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This article presents a brief review of the historiography on the British Empire in the second half of the twentieth century. It concentrates on three perspectives: two that dominated the historiography on British imperial expansion during the second half of the twentieth century the concepts of “informal imperialism” and “gentleman’s capitalism”. The third is more recent: British historian John Darwin’s description of the British Empire as an “imperial project.” The text focuses on the second half of the 19th century, up to the end of World War I in 1918. It seeks to question the validity of the concept of “informal empire” as the key to understanding Anglo-Latin American, and specifically Anglo-Mexican relations in this era.
Moreover, those of us who have worked the British diplomatic archives know very well that diplomatic sources are much cited. They are usually written with good pen by individuals with a high level of education, but also with a high level of racial and class prejudice. For example, the official in charge of the British Legation in Mexico in 1910 described Francisco I. Madero as a “spiritualist and vegetarian” who “was definitely not fit, nor was he the type of man who could govern Mexico.” 5 On the other hand, history constructed solely on the basis of British diplomatic sources inevitably underestimated the importance of the local economic, social and political context in which British interests operated. In short, the heavy reliance on British-centric sources, especially diplomatic sources, distorted both the historiography of the British Empire and that of British relations with Latin America, and thus made difficult a broader and deeper understanding of the character of British “imperial” contacts in the region.
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This article presents in tabular form the chronology of the main geographical, commercial, religious or military expeditions that contributed to the discovery and subsequent colonization of North America, with the dates of foundation of the main settlements by Europeans. (See also European colonization of America).
Leif Erikson, son of Erik the Red, arrives in Vinland (now the island of Newfoundland). The camp was located in the north of the island, at L’Anse aux Meadows, and lasted only a few decades, abandoned due to the aggressiveness, pillaging and above all the continuous harassment suffered by the settlers from the Indians (possibly Algonquians).
Christopher Columbus’ voyages, which put America in contact with Europe:* 1st voyage (1492-1493): he reached the island of San Salvador and officially discovered America, although he believed it was part of the Indies.* 2nd voyage (1493-1496): he undertook new explorations in the Antilles. * 3rd voyage (1498-1500): limits explorations and undertakes colonization work. 4th voyage (1502-1504): reaches the American continent for the first time, sailing off the coast of the southern part of the Yucatan Peninsula.
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The colonies established in North America were Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, New Hempshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York and Virginia. These thirteen colonies were designated New England.
The determining factors for the foundation of these thirteen colonies were: economic development; the diversity of religious cults that saw in America the opportunity to expand freely, as in the case of the growing Mormon community; and the great job opportunities. Since the great demographic explosion demanded it.
Most of the settlers came from the English crown. They were educated people and although they were moved by interests in favor of improving their lives in the economic aspect. They did not rely on obtaining the collaboration of the natives by means of force. But by means of the work of these with its respective payment based on barter trade or with currency in some cases.
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They decided to leave England in dissatisfaction because they believed that the purity of religion was not respected. The voyage was hellish and their ship, the Mayflower, changed its initial course and that of history. It is now four centuries since the arrival in America of those emigrants who lived great adventures and misfortunes and founded the United Colonies of New England, the embryo of the United States. By José Segovia/ Photo: Adobestock and Getty Images
After battling strong winds and monstrous waves during their epic 66-day voyage across the Atlantic Ocean, the colonists aboard the ship Mayflower knew that the land in their sights was not the colony of Virginia, the destination assigned to them by the British Royal Crown, but Cape Cod, located in the territory of the current state of Massachusetts. But the important thing was that they had survived the arduous voyage and now had in their hands the possibility of prospering in the New World.
It was November 11, 1620, a historic date that now marks four centuries. It was not the first English ship to reach the American coasts, nor was it the first colony to be founded in that territory. However, the arrival of that hundred or so people, made up of a mixture of English Puritans (known as the Pilgrims or ‘Pilgrim Fathers’) and adventurers and merchants determined to make a living on the new continent, has become one of the important moments in the history of the United States.