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Jamestown

Jamestown

 Table of Contents

Richard Hakluyt in Jamestown

Richard Hakluyt, the younger (1552-1616) was an English clergyman, geographer, and advocate of expansion. About 1579, he began urging the English to challenge Spain's domination over the western hemisphere. The indigenous people of the Americas, currently enslaved by the Spanish, would rally to an English empire, he argued, and then they could be integrated within an empire dedicated to the international expansion of English liberty.

Hakluyt's messianic vision contributed to the expansionist enthusiasm of the late sixteenth century. His writings, including his history of English exploration The Principal Navigations, Voyages, and Discoveries of the English Nation, published in 1589 and 1600, provided, in addition, a blueprint for colonial development. He suggested that the English could build a complex economy in the New World, in which England's skilled craftsmen would turn the continents' natural wealth into exportable goods. England's rapidly growing population would also find new opportunities within this economy, and the Indians of the Americas would provide a willing source of labor as well as a market for English goods.

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