Discourse Concerning Western Planting

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Discourse Concerning Western Planting was a document written by Richard Hakluyt in 1584[1]

This document was written to convince Queen Elizabeth I to support the colonization schemes of Walter Raleigh and to encourage English merchants and gentry to invest in those enterprises.[2]

The document makes the following points:

  1. The British Empire must convert the Native Americans to Christianity.
  2. In the future, the empire should not buy exotic goods from the Spanish empire, but directly by his colonies.
  3. The English people without work can come here.

Discourse Concerning Western Planting Richard Hakluyt 1584

      A particular discourse concerning the great necessity and manifold commodities that are likely to grow to this realm of 

England by the western discoveries lately attempted. Written in the year 1584 by Richard Hakluyt of Oxford at the request and direction of the right worshipful Mr. Walter Raleigh, now Knight, before the coming home of his two barks.

[1] That this western discovery will be greatly for the enlargement of the gospel of Christ whereunto the princes of the reformed religion are chiefly bound, amongst whom Her Majesty is principal.

[2] That this western voyage will yield unto us all the commodities of Europe, Africa, and Asia, as far as we were wont to travel, and supply the wants of all our decayed trades.

[3] That special means may bring King Philip from his high throne, and make him equal to the princes his neighbors, wherewithal is shown his weakness in the West Indies.

[4] That hereby the revenues and customs of Her Majesty both outwards and inwards shall mightily be enlarged by the toll, excises, and other duties which without oppression may be raised.

[5] That speedy planting in diverse fit places is most necessary upon these lucky western discoveries for fear of the danger of being prevented by other nations which have the like intentions . . .

[6] That by these colonies the Northwest Passage to Cathay and China may easily, quickly, and perfectly be searched out as well by river and overland as by sea, for proof whereof here are quoted and alleged diverse rare testimonies . . .

[7] That the Queen of England['s] title to all the West Indies, or at the least to as much as is from Florida to the circle arctic, is more lawful and right than the Spaniards['] or any other Christian prince.

[8] An answer to the Bull of Donation of all the West Indies granted to the kings of Spain by Pope Alexander the VI who was himself a Spaniard born.


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