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The Atlantic empires all had different approaches to governance in North America. Their forms of governance were encouraged by social, economic and political factors. One of the tools for understanding the approaches is by comparing them. Dr. J.H. Elliot is one of the historians that attempts to comprehensively examine the forms of governance and the colonial experience . The purpose of this paper is to compare the approaches of governance in North America as discussed by r. Elliot and backed up by other historians.
The Atlantic empires were organized in three parts, depending on the similar colonial experiences they had with each other. The three approaches were occupation, consolidation, and emancipation. Different reasons led the British band Spanish colonists to start settling in some parts of America gradually. For the Spanish, they had an experience with the Reconquista of Iberia. However, it came to a stop when Columbus set sail. The Spanish were using the strategy of acquisition because of their faith that it was a process of extending their territories. They felt more confident with the extension of the Reconquista to go past the shores of Spain. On the other hand, there were incomplete English conquests in Europe. The British people exhausted their funds on campaigns which could have been utilized in the colonization process. The approach of occupation was also exercised by cohabiting. The Spanish settled amongst the Moors of Iberia. On the contrary, the English people decided to isolate themselves from those they considered as their subjects. The British neither socially nor economically associated with the Irish and the Scots. Instead, they adopted exclusive settlements .
Another determinant factor of the approach of governance was the demographic and environmental conditions. The Spanish were more encouraged to occupy the Americas as compared to the British. After the Aztec and Incan civilizations had been conquered, there was a lucrative supply of silver and gold. The Spanish monarchy had plenty of mineral wealth that enabled them to control their colonies. It was harder for the British as they had little motivation to conquer. They had no mineral wealth and the populations onto which they exercised power were few. The Spanish had arrived over a century before the British. This had led to multiple cultural and religious interactions with people in the mainland. Therefore, they had the advantage of awareness, unlike the British .
Another approach of governance by the Atlantic empires was consolidation. After the initial conquest phase, the Spanish and the English used different models to exercise power and gain control over their colonies. While the British were focused on building administrative institutions, the Spanish monarchy exercised its power from the sidelines. The British had different forms of colonial governance that were contrary to those used by the Spanish. The British had for a long time isolated themselves by exclusive settlements and when it came to exercising power, they were building administrative institutions, an approach, which most natives resisted. On the other hand, the Spanish monarchy focused on integration and cohabiting by the occupation approach. However, when it came to exercising control, they did it from a distance, an approach that was friendly and cryptic .
The last part was emancipation. It focuses on using occupation and consolidation to gain control of the colonies. The Spanish and the British had previously had colonial experiences that were different from each other. The sparks revolution for the British and the Spanish was directed from different directions. While the Spanish lacked imperial authority, the British tried to assert its authority in all the colonies.
Besides the local conditions that created a difference in the forms of governance, international factors also influenced how the power was exercised. In the new world, the manner in which the Spanish and the British were ruled was different. The Spanish had a centralized authority while the British exercised a decentralized form of governance. This was impacted by various international relations factors such as immigration, religion, race, identity, and local governance. Their approaches to power did not develop when they decided to conquer America. Instead, they slowly developed during their initial experiences with the new world.
The American colonists had a chance to construct the foundations of an independent country due to the British lack of imperial authority. On the other hand, the Spanish form of governance only left slim opportunities for its colonies to seek independence. The Spanish administrative methods did not allow the colonies to develop institutions for democratic governance. The imperial possessor of British America on the other hand had been neglected until the late colonial era. This gave a chance for the colonies to prepare to manage themselves as a republic .
According to the comparison by Dr. Elliot, he argues that the Spanish form of governance not only allowed it to navigate swiftly in its colonies, but it also paved way for the British invasion. The two exercised different forms of authority which determined their success in colonization. The Atlantic empires not only approached governance from different directions but the manner in which they developed in the societies was different. In addition, their approaches to governance not only contrasted with each other but also were in a way interconnected. For instance, the inclusion approach by the Spanish led the British to exercise exclusive settlement with its colonies. Their non-administrative form of governance made the British feel as if they have sufficient space to develop their administrative institutions in the quest to conquer the colonies .
Comparison of the different forms of governance by the Atlantic empires lays an outline of the development of the Atlantic history. The two empires had minimal similarities in their administrative operations, which explains the difference in their triumph. Native American groups are not left out of the narrative, as they were determinant factors of social, political and economic lives of the people in America. For instance, immigration of people in America is one of the factors that encouraged the invasion of Atlantic empires. The centralized form of governance by Spain was also encouraged by the French, the British, and any other European neighbors that had gained a particular interest in Spain due to its newly acquired mineral wealth. The British on the other hand, may have been discouraged by the previous failure .
As discussed above, influenced by social, economic, and political factors, Atlantic empires exercised different forms of governance. They mostly contrasted each other but they determined the success or failure of the empires.

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