James Cook's Contribution to the Development of the British Empire

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JAMES COOK'S CONTRIBUTION TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE I) Introduction The purpose of this paper is to describe the life and the contribution to the development of the British Empire of one of the most important English explorers. It was in the second half of the 18th century when James Cook, originally a poor farm boy, explored and mapped vast uncharted areas of the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean. However, James Cook was not ‘only' an explorer. He can also be called a scientist – he managed to introduce new principles into seafaring and cartography. For better understanding, the paper is divided into five chapters. The first chapter is the introduction, which throws light on the purpose and…show more content…
British resistance ended in October 1781. It was not only the end of the American War of Independence but it also meant the liquidation of the First British Empire. However, Britain still kept its supremacy at sea and the departure northwards of over 30,000 "United Empire Loyalists" led to the establishment of the new colony of New Brunswick, which reinforced the British presence in Canada. As Canada's climate was too severe for plantations and thus slave or convict labour, Britain was forced to find new territories which should play the same role as its former American colonies. Some historians talk about "Swing to the East" in Britain's imperial policy. After considering the coasts of Africa, the British government decided that the recently rediscovered eastern coast of Australia would be suitable and in 1788, the first transport of 750 convicts arrived in Botany Bay in Australia. However, "….it wasn't just land to resettle criminals that Britain needed. Both the agricultural and industrial revolutions had contributed to an enormous growth in population. There just were not enough jobs to go around, and as one historian has pointed out, in Ireland ‘there were neither enough tenements nor enough potatoes.' Following the peace of 1815 at the end of the Napoleonic Wars, there was a great increase in the population of the British Isles, so much so that a feeling of alarm spread through government ranks."

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