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West World History Analytical Essay

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Updated: Apr 25th, 2019


This analysis is going to address the French and Spanish conquest in the new world and the establishment of their respective empires. It shall also encompass the French revolution with its distinct phases and how these rapidly changed into a conservative approach. It is important to analyze the Spanish and French conquests in establishing empires in respective areas in order to comprehend their way of life and reasons that necessitated such conquests.

How and why the French and the Spanish established empires in the new world

Both the French and Spanish were poor in English language. They were overseas explorers as they came to explore the new world. They were powerful and this led to fear from the English.

They had undergone a re-birth process which enhanced their activity in establishing an empire. Further, they had well developed and defined central trade areas like Florence. This necessitated their trading activities.

The rise of wealthy city states enabled them to set up successful empires. An example of such empires is Milan. Furthermore, there was increased power of the church. The church dominated most of the activities where it regulated the norms and formulated ideas to be used in daily activities, for example, it hired artists like Michelangelo, who performed as an artist and also built churches. This church was centered in Italy.

Other factors include revival of classical ideas, rise of humanistic ideas and proposed ideas on the improvement of man

After diplomacy, Spain and French came up with a plan to counter the new world. They developed strategies that they were going to use to win the much coveted territories. The Spanish built warships called ‘armada’. They, however, failed in their counter attack, as their ships were poorly built, as compared to other parties like English.

The French and the Spanish gained the best interests in the new world. They both had strong armies and a stable political structure which gave them ease and confidence to counter-attack the new world.

Their ability to develop created new ideas and gave them a passion to advance in technology no matter the cost or the distance they were to cover. This rise in technological affair awakened both parties and made them aware of new products. This caused the technological materials to increase production. Most of the English were Catholic’s while the Spanish and the French were Protestants. The English based their political structure on the queen (Elizabeth) as the overall head, after the death of her sister Mary.

The Spanish were well established and they used both political and economic dominance to rule their territories. They were well endowed with commercial activities and trade. The trade involved mine and exchange of silver majorly. The monarchy was also strong with authoritative and autocratic administration which paved way for a strong system of rule. However, in the 17th century, the Spanish business power deteriorated due to the drop in productivity of silver mines and the poverty if the monarchy (Spielvogel 305).

The French established colonial empires in North America. They also, just like the Spanish, dominated in business activities. In 1663, the French made Canada their property and ran it autocratically (Spielvogel 306).

Canada became an area of business, involving sale of goods like fur, fish, timber and leather. However, how much the french government tried to rule, it had one major setback in its conquest: it was unable to make people migrate to Canada. This subsequently led to a sparse population in the area (Spielvogel 306).

Why the English settlement at Plymouth is pivotal in American history

Plymouth is considered to be paramount in American history. This is because it is a place where Massasoit, sachen of the Wampanoag people, sent English-speaking Samoset, to make contacts with the pilgrims. It is a point where Massasoit facilitated agreements and prevented conflicts that might have terminated English colonial endeavor (Cohen 65).

The establishment of the French Revolution

The French Revolution took shape in 1789. The main causes of the revolution were;

  1. The influence from the American revolution
  2. Influence of the enlightenment philosophy
  3. The structure of the government; it operated under absolute monarchy and was subdivided into thee estates: the noble-first estate, the church-second estate and others- third estate.

These three estates did not meet, as the nobles and the church were exempted from paying of taxes. The middle class, therefore, could not advance as they could not complain since they only had one vote.

Each estate had one vote. Under King Louis xiv, and the idea of his divine authority, the courts became a battlefield for malicious cliques. He was the sole repository of power and sovereignty, in keeping with the ancient traditions. The monarchy was absolute and enshrined in the custom. All these were viewed as absolutist exaggeration on the subjects. (Furet 4)

In order to exercise more absolute power on the courts, the king wrote a text and declaimed in the parliament of Paris in 1766 to condemn any aspiration of monitoring or even having a share in the royal authority. In part, he wrote,”…from me alone the courts receive their existence and authority…which they exercise in my name only…and its use cannot be turned against me” (Furet 6).

No taxation to the monarch and the introduction of taille-an annual direct tax on land and property as a permanent tax hurt the economy greatly (Duiker and Spielvogel 388).

This led to a financial crisis, as the government lacked codified laws and structures to address any injustices. The economy collapsed and the first two estates realized that they needed the third estate. The third estate asked them to seek help and organized themselves into groups to avert any unforeseen danger. They adopted a constitution which spelled out the rights of all and gave women the same rights as men. They also formed a national flag.

They formed political parties (Jacobins) and were radicals. The Jacobins spread their thoughts, of liberalization, and became strong as they came up with a national army. They then passed a law to kill the nobles, forcing them to leave the country, and those left were executed.

They started strengthening the economy, as a result of the introduction of the law of percentage, whereby wages were increased and prices cut. They went on to change the names of months to the whole metric system. However, this effort was not nationally recognized.

Replacement of a revolutionary government with a conservative approach

In 1794, the Jacobins were arrested and most of them executed (Madorian reaction). The Revolution moved into a more conservative approach and needed help as they were defeated in wars. Napoleon took over and built a strong army which became undefeated, for over ten years. He became a political figure. The French power was felt over Europe, apart from the English territory. The French Revolution finally ended, in 1805.


The Spanish and French conquest of the new world was necessitated by strong political structures and great economic prowess. Both were involved business establishment in territories they conquered. On the other hand, the French revolution was spurred by absolutism in monarchial governance which did not auger well, with the rest of the public. The establishment of a conservative approach countered this revolution.

Works Cited

Cohen, Matt. The networked Wilderness: communicating in early New England, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009. Print.

Duiker, William and Spielvogel, Jackson: World History: From 1500, Belmont: Thompson Higher education, 2006. Print.

Furet, François. The French Revolution, 1770-1814, Blackwell Publishers, 1996. Print.

Spielvogel, Jackson: Western Civilization: A brief history, volume 2, NY: Cengage Learning. Print.

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