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US History – The Regions of the British Colonies, 1607-1754

1. The Spanish Colonies

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In this module, we explore the environmental and other factors that shaped the development and expansion of the Spanish colonies in North America. The Spanish first developed colonies in the Caribbean but soon spread into Mexico and up into the North American continent. They used plantation slavery and mining as a means to extract value from their possessions but also attempted to spread Christianity throughout the continent with an elaborate series of missions from California to Florida. By the 18th century, Spanish power in the region had ebbed due to competition from European rivals and opposition from natives.


In this course, Professor Alan Taylor (University of Virginia) explores the regions of the British colonies in North America. This course will explain how and why environmental and other factors shaped the development and expansion of various British colonies that developed and expanded from 1607 to 1754. The first two modules will examine the other major European colonies in North America and how these developed in the 17th and 18th centuries. We will then turn to look at the British colonies, looking at reach region individually. These regions were: (i) the West Indian and Southern Colonies; (ii) the Chesapeake Colonies; (iii) the Middle Colonies; (iv) the New England Colonies; and (v) the Northern Colonies. Finally we shall take a look at how ideas of freedom and slavery developed differently within the British colonies than in their Spanish and French equivalents.


Alan Taylor is the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor of History at the University of Virginia. He is a specialist in the early history of the United States and has written extensively about the colonial history of the United States, the American Revolution and the early American Republic. Taylor has received two Pulitzer Prizes and the Bancroft Prize, and was also a finalist for the National Book Award for non-fiction.

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APA style

Taylor, A. (2021, November 18). US History – The Regions of the British Colonies, 1607-1754 - The Spanish Colonies [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Taylor, Alan. "US History – The Regions of the British Colonies, 1607-1754 – The Spanish Colonies." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 18 Nov 2021,

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