- The Task of World History
- Theories of World History since the Enlightenment
- World Environmental History
- Nomadic pastoralism
- States, State Transformation, and War
- Religions and World History
- Technology, Engineering, and Science
- Advanced Agriculture
- Trade across Eurasia to about 1750
- Biological Exchanges in World History
- Cultural Exchanges in World History
- Pre-modern Empires
- Modern Imperialism
- East Asia and Central Eurasia
- South Asia and Southeast Asia
- The Middle East in World History
- Africa in World History: The Long, Long View
- Europe and Russia in World History
- Mediterranean History
- The Americas, 1450–2000
- The Atlantic Ocean Basin
- Oceania and Australasia
- The pacific Ocean Basin to 1850
Abstract and Keywords
The Pacific Ocean is the world's largest and deepest ocean, spanning about one-third of the earth's surface. Despite its size, the Pacific has received only scant global historical attention when compared to the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans. However, the Pacific has played a prominent role intermittently in world history, highlighted by Austronesian expansion, Manila Galleon trade, eighteenth-century European exploration, and the intense island-hopping military campaigns of World War II. At the same time, such historical interest did not translate into a familiar timeline integrating this watery geographical feature into a larger world historical framework. This article argues that there is more discontinuity than continuity to this ocean, and its history is best broken down by three distinct periods of exploration and settlement.
Rainer F. Buschmann is Associate Professor of History at Purdue University.
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