The colonial powers of France, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America considered it their role to bring what they saw as civilisation to the peoples of the Pacific. Missionaries flocked to the islands, eager to save souls. The South Seas was also a fabled region in 19th-century Europe. At a time when romantic notions of nature were popular, the Pacific was seen as an unspoiled paradise.
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Hocken Library, University of Otago, Godward Collection Maps
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