Influence Of The British Colonial Empire During The Mid 1650s, Tensions Between Spain And Britain

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During the mid 1650s, tensions between Spain and Britain were high and Britain was looking for a way to gain a basis of operations in the Caribbean. Through this, it would be easier for Britain to weaken the influence that Spain held over the New World. In 1654, a fleet sailed from England with the goal of capturing the island of Hispaniola. This effort proved unsuccessful, and the fleet was reluctant to return to Britain empty handed. The Spanish defenses at Jamaica were low which made the invasion of the island successful. Once the British had taken over Jamaica, they were able to develop a powerful colony with a commercial background based first on privateering and trade, and later on though sugar plantations and slavery. It was because of these institutions that helped the British colonial empire to become more powerful than that of any other nation at this time. Though Jamaica was not the original target for capture during the Anglo-Spanish war, it soon proved to be one of Britain’s most valuable colonies. Spain held the main sphere of power in the West Indies during the mid 1600s, controlling many of the islands. With this came a massive trade network and a large amount of political influence. All of this was not something the Britain was going to let slip away. What she needed was a base of operation in the West Indies from which the British could begin to interfere in Spanish affairs and gain part of the wealth that Spain was earning in the Americas. Following the

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