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The rise of the British Empire began after successful explorations by Spain and Portugal. The King of England commissioned John Cabot to undertake explorations and conquer undiscovered lands. He came upon the Americas but he believed he had found Asia. This was the beginning of numerous explorations by England.
The British Empire began by taking up settlements and setting up plantations in America. They later moved to Africa where they colonized a majority of the land there. With the acquisition of the colonies in the Americas and Africa the British in the 1700s began developments in these colonies. These developments had social, political, economic and cultural impacts (Nicholas Canny 55).
There were a number of social changes observed in the British colonies. There was an increase in the population in the colonies because of the increase in settlement of the colonizers. In the colonies the resources and all decisions were controlled by the wealthy. This made them the centre of the society.
There was the rise of different type of religions within the colonies. The rise of Christianity in most colonies would give people a sense of belonging. There was a rise in slavery and slave trade in the colonies. The slaves were shipped from Africa and brought to the Americas to work on the plantations, mines and as servants (Burk &Kathleen 67).
There was an increase in economic activities being done in the colonies. There was establishment of plantations, mines and industries to process goods. The British developed systems where they would get raw materials from the colonies and ship them back to be used in their factories in England. They got cheap and free labor from the slaves thus increasing the wealth of the rich settlers.
The growth of the triangular trade led to establishment of companies that traded in slaves and other goods produced in the colonies. This led to development of an extremely rich class that controlled activates in the colonies. There was also taxation that was developed in the colonies so that England would make money from the trade (Burk &Kathleen 78).
There was a huge change in the cultures in the colonies. Many of the settlers brought new cultures into the colonies. They forced the indigenous people of the colonies to adopt these cultures. This saw the original inhabitants begin practicing the white man’s culture.
The increase in slave trade also saw a shift in the number of black people in the Americas. The slaves developed a culture that combined their various cultures. It was a fusion of their culture, that of the indigenous inhabitants and that of the settlers. Religions also influenced the cultures that were created by the people in the colonies (Nicholas Canny 98).
The British brought their own political structures to the colonies. In spite f the fact that the colonies had certain social and leadership structures in place the British replaced them with their own systems that were believed to be more effective. The main people who were tasked with governing the colonies and developing laws are the rich people. These were the lords of the trade and the plantations. These were the wealthy people who controlled many aspects in the colony (Burk &Kathleen 122).
The colonies benefited and experienced negative changes from the colonialists. In America the changes were cut short before the 1800s when the colony became independent.
Burk &Kathleen. Old World, New World: Great Britain and America from the Beginning. New Jersey: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2008. Print.
Nicholas Canny. The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume I: The Origins of Empire: British Overseas Enterprise to the Close of the Seventeenth Century. Boston: Allyn, 2001. Print.