Motives for European Exploration of the Pacific in the Age of the Enlightment

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2000-07
Authors
Gascoigne, John
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University of Hawai'i Press
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In this paper the ambivalent character of the Enlightenment ideology that was employed to justify the Pacific voyages of the late eighteenth century is explored. Parallels are drawn between the Spanish Christian justifications for the earlier wave of European expansion into the Pacific (chiefly in the sixteenth century) with that employed in this later period. It is concluded that, though in both cases there was a high level of rationalization, such ideologies required at least some measure of perceived dissonance with self-interest to be credible.
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Gascoigne J. 2000. Motives for European exploration of the Pacific in the age of the Enlightenment. Pac Sci 54(3): 227-237.
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