Claiming territorial rights in the Antarctic. The different reasons and causes behind the seven claims.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
Exploring the land and the earth has always been in man's nature. The story of the Antarcticgoes back several centuries, with sightings of a Terra Australis Incognita,1 however most ofthe discovery and exploration of the continent has been done in the last century.Expeditions were sent down not just to conduct scientific work and explore, but also to claimland. The territorial claims where performed by sticking a flag in the ground and claiming itfor your king and country, but were these continuances of the colonial hunt the only reason?The naming of mountains and areas shows affiliation, but were personal acts the drivingforce? Many of the early sightings are not reliable because they were made by chance whendrifting off course. So is a sighting or 'first'� discovery enough to make a claim?Before the Antarctic Treaty was negotiated in 1959 there were 7 countries claiming a piece ofthe continent. Acknowledgements of the different claims were not set, bringing forward thereasons and causes behind the claims. Was there political influence and focus on internationalcooperation? Was it a strategic game of resources or a matter of honour and glory?This paper looks at the lead up to the annexations and the reasons behind these claims.
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