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History of the Northwest Passage

History of the Northwest Passage - Summary

The Northwest Passage was one of the most famous myths of the Modern Era, relentlessly pursued by the most powerful maritime nations starting from the very first years following the discovery of America with the Italians Giovanni and Sebastiano Caboto.
Once commercial and political purposes pushed England, Holland (then the Republic of the Seven United Provinces) and Denmark to invest enormous capital and countless resources in the exploration of the far north, both to the east on the side of Russia and to the west. from that of the American continent, in an attempt to find a route that would take their ships to the Far East, avoiding the blockade that the Spanish and Portuguese raised against the passage of the southern Atlantic.
In the nineteenth century Great Britain and then Norway again ventured to the West with the enterprise, which by now has become an exclusively scientific challenge, a source of national pride.
In that century, the search became frenetic and was marred by the loss of hundreds of victims, who also perished due to the obstinacy of the organizers who were not prepared to open their minds to the experience of the Peoples of the North and make it their own.
On the contrary, the Norwegian Amundsen, who at the beginning of the twentieth century with little means was the first to solve the enigma of the Passage, making important scientific observations in the meantime, while in the East the Passage had been won twenty-five years earlier by the Swedish Nordenskjöld .
His feat remained unmatched for a long time, but from the Second World War onwards the steps were repeated, albeit rarely, until economic interests linked to oil exploited both the end of the Cold War and the rise in temperatures to begin using this route. .

A broader description can be found on  wikipedia here:



or a complete one on the site in English:


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