Free American Colonization And Its Effects Research Paper Example

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: America, United States, Colonization, Spain, Colonialism, Europe, Religion, Slavery

Pages: 9

Words: 2475

Published: 2020/12/03


What cultural traits did the colonizing countries of Spain and Portugal leave behind in the America? How is that culture still shaping the region today?


Most countries have been colonized by other countries. There were effects, both positive and negative, on the colonized states. Most of the effects have had long term effects on the states that were colonized. Most states have kept a good rapport with the nations that colonized them. It has also created unity not only between the colonizing state and the state that was colonized, but also between the nations who had the same colonizers. Some of the colonialist includes the Spain, French, Portugal, German and Britain. The effects of the colonization vary from cultural, social, economic, to religious effects.


The primary religion in America is Christianity, which is mainly the Roman Catholic. With religion, Catholicism was forced on the colonized countries (Dallek, 2008). The indigenous persons initially began by introducing the Catholicism in their traditional briefs and ceremonies. The indigenous persons had symbols which most were in the form of art. Sculptures and other pieces of art were used as symbols in the traditional religious groups they had. The indigenous persons had religious beliefs, practices and ceremonies that were practiced during the pre colonial era. The sculptures were made of gold and silver. The Spanish, who included military, militaries and missionaries, would pass many native practices and works of art as being idolatry. The Spanish therefore prohibited the practices and destroyed religious items and works of art used for religious purposes.


Spanish and Portuguese are languages common used in America. Spanish is spoken in most countries in America while Portuguese is the primary language for most Brazilians. In Brazil, Portuguese is considered to be both an official and national language. The Spanish did not force the nations they colonized to take their language. However, some of the nations picked on using Spanish on their own freewill. Other nations also still use their native languages (Casas, 1977). Spaniards were entirely committed to converting the locals to Catholicism but did not force them to adopt Spanish as their language. The indigenous people added Catholicism into their culture and even included the new religion’s expressions, items, and practices into their culture. This came with voluntary adoption of Spanish which was being used by the Spaniard missionaries. Some of the South America languages evolve into being replaced by Portuguese and Spanish.
Fundamentally, the Portuguese colonialists in South America focused on East Indies and were slower than how Spanish were setting up their administration in America. Most of the Spanish and Portuguese who explored South America was impoverished and their main aim was not to colonize but to search for riches, they hard no reason to force their language to the locals. The immigrant’s Portuguese language in a great extent was influenced by many African and Indian dialects they had encountered. Nonetheless, Portuguese remain as the dominant language in the present day Brazil. Amazingly, Brazilian dialect place dominant influence in Portuguese language development since Brazilian population is 15 times larger than Portugal and has much more dynamic Portuguese lingual environment.

Relationship between the US

Spain and Portugal colonized the current day America. Spain and America had disagreements with Spain over the free navigation of River Mississippi, establishing the Florida boarder and also a right to deposit goods before shipping them abroad at New Orleans. The issues were settled but there was no agreement about establishing of the Florida boarder. In 1898, years after America had attained its independence they went to war with Spain (Casas, 1977).
During these times of arguments and discussions, they were creating a bond that made the two nations realize that it was possible to solve issues without necessarily having to fight. However, when the disagreements became too much and the Americans felt like the Spanish were taking advantage of them, that’s when they went to war.
During these times, using data from the past and historical maps was the common thing. Analysis and assessment of the data and maps had to be done. It led to an urge to do some research on the past. It gave the Americans a reason to analysis historical issues and helped them make important decisions. It was important for Americans colonial administration at the time.

Slaves and immigration

In the early 19th century, during the colonial period in America, major waves of immigration were experienced. Different factors led to the immigration of different persons. Economic opportunity is one factor that led some of the immigrants to go to America. Others such as the pilgrims had to America in search of religious freedom. The pilgrims were escaping from persecution in Europe. Between the 17th and the 19th century, many Africans, against their will, had been brought to America as slaves.During the colonial era, the Spanish and the French were the first to establish settlements in the present day America (Dallek, 2008).
Some of the Europeans seeking economic opportunities came to America as indentured servants. Out of these, some had volunteered while others had been kidnapped from various European cities and forced to be indentured servants in America.
Most of the slaves brought in were from West Africa at the time. Initially, only about 20 slaves were taken to America in 1619. The number of slaves taken to America grew over time. In 1680, there were about 7,000 slaves a number that rose and by 1790 there were about 700,000 slaves. It is evident that the number of slaves taken and sold in America grew profusely during the colonial period. Although it isn’t possible to give the exact number of African slaves taken and sold to America, it is clear that many Africans were subjected to slavery and had very poor working conditions at the places they had to work.

Colombia Exchange and economy

Columbia had and has continued to hold a rich culture. They have invested in literature, music as well as paintings. The music is comprised of fork art and dance. Rural to urban migration is quite common as well as globalization. Columbia’s cities are filled with persons, who are mostly refugees from the different provinces. The Colombian culture can be viewed as a combination of Spain’s culture and the Colombia’s native civilization. The Spanish are responsible for Catholicism, slavery especially with the Africans and a caste system whose purpose was to favor the white persons born from the Europeans.
Most ethnic groups, based on race, held on to the ancestral heritage culture. The whites were really focused on keeping themselves. However, the number of illegitimate children kept on growing. The children were either of indigenous ancestry or mixed African. From the caste system, the illegitimate persons were given descriptive names. For the whites, in trying to keep themselves, they married siblings or close cousins.
A new ethno-racial group was created. It was as a result of the mixing and intermarrying of the indigenous persons of Columbia and the blacks. The mixing and intermarrying led to the merging of different cultures. It led to more understanding between the persons. In 1850, a bill of rights of men and abolishment of slavery was introduced. The whites’ dominance prevailed but at least there was ease of tension between the races.
The economy of Columbia has grown significantly since the pre colonial era to date. The number of persons living and residing in Columbia keeps on growing. It is an indication that more goods and services keep on being produced to cater for the growing population. It therefore means that the number of sales made also keeps on growing. Again, during the colonial period, the colonialists, Spanish and Portuguese, introduced better ideas in Columbia, such as improving the kind of art and literature. It increased the levels of services offered, where up to date, one can buy a book that was written in the past unlike when it was all oral as well as the quality of art work has also improved from the pre colonial era. The increase in the quality of services offered leads to an increase in the sales made thus growing the Columbia’s overall economy.

Caste System

Caste comes from the word casta. Casta is Spanish and a Portuguese term that is used to describe people from different races. It directly tied an individual to the place one was born and how pure, in terms of race, an individual was. The caste system is used to show the different social classes of people. It is a method that discriminates against persons and it is used for social stratification in social set ups (Bow, 2010).
In the Latin American, during the colonial times, the social structure of the caste system was as follows; the first two, which were the two upper castes, consisted of whites only. Just below the first two were the persons of mixed Indian and European ancestry, commonly referred to as the Mestizos. Below the Mestizos were the Mulattos. Mulattos were the names given to refer to persons of a mixed African and European ancestry. The blacks and Indians came at the lowest castes (Adams, 1953).
The hierarchy was used to express the colonial powers by the whites. Power was passed in the described order. The whites felt that they were strong and had an urge to dominate over the rest. Blacks came at the bottom of the hierarchy since most of them worked as slaves. Based on intelligence and beauty of the different races, the whites also used the hierarchy as an expression of the order (Adams, 1953).
The caste system has its advantages and disadvantages as well. The advantages include that every individual knows and understands the position they are holding. It minimizes conflicts in the society as everybody will do what is assigned to them, and leave that which is not part of the responsibility given to them. Another advantage is that individuals have a chance of going up the leader with time. However, the disadvantages take down the system.
The various disadvantages include; there is no room for climbing the ladder. The fact that the method used to classify persons is race pulls people back. Despite how rich an African may become, he will always be considered a slave. People on the higher ranks will not listen or take considerations offered by the African. Another disadvantage is that power hereditary. It hinders getting new blood to leadership and it results to few or no new ideas. Another disadvantage of the system is that it disregards women. Women are treated with little or no respect. Women in such societies are treated like wealth and in some cases women’s rights are not addressed. In the end of the era, the bill of rights of men and abolishment of slavery was introduced. Men’s rights are addressed and the only time issues affecting women are addressed is when the particular issues affect men as well (Bow, 2010).
Other disadvantages include that people only contact and interact with those in the same caste class. It therefore becomes difficult to share ideas and a community with such a system is disunited (Bow, 2010).

Other areas have been influenced by the colonization of America by Spain and Portugal. They include:

The Portuguese and the Spanish colonizers had a great influence of the level of art in America. The Latin Americans had a rich indigenous type of art. With the colonialists’ influence, they began basing their works on the trends Italian Masters. However, from the early 20th century, the Latin American art was influenced and inspired by the Constructivist movement that began in Russia in 1913 (Casas, 1977).


The primary form of the pre-Columbian cultures was oral. After the European colonizers arrived, accounts of religious and mythological beliefs were sometime recorded. The written culture was mostly the church’s responsibility, taking the form of philosophical essays and poetry. The first novels were written in the early 19th century. They were initially published in Spanish but later translated to English. In the early 20th century, a poetic movement was founded. It helped to influence the culture to other regions. These works, some of which have been the best selling works over some time periods, have greatly influenced the Columbian economy. People buy the works to read of the early religious beliefs and practices among other things and these sales have helped grow the economy of Columbia significantly. However, a tradition of oral narratives has survived to the current day (Casas, 1977).


The unifying factor in the Latin Americans’ music is the use of the Spanish language or the Portuguese language in Brazil. However the Latin Americans music is so diverse. The European Baroque and early Spanish styles wereblended with various African rhythms to give some influential music. The Americans have a great number of genres of music to listen to. Music provides a platform for the musicians to express themselves (Dallek, 2008).

Modern dance

Today’s dance in America happens to be very energetic. Initially, dance existed and mostly emphasized on sexuality. Traditional dancing styles were quite many and have evolved with time. Some of the dancing styles are derived from particular music, which is also used as a basis for naming the dancing styles ((Dallek, 2008).


In America, the film industry is diverse and rich. It however has the main centers which include Mexico, Cuba, Argentina and Brazil. The industry has at some point faced some linguistics barriers. The concerned persons have however learnt new strategies such as new directing styles. The field has been making some gradual growth within the years and has managed to get to the international market and it is still making more progress in the industry (Casas, 1977).


Theatre in America began before the Europeans came to the continent. Raised sets were used to perform the different ceremonies, rituals and festivals. Dancing, singing of both songs and poetry, magic shows, acrobatics among others were performed in the theatres. The trained performers also had costumes that were used during the performances. The sets used for performances were decorated using natural material such as tree branches. After the Europeans arrival, the theatres were used as a platform to spread Christianity and conveying messages to the natives. In the current day America, there are numerous numbers of theatres that have been built. The can hold very large number of persons per session. They are also high standard theatres with technology that is up to date. It began during the colonial period with the Europeans implementing the kind of technologies they had been using in the respective countries they had come from (Casas, 1977).


When a country was colonized, there was more gain than the loss. Though in some countries the social stratification still exists, there is much gain. The mistakes the colonialists made, we take them as lessons. Nations avoid doing the same mistake. Therefore, there are many advantages from a country being colonize. Economically, there is an overall growth of a country or state that has been colonized. Though initially the colonialists might have had selfish gains, in the long run, the colonized country gains more benefits from its colonizers.


Adams, R. (1953). A Change from Caste to Class in a Peruvian Sierra Town.Social Forces, 238-244.
Bow, L. (2010). Partly colored Asian Americans and racial anomaly in the segregated South. New York: New York University Press.
Casas, B. (1977). Western expansion and indigenous peoples: The heritage of Las Casas. The Hague: Mouton ;.
Dallek, R. (2008). American history (Teacher's ed.). Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell.

Cite this page
Choose cite format:
  • APA
  • MLA
  • Harvard
  • Vancouver
  • Chicago
  • ASA
  • IEEE
  • AMA
WePapers. (2020, December, 03) Free American Colonization And Its Effects Research Paper Example. Retrieved November 28, 2023, from
"Free American Colonization And Its Effects Research Paper Example." WePapers, 03 Dec. 2020, Accessed 28 November 2023.
WePapers. 2020. Free American Colonization And Its Effects Research Paper Example., viewed November 28 2023, <>
WePapers. Free American Colonization And Its Effects Research Paper Example. [Internet]. December 2020. [Accessed November 28, 2023]. Available from:
"Free American Colonization And Its Effects Research Paper Example." WePapers, Dec 03, 2020. Accessed November 28, 2023.
WePapers. 2020. "Free American Colonization And Its Effects Research Paper Example." Free Essay Examples - Retrieved November 28, 2023. (
"Free American Colonization And Its Effects Research Paper Example," Free Essay Examples -, 03-Dec-2020. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 28-Nov-2023].
Free American Colonization And Its Effects Research Paper Example. Free Essay Examples - Published Dec 03, 2020. Accessed November 28, 2023.

Share with friends using:

Related Premium Essays
Contact us
Chat now