Various events in the latter years of the sixteenth century did much to shape the future destiny of the English nation. With the destruction of the Spanish Armada in 1588, England rose from a minor position in world affairs to one of major importance. One of the first changes was reflected in her attitude towards trade and commerce. England was no longer penned up on her “tight little isle,” and her ships could sail the high seas in comparative safety. Expansion of her foreign trade seemed the only answer to her ambitions, but foreign trade required a two way transfer of products. In order to sell goods, it was necessary to buy in exchange. World commerce had already become well stabilized among friendly nations making it difficult for outside businessmen to share in these established commitments. So England was soon to direct her attentions toward America.
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