Good Research Paper About Comparing Empires: Cultural, Political, Environmental And Photographic Dimensions

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Spain, England, Empire, Colony, History, Religion, Education, Europe

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/12/17


The British Empire and the Spanish Empires are among the vast political territorial domains ever seen in history. The duo has shaped the world’s history in cultural, political and social perspectives. The Spanish empire emerged at a time when there was much enthusiasm for exploration of lands by European voyages. The Spanish empire rapidly grew by acquiring colonies in the Americas that were new lands discovered by Christopher Columbus. The Spanish royalty had commissioned the explorer's voyage in a bid to explore the unknown territories. The British Empire however showed interest in the new lands after they were discovered.


The British Empire also immensely developed around the colonies it acquired in the Americas where it established a settler form of land ownership. It is evident that imperialism in these empires was not just manifested in the acquisition of more territorial colonies, but it also impacted significantly on the socio-economic aspects of the history of the two empires.Similarities and Differences in the Two Empires
There were major differences in religion among the two empires. The Spanish Empire incorporated their religion in the social structure of all their colonies. Roman Catholicism dominated those colonies due to the Spanish influence that brought about the conversion of many indigenous people to this religion(Thomas 340). The Spanish had also acquired this religion out of the Roman Empire influence in their ancient civilization. The British Empire introduced the concept of Protestants in Christianity. The Protestants condemned the harsh practices evident in Catholicism that was promoted by the Spanish. The views expressed by the Protestants led to religious differences that culminated to bitter rivalry in commerce among the Spanish and British which eventually led to war between the two empires(Elliott 246). Religion was an essential aspect in both Empires; however, the perception differences caused devastation among the duo(Roberts 144). Catholicism is still practiced to date and is the most dominant religion in South America that was mainly part of the Vast Spanish Empire in the past. Protestant churches have also grown in present-day Britain through the famous Church of England.
The British Empire imposed its linguistic culture practices in its colonies with much enthusiasm. The indigenous people were forced to undergo formal education according to British culture where they learned to read, write and speak English(Elliott 344). The British were better cultured than the Spanish, and this was a source of their prestige that they highly upheld through the Crown(Elliott 370). The Spanish Empire also managed to inculcate the Spanish language in its colonies. The language was widely used in trade practices in the colonies and intermarriages with the local people led to a population that had much Spanish ancestry(Thomas 345). The language has taken root in Spanish America until today. It is clear that the British Empire used formal ways to introduce its linguistic culture in the colonies while the Spanish used informal means.
The British Empire had a strong naval army as compared to the Spanish Empire. The capital of the Empire was an island. The shipping industry was typical in this Empire as well as navigation practices(Roberts 146). The British Empire managed to conquer many of its enemies through their renowned Royal Navy that exhibited much prowess in war. The Spanish also had maritime interests and had significant strides navigation skills development(Thomas 352). The enlightenment age in Europe had resulted in this fundamental progress in Spain and the British sought also to acquire this vital knowledge as it was meant to strengthen their military power at sea(Elliott 358). It can be established that the maritime culture of the shipbuilding industry in both empires was substantially related to their naval rivalry, even though, the British eventually succeeded in showing their might at sea.
The two empires had different political structures in establishing their rule over the many colonies they acquired in the Americas, Africa, and Asia. Capitalism had already started taking shape at that point in history, and European powers struggled to gain territories as they were in search of raw materials for their new industries(Roberts 152). Spain had few colonies in Africa compared to Britain that had acquired numerous colonies on the African Continent(Elliott 360). Spain had a Catholic monarchy system where the Spanish people as the sovereign played the role of the monarch in a unitary state. The British also had a monarchy system that was affiliated with the Church of England. Nobility was given much priority in both empires(Thomas 420). The British Empire had subjects who were under the rule of the King and swore their allegiance to him by fighting against the enemies of the crown in war. There may be certain similarities in this context, but there are little disparities in relation to political structures of the two empires.Photographic AnalysisBritish Empire PhotosThree Old Havildars
The photo shows three Indian men adorned in British military attire. The posture of the old men in the picture depicts the strict discipline practices in the British Army(Roberts 155). The picture is ancient and is presumed to be taken around 1933-1935 in the North West of India. The image shows how the British Empire trained and utilized soldiers from its colonies to fight in the First World War.Sikh Recruits at School
The image shows the aspects of formal education system in the British culture that was introduced in the Indian colony. The image is taken in the North West of India. The classroom setting of desks in rows is common in British education system(Elliott 460). There is a man standing while the rest are seated. He is presumed to be the teacher giving instructions to the new recruits in school(Thomas 430). The photo brings out the idea that the British wanted to civilize the Indians by introducing their education perceived as superior to all others.The Spanish Empire PhotosThe Country Scene Photo
The photo depicts the agrarian Spanish family setting. The image is taken in Porto Rico. There is evidence of agricultural practices through the banana plants that can be seen. The horses that can also be viewed show the prevalence of horses in the Spanish Empire(Thomas 480). The houses are not lavish as they seem to be simple and more traditional in their set up. The houses are made of timber and are secluded on their showing that few Spanish people lived in the countryside.The Market Photo
The image shows that commercial trade was mostly practiced in Spain colonies. The photo depicts a buy market that is filled with many people carrying out trade in the area(Elliott 520). It was taken in a public marketplace at Old San Juan’s Boulevard Del Valle that is presently a museum building(Thomas 490). The stalls in the picture are crowded in the space, and there seems to be little room left for movement. Europeans and African Americans can be seen in the image hence can be able to note that the market setting was in a Spanish Colony.Conclusion
The British and Spanish Empires were great European domains that had many colonies throughout the world. There are numerous similarities and differences in the culture context and political context of the two empires. The empires have played a significant role in history that is still seen till presently.

Three Old Havildars, the National Archives, UK

Sikh Recruits at School, the National Archives, UK
Country Scene, Porto Rico
Rodriguez Archives


San Juan, P, R

Works Cited

Elliott, John Huxtable. Empires of the Atlantic World: Britain and Spain in America, 1492-183. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2007.
Roberts, J M. The Penguin History of the Twentieth Century: The History of the World, 191 to the Present. City of Westminster, London: Penguin Books Limited, 2004.
Thomas, Hugh. The Golden Empire: Spain, Charles V, and the Creation of America. New York: Random House Publishing Group, 2011.

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Good Research Paper About Comparing Empires: Cultural, Political, Environmental And Photographic Dimensions. Free Essay Examples - Published Dec 17, 2020. Accessed May 20, 2022.

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