European Colonial Powers from Sixteenth to Eighteenth Century Portugal, Spain, Holland, and Britain
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In 1494, the Treaty of Tordesillas was signed between Spain and Portugal with the mediation of Alexander VI, and the world was divided by Spain and Portugal (Fitzler, as cited in Hamilton, 1948, p. 37; Brandel, as cited in Hamilton, 1948, p. 37). Spain and Portugal seemed to be the two most powerful European countries in their oversea expansion in the beginning of the sixteenth century. However, later Netherland gained their independence from Spain and started their overseas expansion at the end of the sixteenth century (Weststeijn, 2012, p. 492). The Dutch progressed so rapidly, as it reached a dominant place in world trade few decades after its independence, and “soldiers and settlers of the East and West India Companies occupied extensive territories from Java to the Cape of Good Hope and from Recife to the estuary of the Hudson” (Ibid, p. 492). In the end of the eighteenth century, the East India Company of Dutch no longer existed (Hamilton, 1948), which may be a sign of the decline of Netherland. In the same time, Britain still remained “the leading colonial power”, as it was and would be (Hamilton, 1948). As we can see from the history, all of the four countries, Portugal, Spain, Holland, and Britain, to some extent, had once dominated the world outside Europe in the period from the sixteenth century to the eighteenth century. All the four countries had been powerful and prosperous in this period, and therefore it is valuable and reasonable to make a compare among the identities of the imperialism and colonialism of the four countries from the sixteenth century to the eighteenth century.
This paper aims to analyze the identities of the overseas expansion of four European countries, Portugal, Spain, Holland, and Britain, from...
... middle of paper ...
... England in a commercial, monopolistic group.
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