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Download Class and Colonialism in Antarctic Exploration, 1750-1920 by Ben Maddison PDF

By Ben Maddison

Among 1750 and 1920 over 15,000 humans visited Antarctica. regardless of this sort of huge quantity the historiography has overlooked all yet a couple of celebrated explorers. Maddison offers a examine of Antarctic exploration, telling the tale of those forgotten facilitators, he argues that Antarctic exploration might be noticeable as an offshoot of eu colonialism.

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Additional info for Class and Colonialism in Antarctic Exploration, 1750-1920

Sample text

It left France in 1773, and found that France Australe was simply a small group of islands rather than ‘the fifth part of the world’, as Kerguelen had claimed. It also failed to attempt any exploration of the high southern latitudes between Africa and South America, and when Kerguelen slunk back to France after little more than a year away, the expedition had spent only two fruitless and dilatory months in sub-Antarctic waters. John Dunmore has argued that Kerguelen’s expeditions ‘typified the drawbacks of the old class structure of the Navy’, and this in itself reflected the general ambivalence among the French ruling classes about the navy.

55 Leaving Tahiti, Resolution returned to Huahine, but found a very different scene from that of the previous year’s visit. The visitors now found that ‘a sort of Banditi had formed themselves into a boddy with a resolution to seize and rob our people where ever they found them … They had arm’d themselves to fight us’. Cook landed the Marines, and tried to put down the rebel forces, believing that without doing so ‘these fellows would thereby be incouraged to commit greater acts of Violence, and as these proceedings would soon reach Ulietea, at which island we intended to touch, the people there might treat us in the same manner or worse as being more numerous’.

5 The expansion of the industry was important for the course of Antarctic exploration, because the logic of economies of scale encouraged the commercial separation of whaling and sealing. From the late 1780s Southern Ocean merchants increasingly began to operate on the basis of the enhanced profits to be gained by specializing in either the ‘fishery’ (whaling) or ‘skinning’ (sealing) trades. This trend was encouraged from 1795, when the London trunk-maker Thomas Chapman invented a method of processing seal-skins into useable fur to rival that of the Chinese.

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