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Colonial America Essay

2479 words - 10 pages

(1) Define Sir Walter Raleigh and the Lost Colony of Roanoke and the purpose of English colonization.

During the Age of Exploration, countries of Spain and England were rivalries. Spain, after Columbus made his discoveries, went on to explore and colonize lands in Mexico and Peru. With the riches that it obtained, Spain overwhelmed England with its powerful navy, but failed to do so because of the strong will and nationalism of the English explorers. Sir Walter Raleigh was among these brave men and soon became a distinguished member of the English society. He was favored by Queen Elizabeth but was still not satisfied with his glamorous life. Raleigh had wanted to achieve glory for England so that its superiority would exceed that of Spain’s.

Raleigh inherited the right to establish an English colony from his half-brother. He arrived in the land north of Florida with two vessels and discovered the island to be rich in resources. The following year, after going back and being knighted by Queen Elizabeth for his efforts, Raleigh returned to Roanoke Island with seven vessels and one hundred colonists. The colony of Roanoke was established under the authority of Ralph Lane after Sir Richard Grenville, who had transported colonists to the island returned to Britain for supplies. However, the colonists were ill-prepared and were often deceived by and attacked. They encountered many difficulties and suffered from a lack of food.

Two years later, Raleigh attempted to plant a colony in the New World for a second time with John White as the appointed governor. Before he returned to England for supplies, he told the colonist to carve on a tree a cross if there would ever be danger. Upon his return, he saw the name of a neighboring island on the tree but the weather then could not permit him to visit Crotan. The colonists were discovered to be missing and the mystery has never been resolved.

Although the events greatly disappointed the people of England and Raleigh himself, theses expeditions nonetheless paved the way for future explorations and settlements. The discovery of tobacco, game and rich soil were considered valuable to the colonists later on. People learned of the value of the New World in terms of colonizing because of this mystery. This was especially helpful to the establishment of Jamestown.

(2) Define John Cabot’s and England’s claim to North America and England’s purpose for exploration.

John Cabot, like many other explorers of his time wanted to search for the Northwest Passage. In 1497, Cabot thought that it was possible that England, like Spain too could gain control of the lands of the New World. Because England lacked a powerful navy to protect its interests, it often came in conflict with Spain when searching for gold and silver. In addition, when the Turkish Empire conquered Constantinople, the Turks closed overland supply routes to the Europeans. Many like Columbus believed that they could reach the East to establish...

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