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  1. 1. England
  2. 2. Origins of the Empire • The foundation for the British Empire was laid at a time before the creation of Great Britain, when England and Scotland were separate kingdoms. • The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates, and other territories ruled or administered by the kingdom, that had originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. • At its height it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power. • The British had no monopoly on technological innovation but the Royal Navy would undoubtedly become a formidable military institution. – Being an island nation, shipbuilding and sailing would be important skills and industries. – They had come to understand the ship design, navigational and long distance skills required to explore and commercially exploit the routes that they discovered.
  3. 3. Geographic Characteristics • The Caribbean initially provided • In 1695 the Scottish parliament granted a England's most important and lucrative charter to the Company of Scotland, which colonies, starting in 1604 with a few first proceeded to establish a settlement on the failed attempts. isthmus of Panama. • In 1655 England annexed the island of Jamaica from the Spanish, and in 1666 • At the end of the 16th century, the British succeeded in colonizing the Bahamas. East Indian Company’s primary aim was to • England's first settlement in the tap into the lucrative spice trade, and they Americas was founded in 1607 in focused their efforts on the source, the Jamestown, managed by the Virginia Indonesian archipelago, and an important Company. hub in the trade network, India • In 1670, a charter was granted to the Hudson's Bay Company for monopoly on the fur trade in a vast stretch of territory that would later make up Canada. • Two years later, the Royal African Company was inaugurated, receiving a monopoly of the trade of slaves, and so forts were established on the coast of Africa.
  4. 4. Colonization of North America • In 1548, Walter Raleigh was granted a patent for discovery and overseas exploration. Later that year, he founded the colony of Roanoke on the coast of present-day North Carolina, but lack of supplies caused the colony to fail. • England's first permanent settlement in the Americas was founded in 1607 in Jamestown, led by Captain John Smith. • In 1609, Bermuda was discovered and a new colony was established. • In 1624, the Crown took direct control over the American colonies, thereby founding the Colony of Virginia. • The Newfoundland Company was created in 1610 with the aim of creating a permanent settlement on Newfoundland, but was largely unsuccessful. • In 1620, Plymouth was founded as a haven for puritan religious separatists. – Fleeing from religious persecution would become the motive of many English colonists to risk the trans-Atlantic voyage: • Maryland was founded as a haven for Roman Catholics (1634) • Rhode Island (1636) as a colony tolerant of all religions • Connecticut (1639) for Congregationalists.
  5. 5. Economic System • From the outset, slavery was the basis of the British Empire in the West Indies. • The Caribbean colonies adopted the system of sugar plantations successfully which depended on slave labor. • The American colonies were less financially successful than those of the Caribbean, but had large areas of good agricultural land and attracted far larger numbers of English emigrant. • Servile, or indentured, labor and increasingly African American slave labor provided the basis for plantation economies.
  6. 6. Political Structure With the Colonies With Europe • Britain tended toward a • A series of wars in the 17th and decentralized and empirical 18th centuries with the Netherlands and France left type of colonial administration, England the dominant colonial in which some degree of partial power in North America and India. decolonization could prepare • In 1604, King James VI of Scotland the way for eventual self-rule. negotiated the Treaty of London, ending hostilities with its main rival, • Realizing that direct rule over Spain. ancient civilized lands could not • Peace between England and the last indefinitely, Britain worked Netherlands in 1688 meant that the for a continued British two countries entered the Nine presence in areas where the Years' War as allies empire conferred self- • But the conflict waged in Europe and overseas between France, government. Spain and the Anglo-Dutch alliance.
  7. 7. Relations With The Natives • At first, colonists survival depended upon the Native’s hospitality, particularly gifts and food, but colonial leaders soon demanded too much of local Natives. – Natives resisted land invasions and fought a bitter war for survival. • English landlords secured land from local Natives through treaties or just took the land through royal charters or land grants. • In all regions, Natives initially entered into trading relations with the English and enjoyed the economic opportunities.
  8. 8. Social Relations • Increasingly, however, English settlers wanted more land, and they often forced treaties upon starving Native groups in exchange for European goods. • As native lands became English ranches, farms, and plantations, Natives were often plunged into a state of dependency and despair because they no longer could support themselves by growing their own food. – Indians either migrated or violently resisted further English encroachment. • Indians witnessed the introduction of radically new technologies and ways of life. Foreigners from distant lands arrived in their homelands. They came in strange vessels, carried strange items, spoke strange languages, and often acted violently towards native communities. • Such new and revolutionary developments brought unprecedented changes to Native societies and created different ways of living.