Trade, Plunder and Settlement: Maritime Enterprise and the Genesis of the British Empire, 1480-1630

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Cambridge University Press, Nov 29, 1984 - Business & Economics - 394 pages
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Not since 1945 has a general account of the origins of the British Empire been published, as if the demise of the empire freed us from our imperial past and historians from any obligation to digest it. Of course, it has done nothing of the kind, but it does enable the historian today to approach that past in a more critical spirit and to attempt a deeper and more detached analysis than could have been expected a generation ago. The purpose of this work is therefore not merely to recount but to explain the course of English overseas expansion and the beginning of the overseas empire; a prolonged pregnancy, culminating in a difficult birth and sickly infancy. The introductory essay discusses the forces and motives involved in the expansion movement, which is seen as being part of a wider European movement and derivative in many ways from it. The author considers the attitude and conduct of the Tudors and early Stuarts towards this fundamentally commercial movement and examines the nature and importance of sea power, the contribution of different social groups, and the relevance of religious and economic ideals as well as nationalistic sentiment. These various themes are taken up again in the narrative chapters which follow, dealing with the enterprises of exploration, trade, plunder and colonisation successively through from the early Bristol quest for 'Brasil' to the diverse ventures of the 1620s.
 

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Contents

Early ventures 14801550
41
The Northeast
64
From Muscovy to Persia
76
The Levant
87
Western Africa
101
The Caribbean
116
Beyond the equinoctial
135
Northwest with Frobisher and Davis
167
The seawar 15851603
223
The East India Company
256
The West Indies 15851630
280
North America 15911630
304
North and Northwest 160232
341
Reflections
356
Bibliography
365
Index
379

Gilberts ventures
183
Roanoke
200

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Page 1 - so in this most famous and peerlesse governement of her most excellent Majesty, her subjects through the speciall assistance, and blessing of God, in searching the most opposite corners and quarters of the world, and to speake plainly, in compassing the vaste globe of the earth more than once, have excelled all the nations and people of the earth.
Page 31 - severall endes. Some seeke authoritie and places of commandement, others experience by seeing of the worlde, the most part worldly and transitorie gaine, and that often times by dishonest and unlawfull meanes, the fewest number the glorie of God and the saving of the soules of the poore and blinded infidels.

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About the author (1984)

Andrews is Professor of History at the University of Hull.

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