Britannia's Navy on the West Coast of North America, 1812-1914

Heritage House Publishing Co
Free sample

The influence of the Royal Navy on the development of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest was both effective and extensive. Yet all too frequently, its impact has been ignored by historians, who instead focus on the influence of explorers, fur traders, settlers, and railway builders. In this thoroughly revised and expanded edition of his classic 1972 work, naval historian Barry Gough examines the contest for the Columbia country during the War of 1812, the 1844 British response to President Polk’s manifest destiny and cries of “Fifty-four forty or fight,” the gold-rush invasion of 30,000 outsiders, and the jurisdictional dispute in the San Juan Islands that spawned the Pig War. The author looks at the Esquimalt-based fleet in the decade before British Columbia joined Canada and the Navy’s relationship with coastal First Nation over the five decades that preceded the Great War.
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About the author

Canadian historian Barry Gough has published more than eighteen books to critical acclaim, including Historical Dreadnoughts: Arthur Marder, Stephen Roskill and Battles for Naval History; Through Water, Ice & Fire: Schooner Nancy of the War of 1812; and Juan de Fuca’s Strait: Voyages in the Waterway of Forgotten Dreams. For his contributions to civic life in Canada he has received many accolades, including the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. He is president of the British Columbia Historical Federation. He lives in Victoria, British Columbia.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Heritage House Publishing Co
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Published on
Jun 16, 2016
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Pages
416
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ISBN
9781772031102
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Europe / Great Britain / General
History / Military / Canada
History / Military / Naval
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Barry Gough
"The voyages of Cook and Vancouver heralded a vast influx of irrepressible white men.... They brought with them their morals, ideologies, knowledge, technology, plants and animals. They also brought diseases, rum and guns....powers to build and powers to destroy."

Until the 1700's, the Northwest Coast of North America stood largely apart from the civilized world. Formidable mountain barriers and remoteness from Atlantic sea lanes kept the territory outside the orbit of emerging European empires. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, however, Britain, Spain, France, Russsia, and the United States vied for control of this promising new frontier.

Three of history's greatest mariners -- Sir Francis Drake, Captain James Cook, and Captain George Vancouver -- spearheaded British expeditions of discovery and trade to the Northwest coast. Despite competition from her European and American rivals, Britains ability to use and control the sea enabled her to establish by the late 1700's a "beachhead of empire" in the area now known as British Columbia.Gough shows how, by outmanoevring her Spanish rivals in a "skilful game of diplomatic chess," Britain concluded the Nootka Agreement. Thus she was able to exploit her trading partnership with the coast Indians and cement a lucrative sea-borne commerce with the Far East. The arrival overland of the Nor'westers and other fur-trading groups further strengthened Britain's financial and political interests in the area -- ending forever the isolation of Northwest America, and 'changing beyond measure the culture of its Indian peoples.'

Distant Dominion is the first comprehensive survey to examine Britain's motives for expeditions to this most distant frontier of British maritime development. It is also the first to draw the history of the coast into the general realm of Pacific history, relating its development to events in Europe, the American eastern seaboard, Australia, the Falkland Islands, and China. This entertaining book offers fresh insight into an exciting chapter of North American history.

Barry Gough
This is the story of the remarkable, intersecting careers of the two greatest writers on British naval history in the twentieth century – the American professor Arthur Marder, son of immigrant Russian Jews, and Captain Stephen Roskill, who knew the Royal Navy from the inside. Between them, these contrasting characters were to peel back the lid of historical secrecy that surrounded the maritime aspects of the two world wars, based on the privileged access to official papers they both achieved through different channels. Initially their mutual interests led to a degree of friendly rivalry, but this was to deteriorate into a stormy academic feud fought out in newspaper columns and the footnotes of their books – much to the bemusement (and sometimes amusement) of the naval history community. Out of it, surprisingly, emerged some of the best historical writing on naval themes, and a central contribution of this book is to reveal the process by which the two historians produced their literary masterpieces. Anyone who has read Marder’s From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow or Roskill’s The War at Sea – and they were both bestsellers in their day – will be entertained and enlightened by this story of the men A J P Taylor called ‘our historical dreadnoughts’. This is the story of the remarkable, intersecting careers of the two greatest writers on British naval history in the twentieth century – the American professor Arthur Marder, son of immigrant Russian Jews, and Captain Stephen Roskill, who knew the Royal Navy from the inside. Between them, these contrasting characters were to peel back the lid of historical secrecy that surrounded the maritime aspects of the two world wars, based on the privileged access to official papers they both achieved through different channels. Initially their mutual interests led to a degree of friendly rivalry, but this was to deteriorate into a stormy academic feud fought out in newspaper columns and the footnotes of their books – much to the bemusement (and sometimes amusement) of the naval history community. Out of it, surprisingly, emerged some of the best historical writing on naval themes, and a central contribution of this book is to reveal the process by which the two historians produced their literary masterpieces. Anyone who has read Marder’s From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow or Roskill’s The War at Sea – and they were both bestsellers in their day – will be entertained and enlightened by this story of the men A J P Taylor called ‘our historical dreadnoughts’.
Barry Gough
"The voyages of Cook and Vancouver heralded a vast influx of irrepressible white men.... They brought with them their morals, ideologies, knowledge, technology, plants and animals. They also brought diseases, rum and guns....powers to build and powers to destroy."

Until the 1700's, the Northwest Coast of North America stood largely apart from the civilized world. Formidable mountain barriers and remoteness from Atlantic sea lanes kept the territory outside the orbit of emerging European empires. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, however, Britain, Spain, France, Russsia, and the United States vied for control of this promising new frontier.

Three of history's greatest mariners -- Sir Francis Drake, Captain James Cook, and Captain George Vancouver -- spearheaded British expeditions of discovery and trade to the Northwest coast. Despite competition from her European and American rivals, Britains ability to use and control the sea enabled her to establish by the late 1700's a "beachhead of empire" in the area now known as British Columbia.Gough shows how, by outmanoevring her Spanish rivals in a "skilful game of diplomatic chess," Britain concluded the Nootka Agreement. Thus she was able to exploit her trading partnership with the coast Indians and cement a lucrative sea-borne commerce with the Far East. The arrival overland of the Nor'westers and other fur-trading groups further strengthened Britain's financial and political interests in the area -- ending forever the isolation of Northwest America, and 'changing beyond measure the culture of its Indian peoples.'

Distant Dominion is the first comprehensive survey to examine Britain's motives for expeditions to this most distant frontier of British maritime development. It is also the first to draw the history of the coast into the general realm of Pacific history, relating its development to events in Europe, the American eastern seaboard, Australia, the Falkland Islands, and China. This entertaining book offers fresh insight into an exciting chapter of North American history.

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