British Empire Achievements

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The British empire, widely labelled the most expansive of its kind throughout recorded history by various historians and for good reason, owes its success to a multitude of factors. From colonisation and religious conversion to new trade routes and a constant demand for new resources. Arguably, however, the foundation for the empire’s achievements can be attributed to Britain’s extensive exploration/discovery exploits. Continuously watching from the sidelines with countries such as Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands bolstering their global empires through constant conquest, colonisation, an abundance of new world resources, and discovery of new efficient trade routes, created a new nationalistic mindset within the British monarchy due to…show more content…
Eventually, laying the foundations for the formation of the largest global empire in history.

The desire for expansion within the British empire arose due to a culmination of heavy losses in terms of warfare, particularly with France at the end of the hundred years’ war, great envy toward their rivals, a longing for exotic commodities, but also a crippling debt in the monarchy was a key factor. In the 16th century, however, the state neglected to fully commit itself to help fund voyages of exploration, settlement, and colonisation, due to a lack of resources. T. O. Lloyd, in his book ‘The British Empire 1558-1983’, explains “The government certainly had no money to spare to help the colonies, and this introduced the general rule that English colonies had to cover their own costs.” Therefore, much of the conquest and discovery was left in the hands of privateers and private enterprises “whose concern for immediate gain was detrimental to long-term planning needed to promote colonisation.” The first real expedition
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Part of the incentive to discover and inhabit North America came from men like George Peckham and Richard Hakluyt who penned long persuasive pleas/advertisements that would occasionally urge the monarchy and the affluent to back English exploration and colonisation. Hakluyt, in his ‘Discourse of Western Planting’, tries to convince the then queen, Elizabeth I, that voyages to this new continent will bring many benefits. “that this western voyage will yield unto us all the commodities of Europe, Africa, and Asia as far as we were want to travel and supply the wants of all our decayed trades.” “This enterprise will be for the manifold employment of numbers of idle men, and for breeding of many sufficient and for utterance of the great quantity of the commodities of our Realm.” While many of these colonies were unsuccessful, even disastrous, most notably Roanoke under Walter Raleigh, The French, and Spanish suffered similar setbacks such as fort Caroline and the Ajacán mission. Eventually, with colonies such as Jamestown, Plymouth, and the discovery of the Hudson Strait provided enough testimony that these expeditions were worthwhile, and Britain was starting to conduct them effectively, colonies such as these would ultimately become the bedrock for the empire’s crowning achievement, British America. “The
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