Whaling Essay Research Paper Few interests have

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Whaling Essay, Research Paper ?Few interests have exerted a more marked influence upon the history of the United States than that of fisheries? (Starbuck, 1). This simple statement was written in an official report to Congress in 1876. The impact that whaling made in the early years of the United States was just this important. Whaling was an integral part of the development of the young nation. Whaling was king in New England, and New England was king of whaling. From cities such as Nantucket, Cape Cod, Long Island, and New Bedford, the United States dominated the whaling industry. It generated other industry and was often a major point of conflict between England and America. American industry took a huge leap forward with the refining of the industry into its dominating

state. The Whalers The whalers themselves deserve a lot of credit for refining the techniques used and being the heroes that went further and worked harder. ?The pioneers of the sea, whalemen were the advanced guard, the forlorn hope of civilization? (Starbuck, 1). Those who lived and worked in the American ports were especially hardworking. The success of Nantucket was a direct result of their tireless pursuit of being top of the field. The Colonies and Early American Whaling ?When Captain John Smith sailed for America in 1614, he carried a crown permit to fish for whales. The Charter of Massachusetts Bay Colony granted the privilege of taking ?all fishes/royal, fishes, whales, balan, sturgeons and other fish.?? (Ashley, 28). Whaling was one of the original intentions in the

settlement of Massachusetts, as guaranteed in the charter. They were to be remote ports of England from which vessels could be based. ?The American whale fishery is contemporary with the settlement of the New York and New England colonies? (Starbuck, 4). There were acts that were passed in Massachusetts that encouraged the fisheries and stressed their importance as early as 1639. However important whaling seemed to have been considered by those in the early settlements, it was not an instant success as a business. Not until around 1690 did things start to take off. Soon after the turn of the century, the Island of Nantucket and the town of Sherburne advanced rapidly to being the largest of the whaling ports. Those on Nantucket were revered for their great skill in whaling. They

had the most efficient ways to catch and process whales. They would later be the most sought after for positions in the fleets of both the United States and England. The Influence of Exploration ?In the frozen seas of the north and south, their keels plowed to the extreme limit of navigation, and between the tropics they pursued their prey through regions never before traversed by the vessels of a civilized community? (Starbuck, 2). As the population of whales that were in the immediate vicinity of shore began to dwindle, the search for new whaling grounds became important. ?Pursuing their avocation whenever a chance presented, the American flag was first unfurled in an English port from the deck of one of the American whalemen, and the ports of the western coast of South America

first beheld the stars and stripes shown as the standard of another? (Starbuck, 2). The search for new and better whaling waters was a driving force in the further exploration of the Atlantic and ultimately the Pacific. It revitalized the desire to search beyond the known areas that had been somewhat lost since the voyages of the Spanish. Industry in America The New Englanders were quick to see the full potential of whaling. An early trading location was London, England. ?On February 3, 1783, the whaleship Bedford, out of Nantucket, arrived in London with a cargo of sperm oil. She was flying the rebel colors; it was the first time the Stars and Stripes had been seen in England? (Ellis, 146). The British nearly destroyed the American industry of whaling by setting high tariffs,