were able to protect their own colony while also securing more land for the English Crown. Spain definitely got the worm, France sprung the mousetrap, and England got the cheese.

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