This work offers a history of the Pacific as a "frontier" of the United States using economics, politics, and culture as its central areas of consideration. While many studies have analyzed specific regions within the Pacific, this work considers the whole of this vast ocean and its coasts as a single unit of study. In broadening the scope of analysis, one of the author's primary aims is to expand American understanding of the term "frontier" to include the Pacific and its nations. It covers periods stretching from 1784, the year the first ship flying the American flag reached China, to 1867, the eve of the Civil War. During this period, America's presence was expanding throughout the entire ocean. It also covers the period from 1868 to Pearl Harbour in 1941, witnessing a simultaneous contraction of the area within which various American interests were active, and a gradual integration of the frontier region. Finally, World War II marks the beginning of the period which concludes in 1994, during which, Heffer argues, the entire Pacific becomes an "American lake" and the former frontier begins to disappear.
Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press