Register to reply

Colonizing of the new world

by Maylis
Tags: colonizing, world
Share this thread:
Maylis
#1
May22-14, 11:11 AM
PF Gold
P: 472
Hello,

In my investigation of colonies in the new world, I noticed the trend that the only nations that had colonies in the new world were the following

Britain, France, Portugal, Spain, and holland.

I was wondering, why didn't the Germans or Italians get any piece of the pie, nor any Scandinavian country? They didn't have imperialistic tendencies?
Phys.Org News Partner Science news on Phys.org
Local education politics 'far from dead'
First grade reading suffers in segregated schools
Violent aftermath for the warriors at Alken Enge
D H
#2
May22-14, 11:30 AM
Mentor
P: 15,066
Italy was a country in decline at the time of colonization. Germany wasn't even a country at that time. The Prussians did have a minor colony in Venezuela and a few in the Caribbean, but Prussia wasn't a major power at the time of European colonization.

Sweden was a major power, and Sweden was an early entrant in the colonization game with New Sweden. Sweden later lost that colony to the Netherlands thanks to a war. That early colony had a lingering influence on later colonies: Log cabins. The reason later settlers built log cabins is because that is what those New Sweden settlers built back in Finland (then a part of Sweden).
Maylis
#3
May22-14, 12:26 PM
PF Gold
P: 472
That is interesting. I am wondering, what took the Germans so long to become a nation state like France and Britain have been for many centuries. They are an ethnic group as well sharing a common language, but there was a lot of splitting up in their kingdom and this Prussia place covers areas that speak different languages today.

SteamKing
#4
May24-14, 08:58 AM
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
HW Helper
Thanks
PF Gold
P: 6,331
Colonizing of the new world

The history of Germany is long and tortured, taking many detours over the centuries. The Holy Roman Empire, which developed after Charlemagne, was chiefly populated by ethic Germans and run by various German princes, who elected the Emperor.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_Roman_Empire

When Austria was a strong nation state under the Habsburg dynasty, political calculations were designed to keep the northern German states small and divided, so as not to challenge Austrian primacy. When the Reformation came along, a further split arose between the northern Germans, who became mostly protestant, and the Austrians, who remained Roman Catholic, along with Bavaria. The Thirty Years War, 1618-1648, was a great, bitter conflict in central Europe, the likes of which would not be seen again until the Great War, 1914-1918.

The rise of France in the aftermath of the Thirty Years War also was a great impediment to seeing the various German principalities unite, since France was a natural enemy of the Germans even then. By keeping the German states small and squabbling, France had an easier time dealing with the rest of western Europe.

Over time, the power and influence of Austria declined due to a number of factors, like engaging in serial warfare in order to place other members of the Habsburg dynasty on neighboring thrones, while the northern German states, particularly Prussia, sought to increase their prestige, primarily at Austria's expense, and without antagonizing France.

The first great blow which Prussia struck at Austria was seizing and annexing Silesia in 1740, which act set Frederick II the Great on his course as one of the most important German kings.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_dualism

The loss of Silesia further cemented the mistrust of the Austrians for their northern German brothers, but the expansion of Prussia was checked eventually by their wars with Russia and then revolutionary France under Napoleon. After Waterloo, the Prussian monarchy had entered a period of long decline until its fortunes were revived when Bismarck was appointed Chancellor by Wilhelm I in 1862. Bismarck brought an energy to discharging his duties, as well as a shrewd plan to make his king the dominant monarch in western Europe. Wilhelm had been trained as a soldier and acceded the throne only because his brother, Frederick Wilhelm IV, had died without issue. As a reluctant monarch, Wilhelm was only too happy to let Bismarck have a free hand in dealing with the affairs of state.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_von_Bismarck

In short order, Bismarck fought the Danes (1864), vanquished the Austrians (1866), and humbled the French (1870-71) in lightning wars where the Prussians suffered few casualties. As a consequence of the last war with the French, France formed the Third Republic and Bismarck persuaded the chief German kings and princes to allow Wilhelm to be elected as German emperor. Bismarck pointedly kept the Austrians out of this process, not least because of their earlier defeat in 1866.

Although Germany was technically united under Kaiser Wilhelm after 1871, the largest German states retained a great degree of autonomy in the empire, chiefly Bavaria, Saxony, and Wuerttemburg, but the state with the largest land area and population was Prussia. The kings of Prussia would also be German emperors, and this state of affairs continued until 1918, when the German empire and the Austro-Hungarian empire both succumbed to defeat in WWI, and the various monarchies across the empire were abolished.

After 1918, Prussia, although now a republic, remained the largest state in Germany and would continue as such until it was finally abolished in 1947 by the Allies following Germany's defeat in WW II. After the war, there were great shifts of population as many Germans who formerly lived in the eastern parts of Germany were forcibly evicted by the Russians and the Poles who took over former German territory.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prussia
Maylis
#5
May24-14, 11:56 AM
PF Gold
P: 472
Interesting read I had wondered why the German states had been so divided for so many centuries instead if their adversaries Great Britain and France who seemed largely to be one unified kingdom.

Did the poles have their own land before taking what was then German land, or were they in Russian territory?
Czcibor
#6
May24-14, 02:10 PM
P: 77
Quote Quote by Maylis View Post
Interesting read I had wondered why the German states had been so divided for so many centuries instead if their adversaries Great Britain and France who seemed largely to be one unified kingdom.

Did the poles have their own land before taking what was then German land, or were they in Russian territory?
Polish colonial history:
In official history taught in schools - no.
(there was plenty of unused fertile land on area of contemporary Ukraine, so there was no point sailing far away)

In unofficial history:
-Polish vassal state, Kurlandia had a very tiny colonies, but it is usually neglected.
-Also after WW1 we had dreams of building colonies, some moneys were gathered and were even negotiation with France to let Polish Jews build their state in Madagascar.

EDIT: Or you ask after WW2? Polish Second Republic lost part of contemporary Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine (nice outcome for a country that was in theory on the winning side) so Polish population from that areas had to be moved somewhere.

Yes, we regained independence already after WW1. (At expense of Germany, Austro-Hungary and Russia)
Maylis
#7
May24-14, 04:50 PM
PF Gold
P: 472
Why would Austria and Hungary join forces to become one empire? They don't even share a common language. Sorry for so many off topic questions, but your responses keep prompting new questions for me and thy don't teach European history in the USA.
SteamKing
#8
May24-14, 07:46 PM
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
HW Helper
Thanks
PF Gold
P: 6,331
Quote Quote by Maylis View Post
Why would Austria and Hungary join forces to become one empire? They don't even share a common language. Sorry for so many off topic questions, but your responses keep prompting new questions for me and thy don't teach European history in the USA.
This is one of those accidents of history which occur from time to time.

Hungary had been a separate kingdom for centuries after the Magyar people had settled in central Europe. In 1526, the last king of Hungary, Louis II, drowned while fighting an Ottoman invasion of Hungarian territory. At the time of his death, Louis was barely 20, having been crowned King of Bohemia before he turned 3. He had been adopted by the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, a Habsburg, and Louis left no legitimate heir to his throne.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_II_of_Hungary

As Emperor Maximilian had died soon after adopting Louis, his successor as HRE, Ferdinand I, also Archduke of Austria, and Louis' brother-in-law, was elected King of Hungary, in order to keep the kingdom from being swallowed up by the invading Ottomans.

Over the next century and a half, Austria gradually took over more and more Hungarian territory as they fought to expel the Ottomans from central Europe. In the early 18th century, the Hungarians rebelled against Austria and the Habsburgs, and although independence from Austria was not achieved, it kept Hungary from being swallowed whole by Austria.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Hungary

A further campaign for independence erupted in 1848 as revolutionary fervor swept through central Europe. After the Austrians restored order and many Hungarian leaders of the revolt went into exile, things sputtered along for about 20 years, until after the Austrian defeat at the hands of the Prussians in 1866. The Austrian emperor Joseph II realized that in order to keep status as a great power, some sort of reconciliation and compromise with the Hungarians had to be made.
The result, in 1867, was the creation of the so-called Dual Monarchy, where Joseph ruled Austria as its emperor and Hungary as its king.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austria-Hungary

The resulting state had separate parliaments for the Austrian and the Hungarian territories, along with separate cabinets and prime ministers reporting to the king and emperor. This unwieldy state of affairs lasted until the Austrians collapsed at the end of WWI in 1918.

The Dual-Monarchy embodied many more nationalities than just Austrian and Magyar; these were the two largest. There were many different cultures, religions, and languages found within its borders, in addition to various separatist movements. Bosnia-Herzegovina was one small territory in the Balkans which had fallen under the sway of Austria-Hungary in the late 19th century, and it was finally annexed into the D-M in 1908. A group of Bosnia nationalists formed in order to seek independence from Austria, and they received aid and support from the neighboring kingdom of Serbia.

The Bosnia separatists bided their time until Emperor Joseph's successor, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, paid a visit to the Bosnia capital of Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, where one of the Bosnian factions assassinated him and his wife. After his assassination, the Austrians issued an ultimatum and a list of demands on the Serbs as punishment. The Russian empire mobilized in support of the Serbs, and the German empire mobilized in support of Austria. France mobilized in turn to support Russia and to seek revenge for their drubbing at the hands of the Prussians in 1870. These mobilizations resulted in the outbreak of WWI, which ultimately ended all three empires: the Austrian, the German, and the Russian.

The British empire had no stake in the dynastic machinations of Europe, but they had signed a treaty guaranteeing the territorial integrity of Belgium when that kingdom was founded in 1830.
The UK declared war on the Central Powers of Germany and Austria as a consequence of Germany's marching through Belgium to attack France.
SteamKing
#9
May24-14, 08:12 PM
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
HW Helper
Thanks
PF Gold
P: 6,331
Quote Quote by Maylis View Post
Interesting read I had wondered why the German states had been so divided for so many centuries instead if their adversaries Great Britain and France who seemed largely to be one unified kingdom.

Did the poles have their own land before taking what was then German land, or were they in Russian territory?
Poland as a country has existed in many different forms over the past few centuries. The Poles had to be a hardy people, in order to survive being sandwiched between Prussia, Austria, and Russia during that time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Poland

The last kingdom of Poland had ceased to exist in 1795, when it was partitioned by those three countries. The western part of what was the kingdom of Poland became the grand duchy of Posen, surrounded by Prussia, with Posen (modern Poznan) as it capital. The Austrians held a portion of Polish territory in the south of the former kingdom, while Russia took over the eastern territory.

Following the end of WWI, the first version of the modern state of Poland was created by the Treaty of Versailles. Although the borders of this state contain some of the same territory within present-day Poland, much Polish territory lay within what is now western Belarus.

After WWII, the borders of Poland were redrawn so that the country essentially moved about 150 miles to the west from its borders in 1920. The Polish territory in Belarus was reclaimed by the Soviet Union, while Posen and parts of Prussia along the Baltic were given to the new Polish state. The western frontier of Poland was drawn along the Oder and Neisse rivers of eastern Germany, while much of what was known as Silesia (including the capital of Breslau) became Polish as well. In the years following the surrender of Germany in 1945, any German ethnics still living within Polish territory were expelled to Germany.

It's hard to visualize all of these changes to Poland unless one has historical maps of eastern Europe available for reference.
jtbell
#10
May25-14, 09:01 PM
Mentor
jtbell's Avatar
P: 11,625
Quote Quote by D H View Post
Sweden was an early entrant in the colonization game with New Sweden.
C. A. Nothnagle Log House (Gibbstown, New Jersey, c. 1640)

Holy Trinity (Old Swedes) Church (Wilmington, Delaware, 1699)

Gloria Dei (Old Swedes) Church (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1700)
Maylis
#11
May25-14, 11:14 PM
PF Gold
P: 472
Wow that is crazy. Are the Austrians and Germans distinctly different ethnic groups? I could almost see Germany and Austria being a single empire in history, but it did not happen that way. They have remained separate nations and empires with the notable exception of WW2 anschluss.
SteamKing
#12
May26-14, 05:34 PM
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
HW Helper
Thanks
PF Gold
P: 6,331
Quote Quote by Maylis View Post
Wow that is crazy. Are the Austrians and Germans distinctly different ethnic groups? I could almost see Germany and Austria being a single empire in history, but it did not happen that way. They have remained separate nations and empires with the notable exception of WW2 anschluss.
I don't know how you would determine that Germans and Austrians are separate ethnic groups. What criteria would you use? The Nazis went to some lengths to classify even non-Jewish Germans into subgroups as part of their racial system, so I don't recommend picking up where they left off.

Austrians and Germans share a language (although there may be regional and dialectical differences between the German spoken in Germany and the German spoken in Austria), and their history has been entwined at several points thru the centuries (remember, Hitler himself was Austrian by birth, and a lot of top Nazis were Austrian). German is also one of the official languages of Switzerland, and several smaller countries like Liechtenstein and Luxembourg.
Maylis
#13
May26-14, 06:23 PM
PF Gold
P: 472
What I mean is why weren't Austria and Germany historically the same country. It's not like there is an analog of Austria for France. Some other country that speaks French but historically has been separate from France, with the understanding that Belgium is somewhat of an "artificial" country.
Vanadium 50
#14
May26-14, 06:39 PM
Mentor
Vanadium 50's Avatar
P: 16,184
Quote Quote by Maylis View Post
Why would Austria and Hungary join forces to become one empire?
The key word in SteamKing's answer was "Habsburg". This family ruled large parts of Europe from the 13th to the 20th century. Look at the territory ruled by Charles I of Spain if you want to be impressed. Anyway, Austria and Hungary shared a common monarch, from the House of Habsburg, which made a united empire more likely than it might first appear.
Astronuc
#15
May26-14, 07:23 PM
Admin
Astronuc's Avatar
P: 21,827
Quote Quote by Maylis View Post
Hello,

In my investigation of colonies in the new world, I noticed the trend that the only nations that had colonies in the new world were the following

Britain, France, Portugal, Spain, and holland.

I was wondering, why didn't the Germans or Italians get any piece of the pie, nor any Scandinavian country? They didn't have imperialistic tendencies?
German predecessors apparently did have colonies in the 'New World', which really wasn't new, since it was already occupied, but it seemed new to the Europeans.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...erman_colonies

See - Brandenburg-Prussian colonies. Apparently they were not successful in retaining the colonies.

Germany (or predecessors) were more successful in Africa and the Pacific, however, most of those territories were lost as a result of WWI.
SteamKing
#16
May26-14, 07:39 PM
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
HW Helper
Thanks
PF Gold
P: 6,331
Quote Quote by Maylis View Post
What I mean is why weren't Austria and Germany historically the same country. It's not like there is an analog of Austria for France. Some other country that speaks French but historically has been separate from France, with the understanding that Belgium is somewhat of an "artificial" country.
You mean like Switzerland? Or Monaco? Parts of Switzerland speak French, but the Swiss have tried to remain neutral since 1815.

Belgium is a special case. It is composed of French-speaking and Flemish-speaking groups who are at times antagonistic to one another. (Flemish is related to German and Dutch)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgium

The territory making up Belgium was once ruled by a branch of the Habsburg dynasty from Austria (which also ruled the Netherlands for a number of years, much to the displeasure of the Dutch). Once the Austrians were driven out of Holland and Belgium, things settled down for a time, until the French Revolution.

The revolutionary government in France wanted to annex Belgium and did so in 1794. When Napoleon was driven from power for the last time in 1815, Belgium and the Netherlands were united for a time.

However, a revolt by the Belgians in 1830 led to the creation of a separate kingdom of Belgium, and Belgian independence was recognized by the Treaty of London of 1830, by which Great Britain guaranteed the independence and neutrality of the new country. The Dutch reluctantly agreed in 1839 to the independence of Belgium, and there matters rested until 1914.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgian_Revolution

When Germany mobilized against France in 1914, the Schlieffen Plan called for the German army to attack northern France by marching through Belgian territory. The British government warned the Germans that they would not shirk their obligations under the Treaty of London and issued an ultimatum to Germany not to attack Belgium. This ultimatum expired August 4, 1914 without satisfactory German reply, war was declared on Germany by Britain, and German troops promptly thereafter invaded Belgian territory.
SteamKing
#17
May26-14, 11:07 PM
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
HW Helper
Thanks
PF Gold
P: 6,331
Quote Quote by Maylis View Post
What I mean is why weren't Austria and Germany historically the same country.
The key word in your question which provides a partial answer to it is 'historically'.

Austria and Germany share different histories, starting particularly with the Reformation which began in the early 16th century.

Martin Luther, one of the men credited with setting off the split within the Roman Catholic church in Europe was German. Austria, as the seat of the Holy Roman Empire (you can't get more catholic than that), held staunchly to her catholic faith during and after the Reformation, and remains so today. Northern and eastern Germany became largely Protestant, as did the various dukes, princes, and kings who ruled the various territories there. Southern Germany, particularly Bavaria, remained largely Catholic.

Until recently, state power and religion were intertwined, so that the religion of the king was the religion of his subjects. In the midst of the beginning of the Reformation and for many years afterward, Protestants and other dissenters were subject to official discrimination at the least, and outright execution at worst.

The rulers of Austria, the Habsburg family, had their fingers in many different pies, all over Europe. The Holy Roman Emperor at the time, Charles V, also dabbled heavily in the affairs of the RC church, up to and including trying to influence who became pope.

The German aristocrats felt that their concerns were ignored by the Austrians, who were fighting at various times the French, the Ottomans, and others, and the Germans used the Reformation as a pretext to rebel against Habsburg rule of their lands.

In 1555, the new pope, Paul IV, was elected, and he was friendly toward the French, so the HRE was forced to accept peace with France after Charles V abdicated as a result of the failure of his goal of ending the Reformation. The internal wars between the catholic and protestant German states were also ended by the Peace of Augsburg, where some, but not all, Protestant princes were recognized.

The Ottoman Empire was particularly resurgent after the fall of Constantinople in 1453, and the Ottomans periodically invaded different parts of Europe, with the goal of destroying the HRE. Vienna was a particular target of some of the Ottoman invasions, and although the Habsburgs may have felt their war against the Reformation did not conclude to their satisfaction, Austria faced a real existential threat from the Ottomans which did not end until their last attempt at capturing Vienna was thwarted in 1683.

Just because a group of people share a common language does not guarantee that they all desire to belong to the same nation. There are many other factors at play. After all, why did the United States seek and win independence from Britain? Both spoke English, swore allegiance to the same king, and many Americans still had family living in the British Isles. There was a significant number of American colonists who wanted to stick with Britain and had no desire to start a revolution and go to war over independence.

A variety of different causes arose over time which led the American revolutionaries to believe that London would never discuss, let alone offer any compromises, in order to mend the rift between the two peoples. Perhaps a more conciliatory Prime Minister than Lord North would have been sympathetic to American concerns, but that will always be a matter for debate.


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Probabilistic quantum world and deterministic macro world? Quantum Physics 3
What is the interlockings of the material world to the spiritual world. General Discussion 9
Reaching Other Stars, Colonizing Planets General Physics 6
The First Step Towards Colonizing Mars (or the Moon) General Physics 13