The Rise of the British Empire

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Explorers. Spanish Armada. N. America India. Mercantilism.


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Presentation Transcript

British Colonialism:

British Colonialism The Rise of the Empire the Sun Never Set Upon.

John Cabot:

John Cabot He was a Venetian born explorer who sailed to North America in 1497. He was the first British explorer to reach the New World. He was the first Briton to lay claim to territory in North America.

The Matthew:

The Matthew The Matthew was a ship sailed by John Cabot in 1497 from Bristol to North America, presumably Newfoundland. It was a small ship (50 tons), but fast and able. The crew consisted of only 18 people.

John Hawkins:

John Hawkins English shipbuilder, naval administrator and commander, merchant, navigator, and slave trader. As treasurer (1577) and controller (1589) of the navy, he rebuilt older ships and helped design the faster ships that withstood the Spanish Armada in 1588. He later devised the naval blockade to intercept Spanish treasure ships. In the great battle in which the Spanish Armada was defeated in 1588, Hawkins served as a vice admiral.

PowerPoint Presentation:

John Hawkins

Sir Francis Drake (1540-1596):

Sir Francis Drake (1540-1596) Drake was an English privateer, navigator, slave trader, and politician of the Elizabethan era. He was the first Englishman to circumnavigate the world. The journey took three years. He was second-in-command of the English fleet against the Spanish Armada in 1588.

Francis Drake:

Francis Drake “There must be a beginning of any great matter, but the continuing unto the end until it be thoroughly finished yields the true glory.”

Sir Walter Raleigh 1552-1618:

Sir Walter Raleigh 1552-1618 He masterminded the colonization of Roanoke Island in Virginia. And he was second in command of England’s navy during the invasion of the Spanish Armada.

Drake’s Drum:

Drake’s Drum "Take my drum to England, hang et by the shore, Strike et when your powder's runnin' low; If the Dons sight Devon, I'll quit the port o' Heaven, An' drum them up the Channel as we drummed them long ago.

The Spanish Armada:

The Spanish Armada The Armada was sent by King Philip II of Spain after the execution of his niece, Mary Queen of Scots. The aim was to suppress English support for the Dutch and to cut off attacks against Spanish possessions in the New World and the Atlantic treasure fleets.

War Between Spain and England:

War Between Spain and England Philip II of Spain Elizabeth of England

Spanish Naval Dominance:

Spanish Naval Dominance After the Battle of Lepanto (1571), Spain by far had the largest navy in the world. On May 28, 1588, the Armada, with around 130 ships, 8,000 sailors and 18,000 soldiers, 1,500 brass guns and 1,000 iron guns, set sail from Lisbon in Portugal and headed for the English Channel. An army of 30,000 men stood in the Spanish Netherlands where they were waiting for the fleet to arrive.

The Spanish Armada:

The Spanish Armada

Battle of the Gravelines:

Battle of the Gravelines On August 8, 1588 the Spanish and English fleets engaged. The English had nearly 200 ships while the Spanish had 140. Fire ships used by Sir Walter Raleigh had scattered the Spanish fleet the night before. Superior English tactics gave the victory to Britain, and the Spanish fleet was forced into the North Sea, away from the awaiting invasion force in the Netherlands.

The Change in Naval Warfare:

The Change in Naval Warfare From ancient times until the Battle of the Gravelines in 1588, naval battles had always been decided by ramming and boarding. At the Gravelines, the English reloaded their cannons and stayed away from the Spanish galleons using their guns to do their fighting. The Spanish on the other hand tried unsuccessfully to close with the English fleet in order to board and capture their ships. With the defeat at the Gravelines, the Spanish began their disastrous journey around the British Isles.

Spanish and English Ships, A Comparison.:

Spanish and English Ships, A Comparison. A Spanish Galleon An English ‘Race’ Galleon

Destruction of the Armada:

Destruction of the Armada Of the 26,000 men on 130 ships that set out from Spain on May 28, 1588 only 67 ships and about 10,000 men returned to Spain. The rest had been destroyed by inclement weather on the way around Ireland. The result was the ascendance of the British navy. Hostilities ended between Spain and England in 1604 at the Treaty of London.

A Spanish Ship Goes Under…:

A Spanish Ship Goes Under…

British Policy After the Armada:

British Policy After the Armada After the Treaty of London in 1604, England transitioned from a policy of preying on other colonial powers’ possessions and trade to building her own colonies. Between 1604 and the loss of the American colonies in 1776, Britain established a number of colonies in the New World and in Asia.

British Colonies in N. America:

British Colonies in N. America


Jamestown Jamestown in what came to be called the Virginia colony was England’s first overseas colonial possession. It was established in 1607. It began the transition of large numbers of English emigrants from England to mainland North America.

The British in the Americas:

The British in the Americas The American colonies, which provided tobacco, cotton, and rice in the south and naval materiel and furs in the north, were less financially successful than those of the Caribbean, but had large areas of good agricultural land and attracted far larger numbers of English emigrants.

The Settlement of America:

The Settlement of America In 1620, Plymouth was founded as a haven for puritan religious separatists, later known as the Pilgrims. Fleeing from religious persecution would become the motive of many English would-be colonists to risk the arduous trans-Atlantic voyage: Maryland was founded as a haven for Roman Catholics (1634), Rhode Island (1636) as a colony tolerant of all religions and Connecticut (1639), for Congregationalists. The Province of Carolina was founded in 1663. In 1664, England gained control of the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam (renamed New York) via negotiations following the Second Anglo-Dutch War. In 1681, the colony of Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn.

The Slave Colonies:

The Slave Colonies By far the most profitable colonies of the British Empire were its possessions in the Caribbean called the West Indies. The main exports of Britain’s slave colonies were sugar and bananas. In the British Caribbean, the percentage of the population comprising blacks rose from 25% in 1650 to around 80% in 1780

Britain in India:

Britain in India The British East India Company transformed from a commercial trading venture to one that virtually ruled India. By the 1750’s the company's mainstay businesses were cotton, silk, indigo dye, saltpetre and tea.

Transformation of India:

Transformation of India

European Possessions in India:

European Possessions in India


Cotton Cotton is used to make a number of textile products. In addition to the textile industry, cotton is used in fishnets, coffee filters, tents, gunpowder (see Nitrocellulose), cotton paper and in bookbinding.


Indigo Used for textile dyeing and printing.


Ginger Ginger is also made into candy and used as a flavoring for cookies, crackers and cake.


Saltpeter One of the three ingredients (the others are charcoal and sulfur) that create black gunpowder. Stale urine is filtered through a barrel full of straw and allowed to continue to sour for a year or more. After this period of time, water is used to wash the resulting chemical salts from the straw. This slurry was filtered through wood ashes and allowed to dry in the sun. Saltpeter crystals were then collected and added to brimstone (sulfur) and charcoal to create black powder.



Sulfur and Charcoal:

Sulfur and Charcoal

The Result: The Stuff the Makes Empire.:

The Result: The Stuff the Makes Empire.

The Economic Policy of Empire: Mercantilism:

The Economic Policy of Empire: Mercantilism Mercantilism is an economic theory that holds the prosperity of a nation depends upon its supply of capital, Economic assets, or Capital, are represented by bullion (gold, silver and currency) held by the state, which is best increased through a positive balance of trade with other nations (exports minus imports). Mercantilism suggests that the ruling government should advance these goals by playing a protectionist role in the economy, by encouraging exports and discouraging imports, especially through the use of tariffs. The economic policy based upon these ideas is often called the mercantile system.