Beginning in the sixteenth century and lasting until the early seventeenth century, several European countries colonialized by formally exerting the control of their political entity over another political entity in a different geographical location. Spain, Portugal, England, France, and Holland were the primary “exerters of control,” while the Americas and its neighboring islands, along with small colonies in Africa and Asia, were the “exerted upon.” The main force compelling these expansions was the doctrine of mercantilism.
Three different systems of colonialism played themselves out in different locations. Plantations were assembled when the climate was favorable and the workforce was available; factories were set up when extractable resources were to be obtained without a foreign conquest; and settlement colonies appeared where the Europeans favored the environment and felt unintimidated by natives.
Basically, these strong countries dominated weaker ones to promote their own national s...
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