The overseas activities of the Protestant countries, although encouraged by the State, were for the most part the result of private enterprise undertaken by companies which were granted a charter for the purpose. But whatever the form of European expansion, the nature of the contacts between European and non-European tended to be, from the beginning, of a violent and aggressive kind. The European who initiated and established contact was always the intruder from without, the stranger at the gates, ever ready to seize by force what he could not secure by peaceful means.
THE RISE of the nation-states in Europe prepared the way for an expansion overseas of European control over, and European contacts with, non-European countries and their inhabitants which by the sixteenth century was already well under way. Led by Portugal and Spain, and followed in the seventeenth century by Holland, England, and France, the European expansion to the West and to the East was the result of many, sometimes even conflicting, motives and assumed many different forms. It is the character, however, of the Protestant European expansion, and more particularly of Dutch expansion overseas, that is of special interest for our theme. As contrasted with the expansion of the Catholic countries which in the beginning, at any rate, was to some extent permeated by a crusading and missionary spirit, the expansion of the Protestant countries was from the beginning far more secular and mercenary in spirit. While the representative figures of the former were the soldier and the Jesuit priest, those of the latter were the colonist and the trader. Then, as now, trade rivalries and national rivalries were closely intertwined and quarrels which had originated in Europe were carried overseas as well, where they were fought out with even greater bitterness and unscrupulousness.
For the Catholic countries, expansion overseas was regarded as a form of State enterprise whose activities were directed and supervised by a royal representative or viceroy. The overseas activities of the
Excerpt from I. D. MacCrone, Race Attitudes in South Africa ( London: Oxford University Press, 1937), pp. 3-9.
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Publication information: Book title: When Peoples Meet:A Study in Race and Culture Contacts. Contributors: Alain Locke - Editor, Bernhard J. Stern - Editor. Publisher: Committee on Workshops, Progressive Education Association. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1942. Page number: 175.
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