Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

John M. Rankin

Committee Members

Julie D. Fox-Horton, Brian J. Maxson


The British Empire is often traced back to the late sixteenth century and Sir Francis Drake's circumnavigation, but Tudor monarchs had been eyeing expansion beyond Britain long before Drake. John Cabot, commissioned by Henry VII in the late fifteenth century, became the first European to step foot in the Americas in five centuries. Half a century later, adventurers like Richard Chancellor and Sir Hugh Willoughby sought a possible Northeast Passage to Asia, interacting with the Sami and Russians along the way. These expeditions and others like them, funded by the English monarchy and merchants, aimed to expand the kingdom’s economic base and help England find its place in the world. Although the Northeast Passage and Northwest Passage were not successfully charted during the European Age of Exploration, these Tudor explorers contributed to geographic, social, and cultural knowledge and laid the foundation of the largest empire in world history.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by Richard H. Lloyd, III.