Coclanis, Peter A. (2005). Pacific Overtures: The Spanish Lake and the Global Economy, 1500-1800. Common-Place: The Interactive Journal of Early American Life, 5(2)
Almost five hundred years after Balboa, American historians have themselves discovered the Pacific. Who would have thought that a body of water comprising one third of the earth’s surface—twice as much as the Atlantic—could have remained hidden in plain sight for so long? Whatever the reason—the dynamism of Asia today, the formidable challenge posed by the new field of global history, the innovative work of a few inspired researchers—this discovery (sea change?) is welcome indeed. As a result, scholars have begun to take seriously, really for the first time, historical actors, actions, and processes both on the ocean itself and around and along the entire Pacific Rim. Many of the historical parties and topics being treated are interesting and important in their own right, of course, but in some cases they also shed much-needed light upon actors, actions, and processes further east.
Common-Place: The Interactive Journal of Early American Life
Coclanis, Peter A.