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Cattle ColonialismAn Environmental History of the Conquest of California and Hawai'i$
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John Ryan Fischer

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469625126

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469625126.001.0001

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(p.12) Chapter One Arrivals
Cattle Colonialism

John Ryan Fischer

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter discusses the initial establishment of cattle in California and in Hawaiʻi. The centrality of livestock to European economies, and European beliefs that domestic animals served as a civilizing force, prompted colonists to transport cattle to these new territories. A herd of cattle accompanied the settlers from New Spain who founded the first Franciscan missions in Alta California in 1769. These settlers believed that their effort to turn California’s Indians into “gente de razón” or Christian “rational people” depended in large part on cattle. In 1793, the English explorer Captain George Vancouver transported cattle from the herds established in California to Hawaiʻi. Vancouver hoped to establish the animals on the centrally located archipelago near shipping lanes for growing trade with the Far East and in an attempt to transform Native Hawaiian culture by adding a pastoral element.

Keywords:   Captain James Cook, Captain George Vancouver, Pacific exploration, Spanish settlement of California, Juan Bautista de Anza, Invasive species, Livestock, Cattle, Ecological imperialism

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