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English Colonization of America in Hakluyt’s View Essay


What arguments does Hakluyt present in making a case for colonization?

Hakluyt is a firm believer of colonization owing to the nationalistic, social, and economic benefits it might bring to England. He carefully explores economic concerns and articulates a number of issues towards colonization. One of the issues discussed is the expansion desire for English citizens. He argues that the expansion will not just provide England with peace. It will also propel the opening of new markets. The latter will, in turn, reinvigorate industrial growth and the creation of new job opportunities. This will be made possible because England will easily secure raw materials and control strategic ports. In particular, he emphasizes that the economic challenges faced by Britain can be eliminated through colonial means.

What type of colonization does Hakluyt imagine occurring?

Colonization has been considered as a means through which other nations control and use native people to serve their interests. However, Hakluyt argues that this type of colonization is not acceptable, legal, or moral. As such, his version of colonization simply includes settling on the shores of a selected nation and exploiting any resources required by England. His only concern is the occupation of land for military and economic purposes because it would involve violent means. Besides, he believes that colonization should entail friendship or familiarity. This can be interpreted to mean understanding the weaknesses and strengths of the colonized. This will also enable England to suppress her enemies, improve military force, take advantage of prevailing weaknesses in other economies, and optimally exploit resources.

What is the importance of religion in Hakluyt’s case for colonization?

Hakluyt’s reflects on the importance of planting seeds of faith in the hearts of American natives as a means of colonizing them. His medieval polemic concern becomes clearer when he mentions non-Christians who need to be defeated. The latter term encompasses paganism, Judaism, and Islam. It is evident that religion can be used to colonize the native people by championing the ideals of peace and God while exploiting resources at the same time. Hakluyt posits that religion plays a fundamental role in matters related to colonization since it ceases to be a peripheral concern. Hence, religion is a careful strategy aimed at providing compassion and hope for the poor natives and the low-class English population while punishing the wicked through doctrinal or religious teachings. In essence, he argues that both the economic and social ambitions of England can be pursued via religious strategies.

What type of commercial aspirations does Hakluyt describe?

According to Hakluyt, colonization will enable England to expand its markets to the New World. He cites that it will provide more room for English citizens to expand and move to colonized areas, trade and regulate trade with other nations. This will ensure the distribution of people, thereby reducing overpopulation and its subsequent effects. Besides, the occupation of key ports will enhance commercial activities since England will charge duties and control high-traffic regions. Furthermore, he points out that crime in England is on the rise, and colonization will aid in sending convicted criminals to work in farms in colonized regions in order to reduce tax payments that emanate from rehabilitating criminals in England. Criminals will be effectively used in farms and industries to offer free labor.

How does inter-European rivalry figures into this text?

The inter-European rivalry appears to be the main theme in this literature. For instance, the English people think that their worst enemy is Spain. His utilitarian attitude and indifference against the Spanish population clearly depicts the rivalry and points out how England would gain a lot from their defeat. Both nations appear to be in stiff competition for resources found in native America. Therefore, the natives and Indians are mere tools, passive objects, or pawns constructed to be used and manipulated via protestant religions in order to serve the interests of the English people.

How does Hakluyt justify British claims to territorial possession in the Western Hemisphere?

To begin with, the interest of Britain to colonize the Western Hemisphere is a major national goal. As Hakluyt points out, the desire for peace, change, stability, and economic wellness of England is the driving force for robust territorial possession. Hakluyt justifies the latter by claiming that colonization will limit the spread and expansion of the Spanish territory and subsequently jeopardize the interests of England.

How does Hakluyt depict indigenous peoples?

Hakluyt’s conception or misconception of indigenous people plays a key role in this text. He regards the native people as resources which England can use to serve her self-interest. Indigenous people are also portrayed as laborers who are supposed to produce goods and act as fighters against enemies of England. In addition, the indigenous people, including Indians, are mere tools that serve the interests of the English people. This implies that they are used to advance the ideals of the English population.

What does the evidence from the text suggest about Hakluyt’s conception of “race”?

The conception of race depicted by Hakluyt emanates from specific circumstances, including the institution of slavery, among other historical parameters. The displacement of catholic Spain in the colonial race and substituting it with Protestant England is of critical importance. His attitude towards the enemies of England clearly brings out pervasive anti-Spanish sentiments that have been embraced by England to formulate national identity and create a transatlantic empire. According to Hakluyt, Spain has transformed into the “other” enemy that must be defeated in the process of creating the New World.

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1. IvyPanda. "English Colonization of America in Hakluyt's View." April 8, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/english-colonization-of-america-in-hakluyts-view/.


IvyPanda. "English Colonization of America in Hakluyt's View." April 8, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/english-colonization-of-america-in-hakluyts-view/.


IvyPanda. 2021. "English Colonization of America in Hakluyt's View." April 8, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/english-colonization-of-america-in-hakluyts-view/.


IvyPanda. (2021) 'English Colonization of America in Hakluyt's View'. 8 April.

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