Spanish vs French Landscapes Essay

Submitted By dereklehner
Words: 682
Pages: 3

The Spanish and French had lasting impacts on the lands in North America that they controlled. While the two countries do have many differences in the cultures they spread, there are also some similarities between the neighboring European nations.
One such difference of French and Spanish colonization is the direction that the culture spread. The Spanish influence moved northward from present day Mexico in search of gold and cities of gold that they had found in the Native American Indian nations of the Aztecs, Mayans, and Inca. They however did not find the gold they were searching for. The Spanish then created missions to spread their culture over this new land. They established small towns across much of the American Southwest and Florida. The French on the other hand entered the Americas on the east coast of present day Canada near the St. Lawrence River. They spread along the Great Lakes and down the Mississippi River in search of resources such as fish, agriculture, and fur.
Another difference in the effects of Spanish and French is in the way they settled the land. Many of times the Spanish created towns or pueblos with a centralized courtyard surrounded by a church living areas and shops. Outside the town were stables, tanning vats, and farm lands divided into squares with an irrigation canal running through the middle. The French on the other hand had a city composed of a grid work of streets and buildings. Along a nearby river there would be a series of long and thin farms.
A third difference in effects of the Spanish and French involvement in America is that of naming. The Spanish left their mark on land through the names of geographical features including mountains and rivers. The French did not leave names to landscape but rather established a number of cities and forts still in existence today.
One way that the effects are similar for both the French and Spanish is that of water diversion. In the southwest, the Spanish built irrigation canals to bring water from nearby rivers into the areas around the town to make the land suitable to farm. Similar to the irrigation canals of the Spanish, the French of Acadia built dykes to divert tidewaters from the marshlands along the coast. These lands were then able to be used for farming in years to come.
Another similarity between the French and Spanish is how their colonization era ended. The French eventually sold much of the land they owned to the United States in 1803. This area was known as the Louisiana Purchase. The Spanish also had…