Lord Anson's circumnavigation of the globe

Lord Anson's circumnavigation of the globe during the War of the Austrian Succession marks the beginning of the scientific exploration of the Pacific. Although the voyage resulted in much plunder and another idyllic description of Saipan and Tinian (Fig. 58), the geographical results were disappointing. However, one tangible result of importance to later Pacific voyages was a study of scurvy published by James Lind. Scurvy took a severe toll of the men on the expedition as it had on every long Pacific voyage since Magellan. Of the 1955 men sailing on seven vessels, 1051 died of scurvy. The loss of life on the Spanish fleet sent to intercept Anson was even worse; only 100 out of 3000 men survived. Scurvy results from a deficiency in vitamin C, which was missing from the diet on long voyages owing to the lack of fresh vegetables. Cook profited from Dr. Lind's study, and his men largely escaped the disease by his issuance of lemon juice and his securing fresh provisions wherever possible.


While the other European countries were reaching the Pacific because of their interests in the Americas or Eastern Asia, the Russians were advancing across Siberia, and in 1639 they reached the Sea of Okhotsk. From 1725 to 1728 an expedition under the command of Titus Bering explored the coast of Kamchatka and Asia as far north as 67° 18′ but did not sight the North American coast. Bering's second expedition ( 1733-1743) explored the Aleutians and discovered Alaska.

Fur trade with the newly discovered lands followed immediately. In 1784 a permanent settlement was made on Kodiak Island, and in 1798 the Russo-American Company was given a monopoly of trade in Alaska. The manager of this company, A. A. Baranov, had visions of the Pacific as a Russian lake, but his ideas were ineffective; for example, the Russians made an abortive attempt to seize the Hawaiian Islands in the early nineteenth century. Although Bering failed to establish definitely the existence of a strait between Asia and North America, his expeditions established the probability that such a strait did exist. Results of Russian exploration were presented to the world on Deslile's maps.

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