What effect did the voyages of Captain James Cook have on our lives?

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Captain James Cook has certainly left a legacy that still has many impacts today. For starters, his three voyages of exploration throughout the Pacific Ocean piqued the interest of imperialists and economic adventures back in Great Britain. Patterns of European settlement in the Pacific Northwest of North America were established, partly in response to Cook's report on the bounties of this coastline, particularly sea-otter furs.

Furthermore, Cook's navigational charts showed the way to Australia and New Zealand. The fact that significant numbers of British settlers ended up there in the decades after Cook's death is a result of his voyages. Simply put, if you live in the American Northwest, Australia, or New Zealand, the history of your home would be very different if it were not for the voyages of Captain Cook.

Really, it was Cook's voyages that showed the potential of the Pacific Ocean to Europeans. Not long after these voyages, other Europeans began making their own. Whether they were...

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