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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.84) Chapter Four Trade
Cattle Colonialism

John Ryan Fischer

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter explores the emerging markets in the Pacific that allowed Californians and Hawaiians in the early nineteenth century to profit from the recently established herds and increased the connections that linked the two contested regions in the Pacific borderlands. These markets spurred an intensification in the use of native labor and a strengthening of the ties across the Pacific. The California missions utilized their cattle herds to supply international markets with profitable hides and tallow, often through illicit trade until Mexico’s political independence decreased trade restrictions. In the first two decades of the early nineteenth century, European and American traders marketed Hawaiian sandalwood in China. When the supply of sandalwood began to diminish on the islands and Kamehameha’s kapu on cattle came to an end, Hawaiʻi became another supplier in the hide and tallow trade. As California and Hawaiʻi became important depots for whaling ships, beef also became a marketable product to crews in port or to whaling ships seeking to replenish their stores. The trade linkages created by hides and tallow and whaling served to create an interconnected Pacific World served by native laborers.

Keywords:   Pacific trade, Sandalwood trade, Kamehameha, Hide and tallow trade, whaling, mercantilism, smuggling

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