Professional Communication Cultural Sensitivity Guide
1. The motives for the European expansion in America (especially those of the Spanish, French, and English and the ways in which their American empires reflected their specific tunes).
There were the incentive motives of the European expansion. It is known that in a process of domestic and international trades’ growth in Europe the need for the financial resources in the precious metals sharply increased. However, the Europeans did not receive gold themselves. The silver mines of Central Europe were gradually exhausted. No wonder that at some point the search for external sources of the reserves’ replenishment for gold and silver became more active for the spread of manufactures and development of agriculture. The discovery of new ways by other people had been caused by the productive needs of emerging capitalism. The transatlantic crusades of Europeans and the following formation of the world market resulted in the decomposition of feudalism and origin of capitalism.
The crop failure and hunger, which had covered some regions of Europe, composed the other reason for the European expansion. Without having managed to win against nature, people started searching for the fisheries or territories with favorable conditions for the cultivation of vegetables or sugar cane. Moreover, the difficult demographic situation of the end of the 14 century pushed Europeans to the organization of expeditions for slaves. There is also an assumption that there had been the opposition between the Christian and Muslim worlds in the period of the late Middle Ages. In order to prevent the spread of Islam, Europeans undertook the world crusades. However, it served only as a cover for certain trade interests. Moreover, some part had been played by human curiosity, warmed up by the stories of the well-known traveler Marco Polo (Stuchtey, 2011).
The search for precious metals was the only motive of the Spanish expansion in South America in the first time of colonization. The Tudor’s England representing a rather weak and sparsely populated state up to the 1560-70s was absorbed by religious and dynastic conflicts. It entered the struggle against Spain, which demanded the concentration of all forces in the country. France, having lost the war with the Habsburgs lasting for more than half a century for the domination in Italy, had plunged into the abyss of pernicious civil wars since the beginning of the 16th century.
In general, all English and French colonial enterprises in North America at the end of 15th – the beginning of 17th centuries by the initiative or with the assistance of governments were only isolated actions. They did not have considerable practical consequences. All attempts of the creation of the constant settlement (Roberval, de La Rosha, Frobisher, Gilbert, Lei’s expeditions, etc.) had steadily failed. Almost in all cases, it was caused, first of all, by the striking discrepancy of purposes and tasks set by colonialists as well as the realities which they had faced. Besides, the colonial activity of the British and French (in Northern America) for almost the whole 16th century was restrained due to the position of Spain and Portugal. Latter ones were the leading sea and colonial powers of that time seeking to secure the right to own and operate the lands located outside Europe and trying not to allow competitors (Stuchtey, 2011).
Both the Spanish, English and French colonization of North America had gone through various ways. It had been caused by a number of objective and subjective reasons connected with the following features. These ones were of social, economic and political development of two mother countries, incentive motives of the English and French expansion, the structure of participants of the colonization process, specifics of approaches of official London and Paris to the colonial problems and also with an attitude of their citizens towards those realities faced in America.
Thus, the American Empire reflected the European expansion in various ways. The Spanish intrusion resulted in the changes in the social and political life, the emergence of the new Pacific trade, as well as black slavery. The English expansion had led to the emergence of the new colony called Virginia. Meanwhile, the French one triggered the emergence of the vast region of Louisiana.
2. The origins, operations, and effects of the system of black slavery in America, particularly in the English colonies of America.
The beginning of the import of slaves on the territory of the modern USA coincided with the entry of England during the era of colonial conquests. The first constant settlement of the English colonists in America, i.e. Jamestown, was founded in 1607. In twelve years, in 1619, the first ship, bringing the African Americans, came to the coast of North America.
The import of the Blacks and the introduction of slavery were the consequences of the need for labor in the south of North America. There large-scale agricultural enterprises such as tobacco, rice, and other plantations were arranged on the lands distributed by kings to confidants. In the north, where the plantation households were less widespread due to special economic and climatic conditions, slavery had been never applied in such scales as in the south. Nevertheless, there were slaves, mainly house servants, agricultural farm laborers, etc. in the northern states as well.
The first Blacks were brought to America as contracted workers. However, the contracting system was officially replaced with a more favorable one of slavery later. In 1641, the service life of slaves was turned in a lifelong process in Massachusetts; and the law of 1661 in Virginia made it as a mother hereditary for children. The similar laws consolidating slavery were adopted in Maryland (1663), in New York (1665), in Southern (1682) and Northern Carolina (1715), etc. (Feagin, 2004).
The majority of black slaves imported into America were the inhabitants of the western coast of Africa. The smaller part belonged to the tribes of Central and South Africa as well as North Africa and the island of Madagascar. The black tribes of Africa were at various steps of their social and economic development having the customs and speaking their languages distributed on three main linguistic families, i.e. Semite, Hamitic and Sudan. Some tribes had slavery for war prisoners and criminals. Moreover, slavery was held on an economic basis (debt).
Until the end of the 17th century, the slaves’ trade in the US English colonies was a monopoly of the Royal African Company. However, in 1698, this monopoly was liquidated; and the colonies acquired the right to be engaged in a slave trade independently. This selling became widely spread after 1713 when England achieved its exclusive right for this slavery process. Blacks were caught, bought, exchanged for goods, loaded in fetid holds of ships, and brought to America (Feagin, 2004).
Despite the prohibition of the slaves’ import in 1808, the trade did not stop. It had existed in its hidden form up to the official release of Blacks during the Civil War of 1861 – 1865. The slaves were imported smuggling. It essentially increased the mortality rates during their transportation. About half a million of them had been sent to the USA from 1808 to 1860. The Blacks revolted and protested in different forms, like the damage of instruments of labor, the murder of supervisors and owners, suicides, escapes, etc. The revolts of slaves and their struggle for freedom did not only sow fear among planters but also awoke the consciousness of Americans. This process promoted the development of the broad democratic movement leading eventually to the elimination of slavery.
Slavery became obsolete in the middle of the 19th century. The invention of spinning cars and the introduction of various technical improvements increased labor productivity in the industry and the need for cotton. The work of slaves, even in the conditions of the most severe exploitation, remained unproductive. Its efficiency did not conform to the new requirements. The slavery system had also slowed down the development of capitalism in the USA and the formation of the uniform domestic national market. Its cancellation became, thus, a necessary condition for the further development of capitalism. Besides, denying all human rights, this system was a threat to the welfare and civil liberties of all Americans. Slavery caused the growing protest of Blacks and the broad movement against it among various layers of the population.
3. The major causes of the American Revolution, long-range, and especially developments from 1763 to 1776.
American society had developed greatly in the period between 1763 and 1776. This term is considered to be the preconditions for the American Revolution. The Proclamation of 1763 prohibited the settlements in the continent without the provision of safety. This law was the first manifestation of the colonists’ opposition and the Parliament.
The American Revolution of 1775-1783 (called otherwise as to the liberating war of thirteen British colonies or the War for Independence) during which the independent state, i.e. the USA, was created, is one of the most significant events in the historical science of the country. There are a lot of different causes of it: social, economic, and political. It is like the democratic movement or struggles for independence and release from the colonial oppression. Some scientists consider the revolution to be a consequence of the impact of liberating ideas and development of education, etc. Each of the specified factors influenced the American Revolution. However, its causes should be searched for in the previous history of human society. It is necessary to emphasize that the farmer revolts of the 1760s – the beginning of the 1770s were one of the most important factors for the democratic movement in colonies. This conclusion has a basic value as a definition of place and value of the farmer movement. The active revolutionary force gives a chance to correctly understand the alignment of forces in settlement (Coakley & Conn, 2010).
The revolution presupposes modernization in society and any qualitative change. It is opposed to traditions and inertness. However, huge efforts are required for the preservation of customs of the previous generations. If to apply this concept to America, it is possible to notice the following fact. The 1760s composed the time, in which the British Empire could not preserve its traditions even inside the country anymore. It had occurred for several reasons. Firstly, England had lived the residual phenomena of the bourgeois revolution which happened a hundred years ago. It held the country on the verge of constant aspirations to changes. Secondly, there were the prerequisites of the industrial revolution in England. The bourgeoisie was ready to change the old traditions. Thus, it was impossible to preserve them on the other continent as well. England was a huge colonial empire. It aimed at preserving its imperial influence. In addition, America was a continent, inhabited not only by the British people but also by immigrants from other countries. The youth is the average age of emigrants. People were in the process of social formation. England was not a standard and ideal for the majority of people. Thirdly, the British Empire wanted to keep its influence, toughened the laws, and tried to suspend the settling of the American continent. However, colonists wanted to develop outside the narrow borders of their colony.
There were the prerequisites to a quantum leap in the formed society of the future USA. On the one hand, there were some colonial authorities, anxious with the preservation of their mother country’s interests. On the other hand, the new population of America, which could perfectly cope with internal management, had no communication with the traditional foundations of the English society. In other words, the future huge country was ready to solve its problems itself and could not depend on the owner over the ocean.
To sum up, the apologists of the American revolution of the 18th century represent it as a standard of democratic development. They are declaring that the unprecedented freedom was won exactly as a result of this revolution, and the people were acquiring their unprecedented rights. The country had developed greatly in all spheres of life, thus giving a basis for the future democracy.