American Exploration, Expeditions, Strait of Anian, Myths, Far East


The tales of North American exploration and westward expansion have often been painted in tones of manifest destiny, heroic bravery, and divine providence. While such portrayals surely prove insightful in some cases, they do not paint the whole picture. A more accurate depiction of American exploration would include the driving forces of economic gain, naive optimism, overeagerness, and the hasty acceptance of geographical misinformation. The strength of these motives and forces was so strong that for centuries adventurers continued to explore the continent despite constant disappointment and financial loss. In particular, the closely related myths of the Strait of Anian and the Northwest Passage were the impetus for numerous expeditions. The promises they held were more than enough to fuel not only imaginative thought, but discoveries that would forever affect North American exploration and history.