Hekluyt's Discourse and Propaganda

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Come and Get It! Propaganda and Early American Colonization Efforts In 1518 Richard Hakluyt wrote his Discourse Concerning Western Planting to persuade Queen Elizabeth I to begin colonizing America for England’s gain. Hakluyt makes a thorough argument for the settling of the New World, and for England to have a competitive hold on her competition and be the first successful settlers in the New World. The Discourse was furthermore written to point out the positive elements of making America a major part of furthering the British Empire and to prosper financially from America’s “endless” potential. Hakluyt also pointed that the overflow of people, both in need of religious freedom and in want of more business opportunities, within England needed a place to go. America is not only perfect for dumping those excess peoples into, but also exceeds that by also bringing profit from those living in those colonies. One of the major points that Hakluyt drives home is the comeuppance to Spain by creating demand for goods and shipping, and thereby creating profit for England and away from the plundering Spanish. From the profits of the taxes and duties of the new shipping industry, Hakluyt believes a powerful navy can be built for the protection and preservation of the growing British Empire. In 1584, when Hakluyt wrote his Discourse, he says that England at the time was swarming with unemployed youths, men, soldiers, prisoners, and beggars. Those excess people, he said, have a place now to work and be fruitful for Queen and Country. The cities of England teeming with youths now will have a purpose as recruits for the expanding Navy and budding colonial militias. The unemployed men and veterans of England in the late 1500’s are in need of work and income. Made poor and unable to live in England by bad choices, lack of jobs available, laziness, or indentured

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