Late in the sixteenth century, Britain, under the leadership of Queen Elizabeth I and at the request of Sir Walter Raleigh, attempted to establish a settlement in what is known as modern day Virginia. In an example of the attitude that would lead to Britain’s fight to maintain control of her colonies almost two hundred years later, very little attention or money was given to the expedition. Coincidentally the early attempts failed. With lessons learned and a new found interest in this New World, it was inevitable that the forces of commerce and the support of government would unite and take advantage of this rich new continent. Of course Britain was not alone in its ambitions to tap the resources of the New World, Spain and France were not going to just walk away from these potential riches without a fight. Neither country, though, could defeat Britain’s unmistakable military power. The battles raged on for the next two hundred years with the major battlefield being the Atlantic Ocean and its passage to North America.
One can not discuss the colonization of America without discussing trade. Trade companies were almost solely responsible for the colonization of America. The British were in total control of the trade coming into and leaving her colonies. So much so, that charters would be issued granting monopolies to trade companies to do business with the British colonies. Queen Elizabeth’s company of choice for... [continues]
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