Exploration of the Pacific

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**Historical Exploration of the Pacific:**
– Pre-European exploration:
– Humans reached Australia by at least 55,000 BC.
– Austronesians mastered long-distance canoe travel around 3000 BC.
– Polynesians spread to the Polynesian Triangle by 1500 BC.
– Thor Heyerdahl’s Kon-Tiki expedition demonstrated possible trans-Pacific travel.
– Asian exploration:
– Xu Fu sailed into the Pacific in 219 BC.
– Zheng He was a notable Chinese explorer.
– Japanese boats reached North America by the 19th century.
– European exploration:
– Portuguese reached the Maluku Islands in 1512.
– Spanish explorer Balboa sighted the Pacific in 1513.
– Ferdinand Magellan’s expedition crossed the Pacific in 1521.
– Recognition of the Pacific:
– Columbus sailed west in 1492 thinking he reached Asia.
– Balboa confirmed a separate ocean in 1513.
– Magellan’s expedition proved one continuous ocean from Americas to Asia.
– Dutch Expansion in the Pacific:
– Dutch reached the East Indies in 1596.
– Established Batavia in 1619.
– Explored Japan from the Strait of Magellan in 1600.
– Magellan and the Manila Galleons:
– Ferdinand Magellan sailed through the strait in 1520.
– Manila Galleons crossed the Pacific annually from 1565 to 1815.
– South America Exploration:
– Vasco Núñez de Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama in 1513.
– Francisco Pizarro conquered Peru in 1532.
Exploration of the South Pacific:
– Spanish expeditions reached the Solomon Islands in 1567/68.
– Pedro Fernandes de Queirós discovered Vanuatu in 1606.

**European Expansion in the Pacific:**
– Coast of Asia exploration:
– Portuguese reached India in 1498 and Malacca in 1511.
– European discovery of Papua by Jorge de Menezes in 1526-27.
– Dutch Expansion in the Pacific:
– Monopolized Japan trade from 1639.
– Explored Sakhalin and Kuril Islands in 1643.
Exploration near Cape Horn:
– Francis Drake passed through the Strait of Magellan in 1578.
– Garcia de Nodal expedition proved Tierra del Fuego was an island in 1619.
– Galleons’ Exploration of the West Coast of North America:
– Galleons followed westerlies to California.
– Limited exploration of the coast.
– European Exploration of Australia:
– Portuguese theories of reaching Australia before 1600.
– Spanish voyages from South America reaching Australia.

**Exploration of Pacific Islands:**
– Discovery of Pacific Islands:
Exploration timeline from 1521 to 1791.
– Notable explorers like Abel Tasman and James Cook.
– Islands discovered by explorers from different regions:
– Islands like Tahiti, New Zealand, and Hawaii discovered.
– Influence on Alexander von Humboldt:
– Humboldt encountered the Pacific in 1802-1803.
– Many navigators served expeditions launched by Imperial Russia.

**Myths and Misconceptions in Exploration:**
– Myths and Misconceptions of Explorers:
– Belief in mythical lands like Terra Australis.
– Hokkaido referred to as Ezo and Jesso.
– Map inaccuracies:
– Map inaccuracies in Diderot’s Encyclopédie.
– Removal of 123 mythical islands from Royal Navy chart.

**Later Exploration and Impact:**
– Cook’s Rivals and Successors:
– Several governments sponsored Pacific expeditions in rivalry with Captain Cook.
Spain’s Presence on the West Coast of North America:
– Spanish missions were established in California starting in 1767.
– Northeast Exploration:
– Russia annexed the southeast corner of Siberia from China in 1860.
– Pacific Trade and Imperialism:
– European colonization expanded in Australia, New Zealand, and along the Asian coast.

Early Polynesian explorers reached nearly all Pacific islands by 1200 CE, followed by Asian navigation in Southeast Asia and the West Pacific. During the Middle Ages, Muslim traders linked the Middle East and East Africa to the Asian Pacific coasts, reaching southern China and much of the Malay Archipelago. Direct European contact with the Pacific began in 1512, with the Portuguese encountering its western edges, soon followed by the Spanish arriving from the American coast.

In 1513, Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama and encountered the Pacific Ocean, calling it the South Sea. In 1521, a Spanish expedition led by the Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan was the first recorded crossing of the Pacific Ocean, Magellan then naming it the "peaceful sea." Starting in 1565 with the voyage of Andres de Urdaneta, the Spanish controlled transpacific trade for 250 years; Manila galleons would cross from Mexico to the Philippines, and vice versa, until 1815. Additional expeditions from Mexico and Peru encountered various archipelagos in the North and South Pacific. In the 17th and 18th centuries, other European powers sent expeditions to the Pacific, namely the Dutch Republic, England, France, and Russia.

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