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Pacific Northwest History - Essay Example

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As a brief backgrounder, the dispute concerning the US Pacific Northwest region stemmed from lingering claims by both Britain and the United States in the first half of the nineteenth century. This is known in history books as the Oregon Question because both of the countries…
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Pacific Northwest History
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Download file to see previous pages The potential for conflict existed because of the agricultural bounties in this largely unexplored region such as thick coniferous forests that can support a large timber industry (ideal for shipbuilding too), lumber for commercial uses, an almost unlimited supply of fur, to include sea otters and the very rich fishing grounds, particularly the chinook salmon considered by many as “pink gold” that served as a crude currency for barter (Merchant 97).
There was also another reason for staking a claim: geopolitics. America, flush from its relatively recent victory in its war for independence, was eager to spread its wings and this was expressed in its expansionist aspirations via a political philosophy of “Manifest Destiny”. The belief was that America was destined to expand across the North American continent, that is primarily westward from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific seaboard to include Canada, Cuba and Mexico, even parts of Central America. These territorial ambitions were advanced as obvious or readily apparent (manifest) and inevitable or inexorable (destiny) but this came into conflict with Great Britain that also explored this US region known as British Columbia.
Viewed from this perspective, the joint occupancy served more as a diplomatic course to exploit the regions riches and avoid a war for resources of which the two countries fought briefly, between 1812-1815 known as the War of 1812. This particular war was actually part of the larger Napoleonic wars in Europe between Great Britain and Napoleon of France. This was actually a modus vivendi (a diplomatic accommodation of a temporary nature) despite the political, cultural, economic or cultural differences for the sake of expediency. Incentives for suing peace were very much evident because neither side could gain an upper hand either in territorial gains or military supremacy. The larger ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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