*Walter Raleigh: Architect of Empire*

An excellent book, by Alan Gallay, this one will make my year-end “best of” list.  It has merchant voyages, royal monopolies, hermeticism, captive Inuits brought to London to perish, conquests of Ireland, Edmund Spenser, virgin queens, charter cities, and the best overall understanding of early British colonialism/imperialism I have seen.  It is perhaps better read than excerpted, but here is one bit:

[John] Gilbert would not sail again for America until 1583. For three and a half years, English resources that might have gone to overseas expeditions to America had to be devoted to Ireland — the pope’s decision to become militarily involved in Irish affairs deterred the English America; in the coming decade American colonization would be frequently sidetracked by the same three things: events in Ireland, relations with Spain, and the English propensity to go plundering at sea.

And:

For colonization to succeed, the English required investors, sailors, and colonists.  All were difficult to come by.  The English intended to turn the New World into a haven for English Catholics as a way to solve multiple problems: rid England of religious dissidents, obtain investors, and alleviate overcrowding by moving surplus populations of the unemployed overseas to become useful.  English Catholic interest wavered, however…

I am sure to read the whole thing through, you can pre-order here.

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The excerpts sounds good, better in fact than the book sounds. By that I mean, given the title, one would expect the book to be primarily about Walter Raleigh. Nothing against him, but the topics that are alluded to in those excerpts sound like a more interesting subject than Raleigh.

I would posit that the further from our own time or lives the subjects of biographies lived, the more the biography has to become a general history of the context. For a person so thoroughly intertwined with many areas of Elizabethan affairs of state, perhaps the biography has to include a general history of Elizabethan England.

I would posit that the further from our own time or lives the subjects of biographies lived, the more the biography has to become a tool of the authors bigotry and agenda.

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The English [meaning the Queen and her advisers, presumably?] intended to turn the New World into a haven for English [Roman] Catholics as a way to solve multiple problems: rid England of religious dissidents, ...

English Roman Catholics were presumably rather a small part of the total of English religious dissidents.

Anyway it would have been simpler and quicker to use the method the French King used on Protestant dissidents.

'Anyway it would have been simpler and quicker to use the method the French King used on Protestant dissidents.'

Cromwell would have approved of such a suggestion.

Cromwell has no particular reputation for bullying English Roman Catholics. It was some of the habits of the Anglicans he seemed particularly to object to.

Hmm, if that is true, it's because he had his hands full ethnic cleansing in Ireland: To hell or Connacht.

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Did the protestants feel more of a sense of unity during Raleigh's time?

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There were a lot more English Catholics at that time than you might suppose, consider the Pilgrimage of Grace and the later Revolt of the Northern Earls in 1569

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"captive Inuits brought to London to perish": that really is rotten writing. There's surely no chance that they were brought to London to perish.

I'll bet they were brought to London where, alas, the poor blighters did perish.

I don't think that's how the syntax works. "to" doesn't always mean "in order to". Consider how you would interpret the phrase if it said "brought to London only to perish". Does not mean that the only object of bringing them to London was their demise.
Interesting if there are any parallels to US experience with Liberia.

It is at least ambiguous so it is indeed rotten writing.

As for Liberia: surely freed American slaves would have been exposed to plenty of Old World disease? Though maybe not the particular varieties of Liberia?

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The Rise and Fall of the British Nation is another book Cowen highly recommended. Is there a common theme here? The biggest conflict within the Trump administration has been over the role of America in the world. Nikki Haley, Trump's former ambassador to the UN, has written a book claiming she was (is) the loyal subject and refused to go along with Kelly and Tillerson in their schemes to undermine Trump's policies even though Trump's policies undermined America's leadership role in the world.

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For three and a half years, English resources that might have gone to overseas expeditions to America had to be devoted to Ireland

which was also an overseas expedition. So much to conquer and colonize and just not enough men and ships to get it all done in a couple of seasons. Taming the primitive Irish, or at least keeping them in check, was good practice for eliminating the native Americans.

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"[John] Gilbert would not sail again for America until 1583"

There is a time travel book where that Gilbert ends up in some modern semi-apocalyptic Britain.

I can't remember the details, but I think the final scene has him going over the barricades on a horse yelling "for England and Saint George."

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The Pope! And how many divisions does he have?

If Phillip II was in the right mood, quite a few. Really good ones too.

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