This project narrates the ventures undertaken by merchants in Elizabethan and Jacobean England in search of new opportunities across the Atlantic. Starting with the observation that the initial English interest in colonial North America is usually associated with the voyage of the Pilgrims to New Plymouth on the Mayflower in 1620, an enterprise associated more with piety than commerce, the authors state that the “making of America actually begins in England in the mid-1500s” (xxiv). The implication is that the earlier trading voyages were an important “prequel to the Pilgrims,” embodying many of the elements that shaped modern America (xxv): novel approaches to leadership, techniques for raising funding and spreading risk, and application of the latest technologies “to overcome seemingly insuperable challenges, accept and learn from failure, and cherish the quality that Americans have come to regard as quintessentially their own: perseverance” (xxv). This elegant quotation is indicative of the...

You do not currently have access to this content.