Figure 1. Map showing the regions included in the study area – Great Britain, British North America, and the West Indies.
This research assessed shipping routes in the North Atlantic region in the nineteenth century. The main focus was on movements between British North America, Britain, and the West Indies. At the time, British North America consisted of what is now modern day Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec, parts of Saskatchewan and Alberta, and the thirteen American colonies. These provinces were under the control of the United Kingdom until 1907 when the last province of Newfoundland and Labrador was finally granted dominion status (Hatten and Harvey, 1944). Timber was primarily shipped from British North America to the British colony of Bermuda and the West Indies – an area in the North Atlantic Ocean commonly referred to as the Caribbean Basin (Ocean Conservancy, 2016).
The Atlantic Ocean was the main location of the shipping routes in question. In general, the Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean and covers approximately 106,400,000 square kilometers. It constitutes 29% of the water surface on earth, but contributes approximately 20% of the earth’s surface (Ocean Conservancy, 2016; World Atlas, 2016). The Atlantic Ocean can be divided into both the North Atlantic Ocean (above the equator) and the South Atlantic Ocean (below the equator) (Ocean Conservancy, 2016). The shipping routes in this project were primarily located within the North Atlantic Ocean.