England was quite late to the North American party, yet ultimately established the most enduring and therefore consequential settlements. An overview of England of the 1500s, economically, politically, and geopolitically, is useful, even essential, to understanding how English North America unfolded.
By 1572, England was firmly in Protestant hands, had its own ambitions for overseas expansion, and was increasingly working to constrain Spanish power without starting a war it would probably lose. Elizabeth I was on the throne and had been for 13 years, and she had surrounded herself with a group of advisors who were very much concerned with extending English power into the world at large. The question is, how did England get to that point? This week’s episode, titled “England in the 1500s and the Rise of the Merchant Adventurers,” rolls us back in time to get to that very question.
References for this episode
John Butman and Simon Targett, New World, Inc.: The Story of the British Empire’s Most Successful Start-Up
Samuel Bawlf, The Secret Voyage of Sir Francis Drake: 1577-1580