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Comparing the English and Spanish Empires

Discussion in 'World History' started by pavelsu, Dec 6, 2001.

?

Which empire became bigger and stronger in the history?

  1. Spanish Empire

    16 vote(s)
    24.2%
  2. English Empire

    50 vote(s)
    75.8%
  1. pavelsu

    pavelsu khoi

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    Which empire became bigger and stronger in the history, Spanish or English?

    Moderator Action: As of now, there is no longer any "blank vs Blank" threads.

    You may continue to discuss the merits of one civilization against another, but no more "vs" in thread titles, it leads to trouble.

    Thanks for your time.

    AoA

    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
     
  2. Kublai-Khan

    Kublai-Khan Chieftain

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    Spain in its peak was the only super power,it even controlled the netherlands and a great amount of what now is called germany.
    Then Spain became a tecnologically backwards country along with Turkey.
    Britain in its peak was the biggest economical power, but the best army was the prussian army, and the french , austrians and the russians were also quite powerful.
    The power was more shared.


    That is why i voted spain.
     
  3. Sayhueque

    Sayhueque Chieftain

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    Now, since this is empires we're talking about, I will limit my comparison to the domestic policies of the Spanish and English.

    For one, the Spanish management of the colonies was pathetic. The english colonies were much better run (despite still being rather inefficient) and the British civilising and assimilation policies towards natives was much sounder (even when the policy was to get rid of the natives and colonise with white settlers).

    Influence into the future, yeah, the Spanish have given us a continent. But the English decolonisation period has led to the current state of Africa, India, the Middle East and the Far East. English influence into the future seems much more global and withstanding, then again the Spanish were incapacitated to amass the Empire the British did.
     
  4. Knight-Dragon

    Knight-Dragon Unhidden Dragon Retired Moderator

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    I thought the reason why you voted for Spain was cos you're Argentinian? J/k.

    Britain at its peak didn't have a big army. True. Well, they didn't need that big an army. They got this first line of defence against Europe. It's called the English Channel. So instead, the Brits got the biggest navy in the world. The official policy was to have a navy that's as big as the 2nd and 3rd biggest navies in Europe, combined. ;)

    I voted for the English cos well, I am fr a former British colony. :) And I really think the English had a greater influence on the world cos well, this forum is in English ......
     
  5. Knight-Dragon

    Knight-Dragon Unhidden Dragon Retired Moderator

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    You forgot the most important country the English had given to the world - the United States of America. ;)
     
  6. Kublai-Khan

    Kublai-Khan Chieftain

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    Sayhueque is also argentinean but he voted the british empire.

    And ywas, i also believe that they had a bigger influence in the world, but that is more related with their great ex-colony the USA.
    I was comparing them in its peak moment.

    And wich country discovered America, wasn´t that influential?
    -Please, not vikings-
     
  7. SunTzu

    SunTzu Hooah Retired Moderator

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    The English Empire was better.
    Even though Spain was bringing in a good amount of treasures from the americas they were nearly broke.
    The British Empire was vast and lasted longer :)
     
  8. Julien

    Julien Lord

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    The great Spanish Empire that controlled most of Germany like you say, was actually the pivate possesions of Charles V of Habsburg (known as Charles I of Spain, but he didn't speak Spanish, what did little good for his popularity in this country). Spain was no more conrolling Germany, Austria, Burgundy and the Netherlands that one of these part did on Spain or between them. Charles V inherited Spain from his mother and the rest from his father. When he died, his son Philip II only inherited Spain (and colonies) and the Netherlands. Maximilian, Charles's brother, inherited the original Habsburg empire.

    When you consider that Charles V was born and raised in Ghent (today in Belgium) and had French as a first language (though he also spoke Latin, German and Italian), we can hardly see his Empire as a Spanish empire.
     
  9. Julien

    Julien Lord

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    The Spanish Empire has also included the Portuguese one when both countries were unified under Philip II. This extended its range to the mini-colonies along African and Indian coast (Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome, Angola, Mozambique, Goa, Daman, Diu, Ceylan...) as well as Malacca in Malaysia, the Celbes and Molucca in Indonesia, Macao in China, a part of Nagazaki in Japan and obviously Brazil. This made a much wider empire than "just" the South American Spanish colonies. But later these empire grew up distinct again.

    South America is now dominantly Native Spanish/Portuguese speaking and is culturally so as well (so countries somewhat less, like Peru and Bolivia). The religion is uniform and the people feel like a large community of Latin American (with Argentina the exception, feeling more European, but still).

    In comparison, the British Empire was overwhelmingly commercial, especially after the independance of the US. Canada, Australia and NZ were the only real colonies of British settlement. African and Asian colonies were never more than administered by the UK. It surely was more peaceful and efficient than massacring all the infidels, raping, killing and converting all the people living there before their arrival, as the Spanish did. Nowadays, English is more widely spoken than Spanish, but fewer have it as a native language. I have travelled around all India and was happy to see that uneducated poor people could understand some English, but very few speak it fluently.


    Today, people see the Aztec, Mayan and Inca ruins as part of Spanish speaking countries. Some would almost say it's a part of Spanish cultural heritage !:eek: But never would even think of the Taj Mahal or the Great Pyramids has being part of an English speaking country (not even has an Arabic heritage for the Pyramids). It shows how deep has been the Spanish deculturisation of South America to impose its own system, language and especially religion. Look at the oddity that are the Christian Philippines in Asia, in the middle of Buddhist, Hindu, Confucianist, Taoist (now more Maoist, though :p), Shinto and other Animists. They are one of the most fanatical Catholic group in the world. Did you see in the news yesterday that a man even cut his penis, inspired by the Bible, because lead him to sin !!:eek: (http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20011207/od/penis_dc_1.html)

    But without the British there would be Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, NZ, Canada, the USA and many others. Or at least not as we know them today. Even the future of India owns a lot to the British - Aren't 20 millions of upper class Indian Native English speaker having studied in England for most of them ? Isn't English the lingua franca of India, even more than Hindi, because the South Indian prefer English to Hindi. It is anyway the main administrative language used by the government.

    I chose the British Empire because it was more civilised and had a more global influence. But the Spanish empire was impressive as well.
     
  10. Kublai-Khan

    Kublai-Khan Chieftain

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    It surely was more peaceful and efficient than massacring all the infidels, raping, killing and converting all the people living there before their arrival, as the Spanish did.

    That is part of what is called the black legend, it is a plain exageratrion and sometimes very ridiculous, i had a discussion about this with an american guy 2 weeks ago and he told me that before the conquer the Aztec empire had 25 millions inhabitants -wich was false-
    25 millions inhabitants was probably more than the whole population of the American continent.The estimated population of the Aztec empire was of 5 or 6 millions.
    There is some kind of exageration in the numbers to make it sound more tragic.
    The sistem of mita was far better than those poor black men planting cotton.

    It shows how deep has been the Spanish deculturisation of South America to impose its own system, language and especially religion
    With the exception of the Usa Canada Argentina and Uruguay,most of the people are mestizos in the american continent, the spanish conqueror came to america and married indian woman, not like the british colonist that came to america with his whole family and settled there without keeping contact with the native population.
    The spanish came to america and generated a different group of people racially and a new kind of culture, it was the mixture of 2 different worlds, the briths colonist simply exterminated the indians and replaced it with european colonists.
    We are not the ones who played indians and cowboys when we were kids.
    And the culture of the indians still exist, but not just in a very far exotic jungle.
    There are millions of pure indians who speak aymara or quechua or the mayan language.
    The still have their traditions and they practice christianity with indian elements.
    Do you remember Bartolome de las casas? It is a shame that the north american indians never had a kind of men like him.
    I think that the British empire was more phoenicians, becouse it was more focused in extracing the resource and commercializing it.
     
  11. Julien

    Julien Lord

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    I know Spain was not the only one to have a bad role in the colonisation. All other countries had their part of abuses and killings and I don't deny it. Now, I think what made the Spanish look the worse is because they arrived first on the American continent. I recommend that you read the book Guns, Germs and Steel of Jared Diamond (there is a thread on this topic aready). The author estimates that 90% of the Native Americans died from epidemic diseases brought by Europeans. The Aztecs were decimated, not by guns, but by smallpox, measles or flu. That's why a small group of adventurers lead by Cortes could conquer a empire of millions just with a few hundreds men. Same story with the Incas ; smallpox had already reached the Empire before Pizzaro landed in Peru. The epidemy had spread from Mexico/Guatemala in the few years that followed the Spanish arrival on the mainland. The Inca emperor (Huyana Capac ?) and his designated sucessor had both succumbed to the disease a few months before Pizzaro arrived and the country had plunged into a civil war. Attahualpa and his brother fought each other for the title of emperor, and the former had just won when Pizzaro met him at Cajamarca. The Empire was weakened, what explain partially (along with other factors, such as horses, guns and steel, like the title of the book suggest) the easy Spanish victory.

    But other Amerindians also died massively from European brought diseases. Before the first explorers even reached Misissippi, a whole civilization (the most advanced in North America, that had large cities and a government) had almost disappeared ! Very few people know about this Misissippi Civilization, mainly because very little was left for Europeans to write about when they arrived. They discovered large emptied cities, without to understand what had happened there. Neither the Spanish, nor the French later had to fight against a strucured empire in this region. Nevertheless, European (diseases) exterminated this civ.

    For what you say about black slaves, don't forget that they were first brought to Brazil, Haiti and Cuba, very early after the start of the colonization. They were working espeially in sugar cane fields (to make the famous Carribean rum) and to cut trees in Brazil (Ebony wood ; the term was also used to call African slaves in the triangle commerce Europe-Africa-America). Nowadays, Cuba has a black population of about 90%. That shows well enough where they were most needed.
    The slaves from Africa only came to the US much later to work in cotton fields.
     
  12. Kublai-Khan

    Kublai-Khan Chieftain

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    Something that is very ironic and sad is that the spanish
    started to use black people as slaves becouse the ligislation to protect indians was too strong.
    So they changed the indians for the black people.:(
     
  13. Julien

    Julien Lord

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    Was there any legislation protecting the Indians at that time ? Spanish Colonies, until their independance in the early 19th century, were probably not a place where legislation had a important place. In the 16th century, soon after the Europeans established their first colonies, slaves were already being "imported" from West Africa. I think that many people (criminals, last-chance people who'd lost everything or had nothing to loose, persecuted protestants, etc.) actualy emigrated from Europe to America justly because there were virtually no laws (except taxs and respect of the royal authority) and they'd be free to start a new life in a new world again. This was valid for all the continent. After the US independance, it was still true in the "wild west" that had not yet been assimilated as a part of the country (at least not as states). This explain the violence between "Cowboys and Indians" and the presence of so many bandits and gangs. Later, there had to be sheriffs in each town that did their own laws to preserve the society from these gangs or lonely bandit thirsty of gold and dollars.
     
  14. Knight-Dragon

    Knight-Dragon Unhidden Dragon Retired Moderator

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    IIRC (understand now, no?), Britain had a policy of sending off criminals to the colonies as part of the punishment handed down by the courts. Even for petty crimes sometimes. The New England states used to be the original receipient but after the American Revolution, the Brits shipped them to other new colonies like Australia e.g.
     
  15. Kublai-Khan

    Kublai-Khan Chieftain

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    You really shock me
    there was a huge legislation protecting the indians.
    I will try to find a link to a history site for you becouse it seems that you don´t know much about spanish history.
     
  16. pavelsu

    pavelsu khoi

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    This map shows European Spanish Empire in Charles V reign (all coloured surfaces), in Philip II reign Germany became independent and Portugal (and Brazil) was annexioned for some decades.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. Suppersalmon

    Suppersalmon Think Safely think again

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    The Britsh empire rocked :king:
     
  18. Julien

    Julien Lord

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    You probably mean the Austrian empire. Actually, Charles was no more Spanish than French or Austrian. His four grand-parents being (his paternal grandfather)Emperor Maximilian of Habsburg (Austrian), Mary of Burgundy (French), Ferdinand II of Aragon (Spanish, with French ancestors), Isabella I of Castilla (Spanish).

    It's a nonsense to me to say it was a Spanish Empire. Charles had distinct titles for Spain (king), Austria (Emperor), Burgundy (Duke), Milano (Duke), Flanders (Count) and all other regions of his so-called empire. Even in Spain, he was still known as king of Castilla y Leon and Navara y Aragon. He inherited all titles separetly (ie at different ages) and gave them separetely when he retired (as you know, his son became king of Spain a few years before Charles'death, after he retired in a monastry in Extremadura).

    Spain remained a kingdom afterwards, as it has always been. Austria kept the title of Empire, along with another older empire : the Holy Roman Empire (that had elected emperor, not hereditary, even if Charles V was himself elected).

    check this link for more info : http://gallery.euroweb.hu/tours/spain/charles5.html
     
  19. Magnus

    Magnus Diplocat

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    I voted England. The Spanish Empire was relatively brief compared to the British. Freak storms will do that ;)
     
  20. pavelsu

    pavelsu khoi

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    Julien, you are right (and Possibly you know more history than I), but dont forget that the empire capital was in Spain, all territories in Europe, Africa and America was governed from there, and the king was Spanish, In consequence it was the Spanish empire and seems to be a bit absurd to deny it.

    Brief, Magnus? More than three centuries (Finals of the 15th century , 16th, 17th, 18th and Principles of the 19th century? it was more lasting than English Empire!
    Sorry but It is evident that you do not know the topic.
     

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