The Pacific Island History: The Events of 19th Century Colonialism - Term Paper Example

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This paper discusses the Pacific island history focusing on the events of 19th Century colonialism which marked the arrival of the settler societies in the Pacific, the influence that these settlers had on the Pacific natives, and the eventual reactions of the natives to the settler communities…
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The Pacific Island History: The Events of 19th Century Colonialism
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Download file to see previous pages The European exploration of the Pacific islands which started in the 16th Century brought a wave of settlers into the Pacific region. Captain James Cook paved the way to more explorations by drawing maps of the area and documenting the plants and animals native to the islands.  More Europeans and other explorers were soon enticed to explore the PacificBefore long, France, the United States, Germany, and Britain had claims to one or several of the Pacific islands. Prior to the arrival of these explorers and settlers, the indigenous inhabitants of the islands had their rudimentary forms of culture and governance. It was far from similar to the colonial ways, but it was sufficient to maintain their society in relatively peaceful coexistence with their fellow islanders.

Early foreign contact with native inhabitants of the islands was with beachcombers. They had cordial and friendly relations with each other. Other explorers who later made contact with the natives had a different perception of the natives. They saw them as an uncivilized, unlearned, and un-Christianized group of savages. They were determined to change the culture of the indigenous inhabitants. They wanted to teach them the right ways, which was--their way-the European way. The arrival of the settler communities in the Pacific marked the slow and gradual breakdown of the ancient ways and customs of the unique Pacific inhabitants. These settlers represented to the natives the loss of their rich land and resources, the loss of their population to diseases brought by the new settlers and the introduction of the white frontier woman. 

J.B. Thurston wrote that ‘with all our highfalutin to the contrary, the wrongs we have committed in the names of Christianity, civilization, [and] progress are manifold. We are ... a race of robbers and spoilers.’ 1 The arrival of the settler societies in the Pacific islands brought with it racial and ethnic tension. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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