The Great Guano Rush: Entrepreneurs and American Overseas Expansion

Front Cover
Macmillan, 1994 - Caribbean Area - 334 pages
This text describes the little-known history of the earliest example of American overseas expansion. Guano was the 19th century's most important fertilizer and in 1856 Congress, believing that American farmers were being gouged on guano sales by foreign monopolists, authorized US citizens to claim and exploit unowned guano-rich islands around the world. The legacy of this decision is a strange group of American appurtenances, ranging from Haiti to the central Pacific and with a highly diverse subsequent history, from the notorious near-slavery of guano-miners on Navassa Island to the contemporary issue of the Johnston Atoll chemical weapon destruction plant.

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