Aside from nice weather, what do California and Hawaii have in common?
Spanish longhorn cattle.
Today, we explore how Spanish longhorn cattle influenced the early American and environmental histories of California and Hawaii with John Ryan Fischer, author of Cattle Colonialism: An Environmental History of the Conquest of California and Hawaii.
About the Show
Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.
It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.
Each episode features a conversation with a historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.
In this episode, we explore the early American histories of California and Hawaii with John Ryan Fischer, a Visiting Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and author of Cattle Colonialism: An Environmental Conquest of California and Hawaii.
During our exploration, Ryan reveals what environmental history is and what it can teach us about the past; Native American culture in both California and Hawaii before and after European contact; And, how both the landscapes and Native Americans in California and Hawaii responded to the introduction of Spanish longhorn cattle by Europeans.
What You’ll Discover
- How Ryan became interested in the colonial history of California & Hawaii
- The study of environmental history
- The landscape of California
- Native American life in California pre-European contact
- The landscape of Hawaii
- Native Hawaiian culture prior to European contact
- What brought Europeans to California and Hawaii
- Spanish and Russian claims to California
- The animals Europeans brought to California and Hawaii
- How European cattle altered Native American culture in California and Hawaii
- How European cattle altered the landscapes of California and Hawaii
- How Native Americans in California and Hawaii responded to the introduction of cattle
- The rise and development of the California vaquero
- How California vaquero culture influenced the development of Hawaiian paniolo culture
- The hide & tallow trade and its development
- The environmental impact of the hide & tallow trade
- How California and Hawaii become states in the United States
Links to People, Places, and Publications
- Ryan Fischer
- Ryan’s University of Wisconsin-River Falls webpage
- Twitter: @ryanfischer1050
- Cattle Colonialism: An Environmental History of the Conquest of California and Hawai'i
Time Warp Question
In your opinion, what might have happened if the environments in California and Hawaii had not been suitable for cattle? How would the lack of cattle have changed the history of these Pacific borderland regions?
Questions, Comments, Suggestions
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