The Western Invasions of the Pacific and Its Continents a Study of Moving Frontiers and Changing Landscapes, 1513- 1958

The Western Invasions of the Pacific and Its Continents a Study of Moving Frontiers and Changing Landscapes, 1513- 1958

The Western Invasions of the Pacific and Its Continents a Study of Moving Frontiers and Changing Landscapes, 1513- 1958

The Western Invasions of the Pacific and Its Continents a Study of Moving Frontiers and Changing Landscapes, 1513- 1958

Excerpt

The use which scholars are making of White Settlers in the Tropics and White Settlers and Native Peoples has encouraged me to complete the trilogy by publishing this study of the invasion of the Pacific territories by the Western whites, who, with their accompanying diseases, animals, plants, institutions, and ideologies, created a vast panorama of moving frontiers which produced some of the greatest changes of physical and cultural landscape that mankind has witnessed. As in the previous books, the scope of the inquiry is wide, but I have used the researches of leading authorities on the various topics, and have tried to guard against sweeping generalizations. Even so, any conclusions must be regarded as tentative, and as bases for future research.

In spite of these difficulties it seems necessary that in an age of intense specialization, historical geographers should sometimes scan the whole picture that is evolving with the growth of information on the invasions of the Pacific by the Western whites, and the immense and revolutionary consequences of these movements. Many details of the picture must remain crude, and even unpainted, pending further study, but research, particularly recent research, has produced sufficient knowledge to justify an attempt to outline certain aspects of the subject. It is, however, difficult and even dangerous for an historical geographer to try to correlate the results obtained by experts in fields as widely separated as history, geomedicine, geobiology, and geopolitics, so I am deeply grateful to those who have read this book in manuscript in order to guard me against technical mistakes.

Nearly forty years of travel and research in many Pacific territories have created obligations to governments, institutions, and fellow workers which cannot possibly be acknowledged in detail. I would, however, thank those who afforded the assistance needed to complete the present book.

The French Government provided in 1955 very generous . . .

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