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White 1235327 HISTORY 1B03

Canaries to Colonies: How Europeans used the Canary Islands as a Test Subject

David White 1235327

History 1B03: Global Encounters Before 1900

Canaries to Colonies: How Europeans used the Canary Islands as a Test Subject
The great European Empires that dominated the world stage for so long were not
entirely the product of massive superior technology, and were not guaranteed due to said
technological superiority. The Canary Islands in the Mid-Atlantic; were the Portuguese and
Spanish (the first two European powers to develop large overseas empires) used these
islands as a test subject for these empires to be.The Portuguese and Spanish (the first two
European powers to develop large overseas empires) used the Canary Islands in the MidAtlantic as a test subject for other empires-to-be. They showed the European powers that they
needed to have a frequent ability to travel from the mainland (i.e. Europe) to these isolated
but relatively close islands. It also showed that conquest through superior technology and
military practices would, if given sufficient support, wrest control from a hostile populace.
The archipelago also began a repetitive tale ofcycle in which biota being the main drive for
whichwas the motivation for a new colony: specifically, the desire to acquire rare plants to
reduce costs in mainland Europe. These different tests showed the mainprovided future
European colonial expansions with knowledge to avoid failure, and what to do to not fail; this
ultimately culminated in the establishment of Neo-Europes 1 (Crosby 2008) for which most
of the world is now filled.
Wind brings many things to many peoples across the world:, it beings nutrients to the
amazon, it brings spores to fertile lands, and; it has always brought the European powers to
far and distant lands. The reason that European colonisation could occurred was because
theythe developed development of advanced sailing techniques, which allowinged relatively
fast travel across the Atlantic and eventually later, other oceans. The ability to travel swiftly
was what separated the early failures to the later successes; Here lands only a few days
voyage from Europe unlike the islands of the far North Atlantic (Crosby, 73). This
demonstrates that the unsuccessful colonies (namely Greenland and Vinland) failed in part
because they could not get frequent supplies from the mainland; unlike the islands of the
Advancements in weaponry are normally attributed to an easy victory by the
Europeans over the uUncivilised natives. In the case of the Canary Islands this is not true:;
it did not guarantee their success eventually after sufficient effort was put into these
1 Crosby, Alfred W. Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 9001900. New York: Campridge University Press, 2008.

White 1235327 HISTORY 1B03

conquests (what do you mean by did not guarantee their success eventually after sufficient
In almost every case when the Europeans were halted in their conquests, it was not
that they were outmatched bydue to differences in military technology, but rather it is that the
natives had a Home-Turf advantage that natives had;, as Crosby quotes Juan de Abreu de
Galindo, before they come to places where a hundred men may easily baffle the efforts of
a thousand (Crosby, 85). The Europeans learnt from this and showed that the mistake would
not be repeatedavoided repeating the mistake: in North America they allied with different
natives factions (ex. France with the Huron, and Britain with the Iroquois) in order to not be
outwitted by the terrain.
From an individual to a national level, rResources have always been a cause of strife.
are something that drives people and countries to do unspeakable things to other nations and
humans. Encompassing plants, animals, and human beings is the resource group biota; the
Canary Islands drew the Europeans for its supply of sugar and people. One of the main
groups of resources is under a collective term of biota, this includes plants, animals and
human beings, and the Canary Islands drew the Europeans for the promise of sugar and
people. The initial drive motivation of colonisation was driven by a thirst for sugar;, as was
put by Crosby, Sugar was the catalyst of social and ecological change (Crosby 96). Aside
from massed emigration to a new land, the prospect of sugar Demonstrating that the prospect
of sugar encouraged emigration to a new land, and it also piloted the islands into a drastic
ecological and societal change., out with the old biota and in with The creation of large
plantations dedicated to a single crop was one such ecological change; unfortunately this
image would be replicated repeated a thousand times in both Africa and the Caribbean. The
second drastic biological change on the island was the enslavement of the native Guanches;,
this was achieved primarily by the conquistadores who that deported many of the populace to
stop them rebellingprevent rebellions and also to supplement the work force in both Europe
and on the Islands (Crosby, 98). The Europeans came needingarrived seeking one resource
and finding found numerous:; sugar, and later people came second. This would later
happened repeatedly and showed thatset the canaries Canaries were theas a benchmark for
the future empires to come.
Crosby eloquently describes that the Canary Islands were Laboratories (Crosby,
100), providing. They showed the Europeans with all of the essential tools it used to claim the
world; specifically, the use of biota, technology, and winds. The use of biota, technology, and
winds allowed the European powers to claim these islands and eventually the world. This was
really like a Canary in a mineis similar to the canary in a mine analogy:; if the gas (or Canary
Island-gas analog) had killed this project, then the European miners would have suffocated
and never had found the gold that was global colonialism.

Note You know a lot more about the material than I do (seeing as you just wrote 700 words
on it. I suggest you read over every change I made very carefully and seeing if anything I
changed really deviates from your original intended meaning.