I am certain the complexities are beyond my limited expertise to fully understand, and I likely have a sub-conscious bias in favor of the Brits as far as colonial history. let me add a personal peespective to this thread; my wife is from Peru and I have traveled to Lima and other areas of rural Peru over the last 7 years I have observed the people (Many shades of Spanish descent, numerous distinctly Native/ Indian grousp, etc.) the economy, cultural patterns, history and government. When I look at Peruvian history I see instability, lack of true represenative government, military rule at different times, etc. I also see a very strong institution in the Catholic church that has had a strong cultural influence. That is Peru, but in I notice the same theme/pattern in looking at the Geography of the Americas, specifically the Spanish speaking countries. My imperfect generalization is that the English for better or for worse gave most of their colonies a tradition of parliamentary/ representative govt. that has served them well. The Spanish have their colonies centralized, class-based government, focused the the Crown and heavily influenced by the Catholic church.
Again, I have not read any of the recent scholarship on this and write from a largely personal experience.
mark J Biberg
delta cyber school
I sometimes wonder about the evolution of the colonies and if we interpret (more than we do) the state of modern countries back to their original "Mother country" and her succcess or failure in the colonial venture.
In addition, in the competition between European countries can we look to things like the French and Indian War (7 years war) , the defeat of the Spanish Armada, and the siege of Vienna in the 1600's .....in terms of determining the evolution of later American history.
My wife is from Peru, a very Catholic country, that traces most of its traditions and institutions back to Spain and the Catholic church. I sometimes wonder if Peru would have better (less corrupt, more transparent) government if the English were the ones sharing things rather than the Spanish.
The English certainly brought their religion (and intolerance of others religion) but they also brought a tradition of representative govt., individual rights, and freedom, that was not as strong in Spain and the Catholic church.