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I Seapower and Science: The Motives for Pacific Exploration
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The Commencement of the Second Age of Exploration

Initially, we saw how the Spanish Empire and Dutch East India Company turned conservative and thus inclined toward keeping others and even themselves ignorant of the Pacific Ocean's geography. In the preceding section we noted that reliable access to the ocean was circumscribed by Spanish and Dutch monopolistic claims; that French and English activity on the west coast of South America between about 1700 and 1720 had much to do with immediate acquisition of wealth but little to do with exploration; and that during the period from 1713 to 1760 diplomatic and commercial considerations in Europe inhibited both Britain (when not at war with Spain) and France—the emergent maritime powers—from undertaking Pacific ventures because the Spanish so disliked them. Finally, we observed that in the early 1760s the third point lost most of its force as far as the British were concerned.

It is important to notice the kinds of deterrents and diversions that are being excluded. My inclination is to share Spate's doubts about the applicability to the history of the Pacific of long waves of economic expansion and contraction ("phase A" and "phase B") which some modern French scholars have put forward with skill and subtlety. [47] Moreover, Braudel's accent on the diversionary effect of the effort put into "building America" ("it was necessary to build America, which was Europe's task, in the long term ") is not detectable in the policies of the various European powers. His idea appears to be based on the energies and


efforts of colonists, but the logic of a diversion-of-effort argument must rest on what mother countries do, not what colonists do.[48]

But the most notable proponent of the diversion-of-effort thesis was Vincent Harlow, who stated it as follows:

The seamen and geographers of the Renaissance had devised the novel and daring expedient of establishing a means of communication with the Eastern World by sailing west across the unknown ocean of the Atlantic, but the unexpected discovery of the American barrier between Europe and Asia had caused a complete diversion of this outward movement. The Europeans who used the sea-routes opened by Cabot, Columbus, and other navigators of the time were not merchants on their way to the court of the Great Khan or the bazaars of Ophir, but conquistadors , sugar and tobacco planters, settlers, and coureurs de bois . For a century and a half the Europeans devoted their energies to the consolidation of the American inheritance, interspersing their activities with fierce quarrels among themselves. . . .

By the middle of the 18th century the Europeans were on the move again.[49]

Down to about 1700 this thesis has some validity. Undeniably, the "consolidation of the American inheritance" was the main preoccupation in the seventeenth century (though one should not forget the activities of the Dutch and English East India companies). After 1700, however, there was ample energy and eagerness available for the Pacific in London (and Saint-Malo too). We have seen that the British and French governments were unwilling to unleash it in peacetime. Moreover, when these governments did show interest in the Pacific in the 1760s, the "fierce quarrels among themselves" were by no means considered to be things of the past.[50] All in all, the diversion-of-effort thesis cannot surmount two historical obstacles: why the Spanish and Dutch ventured in the Pacific and East Indies before the 1640s and why the British and French did not do so from about 1720 to 1760.

Harlow's diversion thesis laid the groundwork for the main objective of his study, which was to show that British imperial policy underwent a profound reorientation after


1763. The new orientation was marked by two features: a preference for trade over territorial dominion and a "swing to the East," where the new trading opportunities were to be sought. ("The Second Empire began to take shape in the 1760's as a system of Far Eastern trade.") The "First" British Empire had got itself entangled with colonies of settlement, plantations, and the like, and these, he argued, entailed vexing political problems which came to a head in the 1760s and provoked a search for different methods in a different place. Britain's interest in the Pacific Ocean, signaled by the surge of exploratory voyages, her-aided the change.[51]

This is no place for a comprehensive critique of Harlow's schema. But the terms of the debate "on the questions of motivation and direction" of British imperial policy after 1763 have been set by him,[52] and he interpreted the commencement of British exploration in the Pacific during the 1760s as a leading indicator of "the swing to the East" and the new preference for commerce over dominion. Since our purpose here is to ascertain the motives and reasons for the timing of the second age of Pacific exploration—and in so doing to show that concerns over seapower as well as a new way of thinking about scientific research were paramount (and commerce was not)—it is necessary to confront Harlow's interpretation.

The basic flaw is that both of Harlow's key propositions are largely chimerical. The "swing to the East" cannot be substantiated by evidence of any type.[53] The other proposition, that British policy moved toward a preference for trade over dominion after 1763, is to be doubted on three counts.[54]

First, it is a profound error to suppose that the quest for dominion had ever been the mainspring of English imperial policy before 1763. Recently a very strange reinterpretation of the British Empire has been elaborated on the basis of a similar idea.[55] To accept it one has to perceive the empire throughout its earlier history as mainly a matrix of tributary arrangements designed to satisfy the patronage


needs and military predilections of a portion of the English governing class. Undeniably such a matrix formed a subplot and appeared dominant on some occasions and in some places, but it is beyond question that trade, plunder, and the defense of trade had always been the primary motive forces of English overseas policy before 1763.[56]

Second, there is the problem of Indian imperialism. If any imperial situation did accord with the idea that the main concerns were tribute, patronage, and dominion, it was the situation in India after about 1760. From then on the East India Company behaved more like a tax-collecting governing body than a trading establishment. The scope of its dominion expanded. In fact, the idea of a commercial "swing to the East," to the extent that it has any genuine substance (trade to China and Southeast Asia), tends to clash with the idea that dominion was shunned, because the urgent quest for these new avenues of trade was spurred by the need to find an economically viable method of supporting dominion in India within the framework of a private company. [57]

The third count is that in the 1760s British policymakers were still at least a half-century away from putting their faith in free trade. Rightly or wrongly, commerce was still seen as something that had to be husbanded and therefore carried on under conditions controlled by the mother country. In other words, trade continued to be conceived of as an "imperial" matter.[58] One may fairly say that Harlow was not denying this. His argument did not directly address the question of free trade but centered rather on a preference for trade over dominion—in the same manner, one might say, that the Dutch East India Company had preferred trade to dominion in the seventeenth century. The eventual development of British commerce under "informal empire" (that is, relying on economic rather than political sinews) appears to lend substance and plausibility to the argument. Still, Harlow's discourse at times verges near the authentic language of free trade. The British Empire was, he says, moving toward a commercial system "beneficent and profitable, imposing no restrictions and


incurring no burdens." He envisions a "network of commercial exchange extending through the Pacific and Indian Oceans. By opening up vast new markets in these regions, a diversity of exotic commodities, earned by home production, would flow back into British ports." This was what the architects of the "Second British Empire" were looking for: "The hope and intention was to find a vent for the widening range of British manufactures" by creating such a network.[59] The puzzle is that if finding a vent for the widening range of British manufactures was the main object, why was it desirable to search for the solution in distant and unknown seas while a booming trade with North America was admirably serving the purpose? Harlow does not address this point. Alexander Dalrymple, however, clearly did, and because Harlow derives a good deal of inspiration from him, Dalrymple's views on this question, published in 1770, are worth examining.

Dalrymple saw nothing but danger in the North American trade. His reason was unusual and highly relevant to our purpose. It was not the familiar objection that North America did not fit into the Old Colonial System but rather that the North American market was too successful in receiving British manufactured goods. The American colonists were thus in a position to put pressure on the imperial government; the mother country was too dependent upon them as buyers. "Discovery of new lands" and thereby new markets for British goods, he wrote, would diminish the "decisive importance" of the American colonies to the empire.[60] In other words, a new trading region and system were needed to keep the imperial-commercial system from becoming too dependent upon one region—particularly a region that, at the time Dalrymple was drafting these ideas, had become notably obstreperous about obeying the decrees of the imperial legislature.

The key point here is that Dalrymple's reasons for exploring new commercial realms do not accord with Harlow's. For Dalrymple's argument is essentially defensive in character: he insisted that Britain must seek to develop a controllable and counterbalancing alternative system. To


be sure, he spoke of "discoveries in the South Sea" leading to "an amicable intercourse for mutual benefit," but these benign and optimistic phrases must be evaluated in the general context of his imperial objective.[61] Whereas Harlow sees the thrust into the Pacific as something born of confidence,[62] Dalrymple saw it as an antidote to potential imperial disaster.

Upon turning to the true motives, we may begin by observing that the motives behind the British thrust to the Pacific in the 1760s and 1770s involved both moods: confidence and anxiety. There was in the early 1760s (as there had been for forty years) great pride and confidence in Britain's standing as the world's leading naval power. There was also a deep concern to do everything necessary to retain that position of naval preeminence. It is not a trivial fact that the British voyages of discovery were all organized by the Admiralty (with cabinet approval) and in each instance—John Byron, Samuel Wallis, Philip Carteret, and James Cook—the ships were commanded by officers of the Royal Navy. The primary objectives, both short-term and long-term, were directly concerned with seapower.

The initial strategic aim was to secure claim to the Falkland Islands, an independent way station for assisting ships on the Cape Horn passage; their possession, as Lord Anson had remarked, would make the British "masters of those seas." Anson was First Lord of the Admiralty and was thinking mainly of the problem of supporting naval expeditions to the Pacific in time of war, though he also spoke of the potential advantages of gaining a commercial foothold in Chile. The Earl of Egmont, the First Lord who presided over the dispatching of Byron's expedition, was thinking along identical lines. A secondary objective of the 1760s was to see whether any islands or continents existed in the Pacific which might be made to serve naval or commercial ends. But the immediate concern was a base in the Falkland Islands.[63] The Admiralty had pursued a policy of establishing permanent overseas bases since the 1720s; the interest in the Falklands harmonized with this trend.


But the secondary objective may have weighed just as heavily on the minds of those who looked to the future of British seapower. Their concern was to maintain a continued preponderance of the two main underpinnings of naval strength at that time: merchant shipping and skilled seamen. The Navigation Acts had been chiefly addressed to these ends; they were designed to facilitate a national merchant marine and thus to provide early training and subsequent employment for skilled British seamen who could be enlisted or impressed into the navy in wartime. The trouble with the vibrant, growing, industrially beneficial transatlantic trade with America was that it was being carried on increasingly in ships of the Thirteen Colonies, many of which never got near British ports. Moreover, impressment of "American" seamen (it was often a nice question what "American" meant in this regard) had been running into serious political and practical barriers. The seamen in the transatlantic trade thus appeared to be largely unavailable to the Royal Navy in case of need. This problem was plainly visible by 1763—well before American independence.

To those concerned for the future of the navy, therefore, the development of new arenas for British shipping seemed highly desirable.[64] And it was even more important to prevent the French from doing the same thing. Thus the British Admiralty was, in effect, buying insurance. The cost of all the British exploratory voyages of the 1760s was probably less than the cost of one ship of the line fully fitted—a reasonable insurance premium. The lords of the Admiralty did not need to suppose that possibilities of commerce were of much immediate importance; nor did they have to seriously believe that large, well-populated, undiscovered continents or islands existed. They only had to make sure the French would not be able to claim such places first.[65]

The question of underlying British motives in the Pacific, it might be noted, has given rise to an interesting debate on the decision to colonize New South Wales. In this


debate the revisionists argue that the government had something more in mind than a place to dump convicts when it chose Australia. The subject lies in the 1780s, beyond the bounds of this essay, but the theme is highly relevant. All in all, the case for a naval role is rather strong, but it does not nullify the importance of finding a suitable spot for the convicts. The case for a commercial role, however, seems to be rather feeble.[66]

In sum, then, the financial sponsorship of British exploration in the 1760s was motivated by a protective maritime imperialism . (One witnesses here an early instance of that phenomenon which became so characteristic of modern British imperialism and so exasperating in its apparent hypocrisy to Britain's rivals: expansion for defensive purposes.) The voyages to the Pacific were part of the ongoing global struggle between Britain and France. The key ingredients were national defense, rivalry, and pride. The voyages were undertaken not in a spirit of fulsome self-confidence but in the mood that purchases insurance. If prospects of commerce proved to be unreal or remote, the premium would nevertheless have been wisely paid.

Seapower also played an important role in the French effort, but allowance must be made for the differing commercial and naval situations of the two nations. It is well known that Charles de Brosses, whose work inspired Louis Antoine de Bougainville to go out to the Pacific, was an Enlightenment figure of some note, a savant fascinated by geography who like Dalrymple believed the "scientific" case for the existence of terra australis incognita to be very strong. De Brosses was also a fervent patriot convinced that France's future lay in maritime commerce and naval strength. The trouble was, he wrote in the preface to his Histoire des Navigations aux terres australes , that Britain ("a neighboring power") had appropriated to itself "la monar-chie universelle de la mer," without consideration or care for any other nation. It was that fact, he said, which gave birth to the book.[67] Inspired by reading de Brosses's book, Bougainville set out first to claim and establish a base on the Falkland Islands. He arrived there before Byron, whose


mission was practically the same. In the instructions for his second voyage, however, the famous circumnavigation of 1766-1769, one may detect a more specific commercial accent than one finds in the instructions of Wallis, Carteret, or Cook. The French hoped that Bougainville might help to lay new foundations for a revival of French maritime power, whereas the British were mainly concerned to hold onto their advantage.[68]

There remains the question of why the surge of activity occurred in this particular decade. In the first half of the eighteenth century statesmen in Britain and France had turned away from conjectural and distant prospects. Yet it cannot be disputed that the potential importance of the Pacific to seapower was pointed out by maritime expansionists at that time. Captain George Shelvocke wrote in 1726 that anything which would contribute to the improvement of British "Navigation, tho' in never so small a degree," ought to be considered acceptable to the people of a maritime power like Britain.[69] In 1740 and 1741 De Lozier Bouvet used a traditional blend of mercantilist arguments, including the bullionist theme, when seeking sponsorship for an exploratory voyage to the South Pacific. He also used the naval argument: "It is no longer permissible that France should neglect this means of increasing her own power. Nothing but a great commerce can support a great navy."[70] Yet nothing was done until the 1760s—when a great deal was done.

Why the 1760s? The answer has two aspects: One involves politics; the other concerns the role of science and involves deeper currents of cultural history. In the political aspect there is considerable continuity with past motives. In the second aspect there is a rapidly unfolding, profoundly interesting discontinuity.

We have already laid much of the groundwork for the political aspect of the answer. Admiral George (first baron) Anson, who became head of the Board of Admiralty not long after completing his voyage across the Pacific, naturally had his eye on that ocean as a possible theater of war and therefore wished to secure for Britain the assured use


of the Falkland Islands as a way station. The voyage the Admiralty was putting into preparation in 1749 for this purpose was canceled because commercial and diplomatic relations with Old Spain held priority. After 1762, however, concern for Spanish goodwill evaporated; the cabinets of the period of peace after 1763 generally cared less than their predecessors had cared about relations with Europe, and in fact these cabinets were quite attuned to maritime concerns.

There was in addition a personal ingredient. The First Lord of the Admiralty from 1763 to 1766, the second earl of Egmont, was a fervent advocate of a more forward policy and was especially inclined toward the Pacific. Egmont's main concern, like Anson's, was strategic, and his attention was fixed on possible future operations against the Spanish Empire. When, in 1766, a planned expedition (under Wallis) ran into high-level opposition—certain cabinet members were apprehensive as to French and Spanish repercussions—he managed to execute a modified plan as a last act before resigning his office.[71]

But there was more to the new orientation of British policy than Lord Egmont's enthusiasm. A year and half later, when the Royal Society asked the government to sponsor and prepare a scientific expedition to the South Seas, the proposal was approved and a suitable vessel purchased in only seven weeks by a different Board of Admiralty. A. C. Taylor has commented: "Such haste, which might almost be described as indecent, might well suggest that the Authorities regarded the Royal Society's request as a heaven-sent pretext to allow them to carry on the series of voyages designed to forestall the French in general and Bougainville in particular."[72] "Heaven-sent" is exactly right; the result was Cook's first voyage, which went out ostensibly to carry observers to an optimum location for recording one of the rare transits of Venus. It is easy, however, to detect the continuity of naval motives—motives which were able to find expression in the 1760s because of significant changes in British political leadership and Anglo-Spanish relations.

Turning briefly to the French political causes, we may


observe that there is probably no period of French history in which maritime concerns played a greater role in French policy than the period delimited by the rise of Choiseul and the demise of Vergennes (roughly 1763-1783). In the 1760s, however, the French were more careful than the British to stay in the good graces of the Spanish. Hence they quickly handed over their claim to the Falklands to Spain and sought new commercial opportunities farther westward.

As a postscript we may note that activity bred activity. The intensified rivalry of the British and French in the distant ocean, combined with the ambitious probes of the Russian Empire across the North Pacific in the 1760s, even woke up the Spanish. The missionary establishments and settlements in Alta California during the 1770s were aimed at solidifying the claim and keeping the Russians at a distance. The viceroy of Peru, with Madrid's approval, even sent an expedition westward in 1770 to make sure there was no large and alluring island nearby.[73]

From the foregoing it would appear that scientific curiosity merely provided a convenient cover for moves in a maritime cold war. It did. But upon examining science's role at this moment in history one realizes that it was in fact genuine and pervasive.

Public sponsorship of science was not a new phenomenon in the 1760s, any more than concern for the foundations of seapower was new. From Louis XIV's reign onward the court of France had supported scientific research rather handsomely, particularly with respect to establishing a correct geography of the world. Admittedly the English government had not been lavish in this regard. According to a (possibly biased) English opinion, given in 1694, the other leading maritime nations made it a practice to send technical observers and recorders on voyages:

'Tis to be lamented, that the English Nation have not sent along with their Navigators some skilful Painters, Naturalists, and Mechanists, under Publick stipends and Encouragement, as the Dutch and French have done, and still practice daily, much to their Honour as well as Ad-


vantage. . . . We are apt to imitate a certain Prince in every thing, except in the most glorious and best part of him, viz. The Encouragement and Rewarding great Men in all Professions, and the promoting Arts and Sciences with his Treasure: A Secret which some Ministers think not fit to practise, or perhaps may be insensible of, for want of penetration. This makes a great Figure in the present and future Ages, covers many Spots and Deformities, and secures the best Heads, and Hands to carry on, and effect great Designs.

Whether this opinion (put forward by the "Printers to the Royal Society") accurately reported the practices of the Dutch and French is not so interesting as the manner in which the quotation captures the essence of attitudes prevalent seventy years later.[74]

The charge that English royal government was backward about giving broad support to science was valid.[75] This, however, should not be allowed to obscure the intimate and long-standing connection in England of science and navigation (in both the sense of the word "navigation" today and the broader sense familiar in the Early Modern period)—a connection reinforced by the growing belief in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries that human progress and maritime-commercial progress were interdependent. Moreover, in the century that dates from the founding of the Royal Observatory at Greenwich in 1675, the main object of which was to develop means of ascertaining longitude at sea, the government showed itself willing to pay lavishly in order to encourage the progress of navigational science. Parliament's establishment in 1714 of the Board of Longitude and its £20,000 prize is a notable further instance.[76] Finally, for reasons I have not been able to unearth—perhaps because the relevant statesmen's papers are not extant—a few voyages primarily of a scientific character were authorized (prepared and paid for by the navy) during the brief period of peace toward the end of William III's reign. Edmond Halley's voyages to the South Atlantic (1698-1700) were chiefly aimed at learning more about the southern skies and compass variation. The case for thinking that Dampier's voyage begun in 1698 was


mainly scientific in character is also quite strong.[77] These were certainly the only English voyages of the century from 1660 to 1760 whose primary aims were scientific—and quite probably the only primarily scientific voyages authorized by any European power in that period.[78]

The modern tendency to suppose that scientific curiosity, pure and simple, motivated the voyages of the 1760s is understandable. That Cook's first voyage was occasioned by the broad international effort made to observe a transit of Venus is well known. As well, speculative geography certainly played a role in determining areas to be searched. Most important of all, Bougainville and Cook, each in his own way, put a personal imprint on the voyages that imparted a scientific as well as heroic character to them: Bougainville was an educated, insightful, articulate observer; Cook was as meticulous as he was relentless. All this is true, but the voyages of the 1760s would have gone forth to the Pacific regardless of the wishes of scientists and scholars. In that decade science was only marginally the motivating force.[79]

But its role became increasingly evident in the ensuing decades. The British government's willingness to support voyages to assist the observation of the transits of Venus (1761 and 1769) foreshadowed the change. One indicator of the shifting attitude in the 1770s was the preamble of the statute of 1775 which extended the £20,000 reward for finding a Northwest Passage that Parliament had originally established in 1745. As Beaglehole has observed: "The 1745 act was all trade—'of great benefit and advantage to the trade of this Kingdom'; it was now, in 1775, possible to bring science before a British parliament, and the bill was aimed at the 'many advantages both to commerce and science' that were promised by the discovery."[80] By the 1780s the Admiralty was routinely allowing scientists to accompany pioneering voyages.[81] Although the European world had not yet entered the era of "militant geography whose only object was the search for truth,"—remembering Conrad's words—its foot was on that threshold.


Concomitant with this change came a shift in the character and class of public support in Britain for voyages of discovery. Elite groups—the Royal Society, for instance—were successfully enlisting in the cause a considerable constituency. This enlargement of the "scientific" public occurred notably in France as well as Britain; its growth was of course a symptom of the Enlightenment and occurred in some degree throughout Europe.[82] The primary themes of the earlier part of the century—commerce, naval strength, and national defense (whose noisiest adherents were the partisans of aggressive mercantile expansion)—were not abandoned, but after 1750 the combined themes of farseeing scientific progress and imperial destiny imparted a new accent. The new themes were of course more congenial to the polite, educated persons who now took up the cause.

Some of these new supporters of exploration and expansion undoubtedly disdained the social character and some of the leading shibboleths of the old.[83] But one should not push this idea too far. Just as scientists in former times had willingly linked many of their concerns with those of mariners and traders, so the geographical savants of the later eighteenth century commonly subscribed to the precepts of commercial and imperial power. Sir Joseph Banks—a natural-resource imperialist if there ever was one—could write as follows in the later 1790s: "As increased Riches still increase the wants of the Possessors, and as Our Manufacturers are able to supply them, is not this prospect, of at once attaching to this country the whole of the Interior Trade now possessed by the Moors, with the chance of incalculable future increase, worth some exertion and some expense to a Trading Nation?"[84] One point, however, is clear. The new supporters of exploration were quite fond of high-minded motives, whether scientific or imperial.

The public sphere quickly felt the effects. Support of scientific discovery became a matter not only of royal honor but also of national honor.[85] Exploratory voyages were con-


sidered in the later eighteenth century to be under international inspection; the conduct of scientists, explorers, and governments that supported them was watched with critical interest. As the Royal Society commented, it was desirable to satisfy "the universal Expectations of the World in this respect."[86]

We noted a moment ago that the personal qualities and conduct of Cook and Bougainville gave the voyages of this epoch a scientific character. But we should not overlook the role of technology in this same regard. To consider Cook's case in particular, we must take note that his habitual persistence and exactitude paid unprecedented cartographical dividends because he had the advantage of new precision instruments for ascertaining his geographical position (most notably, quadrant, sextant, and chronometer). Above all, two valid techniques for ascertaining longitude at sea—the age-old problem—came to fruition in the 1760s (by chronometer and by observation of lunar distances) in time for Cook to make the best use of them.[87] To appreciate the scientific value of the voyages it was sufficient to note the quality of the charts that they yielded.

Certain general cultural factors also served to elevate the influence of science and long-term perspectives at this time. There was not only the rise of anthropological curiosity (which made the Tahitians "Exhibit A" for all sorts of theories) but also, and perhaps more important, the full flowering by the 1760s of the idea of a stage-by-stage development of human society. This notion was accompanied by the idea that advanced societies (in the "commercial stage") bore prime responsibility for further human progress. Few doubted that Europe had moved forward into higher ground and that scientific achievement was the main reason for thinking so. Furthermore, at this same historical moment romantic ideals were claiming attention. Enthusiasm, though hardly back in fashion, was no longer condemned in all spheres. The passionate, single-minded vision, however dubious the practicality of its objects, now seemed acceptable, even laudable. One result was a greater


patience regarding profits and dividends. Long-term possibilities of commerce and strategic advantage seemed worth considering. A final point: One of the greatest figures of the British Enlightenment, Adam Smith, published in The Wealth of Nations (1776) an argument that not only made a strong case in the economic sphere for a gradual, developmental view of progress but also—this is particularly relevant—belittled the role of precious metals, which had so dazzled the proponents of maritime aggressiveness in earlier times.

To end this essay on the subject of science and its relation to intellectual culture would perhaps be a mistake. History best remembers beginnings—achievements that are new and pointed toward the present. The new, strong scientific tone of the voyages of the later 1760s and 1770s clearly suits this disposition. If these voyages, especially Cook's, strike a responsive chord in us today, it is mainly because we recognize their scientific and technological modernity (dramatized by the exemplary conduct of the two great explorers of the age) and are fascinated by its infant freshness. But we must not forget that in those decades, though science provided a further motive of exploration, it did not replace the traditional motives. Seapower remained at the center of governmental concern. In fact, long-term projection of sea-power's requirements was a notable feature of eighteenth-century strategic thinking. The world chiefly remembers the voyages of Bougainville and Cook for the heroic quality of the scientific endeavor. But the voyages also stand as testimony to the geopolitical hopes and fears of a bygone age.

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I Seapower and Science: The Motives for Pacific Exploration
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