California is my home state. (Ironic, that I study the history of Virginia for Civil War studies, eh?) California played a significant role in 19th Century American Maritime History. Part of California’s role had to do with its location.
West Coast of the United States, bordered by the Pacific Ocean.
When California was a Mexican province, its people started welcoming the American merchant ships. When California became a state in 1850, the gold rush brought thousands to the west coast. California’s location also made it a gateway state for immigrants and a last port before a ship set off across the Pacific Ocean.
Today we’ve rounded up five important aspects of California’s maritime history of the 19th Century. We’re keeping it simple for the sake of time, but feel free to add comments if you have more information to contribute. Continue reading
Continuing with our examination of the American maritime origins, the Colonial era stands as important time in the development of the trade routes, maritime industries, and the regional industry differences of the United States. (But remember – it’s not the United States yet. It’s still just the Thirteen Colonies.)
Colonists arrived in American by ship. Ocean going vessels remained their connection with the mother country – England – and a link to European culture, society, and…stuff. Throughout the colonial era, more Europeans continued to arrive; cities were built, usually near good harbors. The Atlantic bordered all the colonies, making it a relatively easy avenue for transportation. Trade routes made triangular shapes across the Atlantic, supplying European markets with raw materials and bringing back manufactured goods or slaves. However, toward the end of the Colonial Era, those trade routes and independence of the harbor cities would open contention between America and England.
Today’s blog post looks at facets of maritime history in the Colonial era: inter-colony transportation, triangular trade routes, fishing (and whaling), and the mercantile theory. Continue reading
Laying a foundation (or a keel) for our series on 19th Century American Maritime requires a backward look. To really understand the 19th Century situation and developments, it’s important to consider America’s maritime beginnings in the 17th and 18th Centuries.
Today’s blog post explores some of the Native American water craft and their fishing and whaling. Then we’ll introduce the comparatively large European ships exploring the coasts and bring new settlers to America. Continue reading