Lead: Changing economic conditions and social challenges laid the foundation for England’s colonial enterprise. Seeking new markets and new fortunes adventurers found their way to places like Virginia.
Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts
Content: Since deep into the medieval period, the basis for England’s national wealth had been wool. Over the centuries, tons of raw wool had been harvested on English hillsides and shipped to the Continent where it was fashioned into cloth, but by 1600 the wool trade was on the wane. Markets had been disrupted by religious and economic conflict in Europe and there had developed a glut of wool in France and Holland the traditional buyers of England’s raw goods. The Crown, which derived much of its income from import and export taxes on foreign trade, encouraged merchants and traders to find new markets for English wool.