Mind Maps of the Pacific
Here in Mind Maps of the Pacific, you’ll find a collection of WisdomMaps on the history and culture of the Pacific Islands and Down Under. “WisdomMaps” organize our subject in a multimedia-rich environment that lets you immerse yourself in their stories in ways that go way beyond the text.
Ke kai lipolipo polihua a Kane. – The dark-blue ocean of Kane. (The deep sea out of sight of land.)
Human migrations occurred in the Pacific in prehistoric times, and modern humans first reached the western Pacific around 70,000 years ago. The first oceanic migration was that of the Austronesians, who originated on Taiwan, where they invented outrigger boats and catamarans that proved capable of traversing vast stretches of open ocean as far as Polynesia.
Around 1200 BCE, the Austronesian Lapita culture settled the islands of the southwest Pacific, which included the Bismarck Archipelago, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, and New Caledonia. From there, they reached Tonga and Samoa by 800 BCE. This was as far as the Austronesians ventured into Polynesia until around 700 CE, when another surge of exploration took them as far as the Americas.
European navigators first arrived in the western Pacific with the Portuguese expeditions that discovered the Lesser Sunda Islands and the Maluku Islands, in 1512. From there, the Spanish admiral Afonso de Albuquerque directed an expedition to southern China in 1513.
Vasco Núñez de Balboa discovered the eastern Pacific in 1513 when his expedition crossed the Isthmus of Panama and reached a new ocean, which he named Mar del Sur, the “South Sea”.
In 1520, Ferdinand Magellan and his crew became the first to cross the Pacific in recorded history. They were part of a Spanish expedition to the Spice Islands that would eventually circumnavigate the globe. Magellan stopped at Guam and then the Philippines, where he was killed by hostile natives. The expedition continued on to Spain, completing the circumnavigation in 1522.
In 1564, five Spanish ships carrying 379 soldiers arrived to colonize the Philippines and Mariana Islands. This began nearly 400 years of Spain’s occupation, and its Manila Galleon sailed back and forth between South America and the Philippines in a trade route that stretched more than 7,000 miles.
The Portuguese navigator Pedro Fernandes de Queirós sailed through the treacherous Torres Strait that separated Australia from New Guinea to discover the Pitcairn and Vanuatu islands. Other explorers sailed around Africa’s southern cape in search of trade. Willem Janszoon made the first European landing in Australia in 1606 at the Cape York Peninsula, and Abel Janszoon Tasman circumnavigated Australia to discover Tasmania and New Zealand in 1642.
Spain increasingly came to regard the Pacific Ocean as its own domain. It guarded the Strait of Magellan to prevent entrance of non-Spanish ships into the Pacific, although at the other end of the Pacific, the Dutch continued to menace the Spanish Philippines.
The 18th century brought Russian explorers in the First Kamchatka and Great Northern Expeditions, which brought Alaska and the Aleutian Islands into the Russian sphere. Spain explored the Pacific Northwest as far north as Vancouver Island and Alaska. The French discovered their “Island of Love” at Tahiti, and England’s Great Navigator James Cook undertook several explorations of the Pacific before meeting an untimely end in Hawaii.
The history of Australia began with the arrival of aboriginal Australians by sea from maritime Southeast Asia some 50,000- 65,000 years ago. The artistic, musical and spiritual traditions that they created are among the oldest surviving traditions in human history.
The first arrival in Australia of Europeans was in 1606 by Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon. Later that year, Spanish explorer Luís Vaz de Torres navigated the treacherous Torres Strait that separates Australia from New Guinea. By the close of the 17th century, twenty-nine other Dutch navigators had explored the west and south coasts, and they named the continent New Holland. Other European explorers followed. Lieutenant James Cook (who would become “England’s Great Navigator”), charted the east coast of Australia in 1770. Upon his return to London, he persuaded the Crown to consider establishing a colony at Botany Bay (now in Sydney).
The First Fleet from Britain arrived in January, 1788 to establish a penal colony at Botany Bay. The British established other colonies in Australia, and European explorers ventured into the forbidding interior. In the course of their contact with the colonists, aboriginal Australians were greatly weakened and their population decimated by European disease and conflict.
Gold brought gold rushes, while agriculture and ranching brought more consistent prosperity. Parliamentary democracy grew throughout the six British colonies in Australia from the mid-19th century, and they voted to form a federation in 1901. With that, modern Australia came into being. Australia fought alongside Britain in World Wars I and II, and became an ally of the United States when threatened with invasion by Japan during World War II. Since then, New Zealand has steadily grown prosperous, in large part from trade with Asia and immigration that has added more than 7 million migrants from origins worldwide.
New Zealand was discovered and settled some 700 years ago by Polynesians. Their indigenous Māori culture was based on communal ownership of land and kinship ties. The first European explorer, Abel Tasman, arrived in New Zealand in 1642. After that, New Zealand was regularly frequented by explorers, sailors, missionaries, traders and low-life adventurers. In 1840 the Treaty of Waitangi was signed (under dubious circumstances) between Britain and some of the Māori chiefs. The treaty flummoxed New Zealand into being absorbed by the British Empire, in which the Māori would enjoy the same rights as other British subjects. Most of New Zealand’s land passed from Māori to European ownership by means both fair and foul, and the Māori nation was left nearly destitute and landless. Extensive European and some Asian settlement ensued.
New Zealand has enacted a progressive social agenda, including the vote for women and old age pensions. The economy became highly regulated and it funded an extensive welfare state. Recently, Māori culture has experienced a renaissance, and Māori have moved to the cities in large numbers, where they have led a marginalized existence. Their grievances gave rise to a Māori protest movement that led to greater recognition of the rights guaranteed by the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi. The economy has since been largely deregulated and a number of socially liberal policies have been implemented. Foreign policy mostly followed the lead of Britain or the United States, but lately has become more independent. Subsequent governments have generally carried on these policies, but continue to temper free market forces in favor of a some aspects of a socialized economy.
WisdomMaps: The Future of the Past
Here’s our collection of mind maps of the Pacific… please enjoy! When you’re done perusing a map, just close it, and you’ll be back here.
Early Pacific: Exploration | Australia: Explorers • Aborigines • Colonization • Settlement • New South Wales | New Zealand: Explorers • Maori • Origins • Settlement • Treaty of Waitangi • British Sovereignty • Colonial Period | Pacific Islands: Melanesia: Fiji • Marshall Islands • New Caledonia • Papua New Guinea • Solomon Islands • Vanuatu | Micronesia | Polynesia: Cook Islands • Marquesas Islands • Samoa • Tonga • Tahiti • Tokelau • Tuamotu • Tuvalu
Be sure to have a look at Mind Maps of Hawaii as well!
P.S. If you have a taste for history, we invite you to our companion site WisdomMaps.info. It’s history as you’ve never seen it!