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1 Adam Kaiser 11/21/10 History 11 Spanish and French compare and contrast Essay In examining the Spanish and

French conquest of the new world there are many similarities and differences. Though the French and Spanish both set out to explore the newly discovered lands, how these explorations played out varied in many ways. The French and Spanish had different intentions, methods, and took different places in the founding of the Americas. This essay will state examples of the French and Spanish similarities and differences. From 1515, Spanish and French explorers, soldiers, settlers, and missionaries set course to the Americas to explore and colonize. Both the French and Spanish expanded into the Americas and set up colonies such as Quebec and Mexico City. The French and Spanish also sent missionaries to convert Native Americans. The missions set up were part of colonization and also housed hundreds of people. The French and Spanish both were looking for trade routes, such as the Straights of Anian, to navigate through to the Indies. Once landed on the Americas, explorers from both countries relied mostly on the Native Americans for directions, and resources such as gold and food. Some differences between the Spanish and the French have to do with the qualities of missions and settlements. In most of these cases Spain had stronger settlements. For example, the Spanish missions were built stronger and were more successful because of the support from Spanish crown, settlers and soldiers. The French didnt have this kind of support from their settlers and crown. Consequently, the French conquests werent as

2 Adam Kaiser 11/21/10 History 11 successful as the Spanish. For example, La Salles expedition ended in a disastrous mutiny while most of the Spanish expeditions had at least some form of success for a period of time. Another difference between the two is that though the French expanded through exploration, their main focus when they settled was obtaining raw materials to send back to France. They didnt support their settlements enough, which lead to disaster to most French settlements. Some other differences show how Spain started building great cities, towns, and even universities. The French failed with most of their expeditions and settlements. Another difference between the two is the fact that Spain wanted to intermarry with the natives soon after coming to the Americas to create a New World Culture. In this way they were much better at evangelizing since they passed on their Catholicism to their mixed race children. The French failed to see the need to mix. Also, France lacked a middle class; without much of a middle class the French lacked the population it needed for the settlements to be very successful. Spain was abundant with settlers to populate and reinforce settlements. With these similarities and differences, one can realize that the French and Spanish conquests were very different in their intentions and both ended differently. The French dragged their feet when settling and lacked many necessities to colonize successfully. Therefore the Spanish had a greater and more long lasting effect. Yet, even the settlements that ended in disaster were cornerstones to the colonization of the Americas.