Term Paper: European Exploration and Colonial Origins

1. Identify the two most referenced points of importance regarding settlement that Hakluyt tried to impress upon his readers.

Richard Hakluyt’s propaganda in favor of England’s colonial expansion in America had two main themes:

1) The advantage it would give the Queen of England against her rival the King of Spain, there were a two aspects to this:

a) The Religious Aspect: It would allow the spread of the reformed church, headed by the Queen of England, against the Roman Catholic Church, of which the King of Spain was a member, Hakluyt says:

“That this western discovery will be greatly for the enlargement of the gospel of Christ whereunto the princes of the reformed religion are chiefly bound, amongst whom Her Majesty is principal.”

b) Territorial Gain: By establishing a military presence on the North American mainland, it would be easy to cause the downfall of the King Philip of Spain by disrupt the communications between Spain and Spanish colonies and the possibly to drive the Spaniards out of their colonies in the West Indies, Hakluyt says:

“That special means may bring King Philip from his high throne, and make him equal to the princes his neighbors, wherewithal is shown his weakness in the West Indies.”

Also if the English do not colonize the land, other Nations might colonize it. The Queen of England has a greater right to the land than the Spaniards and other nations (Hakluyt believed that some Welsh sailors discovered America before Columbus did)

The Pope granted the land to the King of Spain as if he owned everything, this would be a perfect opportunity to humiliate the Pope and make it clear that his grants were worth nothing.

2) Economic benefit that would accrue from the colonization of America in terms of trade goods, river and overland trade route to China:

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