James Cook Essay, Research Paper
Do you know who the worlds greatest explorers are? One of them is the topic of
this essay. This essay is about James Cook. The objective of this report will be to
answer the following question: Why do we remember James Cook?
James Cook was born on October 27, 1728 in Marton, England. At the age of 18
James Cook became an apprentice with a shipping company. His first voyages he
worked on ships that carried coal to English ports. In 1755, during the French – Indian
war, Cook joined the British navy. In 1759 he was given a dangerous wartime mission.
He was to enter French territory and survey the St. Lawrence river for the British navy.
The charts that he made during this voyage contributed to the capture of the French city
of Quebec later in that year.
James Cook made three voyages to the Pacific. His first voyage, in 1768, the
navy appointed Cook to lead an expedition to Tahiti. On the Endeavour they left in
August and reached Tahiti in April of 1769. On the island scientists watched the planet
Venus pass between the Earth and the Sun. This was the main goal of this voyage but
cook had been given secret orders to find an unknown continent in the south pacific. He
was told to find it because geographers believed that it kept the world in balance,
however Cook was unable to find it. In October of 1769 Cook became the first European
man to visit New Zealand. In April of 1770 the Endeavor sailed to Botany Bay on the
east coast of Australia. Cook claimed the entire east coast of Australia for Great Britain.
He returned to England in July of 1771. During this voyage, from 1678 – 1771, Cook
became the first ship captain to prevent an outbreak of scurvy. Cook had heard that
scurvy was caused by a lack of fresh vegetables and fruits. To prevent an outbreak he
served his sailor’s fruit and sauerkraut. In July of 1772 Cook set off on his second voyage
to the pacific. Cook had left England with the Resolution and the Adventure. This
expedition was Cook s second attempt to find the unknown southern continent. During
this voyage Cook sailed farther south than any European had ever gone. Cook faced
many dangers in the cold Antarctic waters. Jagged mountains and ice as high as 18
meters often blocked the way of the ships. High winds that pushed the icebergs towards
the ships increased the danger. Cook circled Antarctica but the ice kept him from
sighting land. In 1773 and 1774 Cook became the first European to visit a number of
Pacific Islands, including the Cook Islands and New Caledonia. He arrived back in
England in July of 17775 and was promoted to a captain. Cook s final voyage was in
July of 1776. Cook took two ships, the Resolution and the Discovery, to find a possible
northern sea route between Europe and Asia. Cook first sailed to New Zealand and some
other Pacific Islands. In January of 1778 James Cook became the first European to go to
the Hawaiian Islands. Cook named them the Sandwich Islands to tribute Britain s chief
naval minister, the Earl of Sandwich. Later that year Cook sailed to the northwest coast
of North America. He was the First European to land on Vancouver Island. Cook then
continued up the coast and sailed Bering Strait and then entered the Arctic Ocean. The
walls of ice in the Arctic Ocean blocked the expedition so Cook headed back to the
Sandwich Islands in August. In February of 1779 an Islander stole a boat from the
Discovery at Kealakekua Bay. Cook tried to investigate the theft of the boat but was
stabbed to death in a fight with Islanders on February 14, 1779. The expedition returned
to England in October of 1780.
James Cook accomplished many things in his lifetime. He had surveyed and
charted thousands of kilometers of coast and solved many mysteries of the Pacific Ocean.
He opened the northwest American coast trade and colonization. He also discovered the
Hawaiian Island, which he called the Sandwich Islands, and was the first European man
to set foot on New Zealand and Vancouver Island.
James Cook played a very important part in the formation of Canada. The maps
he made of the St. Lawrence river helped the British conquer the French. If he had never
gone on these voyages Canada would now be under French rule and we would be living,
talking, and acting differently. He opened the northwest American coast to trade which
led to the colonization of North America.