The Maritime and Colonial Expansion of England under the Stuarts (1603-1714)

The Maritime and Colonial Expansion of England under the Stuarts (1603-1714)

The Maritime and Colonial Expansion of England under the Stuarts (1603-1714)

The Maritime and Colonial Expansion of England under the Stuarts (1603-1714)

Excerpt

THE Prelude to the Expansion of England was her Oceanic development under the Tudors. The story itself begins with the birth of the great Commercial Company that became the parent of her Oriental Empire and the almost simultaneous birth of her first successful Colonial settlement in the West--at the moment when the crowns of England and Scotland were united by the accession of the King of Scots to the English throne, as the legitimate heir of the House of Tudor. At that time, she was not yet the premier maritime or commercial power, and was not yet in possession of a yard of land outside the British Isles.

In this country, all of us inevitably think of the Stuart Period as the century of Constitutional conflicts culminating in the Revolution which established Constitutional Monarchy. Our Histories, with rare exceptions, tell us little of the Greater Britain growing up beyond the seas almost untouched by the constitutional struggles at home--and still less of the stolid struggle of a handful of Englishmen to establish by the methods of peaceful trading a lucrative commerce with the gorgeous East when the mighty Mogul empire was at the height of its power and splendour. We are inclined, somewhat in defiance of the facts, to assume that Britannia was in the habit of ruling the waves all the time; we accept too the fact that the empire did somehow grow up during that period; but we realise or attempt to realise very little about its growth, or its relation to the domestic or European events which absorb our historical interest. We become vividly . . .

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