What were differences in treatment of the Native Americans by the Spanish in the Southwest and the French in Canada 1500-1700?    Differences and similarities in the Native American treatment.

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There were both differences and similarities in the way that these two European countries treated Native Americans in their respective colonies.   The Spanish and the French were both interested in getting rich from the resources of the land and in converting the natives.  The major difference is that the French did much less to try to control the Indians in Canada.

Both the French and the Spanish wanted to use the natives to extract resources and enrich the "mother countries."  The Spanish were mainly after mineral wealth while the French ended up centering their economy on furs.  The Spanish created many settlements and tried to control the natives on a daily basis.  They needed the natives to work in their mines and on their plantations.  The French, by contrast, created fewer settlements and did not try to really change the ways in which the natives lived.  They relied on the natives to go and trap animals for furs, but beyond that they did not really try to control them.