574 pages, 70 b/w illustrations, 12 maps
The Pacific Ocean was the setting for the last great chapter in the convergence of humankind from across the globe. Driven by Enlightenment ideals, Europeans sought to extend control to all quarters of the earth through the spread of beliefs, the promotion of trade and the acquisition of new knowledge. Encountering the Pacific in the Age of the Enlightenment surveys the consequent encounters between European expansionism and the peoples of the Pacific. John Gascoigne weaves together the stories of British, French, Spanish, Dutch and Russian voyages to destinations throughout the Pacific region. In a lively and lucid style, he brings to life the idealism, adventures and frustrations of a colourful cast of historical figures. Drawing upon a range of fields, he explores the complexities of the relationships between European and Pacific peoples. Richly illustrated with historical images and maps, this seminal work provides new perspectives on the significance of European contact with the Pacific in the Enlightenment.
1. Introduction: the peopling of the Pacific
Part I. Global Convergences: The Pacific and a Wider World to the End of the Seven Years War (1756-63)
2. Exploration, empire and encounter
Part II. Completing the Globe: Charting the Pacific, 1763 to the Eve of the French Revolution
6. Exploration, empire and encounter
Part III. Tightening Global Ties: The Pacific from the French Revolution to the Beginning of the Napoleonic Empire, 1789-1804
10. Exploration, empire and encounter
14. Conclusion: a common humanity?
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John Gascoigne is Scientia Professor in the School of Humanities at the University of New South Wales.