Looking West

Why Start Exploring

Britain became prosperous and industry expanded which led to trade with other countries expanding. Overseas trade surged as Explorers and pirates found new routes across the seas, and the oceans, and they saw new lands as opportunities for new empires overseas. New advances in ship building and navigational technology meant that longer journeys were now possible and new lands in the West were seized for monarchs across Europe.

Francis Drake

Sir Francis Drake was an Elizabethan Privateer, naval officer and eventual slave trader. He sailed to America and claimed what is now California, and encouraged stealing from Spanish ships as long as all of the goods were given to the queen. This led to an era of conflict with the Spanish, culminating in the Spanish Armada.

Looking West, figure 1

John Hawkins

Sir John Hawkins was Drake’s cousin, a respected naval commander, merchant (trade), privateer (someone that steals and takes things for the monarch) and pirate (someone that steals and takes things for personal gain). He also built up the Elizabethan navy and was the person that founded and developed the Slave Trade.

Looking West, figure 1

Walter Raleigh

Sir Walter Raleigh was also an Elizabethan explorer. He was given the land of Virginia to colonise as a founder of the New World, as well as being a leader on some of the other voyages to new lands in the West. He had a royal charter to explore, colonise, and rule any lands that were ‘remote, heathen, and barbarous’.

Looking West, figure 1

Gains From Exploration

The English made a lot of gains from exploring. The people that went on the explorations gained personally, from favour with the monarchs, to personal riches and exotic treasures. The monarch received great riches and exotic treasures, and of course, expanded their empire through the colonisation of new lands. The slave trade started, meaning more profits for businesses and the desire to travel further and explore more led to increased technology.

What is the difference between Pirate and Privateer?
Your answer should include: steal / other ships / cargo / ships
Why did the British invest in piracy and privateering against the Spanish?
Your answer should include: gain riches / constant competition / land / treasures
What new technology led to increased voyages and exploration?
Your answer should include: shipbuilding / navigation