Forms of Colonization – Settlement and Exploration

In the Traditional Colonial System we find several forms of colonization , which, in general, can be grouped into two major types: settlement colonies and explorationcolonies .


The settlement colonies correspond to those that developed in the temperate areas of America, best exemplified by the English colonies of North America , especially New England. These have the following characteristics:

• Population by family groups of religious refugees (Puritans); for this reason, permanent, where the ideal of fixation was associated with the desire for prosperity and development, trying to reproduce in America the form of life that they had in Europe.

• Ideal for accumulation linked to the valuation of labor, saving and capitalization.

• Investment in the own colony of the profits generated by the local production, converging to the metropolis only the taxes.

• Colonial production served the satisfaction of internal needs and was organized in small properties, with great use of free and family labor.

• Creation of an internal market.

• Appreciation of education, education and women.

• Consciousness of the autonomy and early development of the ideal of emancipation.


The colonies of exploitation , exemplified by Portuguese colonization in Brazil, corresponded to the mercantilist interests of the time and had the following characteristics:

• Spontaneous occupation, therefore temporary, by groups of individuals where the ideal of fixation was supplanted by the ideal of economic exploitation, immediately and without major investments.

• Ideal for quick enrichment in the colony with spending in Europe (“Making America”), linked to the transoceanic mentality, where, in general, families stayed in the metropolis.

• Export to the metropolis of all profits made from colonial production.

• Large-scale production for the foreign market, serving metropolitan interests, based on large property and slave labor.

• Extroverted and dependent economy, preventing the formation of an internal market.

• Devaluation of manual labor, education, education and women.

• Late development of the ideal of emancipation.


The two types of colonization explain the differences that will occur later: Brazil colony did not prosper, unlike New England, which was the embryo of North American development. Therefore, it is the sense of colonization, essentially of exploitation, that is responsible for the problems of the backwardness that still today marks our country, and not other factors, such as climate, race, miscegenation or religion, lacking a historical and scientific basis.

An experiment in settlement colonization in Brazil was carried out on the coast of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul in the 18th century. For these areas, Azorean families were brought on a permanent basis, which, among others, developed the diversified production in small properties. And the case of Florianópolis and Laguna, in Santa Catarina, and of Porto dos Casais, in Rio Grande do Sul, now the city of Porto Alegre.

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