Chinese and Russian Empire Comparison Essay

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Compare and Contrast: Spanish and Russian Empire Building Over the period of 1450 to 1800, Spain and Russia grew from small countries to powerful empires. Spain expanded to the West, conquering and colonizing all across South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Russia expanded across Eastern Europe, Siberia, Central Asia, and all the way to Alaska. These two massive empires were built in different ways, yet they also shared many means in how the conquered and controlled their territory. Spain’s empire was driven by a desire for silver, but was presented many challenges as they had to expand across an ocean and cope with a new world. Russia, on the other hand, expanded their territory as a way of pushing back the Mongols and accessing other trading connections. They were similar in how their expansions were economically driven and how they had to adapt to multiracial societies. Because they were in separate continents in opposite parts of the world, Spain and Russia had largely different processes of empire building. Spain’s conquest of the New World was strictly by force. Spain’s chief opponents in their conquest of America were natives with much less advanced technology who had never seen a modern army. Because of this, Spain could easily trounce the Aztecs and Incas with small expeditions. This was very different from Russia’s expansion because Russia had to defeat nations with modern, well equipped armies. Also, Russia expanded directly from its center to the area surrounding it, allowing its conquering armies to be well supplied and manned, because they were close to home Contrary, Spain was forced to send all its supplies and men in ships on long journeys across the Atlantic, significantly reducing the amount of soldiers Spain had in the New World. Spain governed its new colonies by means of a bureaucracy with a judicial core and staffed by
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