posted on Oct, 3 2010 @ 02:25 PM
Historians have often asked the question why the Chinese didn't colonize Africa and the Americas, since had known about them for centuries and had
the means to do it if they chose. That's the same type of question as why there was no industrial, scientific and commerical revolution in China,
since there was certainly no lack of skill, scholarship and technical innovation. For whatever reason, it simply didn't happen, although Chinese
knowledge of everything from maps to compasses to gunpowder was transmitted to Europe and the Middle East, and all of it proved very useful to the
rising colonial powers of the West. China just seemed to turn inward, however, and retreated from overseas trade and colonization or internal
For over 100 years after 1492, the Spanish pretty much had the Western Hemisphere to themslves, for Britain, France and Holland didn't start any
serious colonization efforts until the 17th Century. Merchants, fishermen and explorers kept plying the coasts as they had before 1492, but
colonization was not a great priority for these powers. Part of the reason is that they were preoccupied with internal problems, the Reformation and
wars of religion, etc.
Most historians think that Britain never took much interest in its North American colonies before the 1760s, by which time they had already existed
for 100 years or more. Indeed, the colonists were quite happy that the Mother Country was not all that attentive to what was going on, unless they
happened to be in a war with France and Spain.
There were rebelleions in America long before 1776, and from time to time some corrupt governor would be sent packing, but even that didn't seem to
arouse much interest in Britain. Think of Sir William Berkeley, long time governor of Virginia who was overthrown in 1676 but still tried to
"govern" the colony from a ship out in the harbor. Not even that produced much of a reaction, except some comments that from Charles II that
Berkeley was basically corrupt and unpopular and they were probably better off without him.
So this just goes to show that even though the Americas were known for quite some time in Europe, even before Columbus, for most great powers of the
time they were just not the first priority.