Richard Hakluyt Imperialism

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Richard Hakluyt’s Reasons for English Colonization in the New World In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the people of England were faced with a dilemma: Many wished to explore the New World and colonize those foreign lands, but at the same time were afraid of what they would find in the new landscape. That is, until a Dutch clergyman named Richard Hakluyt wrote his now-famous piece of propaganda, titled Discourse on Western Planting. In it, he gave the English motivation to colonize the New World, despite the challenges they would possibly face. Though the reasons for colonization Hakluyt put forth were widely varied, what seemed to be the most prominent reason was the prospect of political advantages. Specifically, advantages that…show more content…
For example, in Discourse on Western Planting, Hakluyt stated that in the New World, an abundance of raw materials could be found, which would benefit England’s manufacturing industry in return. He also suggested that to gather these materials, England should send the criminals locked away in prisons to the New World, to use them for cheap labor. In this way, the criminals would receive a second chance in life, and in exchange, would devote their lives to collecting raw materials for their mother country. Hakluyt explained this idea best in one specific section of his paper: “Whereas if this voyage were put in execution, these petty thieves might be condemned for certain years to the western parts, especially in Newfoundland, in sawing and felling of timber for masts of ships; burning of the firs and pine trees to make pitch, tar, rosin, and soap ashes; in beating and working of hemp for cordage” (Hakluyt, “Sees England’s Salvation in America”, 26). The quote goes on to mention various types of materials that could have been salvaged in the New World, such as rare metals and an array of exotic foodstuffs. In addition to the thought of sending England’s criminals over to the New World to hunt for precious materials, Hakluyt said that when England did manufacture goods from the raw materials, they would then have been able to trade those goods with the native people of the New World. In this way, hundreds of jobs would be created for the English colonists, such as clothes makers and other craftsmen. Therefore, the colonies would have a stable economy to build off of while they began creating new lives for themselves, and inflate England’s economy as well. “Whereby all occupations belonging to clothing and knitting shall freshly be set on work, as cappers, knitters,

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