WI: No Polynesian expansion

What if the Polynesian expansion never happened? What if, when European explorers landed in Hawaii, New Zealand, and other places, they met empty islands with no people at all?
 
So . . . no polynesian crops. Don't know enough about that to understand its effects.

No polynesian trade (this is probably no big deal, though it will retard initial settlement some).

No rediscovery of the primitive ideal in the 19th C.

NFL suffers quite a bit. ;)
 
Some islands would have people on it, like Madagascar would probably be settled by Africans, eventually. Maybe Australia's north would be colonized even by an Indo-Malayan power.
 
Interesting effects are in colonization and animals. I honestly don't know much about Hawaii but New Zealand would be very different biologically wise. The lack of humans in New Zealand would mean there are A LOT more bird species still around (the Maori had their hand in wiping out quite a few of them) and famous ones like the Moa or Haast's Eagle might still be kicking about.

From a colonial point of view.

Hmmmm...

The British were really the only ones massively interested in colonizing New Zealand (the French were a somewhat distant second) and I still see the British setting up shop there similar to OTL. There would probably be a few issues teething wise when it came to settling, the native Maori not being around to help or hinder accordingly.
 
No Polynesian traders on the Pacific coast of South America means no chickens in South America, and no sweet potatoes in (South) East Asia, which is going to have a huge impact on the civilizations in both regions.
 
No polynesian trade (this is probably no big deal, though it will retard initial settlement some).
The South Americans would be without chickens and Indonesians would be without sweet potatoes. I'm sure this would cause some changes to the history of pigs as well.
And every island would have wild animals unlike what we're familiar with.

[Edit: Oops. Someone else covered this. This is what happens when I leave a window open for an hour without writing in it.]
 

Cook

Banned
Maybe Australia's north would be colonized even by an Indo-Malayan power.
Northern Australia was not settled by Polynesians.

The South Americans would be without chickens and Indonesians would be without sweet potatoes.
Funny isn't it? There's Thor Heyerdahl and those other clowns runing around saying "look, Pyramids!", and all the time there's chickens and sweet potatoes literally staring them in the face.
 
Sigh

Madagascar was colonized by malays not Polynesians.

The Polynesian agricultural package was developed on Formosa by austronesians.
 
Hmm, I seem to have outdated information, looking back now. This scenario nevertheless proves to be quite interesting.
 
By which you mean you could not be bothered to do even a trivial amount of research?

How would absence of humans on these islands affected European exploration? Black birding? Who would have colonized? When? Why?
 
Flightless birds in the Pacific are wiped out by Europeans, or more probably the rats they bring with them, instead by the Polynesians. A few more species would still be around. Moas would likely be hunted to extinction by settlers, so no moa-riding.
 
The tropical islands would probably be colonized by sugar planters, but I don't know who they'd use for labor. Africans most likely, but the lack of malaria on these islands could mean that you could use European indentured labor. Melanesian slaves would also be possible, but in this scenario it's possible that they never got the Asian crop package and so are much fewer in number (and therefore do not have a population that could support a large slave trade)

The really interesting idea IMHO is to use the islands as an exile for rebellious Native Americans. No, really-a European power could, as a show of how 'humane' they are, exile Native resistance leaders and their families to these remote virgin islands were they won't cause trouble. Isolated from most European contact, these forced colonies actually have a good chance at surviving and even thriving.
 
Remember that without the Polynesians coming along and stripping the isles bare in order to fuel their continued expansions most of the Pacific islands will be covered in very thick, lush tropical rainforests.
 
Remember that without the Polynesians coming along and stripping the isles bare in order to fuel their continued expansions most of the Pacific islands will be covered in very thick, lush tropical rainforests.
Sounds like the perfect place for exile-as-death-sentence for those not remotely used to it.
 
Remember that without the Polynesians coming along and stripping the isles bare in order to fuel their continued expansions most of the Pacific islands will be covered in very thick, lush tropical rainforests.
Eh...Polynesians did have that sort of environmental impact, but human activity in the Pacific was also compounded by El Nino and local weather conditions. Easter Island might be a lot more forested, but the islands will vary wildly in how 'lush' they are even within archipelagos.

Elfwine said:
Sounds like the perfect place for exile-as-death-sentence for those not remotely used to it.
Or a paradise for some Native South and Central Americans. Just saying.
 
"It's a rainforest" does not mean "just like home" even so.
It wouldn't be just like home, but colonists who are willing to live off of manioc could do well in a rainforest. They may end up hunting some of the local birds to extinction to sustain themselves until their harvest is large enough to support them, but it is possible.
 
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