were companies where merchants joined forces and operated based on a charter acquired from the monarch, giving the company a monopoly for trading in a specific region Ex. The Muscovy Company (1555), the Levant Company (1581), the Barbary Company (1585), and the East India Company (1600)-Mercantilism- the nation as a whole is the principle actor in the economy, not the individuals within it; the goal of economic activity should be to increase the nation’s total wealth; world’s wealth was finite; one person or nation could grow rich only at the expense of another; import more than you export-These principles guided the economic policies of almost all of the European nations in the 16thand 17thcenturies-This made acquiring colonies appealing, because it could become the source of goods that a country might otherwise have to buy from other nations-Richard Hakluyt argued that colonies would not only create new markets for English goods, but also help alleviate poverty and unemployment by siphoning off the surplus populationThe Religious Incentive-Protestant Reformation began in Germany in 1517, when Martin Luther challenged some of the basic practices of the Roman Catholic Church- had many followers but was eventually excommunicated him in 1520-John Calvin introduced the idea of predestination; that God “elected” some people to be saved and condemned others to damnation; each person’s destiny was determined-In 1529, King Henry VIII became angry at the pope’s refusal to grant him a divorce from his Spanish wife who failed to bear him the son he wanted as an heir – as a result he broke all the ties England had with the Catholic Church and elected himself the head of the Christian faith in England-However, when his daughter Mary ascended the throne, she reinstated England’s allegiance to Rome and persecuted those who refused to return to Catholicism – died in 1558-Mary’s half-sister Elizabeth took the throne after her and again severed England’s connection with the Catholic Church-Many people who fled from the country returned with radical ideas and wanted reforms that would “purify” the church – became known a “Puritans”
-A few Puritans took genuinely radical positions - known as Separatists -Puritans were discontent because they wanted to reform the local clergy but were refused – discontent grew rapidly-In 1603, James I took the throne and felt no obligation to satisfy the Puritans’ needsThe English in Ireland-England’s first experience with colonization was with a nation separated from them by a narrow sea: Ireland-England had long claimed the island as their own but it wasn’t until the second half of the 16thcentury did serious efforts at large-scale colonization begin-Through the 1560s and 1570s, colonists moved through Ireland, capturing territory and attempting to subdue the native population-One of the assumptions that colonists made was that the native population of Ireland were all savages – they considered them barbaric when they fought back
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