Empires and Indigenous Worlds: Violence and the Pacific Ocean, 1760 to 1930s

Patricia O'Brien

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    This chapter examines the storied and constant presence of violence in the Pacific from the earliest imperial phases in the sixteenth century to the eve of the greatest cataclysm of violence in the region: World War Two. It explores how and why violence altered over this long period, considering the impacts of technologies, economies, ideologies and colonial experiences from other imperial theatres that were deeply integrated with the Pacific from the outset. It weighs the impact of conditions particular to the Pacific – the immense asymmetries of power and population sizes, vast distances and the great diversity of human and natural geographies – on how violence shaped the Pacific across this historical expanse. Also, as it took five centuries to integrate the entire region into global systems, first encounters between Indigenous and colonial peoples, where violence often set a course for future relations, played out repeatedly across the region and across time, beginning in the early sixteenth century and ending in the 1930s in the New Guinea Highlands. This chapter is framed around innovative Indigenous responses to imperial violence, particularly the philosophy of non-violent resistance that emerged in New Zealand in the 1860s that went on to influence the course of other historical episodes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Cambridge World History of Violence - Volume 4: 1800 to the Present
    Editors Louise Edwards, Nigel Penn & Jay Winter
    Place of PublicationCambridge
    PublisherCambridge University Press
    ISBN (Print)9781316626887
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


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