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Columbia Press


When countries competed for the Northwest coast

Speaker Mark Eifler
Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Northwest coast was a hotbed of international competition between 1775 and 1815, when four nations—Spain, Russia, Great Britain and the United States—sought control of the region. By the time Lewis and Clark arrived, it was apparent that the key to regional dominance focused on the mouth of the Columbia River.

Most students of American history are familiar with President Jefferson’s scientific goals for Corps of Discovery, but Jefferson also had his eye on political and economic power as he sought to map the vast territory recently purchased from France.

While the Expedition made no direct contact with representatives of the other nations, historian and author Mark Eifler will discuss the geopolitical ramifications of Lewis and Clark’s journey, the end of Spain’s weak hold on the Pacific Northwest, a frenzy of Russian activity to seize the coast, and a further opening of the door for British fur traders.

Eifler’s talk is at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 17, and is part of the Thursday Night Talks free lecture series sponsored by the Clatsop County Historical Society and Fort George Brewery.

It will be in the Lovell Showroom, 14th and Duane streets. Doors open at 6 p.m. with seasonal beer, food and other beverages available. No purchase is necessary and minors are welcome with an accompanying adult.

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