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Showing posts from June, 2011

Elizabeth I and the Problems of Queenship

Hey y'all. Before I begin to write on the subject of Elizabeth I and the Problems of Queenship, I would like to apologize for not being on lately to post an entry or two. I had some trouble with my internet last week, but everything is fixed now and I'm ready to get back in to the swing of things! As always, I hope you enjoy this post.


Elizabeth I was the daughter of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. She was born a princess but her mother was executed two and a half years after her birth, and Elizaneth was labeled an illegitimate child. Elizabeth reigned as Queen regnant of England and Ireland after her half-siblings Edward VI and Mary I from November 1558 until her death. She is often referred to as the Virgin Queen because she never married, and is known for the leader during the time of defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, giving credit to "Protestant winds" (a storm at sea).

Now, the problems of queenship
~~Salic Law forbade female monarchs on the "Contine…

England's Early Empire

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England, 1500-1600s

England, as is common knowledge, is an island shared with Wales and Scotland. In the 16th and 17th centuries, England was considered to be a very violent and ill-educated backwater by the rest of Europe. England had tried to colonize Ireland in the 12th century, but their effort had petered out.

Due to natural reproduction among the lower social classes, population increased and with it came the beginnings of urban migration due to the poor economically integrating with the rest of Europe; there was little to sell and mass poverty was growing increasingly worse and inflation was rising.

Also during this time, political factions were held down by a strong king, Henry VIII, with a civil war, the War of the Roses, not long past. Henry VIII wanted total sovereignty in legal and spiritual matters. This came to a head when he wanted a divorce so he could get a new wife and (hopefully) a male heir. He broke from the Catolic Church and declared himself the head of the Ch…

Creating Empires Changes Europeans (short post)

~~Changes their political systems
~~Changes their economy
~~Changes their moral and religious lives
~~Changes their view of human rights and liberty--albeit very inconsistantly (as will be seen in later posts)

Rivals in the Caribbean: French v. Dutch (short post)

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(pictured: Dutch Man-of-War and various other ships)

Although the Spanish and English were known for their colonies in the Caribbean, a little known fact is that the French and Dutch also had colonies in the Caribbean.

The French had established colonies at St. Christopher, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and other islands in the West Indies after 1625. The Dutch, through their West India Company, expanded into islands in search of a lucrative trade in sugar cane and slaves.

The presence of so many Europeans vying for supremacy in the Caribbean made it a very violent and pirate-ridden place...think "Pirates of the Caribbean" on crack.

Rivals for the Northeast: The Dutch

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From 1492 to the early 1600s, Spain, France, England, and the Netherlands were in a race to see which empire could not only spread their influences far and wide but also to see which could find an all-water route to the Asian subcontinent of India.All four empires failed, but all four empires found success in the New World. In New York, it was the French, Dutch, and later the English who found great success.

Albany, formally known as Fort Orange, was settled by the Dutch in early 1600s after being discovered by Henry Hudson. Looking for a faster route to Asia in 1609, he explored the river which was later named for him, northward from the island of Manhattan.

Hudson's crew on his ship, the Half Moon (pictured), were under stress and angry that that no route to Asia had been found. The crew mutanied and sent Hudson, his son, and any supporters onto a small rowboat adrift in what is now Hudson Bay without food and palpable water.

Despite that, the Dutch set up New Amterdam in 1626…

The French, continued...

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Although the previous post is titled "The French in Mainland North America", it was primarily about the first and second voyages of Jacque Cartier and there is so much more to information about the French in mainland North America to be provided. This blog post will briefly discuss the French cultural adaptation, the significance of the fur trade, religious development, and the founding of Quebec by Samuel de Champlain.


French Cultural Adaptation

Coureur des bois was a term meaning "Runners in the Woods". They acted as field representatives to deliver French-made goods to the Indian villages and to take back packs of fur to the French villages. The Coureur des bois adopted indigenous dress, learned the different languages, sought cultural knowledge, and entered into long-term relationships with the women. This kind of relationship was called marriage a la facon du and was absolutely essential to develop kin networks. The Coureur des bois embraced intercultural marr…