Need a perfect paper? Place your first order and save 5% with this code:   SAVE5NOW

England’s Emergent to Imperial Power

Britain accomplished a remarkable achievement by creating one of the most significant colonial empires in history, the British Empire. However, it is a relatively small island on the coast of Europe. The British Empire expanded its influence by acquiring additional territory, trading partners, products, and people. In the colonial period, nations build empires by securing control of power as the scarcest commodity. In this way, there was a correlation between increases in power and the accumulation of wealth, clout, and prestige. The indelible mark of English people’s values, customs, and traditions on the territories they conquered throughout the globe created an exponential increase in their sphere of influence to pave the way for further territorial expansion.

Settlement in Ireland

Britain is not a massive nation in terms of its land area. British people spread beyond the confines of their homeland to amass resources to expand their economy. Concerning the British people’s settlements in Ireland, the policy of plantation intended to impose English law and power by establishing English communities in traditionally Gaelic territories. Although the program experienced a backlash of conflict in different provinces, the completion of the conflict in 1603 represented the foundation of English power throughout all of Ireland, marking the victorious culmination of the Tudor conquest of Ireland (Hollister et al., 2001). In this way, Ireland’s English settlements, colonization, and plantation impacted English action in North America and the West Indies. For instance, the British used effective colonial strategies and tactics involving plantations employed in Ireland to capture new colonies throughout the globe. The medieval European colonies, including those developed in Ireland, served as the prototypical models for British colonial expansion in Ireland and beyond.

Colonies in North America

The age of discovery provided incredible and addicting rewards to the British Empire, which contributed much to the Empire’s prosperity and development. The British Empire grew more enamored with sugarcane plantations, tea plantations, and tobacco plantations turning them into some of the most lucrative exports. The English people exploited natives in the colonies in North America for their labor on plantations, producing mass quantities of cheap items that could be exported for a profit and brought to Britain at a discount. The expansion of the British Empire can unquestionably be traced back to the rise of economic opportunities(Smith, 1996). Revenue growth was primarily driven by trade, land, and resource exports, but other sectors and professions also benefited. Industries like shipbuilding expanded, merchants expanded into foreign markets, and people seeking to “claim their fortune” via new chances overseas all contributed to the changing face of global wealth. Although this resulted in the global dissemination of English culture, it did so at the expense of human labor.

Slave trade with America

England participated in the transit and sale of humans in the 1500s, but its participation was not as significant as that of Portugal or Spain in the 1600s and 1700s. Due to the slave trade, the British Empire spread over the Caribbean to establish colonies and a military. Cities like Liverpool expanded due to the increased financial potential of selling human chattel, and businesses like the Royal African Company were founded to accommodate the surging demand (Hollister et al., 2001). Slavery was a cruel and lucrative profession that would condemn many Africans to a life of servitude. Concerning the battle with the Netherlands over the Asian spice trade, In 1796, the Dutch lost control of much of the Negombo island to the British. Although the English won the battle against the Dutch, they lost the spice trade to China’s growing output of spices like turmeric and cinnamon. The demand for Sri Lanka’s spice exports was rapidly falling, but demand for cinnamon remained strong in Europe (Smith, 1996). British discovered it was not as profitable as they had once thought and used the island’s lush fields to cultivate crops selling for more money than cinnamon on international markets.

In conclusion, Britain, surrounded by powerful and established countries, looked to the “undiscovered” world for the opportunity. The explorers were primarily motivated to profit from the region’s spices, natural resources, food stocks, tobacco, tea, sugar, and everything else they could cultivate and export. Their need for resources drove their expansion. The British were masters at growing while spending as little as possible, given that the colonial budget was relatively little. Instead, colonial settlements were pushed toward complete independence. The British were able to further cut expenses by privatizing financial responsibility while keeping the bulk of the profit for government utility.


Hollister, C. W., Stacey, R. C., & Stacey, R. C. (2001). The Making of England to 1399. Houghton Mifflin.

Smith, L. B. (1996). This realm of England, 1399 to 1688 (Vol. 2). DC Heath. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006


Don't have time to write this essay on your own?
Use our essay writing service and save your time. We guarantee high quality, on-time delivery and 100% confidentiality. All our papers are written from scratch according to your instructions and are plagiarism free.
Place an order

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Need a plagiarism free essay written by an educator?
Order it today

Popular Essay Topics