Distant Dominion: Britain and the Northwest Coast of North America, 1579-1809 (Hardback)Professor Barry M. Gough (author)
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"The voyages of Cook and Vancouver heralded a vast influx of irrepressible white men.... They brought with them their morals, ideologies, knowledge, technology, plants and animals. They also brought diseases, rum and guns....powers to build and powers to destroy."
Until the 1700's, the Northwest Coast of North America stood largely apart from the civilized world. Formidable mountain barriers and remoteness from Atlantic sea lanes kept the territory outside the orbit of emerging European empires. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, however, Britain, Spain, France, Russsia, and the United States vied for control of this promising new frontier.
Three of history's greatest mariners -- Sir Francis Drake, Captain James Cook, and Captain George Vancouver -- spearheaded British expeditions of discovery and trade to the Northwest coast. Despite competition from her European and American rivals, Britains ability to use and control the sea enabled her to establish by the late 1700's a "beachhead of empire" in the area now known as British Columbia.Gough shows how, by outmanoevring her Spanish rivals in a "skilful game of diplomatic chess," Britain concluded the Nootka Agreement. Thus she was able to exploit her trading partnership with the coast Indians and cement a lucrative sea-borne commerce with the Far East. The arrival overland of the Nor'westers and other fur-trading groups further strengthened Britain's financial and political interests in the area -- ending forever the isolation of Northwest America, and 'changing beyond measure the culture of its Indian peoples.'
Distant Dominion is the first comprehensive survey to examine Britain's motives for expeditions to this most distant frontier of British maritime development. It is also the first to draw the history of the coast into the general realm of Pacific history, relating its development to events in Europe, the American eastern seaboard, Australia, the Falkland Islands, and China. This entertaining book offers fresh insight into an exciting chapter of North American history.
Publisher: University of British Columbia Press
Number of pages: 192
Weight: 500 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm
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